Well, that 'waskally' boyfriend of mine is at it again... this time he bought an OLD RG550. 1990 according to the serial number.
I'm always leery about buying something this old, and in this rough shape (that's why I'm interested in the new 'throwback' guitars they have in Japan now)
Anyway, on with the story. He buys the guitar, cheap, $175. When he calls me I'm thinking, "Oh boy, either we hit gold or it's total crap."
He comes home and it's wrapped in a trash bag, no strings, beat up pretty badly. Bridge and other hardware looks new, so I'm thinking if it's crap and not worth bothering with it at least the bridge, nut, etc. should get us our money back on evil-bay.
He hands me the guitar and says, "Here, you're the 'Ibanez Expert' of the house, see what you can do with it." He's been playing guitar for as long as he could walk and 'I'm' the 'expert'?
So I clean it up as best I can. Once I got all the crud off of the body and neck it's not too horrible looking.
Time for strings. Going okay until I actually put some tension on the neck and: CRACKED NECK! I felt it before I saw it, there's a 'W' shaped crack right behind the nut where the bolts go through. Oh well, whatcha gonna do? You roll the dice, right?
So I show him and he shrugs and says, "I guess I should have looked closer."
Ya think? MEN! I swear.. but on with the tale.
So I'm thinking, 'maybe it can be fixed.' I type 'guitar neck repair' into google and one of the hits is our very own Ibanez Rules. Click that puppy!
He gives a nice tutorial on how to squeeze glue into the crack(s) and finishing etc. I look it over and think, "Wow, I could do that!"
Off to Wal-Mart!
Board: check (Well, used the frame of an old ironing board)
Tung oil: check
Two hours or so later I've got everything glued, sanded and oiled. You can still see the cracks outline thanks to lots of discoloration, but you can't feel them and it seems very strong.
Next day: strings.
Watch repair intently, and..... BINGO! It's just fine! Had to pull the strings after to rewire the bridge pickup that wasn't working, but while I had it off I figured I'd see if I can figure out what pickups these are and if I'm reading this right; there's a Super Distortion in the bridge and a P.A.F Pro in the neck. No clue on the single. So even if I couldn't fix the neck, We'd have gotten our money back and then some.
Needs a fret level, maybe even new frets, but it's playable with medium-low action. About like an acoustic. Stays in tune pretty well as well.
This is why I commented about those throwback guitars. I'd rather spend $1000 or more on a new guitar that's like this one was new, than have to go through this, but at least I have my RG550.
The 'thank you' goes to Rich Harris. If not for your page I'd have most likely torn it apart and you'd have seen the parts on evil-bay this weekend.
The only thing (aside from the obvious) is the fret board. My God it's filthy!
I do have to admit though, this neck is thinner than my RG1550 and it has a 'shallower' profile, I guess you could say. It actually fits better in my little bitty hand than the 1550. Different profile, I guess. Did the 1990 RG550 have the 'Original Wizard' neck?
Thanks for reading guys and gals, just thought I'd share.
Oh, and according to the old catalogs on ibanezrules.com the color looks like Coral Mist Metallic. It's not red enough to be Road Flare. It's a pretty color. In bright light it almost looks pink, but in dimmer lighting it looks more red.
While not what I dreamed, considering everything I think I'm going to be happy with this once I get the frets taken care of.