Hey guys, I don't believe this has been done before, so I wanted to collect info and images about various USA Custom guitars and post it all here. My intention is have all the master info at the top, which I'll maintain, then have other people contribute more images and info as the thread goes on. To collect the images, I had to get them from various sources, so if I'm using an image of one of your guitars...well I'm sorry about that but you shouldn't have made them public if you didn't want people using them
Also, you should be flattered because it means that I felt it was the best image out there!
To be clear, this is intended to cover all
USA Custom guitars, so UCGR, UCMD, UCEW, USRG. Those acronyms mean:
UCGR - USA Custom Graphic Design series, what is most commonly thought of when someone mentions these guitars.
UCMD - USA Custom MedalDesign series, metallic fabric finish from the same timeframe.
UCEW - USA Custom Exotic Wood series, figured wood top guitars with trans finishes.
USRG - later USA Custom series similar to UCEW. Made entirely in the US under contract by Bunker Guitars.
The basic concept of the USA Custom Series was a semi-custom shop. There were a variety of finish, pickup, neck and fretboard options, allowing you to order guitars in a virtually unlimited number of combinations. Bodies and necks were made in Japan at Fujijen and shipped to the US to H&S in Bensalem, PA (with the exception of the UCEW line, more info later). Read here about the history of H&S and the custom guitar shop at Ibanez.
All bodies were shipped as single humbucker and then routed to order. For this reason, the neck pocket on most guitars will be marked 560-1H. The neck pocket will usually always have an order/build number written in pen, 677U in the following example. The same order number appeared on the warranty card for the guitar.
Starting in 1991, Ibanez added model numbers to all the guitars that called out a standard spec for a particular model. In these cases, there was no order number shown.
For electronics, earlier guitars will have electronics consistent with a 500 Series RG (typical Ibanez pots, YM-50 or YM-30 switch) while later guitars will have DiMarzio pots and switches.