NGD - Very Messed Up RG550 - Jemsite
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-03-2014, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
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NGD - Very Messed Up RG550

Well I finally picked it up yesterday. It had been abused to hell and neglected. The owner was a nice guy, but didn't really understand floating trems and as a result the trem was sitting right into the guitar. Here are the before pics and a couple of after cleanup and restring pics. Please excuse the quality, they were taken on my phone as I was just too busy to charge up my camera batteries.


As you can see the fretboard is filthy and look what the bastard 1st owner decided was a cool thing to do, should be hung by his balls until he learns the meaning of taste. Oh, and the ****er painted that red design with nail polish.


The trem cavity had a total of 5 springs in there when I opened it. Soaked 3 in WD 40 and cleaned them with a wire brush, they came up sparkling and got fitted. The other 3 are still soaking.


Just to verify the neck and body matched. It has the common body crack to the left of the neck joint which I believe is harmless.



The seller didn't know which pickups were in it, I suspected Evolution and Bareknuckle, so just to verify.

Finally I de-strung it, spent hours with a soft tooth brush cleaning the board (it still has ingrained dirt, so if anyone has any suggestions for that I'm all ears), cleaned the pickups, neck, body, removed the nail polish some sheep's afterbirth had painted over the Ibanez logo on the headstock with, lubed the trem posts (thankfully they weren't worn at all - but it has the old trem posts which no allen key seems to fit and I had to lock it in place by measuring the little locking bolts, turning them to the desired position from the bottom and screwing the post back in - so I'll have an order going to Rich soon). Put it all back together and re-strung it. You fanboys are correct in every way - this guitar plays like a wet dream starring a super model. Here are the pics of the guitar in it's post 1st cleaning state. I would love suggestions on what to do. I was thinking about sanding to the bare wood, staining and clearcoating, but I'm totally open to ideas.

Here are the final blurry pics for now!

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-03-2014, 07:30 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Re: NGD - Very Messed Up RG550

Good grief! That's a rescue!
Good luck!
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-03-2014, 08:36 PM
 
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Re: NGD - Very Messed Up RG550

Looks like all it needs is a refinish and new pick guard.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-03-2014, 08:37 PM
 
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Re: NGD - Very Messed Up RG550

Ouch didnt see the body was carved into... You can probably score one on ebay for not to much.. Hope fully the neck/frets are ok.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-03-2014, 08:59 PM
 
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Re: NGD - Very Messed Up RG550

That carving sucks so bad. Terrible taste... That poor poor 550. Glad it went to someone who knows how to take care of it...
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-04-2014, 10:02 PM
 
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Re: NGD - Very Messed Up RG550

Oh my! Well... ay least its unique? I'm glad that it plays well for you though... thats the important thing! I've heard so much about the old 550's, but never played one. I'll bet you got a good deal on it, made even better by those nice pickups!
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-04-2014, 10:34 PM
 
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Re: NGD - Very Messed Up RG550

Quote:
Originally Posted by FireEagle View Post
Oh my! Well... ay least its unique? I'm glad that it plays well for you though... thats the important thing! I've heard so much about the old 550's, but never played one. I'll bet you got a good deal on it, made even better by those nice pickups!
I liked my 550 but my 560 was in better nick and felt better to play. Then the Carvin came and changed everything lol
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-05-2014, 07:24 AM
 
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Re: NGD - Very Messed Up RG550

Looks like a genuine guitar from the 80's.
Rachmaninoff is offline  
post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-05-2014, 08:12 AM
 
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Re: NGD - Very Messed Up RG550

You could possibly salvage that body with a chamfer router bit. Give it a bit of an RGD look.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-05-2014, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NGD - Very Messed Up RG550

Thank you all for the comments. The neck and frets are great, after a partial de-construction and a going over with a brush the trem is great too. I am shocked there is no rust on any of the parts of the trem.

I am considering sanding the neck just to remove the inpregnated dirt the toothbrush missed and maybe doing the same to the fretboard.

Regarding the finish I love the yellow, but hate the red scalloped "design". I am useless with a router or else I would smooth off the edges, so the next best alternative for me would be to sand it down and stain it like Fire did with his first guitat, but if anyone has any ideas they are very welcome.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-05-2014, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NGD - Very Messed Up RG550

Thank you all for the comments. The neck and frets are great, after a partial de-construction and a going over with a brush the trem is great too. I am shocked there is no rust on any of the parts of the trem.

