upgrade rg170 or not... - Jemsite
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-16-2005, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: irvine, ca
Posts: 11
upgrade rg170 or not...

hello everyone, im new to this forum. ive been reading a lot on jems and mods and have realized that its about time i upgrade my pos rg170 (it sounds terrible). my question is... is it worth it to do a bunch of mods to it myself or to just buy a new guitar all together. im kinda inching towards the former because i dont have the money atm to buy a full on new guitar (school -_-) but i could easily save. or would it be better to cut the body of my rg170 up, make room for a tremolo bridge, install that, get new pickups, locking nut, etc. im thinking if i buy a new guitar it'll cost me at least $400 for a decent guitar (and im looking for something that i wont need to change in a while). ive read a lot of people recommending rg550's and so forth, but i cant seem to find any that arent under $500. the music i tend to play is anything from jazz to metal to punk (so its a pretty wide spectrum ;o). i also did the math and if i just upgrade my rg170 to hell, it'll run me like $300 for the bare essentials. so now im looking for experienced help -_-.

oh and btw, i would probably do the upgrades myself because 1. id like to have that knowledge of guitars and 2. i dont wanna pay someone for something i think i could do myself, with a little bit of reading.

thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-16-2005, 04:09 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Re: upgrade rg170 or not...

Well, if my knowledge of the RG170 is correct: it has a standard trem, powersound pickups, Wizard II neck, H-S-H pickup config. It's basically the same as a GRG170DX except that it has jumbo frets instead of medium and it doesn't have the cool inlays. Personally, I think it would cost more than $300 to re-route the body for a floating trem and change the pickups. And even though it's cool that you wanna learn about that, cutting into the body of your guitar isn't something that you want to just do without some previous training or watching someone else do it or SOMETHING.

If you want a guitar with that same type feel with better stats, then I would go with the RG370DX. I have one and I just love it to death. The infinity pickups are a big step up from the powersounds and the Edge III floating trem is good about staying in tune. I got mine for $360 online. But if you don't care about floating trems, then you could also go with the RG321. It's basically the same except it's made of mahogany instead of basswood, has a fixed bridge, and has an H-H pickup config (with infinity pickups same as the 370DX). The price that I've seen online for that guitar is $272.

Of course, what's really going to change how your guitar sounds is the amp that you're playing it through. I've played my new guitar on countless store amps and none of them sound as good as a Line 6 Spider II in my opinion. The only exception would be a REALLY expensive tube amp.

And another option would be to simply change the pickups on your guitar and leave the trem alone. I'd just use it like a fixed bridge guitar and swap out the pickups and right there you've got a better sounding instrument. Throw a PAF Pro in the neck and an Air Zone in the bridge and you've got yourself a rockin' RG.
lyconxero is offline  
post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-16-2005, 04:09 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 249
Re: upgrade rg170 or not...

upgrading your 170 may be a lot of fun (and I recommend doing it at some point), but in the end, a modded 170 won't be a substitute for a 550. You have too many differences between the guitars, the biggest being the body wood (which, if its anything like the older entry levels, its numerous plys of basswood).

With an entry level guitar like a 170, there really isn't much use trying to turn it into a 550. They're fundamentaly different guitars.

So, if you want to just make your guitar a little better, then by all means, upgrade away. But if it's a 550 you want, the buy a 550.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-16-2005, 04:59 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Re: upgrade rg170 or not...

Definetely buy 550, 570 (or 470 but only japan, in 93 or 94 to 97 they were produced in korea). If you can't find one for 500 bucks be patient, you will find one. RG170 is not worth more investing, only if you have some parts or you will do it yourself. RG370 is good guitar, but if you don't want to change your guitar soon, stay with better axes like RG5xx or higher :-)
Phillip is offline  
post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-16-2005, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: irvine, ca
Posts: 11
Re: upgrade rg170 or not...

thanks for the advice guys. i actually just picked up a rg550 for FREE ;o (dunno the year, on the back of the neck past the 24th fret it says rg550R, thats all i know -_-) from a friend who didnt use it anymore. technically its still his, but he literally NEVER uses it, so he just kinda gave it to me for the time being. ill probably buy it from him eventually . lol this thing is banged up like a mofo and WAS quite dirty (before i cleaned it), with some kind of signature on it as well. i think its frank gambale's signature, which if it is, thats pretty awesome. but it sounds pretty good. now i just need to learn how to install new pickups and ill be very happy. maybe ill do something with that rg170. that suggestion about using that as a fixed bridge guitar sounds pretty good. lol whats funny is while i was thinking of a new guitar with a floating bridge i didnt even think about the fact that i wont be able to change the tuning very easily on those ;o

well thanks again guys!
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-16-2005, 07:11 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Re: upgrade rg170 or not...

Yeah, you really can't change the tuning easily on guitars with floating trems. So basically, I leave my RG370DX in standard all the time and I use my Pacifica for alternate tunings (which I am going to replace with an RG321 ASAP).
lyconxero is offline  
post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-16-2005, 08:10 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Orpington, Kent, SE London
Posts: 337
Re: upgrade rg170 or not...

I was gonna get my 470L modded with new pups, bridge, paint job etc etc, but then found I'd stupidly missed a link to Machinehead.co.uk who are selling THESE! It's the first one at the top, the 1570 in mirage blue.

http://www.machinehead.co.uk/lefties.php

All I gotta do is sell my 470L and one of these is mine hehe. I'd much rather just change the pickups on this than totally butcher my 470 and pay more £££ in doing so.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-17-2005, 01:13 AM
Gex
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 962
Re: upgrade rg170 or not...

I say sell it and get a good RG5XX or RG7XX.

