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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I picked up this 540S yesterday, my first S model. It comes with an interesting story. I wonder what you all could tell me, and what you think. I've attached photos.
Found it on craigslist at a good price for an '87-88 540S. but heres where it gets weird. And the story...
His photos show super nice condition, all orig options, but the neck caused me to question. Its 3, or I guess 5 piece, maple center (18mm wide), what looks like mahogany large stringers (22mm), and not sure what on the outside very edges (at headstock). Looks to me like Ebony fretboard. and, no serial number, but the finish looks original. I'm a bit leary at this point, cause i've never seen a neck like this, and I start to haggle with him. He assures me that he's the original owner, says he doesnt know much about this model guitar, other that its a "Sabor" as he advertised it. says he got it as partial payment for work he did for Ibanez back in the day (advertisement / graphics), he says it might have been a prototype, because he got it before that model was released. Hence no serial#. He's probly 50ish, Japanese, and seemed real honest, and all sounded legit to me. I did my best to beat down the price because of no serial#, but he said he had 3 other guys calling to see it, and he stayed firm. I paid him what he asked and took it back to work with me, and couldnt wait to get the neck off. I half expected finding that it wasnt even an Ibanez piece, but then, suprise!
So here's where I need help.
Check the pics and tell me what you think/know, or if you've seen this, and if you think its all legit. or any way to get more info. I've never seen this neck and cant find any info about one like this. I've got ultra necks on my radius models, but obviously not like this. I havnt measured the profile yet but feels more like a wizard than an ultra.
Thanks a bunch for any help you can offer.
 

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Yeah, I doubt it's a prototype. AFAIK, the 3-piece laminate necks came along much later. And that's not the type of neck ID stamp they used in those days -- usually it was just a series of letters to indicate the type of neck and its features. Very interesting. It looks like the heel goes all the way to the end of the fretboard, with no fretboard overhang. Is that correct?
 

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I think the last pic was distorted.
Anyways, if it's as good or better than the official Ibanez necks, I'm all for it.Looks pretty solid in my opinion, no matter who made it.
 

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Thats definitely not the original neck, nor is it even an Ibanez neck, by my reckoning. Ibanez have never used walnut strips that wide on a laminate neck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, so I'm trying to add more photos, but struggling...keeps telling me I'm exceeding the limit (yes im kinda pc lame, yes this is my 1st forum post) gonna try again later to make pics work (any help please?)
hard to get better pic of the neck stamp. but, bedsides the the big Ultra stamp, its marked what appears to be ...
U-ALMM.
U - Ultra
A- angeled
L - locking
M - ?
M - ?
maple / mahagony ?
The fretboard has overhang, see pic. And the board really looks like Ebony (compared to my ebony Carvin), way dark and super tight grain compaired to any of my Ibanez rosewood boards. Havent touched/cleaned anything yet, but its freakin beautiful and laser straight.
Also no marking in the neck pocket, and by the way it came apart and all the patina, it looks all original to the time. He said he hadnt opened the case in like 10-15 years.
Anyway I'm still stumped, and doing more research.
Any more insight you guys have would be awesome
 
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