NGD - Ibanez SZ1220 - Jemsite
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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NGD - Ibanez SZ1220

Hi All

NGD for me, Ibanez SZ1220, the only SZ that was made in japan. Its my third SZ, i have an SZ320, which i'll likely sell now, and an SZ4020FM.

Its in pretty good shape overall, a few marks overall, but plays great.

I'm thinking about maybe refinishing it. It has a few wear marks on the body, and shiny patch has developed. The finish seems very thin, and should therefore be easy to remove, i can pick the darker finish off the back with my nail.

I dont know how much sanding i would need to do to get down to the bare wood, i would imagine it would be a lot less than a thick poly finish from something like an RG550. has anyone ever stripped something similar?

If i could strip it and oil it, and get it to look something like the natural SZ4020FM, i'd be very happy. like this: (without the neck through obviously)

It is a pretty rare guitar though, and while i didnt buy it as an investment, i dont want to lose it if it becomes collectible in the future. the SZ's arnt what ibanez are famous for though, so i guess that wouldnt happen?

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 09:28 AM
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Re: NGD - Ibanez SZ1220

Very cool! I'm not sure i've ever even seen/heard of this model, a rare Ibby for sure.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Re: NGD - Ibanez SZ1220

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 06:55 PM
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Re: NGD - Ibanez SZ1220

So you found it stripped out? Thats actually awesome if you did. I would like to do a custom one day with something like this. Maybe Ibanez could sell a "kit".
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 07:20 PM
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Re: NGD - Ibanez SZ1220

I think both of those SZs are beautiful. I was always fond of that line, though I never owned one.

Is the top a full maple cap or a veneer? The pickup cavities might be the best way to tell as the edges can be deceptive if they did a wrap-around. If it's a veneer, trying to sand it would probably be ill-advised, as it would be really tough to avoid sand-throughs.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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No, it was complete when i bought it. It had some upgades on it, plus the original parts, so im selling off some of the upgrades. Ill probably not put the orignal pickups back in (V1 and V2) i have some duncan distortions i could put in, or maybe an alternative 8 and a 59 neck.

Its a proper thick maple cap. Must be 10mm at least in the centre.

Its lovely. But im bot a fan of chrome hardware, and im struggling to find a bridge in anything else at the moment. Nickel would be nice. Cosmo might be an option too if i can find someone with stock. If all else fails i might get a bridge powder coated black. Its always my first choice in hardware colour anyway.

Ill have a think and see.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 11:38 PM
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Re: NGD - Ibanez SZ1220

Gorgeous axe. I'm totally jealous.

Do you have to take the finish all the way back? Could you maybe just light sand to restore the matt finish? Maybe a luthier would do it for very little cost, also means the body stays original.

Hopefully you can keep us updated with some pics during the restoration process. nice project
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 03:57 AM Thread Starter
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I did wonder that, but the finish seems very thin. The colour part at least.

I may have some some body projects coming, so i might wait until i have some more practice with finishes etc, until i tackle this one. Ill keep you all updated though.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 01:06 PM
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Re: NGD - Ibanez SZ1220

I've played one of these thats been hanging in a local Guitar Center for quite a while, while it's a super nice guitar with a nice neck, the weight of the guitar stopped me from buying it, felt unusually heavy compared to the S lines or even the RG lines.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 03:23 PM
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Re: NGD - Ibanez SZ1220

The SZ's are so underrated... Nice playing guitars with beefy necks, smaller frets, and the 25" scale. Nicely built too, at least the Korean ones, I've never played an Indo made one. I picked up an SZ320 years ago and just can't seem to get rid of it... They just don't sell for as much as a guitar of that quality and playability should! I decided it made more sense to keep it and put a Norton in the bridge and left the Duncan/Ibanez version of a '59 in the neck. Plays and sounds great... too bad it doesn't have an Edge trem on it... lol.

Would love to find a green SZ520 with the origami bird fret markers in good condition. The only ones I've ever seen were beat up too bad to consider buying. Some of the top 'o the line models don't have fret markers... although I could deal with that for a nice MIJ one like pictured in the original post! Gorgeous!
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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I have a sz4020fm that is really heavy! The 320 and the 1220 arent particularly heavy.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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Re: NGD - Ibanez SZ1220

So, an update on this.

I was a bit undecided on what to do. The hardware on this one is chrome, and i'm not really a fan of the chrome. It uses the Gibraltar 3 bridge. The Gibraltar 3 has been available in Chrome, Nickel, Gold and Cosmo black (but not proper black unfortunately). Some of the other SZ's had nickel hardware, which i would have preferred. I asked about, and there are no Nickel bridges, about any more. One seller said he could get one in Cosmo black, which looks great until the finish wears off, but i inquired further, and heard nothing more. so its Chrome, or Chrome.

So ive fitted some Zebra pickups, and swapped the pickup rings from black to cream. I thought this would look great, but now i'm a little on the fence...

What do you think?

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 12:24 PM
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I like it. Cream looks better than black to me. Very nice if you want Ibanez in a package that looks much less "shreddy"
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 12:29 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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What did you do with the main finish? Looks a bit darker than the first post. But that might just be lighting.

I refinished a PGM by sanding back and using guitar finishing oil from Crimson Guitars in the uk. Gave it a real good glow..

Always interested to here how others have tried similar. I like a good natural finish..

Last edited by ibaraki_gaijin; 11-04-2019 at 03:38 PM.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Its just the light, ive not done anything to the body yet. The last of the photos in my first post is a different guitar, just in case you glanced over it.

I'm warming to it. Need to string it up now.
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