Then you will actually have something admirable and a joy to own and play.
Gex is offline  
post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-17-2005, 01:31 AM
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: China
Posts: 186
Re: upgrade rg170 or not...

First of all... WELCOME! This is the best guitar forum and people are great here.

I second most of the advice given. To me, the key question when choosing RGs is trem usage. If you get Vai-olent on the trem, only the RG5xxx series will do. If you don't use it much, I'd go for a fixed bridge, an RG321 (cool thing you can choose between mahogany and basswood). An EPII should work fine too if you don't abuse it.

The problem with entry-level guitars is not so much quality, but consistency. They're all different, there are beauties and beasts, so I wouldn't buy an entry level guitar that I haven't tested thoroughly. One important feature to look at is fretwork. I have a cheapo S270 with a sweeeeet neck, but the frets are totally flat after just 2 years of playing Cheapo guitars are high maintenance.

Pickups mean nothing to me, because I love trying lots of different ones until I find what works on that particular guitar, but that's just me. The infinity pups are very decent stock pups, you can use them until you decide what you need (and save up for it).

First I'd decide on what type of bridge I want, and then try to get the best bang for the buck. Fixed bridge: RG321. Trem abuse: RG5xxx (perhaps used, you can find them for about $300). Gentle trem use: RG3xxx, good bang for the buck.

Hope that helps, and let us know how it goes!
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-17-2005, 01:45 AM
 
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Lightbulb Re: upgrade rg170 or not...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AirGuitarHero
If you get Vai-olent on the trem, only the RG5xxx series will do. Gentle trem use: RG3xxx, good bang for the buck.
So you're saying that I basically just got lucky with my RG370DX then? I mean, i've gotten quite Vai-olent with the Edge III on my guitar and it still holds its tuning like a champ.

But for me, there's no middle ground. Either you want a floating trem for some serious trem usage or you want a fixed bridge. And having both is a really nice thing simply because you'll know that both of your guitars will be good at holding their tuning.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-17-2005, 04:51 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: irvine, ca
Posts: 11
Re: upgrade rg170 or not...

yeah, like i said earlier. i picked up that way beat up rg550, so im set on a guitar with floating bridge . now i need to figure out how to string it (had to let the bridge collapse into the cavity cuz it needed a SERIOUS cleaning job). i know its tedious, and it will be my first time actually fully restringing a floating tremolo from scratch... but it doesnt sound too difficult. ive heard a lot of suggestions with the rg321 and actually think imma save up a bit and see if i can play it at the local guitar store. then im essentially just gonna keep my rg170 for sentimental reasons -_-. or maybe ill smash it at a punk rock show :P. thanks for all the advice guys ! really appreciate it. and just for reference i got the quickest responces to my question EVER! over any forum ive ever been in. thanks again for the quick responces everyone.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-17-2005, 09:21 AM
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: China
Posts: 186
Re: upgrade rg170 or not...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lyconxero
So you're saying that I basically just got lucky with my RG370DX then? I mean, i've gotten quite Vai-olent with the Edge III on my guitar and it still holds its tuning like a champ.
Really? The EPIII's I've tried were very good for the price, but nowhere near an Edge. Would you please elaborate on that? I'm thinking of getting an RG350 and the trem is the only thing that bugs me. If the trem is good enough, I might just go for it...

Thanks!
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-17-2005, 06:01 PM
 
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Lightbulb Re: upgrade rg170 or not...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AirGuitarHero
Really? The EPIII's I've tried were very good for the price, but nowhere near an Edge. Would you please elaborate on that? I'm thinking of getting an RG350 and the trem is the only thing that bugs me. If the trem is good enough, I might just go for it...

Thanks!
Well, I'm pretty new to the whole floating trem thing but I do know when a guitar is in tune and when it isn't. When I got the guitar, it was set up pretty well right from wherever it came from. So after I tuned it up, I messed around with it and the trem and it seemed to stay in tune pretty well. But everyday that I came back to it, I found that it kept going flat. So around the time when my fine tuners were all the way down, I unlocked the neck, rolled the fine tuners back, stretched the strings, and then locked the neck back down. And after that, the thing has stayed in tune like a dream. I love to do the serious vibrato stuff and divebombs and pull-ups and my impersonation of what I believe to be "Vai-olence" and the thing has stayed in tune perfectly since I stretched the strings.

But then, I never had a problem with the Edge Pro II as far as staying in tune either. I used to play one in the store that I go to on an RG320 that the owner personally set up and it stayed in tune quite well (as long as the neck was locked). Of course, I've been a LOT ruffer with my trem than I ever was with an EPII since it's mine. But before you make any major purchase, I would go to a trusted guitar store and see if you can try one out. I say "trusted" because if it's not set up properly then that can cause problems. I was lucky in that mine was set up perfectly from the factory but a lot can happen between here and Korea...
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-17-2005, 06:03 PM
 
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Re: upgrade rg170 or not...

Oh, but another thing that I've found out is that when you lock down the neck you have to REALLY lock it down or it won't stay in tune. I had that problem when I first locked it down because I didn't do it tightly enough, so that can always be a problem in a store.
lyconxero is offline  
post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-18-2005, 10:44 AM
 
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Location: Edinburgh
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Re: upgrade rg170 or not...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreaming_neon_black
I was gonna get my 470L modded with new pups, bridge, paint job etc etc, but then found I'd stupidly missed a link to Machinehead.co.uk who are selling THESE! It's the first one at the top, the 1570 in mirage blue.
I have an 18 month old RG1570L and it rules (and is black!)
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alternate tuning , alternate tunings , fixed bridge , fixed bridge guitar , floating tremolo , floating trems , frank gambale , jumbo frets , locking nut , locking stud , locking studs , paf pro , powersound pickups , tremolo bridge , tube amp

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