Ibanez JEM Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I bought a pile of bits quite a few years ago - a 1990 DY RG550 neck which had been sawn at the body end and a block bonded on to fit a different body, some of the hardware all quite corroded, a bit of electronics (only the middle pickup which was junk as were the cheap pots) and the neck with locking nuts missing etc.

The body was cracked and the finish was white, badly reliced and looked poor. I bought it all from someone else who had hoped to put it all together but it needed skill.

Fast forward a few years and I had the body painted as thinly as possible by a car Bodyshop to match the headstock (about 95% I would say). The thin finish (on a grey primer) will allow it to wear through to match the neck wear.

It then lay for a few years, a few lockdowns and many dozen gigs cancelled before I finally, last week bought pickups and then dropped the whole lot (and two other guitars for fret work) off to Edinburgh based master luthier Chris McIntyre.

Today I collected it, resurrected from the dead by super luthier Chris, pulling together a pile of rusty bits, a neck that had completely the wrong heel glued to it, a body that was originally cracked up, and having to fabricate a few parts for the guitar as they were missing!

I have a set of Vanson Guitars pickups in it, a coil tap switch for the humbuckers, it’s had a proper full rewire with all the original junk that was left dumped and - finally - THE 1990 Ibanez Japan RG550 IS ALIVE!!!!!

I need a trem arm (and a back plate potentially) - anyone confirm the trem type and the type of push in arm I need?

Thanks in advance
Musical instrument Guitar Musical instrument accessory Guitar accessory String instrument
Musical instrument Guitar String instrument String instrument accessory Musical instrument accessory
Musical instrument String instrument Plucked string instruments String instrument accessory Guitar accessory
Musical instrument Wood Guitar accessory String instrument Wood stain
Musical instrument Guitar String instrument String instrument Musical instrument accessory
Musical instrument Guitar accessory Gadget String instrument String instrument accessory
Musical instrument Guitar String instrument String instrument Guitar accessory
Wood Sports equipment Communication Device Hardwood Wood stain
Musical instrument String instrument String instrument accessory Guitar accessory Wood
Musical instrument Guitar accessory Circuit component Engineering Electronic component
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,400 Posts
Great job! You could probably clean up that neck if you wanted to, there's a sticky thread at the top of the tech section with help and advice on how it can be done.

Any adhesive backed foam that looks similar would do the job, but I'd not even worry about it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
756 Posts
I know that most craft stores have adhesive backed craft foam. The neck gives that thing a lot of raw rock and roll character. It looks pretty badass the way it is. Though if you do clean it up I wouldn't blame you. That look isn't for everyone. I don't think I would want it of it weren't for that contrast of yellow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
856 Posts
Yeah, that's some mojo! I'd keep it as is (just free from finger cheese :LOL:). You can clean it up to an extent, but once you've worn through the finish (these had a thin clear coat originally), it'll always be a bit darker, or darken with regular playing if it has been cleaned.

Fantastic work on resurrecting it, looks fab and the colour is on point. Begs to be shredded!

The trem arm is just an Edge/Lo Pro one which you can get anywhere all day for £15-20. Part number 2LE2-1B.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Yeah, that's some mojo! I'd keep it as is (just free from finger cheese :LOL:). You can clean it up to an extent, but once you've worn through the finish (these had a thin clear coat originally), it'll always be a bit darker, or darken with regular playing if it has been cleaned.

Fantastic work on resurrecting it, looks fab and the colour is on point. Begs to be shredded!

The trem arm is just an Edge/Lo Pro one which you can get anywhere all day for £15-20. Part number 2LE2-1B.
Thanks - the luthier who reassembled the bits, fully rewired it, cut the neck and did a full fret dress and polish did clean up the neck - it’s pure wear really now (and I think someone has tried to “relic” it a bit at some point!) but the surface is not damaged luckily, just no finish. Good for another 50 years 😄
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quick 60 second run through of low-ish gain on each pickup setting I made for a friend on Instagram (to fit the 60 second format).
I’ll do a proper demo now it’s set up to suit, has a strap/straplocks of its own, a truss Rod cover and a trem arm en route

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I think the neck looks wonderful in the video. It looks like it was played, but not abused.
Yeah it looks great - I have cleaned up a bit to ensure it’s clean and that’s actually bringing the grain of the maple out too. Myself and the luthier think it’s had a bit of relicing between 5 and 12th frets (it’s worn across the entire surface of the finer board there with few missed spots but none of the other parts of the board are worn the same -but more natural looking wear).

I’ll keep cleaning it up next time I change the strings but it’s settling in a bit now and feels great to play.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'd you don't mind me asking... What did the pile of parts cost in total after you aquired everything you needed to put it together?
Ok - here we go - full costs. I could probably have bought a used one for this money but I know the full heritage of this one, it needs absolutely nothing done anywhere, whether electronics, setup or fret work and it’s good to use for a long time now. I could have done a reasonable amount of the work myself and save £150 but it was worth the cost in this case I think.


Ibanez RG550 DY 1990

Original parts (neck, body, some hardware) - £100
Body & crack repair plus colour change white to DY - £90
Pickups (Vanson) - £46.50 delivered
DAT Strap -£20.40 delivered
Schaller straplocks (already owned spares)
Ibanez Trem Arm - £17 delivered

Luthier -
Setup/Fret Dress/Polish - £90
Ernie Ball Strings - £7.50
Routing Neck (did not fit body and had been adapted badly) - £40
2 x 500k CTS pots - £15
1 x Neutrik barrel socket - £12
Wiring - £35
Nut lock fabricate - £10
Additional parts (bridge post, saddle screws, several fine tuners, rust cleaning, etc) - £25

Total Cost - £508.40
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
😮 wow! Man that's an awesome value!
Some people may query why I have spent £400+ on a pile of bits BUT it’s now a completely functioning, refinished, rebuilt, new quality electronics and everything playing/working as it should 🤟🏻👍
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
578 Posts
Some people may query why I have spent £400+ on a pile of bits BUT it’s now a completely functioning, refinished, rebuilt, new quality electronics and everything playing/working as it should 🤟🏻👍
‘I had the same experience with a Guild S300D. I’ve got less than 700 bucks in it and had to round up parts from USA to Germany. After all the work I’ve done, and it’s current condition, I could double my money easily. It took 4 months to get the parts shipped from Germany though.

Good Job OP.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
‘I had the same experience with a Guild S300D. I’ve got less than 700 bucks in it and had to round up parts from USA to Germany. After all the work I’ve done, and it’s current condition, I could double my money easily. It took 4 months to get the parts shipped from Germany though.

Good Job OP.
Thanks. I am not planning to sell the guitar but instead it can join my Gambale as my Ibanez collection 😄
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
856 Posts
I reckon you did pretty well; people are asking quite a bit for parted out necks and bodies these days. On the conventional/big selling platforms, maybe you could find a complete one for £500, but more likely it'll be £600-800.

Sounds good too, more vintagey than stock, what magnet are the pups?
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top