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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
Im usualy a strat freak and like gibsons as well, but I have always wanted to get a 540 sltd just like the one used by Alex Skolnick of early Testament fame.
My desire was to get one of my hero's guitar, but now I come to find that this model was built in the USA. AWESOME !!! that really is cool and fills my USA guitars only moto, for me anyway.
I just found one at a store and they marked it as a 470 s. So I got a really good deal. I took it home and sure enough the neck, body and trem block have H+S stamped on them!
does anyone have any info on these beauties and what they are really worth?
The guitars screams and I love it.
 

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Sorry to break it to you, but they're not made in the USA. The 540S was made in Japan, but some of them were badged with US office addresses on the neckplates.

Fantastic guitars all the same. The price will depend on the exact model, pickups, trem and so on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry to break it to you, but they're not made in the USA. The 540S was made in Japan, but some of them were badged with US office addresses on the neckplates.

Fantastic guitars all the same. The price will depend on the exact model, pickups, trem and so on.
Im sorry, I meant to say built in the USA with Japanese parts at the North Hollywood custom shop. I think they called them 540 S Ltd custom. around 1991.

Are you familiar with these models?
thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Your guitar will have an inlay at the 20th fret saying 'Custom Made' right?
that is correct.
It also has the shark tooth neck inlays and some type of trem/spring tension addition to the trem springs for the tremelo.

Ill try and get a photo up in a couple of days

any ideas IbanezDaemon?

thanks in advance.
 

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Again, I'm prety sure JONO is correct, it was made in Japan. Why they have the 'North Hollywood' plates on them is a mystery. I have three similar ones, but if you run the serial # I'll bet it comes upJapan. I have spent many hours researching and e-mailing young grasshopper, never to prove that any of these were made or put together in the USA. There is one person that would know on this site, but I can't remember his name. We'll have to see if he responds.
 

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American assembled very non custom regular production catalog models, from Japanese parts. It's extremely rare to find one that is not a standard model.
 

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Well, it was a great article and I stand totally corrected. That was more info on one page than I have found ever. I have three 540s, all original bodies, necks, and hardware etc.. (all re-wired and different pkps) and when I run the SN's through the guitar dater project site, they all come back 'made in Japan'. Unfortunately, I'm still confused (sorry)
 

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This is what I get when I punch in the #

Your guitar was made at the
Fuji-gen Plant, Japan
1990
Production Number: 51111

Does that mean just the parts?
Sorry to beat this to death, but I've always wanted to know.
 

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Got it. Thanks. I have one in particular, a black R540ltd that still makes the blood rush whenever I play it. The others go with me, but that one never leaves the house. I always knew it was special.
 

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Still It's pretty weird, had never seen an H-H S540 LTD, like the one that Alex Skolnick used to play, his 540 must be a custom ordered one, I guess.
 

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Still It's pretty weird, had never seen an H-H S540 LTD, like the one that Alex Skolnick used to play, his 540 must be a custom ordered one, I guess.
agree.
another thing i noticed from watching testament dvd reunion concert, his 540S' neck is kinda thick ?
It's just me, or anyone notice that also?
 

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If the guitar was custom made for him, he could have any fretboard size/radius he wanted. The regualr 540s had the wizard I neck on them.
 

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Alex Skolnick's red saber is a custom assembled order from the US Bensalem workshop.

It is from the 87/88 era and is built from the body of an 87 540S-HH in lipstick red with the 5 way selector fitted(87 bodies normally featured mini switches). These very early Sabers have a slightly smaller input hole and often are in slightly different positions to the final versions seen from 89 onwards.This can be seen in the early catalogs,and the trem cavity's are also not as deep as the later versions.

Skolnicks version featured original edge trem in cosmo and matching gotoh tuners,nut,rings and standard knobs (not beehive style w/rubbers).

Pick up's originally were the Dimarzio IBZ/USA's,but Alex changed the bridge p/up to a grey bobbin IBZ/USA F3 (his fav p/ups back in the day),it remained there a couple of years before he put 2 black bobbin IBZ/USA F3's in the guitar.

The neck is a bound wizard with sharktooth's(even on fret 21),and (to my knowledge) with an ebony fret board. The ebony board would make the neck a USA custom job(?).

His favourite and most famous guitar is still used now and again with the testament reunion as it's kinda his Testament trademark,though another p/up change has occured.Also he now endorses Heritage LP's.

I've been a huge Skolnick fan since 88 and his red sabre was THE guitar that got me into Ibanez guitars and Saber's especially! I have quite a few in my arsenal and,yes,i have been able to build an almost exact replica of his guitar using era correct parts,including ebony!! When its finished 100%,Jemsite will get pic's.
Hope this helps you and i look forward to seeing your finished build.
 
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