I am considering sanding the neck just to remove the inpregnated dirt the toothbrush missed and maybe doing the same to the fretboard.

Regarding the finish I love the yellow, but hate the red scalloped "design". I am useless with a router or else I would smooth off the edges, so the next best alternative for me would be to sand it down and stain it like Fire did with his first guitat, but if anyone has any ideas they are very welcome.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-05-2014, 08:39 PM
 
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Re: NGD - Very Messed Up RG550

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laobi View Post
Thank you all for the comments. The neck and frets are great, after a partial de-construction and a going over with a brush the trem is great too. I am shocked there is no rust on any of the parts of the trem.

I am considering sanding the neck just to remove the inpregnated dirt the toothbrush missed and maybe doing the same to the fretboard.

Regarding the finish I love the yellow, but hate the red scalloped "design". I am useless with a router or else I would smooth off the edges, so the next best alternative for me would be to sand it down and stain it like Fire did with his first guitat, but if anyone has any ideas they are very welcome.
Please just wait for a 550 body and pickguard to pop up on ebay and you'll have a killer/legendary guitar and save some time trying to make the existing body look ok. The carves are just a bit to deep or I'd say go RGA or RGD style.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-05-2014, 10:05 PM
 
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Re: NGD - Very Messed Up RG550

Laobi,

I used to collect vintage guitars, too many for girlfriends/wives to tolerate he he, but I can tell you about maple boards.

Unlike rosewood, maple gets "dirty" and some of that is unavoidable but worn in necks could also play well, but...

the dirt on the board, like on any dead wood in forest, gets in and breaks the wood down rotting it slowly as that's nature's way of turning dead trees back into soil that gives life back to the forest

What you don't want, obviously, is for a maple board to get so dirty and rotted out as to start deteriorating like Eric Clapton's famous "Blackie" strat which he had to retire when so much wood had worn off that the fret ends were sticking out and making it uncomfortable to play.

But you also don't want to clean it back to a pristine state and refinish it as that wrecks that great played in feel and just looks funky.

My luthier took my well worn, far more than yours, old tele neck and cleaned a lot of the black mold/dirt from it and then lay some dull shellac or lacquer on it for protection. He saw to it that you couldn't see it as an add on and there was no shiny area which often comes with bad restorations. It was enough to protect the neck from further deterioration but didn't hinder the worn in feel and there's no detectible fiddling with such a vintage guitar. It just looks a few years newer than 1965 without looking refinished (which would hurt the vintage value greatly). I saw a 1950 Broadcaster that had more than $10,000 taken off the value simply because the original owner lightly refinished the headstock to make it retain its new "look".

There's a troubling feel of a totally brand new guitar which often have plastic feeling necks (especially on maple fretboards) but also unplayability when the guitar has seen better days. My 1941 Vega's ebony board was so cracked and chipped to death that it had become a wall hanger in that state. But between a brand new plastic feeling neck and one that is dead on arrival are many years of a well played, excellent neck which gives you the best it can offer. I love necks more than a decade old but with original frets without too much damage, and if I could only bottle that and sell it!

Your Ibanez RG neck looks to still have a lot of good life in it and is past that newish plastic feeling maple necks can have in their first few years of playing. One thing a lot of people who like rosewood hate about maple is that the fretboard of maple feels slippery and doesn't hold bends well. But that's not as much the case with a well worn maple neck which has some grit and similar gravitas as rosewood as on your example.

I can't say anything about the body, but to each his/her own on that and I am sure many superstrat players wouldn't be seen playing any Jem.

Last edited by 63Blazer; 12-05-2014 at 10:16 PM.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-06-2014, 10:26 PM
 
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Location: St. Louis
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Re: NGD - Very Messed Up RG550

+1 a 550 body from ebay.

Great guitars.
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 06:18 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Chicago
Posts: 46
Re: NGD - Very Messed Up RG550

Strip then Wood fill/sand flush the scallops and repaint or buy a new are your options there. Otherwise, it looks like an 80s guitar that someone made their own.
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