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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got this RG body from my local classifieds for a reasonable price (i think?) and the seller said it was a RG550 body.
My idea was to "upgrade" my RG450 with this body just because I prefer the upper neck access on the RG5xx's models compared to the 4xx's. I also prefer the barrel jack but that's minimal.

Problem is, this body has some features which I find very weird and I'd like someone's opinion if this really is an RG550 body or if it is something else.
- First is the jack. The RG5xx's I'v seen have the jack in a "normal" position on the lower side of the guitar, while this one has a "Jem-style" jack position.
- Second is the neck cutaway thing (don't know what to call it). All the RG5xx's I'v seen, including my RG560, start the cutaway at the top and it gets progressively deeper. On this one, the whole thing is cut deep from the top to bottom, very much like a Jackson.
- The finish, besides being in a really bad shape, is very thin. Very very thin. Both my RG450 and RG560 from this era have a thick finish.
- The tremolo plastic back plate doesnt fit, its slightly too big for this body.
- Lastly, the neck from my RG450 doesn't work with this body. It does fit, REALLY tight (too tight for my taste as I almost broke the wood trying to fit it in) but then the guitar is impossible to play because of very high action even with the tremolo posts all the way down. I had to make a 2mm wood piece to sit between the neck and the body just so I could have a 2mm'ish action, and it still isn't perfect. A previous owner could have sanded down the neck pocket tho, so take this point with a grain of salt.

Just as a note, the body is very light, especially compared to my RG450, but also compared to my RG560.

Here are some pictures:


Please help me identify this guitar body.
 

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by appearances, those features you would get on a usa custom. That said, I always operated under the assumption that 450/550/750/usa custom necks were all interchangeable o_O. Im now wondering if the 450 necks have thinner heels to compensate for the much thicker neck joint??? Is that something you could check perhaps?"
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply @bob493.
I'm pretty sure the neck on my 560 and 450 are interchangeable, that's why I thought it was weird that it didn't quite fit the new body. I mean, it does but it's not playable, as i mentioned on the original post.
Just checked the USA Custom's as you suggested and from the very few pictures I could find on a google search they seem to have the same type of heel joint as my RG560 where it starts full thickness at the top and gradually becomes deeper as it reaches the bottom, contrary to this body which has a deep cut from top to bottom. I'll leave those pictures here for reference.
Also the finish. From what I can see, those USA Custom's all have figured finishes while this one is just plain black (although it may look figured in the pictures, those are just cracks in the finish).
Lastly, I couldn't find any pictures of a USA Custom output jack so I can't confirm that one.

Could this be some odd model that got the Vai's heel joint cut and output jack placement?
Or maybe I'v been scammed with a fake body? Although it's a really good body and resonates like crazy while playing, way more than my 450 body.

Anyway here are the USA Custom pictures from google image search:
https://thumbs.worthpoint.com/zoom/...rial_360_ce23888b79f3f6e77948a4c698da4f1f.jpg
https://www.12fret.com/wp-content/gallery/ibanez_usa-custom_1989c/Ibanez_USA-Custom_1989C_back.jpg
https://www.vintagejapanguitars.com...Screenshot_2018-09-25-1991-USA-Custom-pdf.png
 

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Im quite unsure why the neck wouldnt fit; thought the heel has no stamps so potential previous owner routed it down to fit a different neck; im quite unsure. The paint is clearly not factory, so it stands to reason it could be modified in such a way.

That said; its absolutely usa custom body... its too "correct" to be a fake; even has the markings in the trem cavity of an edge tremolo being yanked up. (edit: ibanez was quite strange during this time. Very likely this is just an H&S body)





you could try making a wood shim to make up the space if you like the body.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That body looks really similar to mine, both the jack routing and the neck heel look exactly the same.
I'm relieved that at least mine isn't fake.
Thanks for your help!

If that body is yours, could you please measure the neck pocket and neck joint? Just so I could make a better shim with the exact measures.

Edit: Here's a pic in case I couldn't explain very well
 

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Not my body, just a convenient american body thats currently on sale. That said, I have a couple square heel bodies floating around, and they should be the exact same. Im quite curious of the dimensions of your body; and if you dont mind, can you measure the thickness of your 450 neck for me please? EDIT: forgot actually, the american bodies have the JEM cutaways, so they would be more "flat" at B. The important dimensions here are C and D though.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
My "USA" body has a "C" of 16.5mm and a "D" of 20mm.

My RG450 seems to have a "C" of 16mm and a "D" of 20mm. (kinda looks like 15mm in the photo, but i double checked and its 16mm.)

Edit: My RG560 has a "C" of 16mm and a "D" of 19mm.

The neck on my RG450 seems to be 17mm up until the fretboard hang.

The whole neck measures at 25mm, without the frets.

I didn't disassemble my RG560, but it seems like the neck is also around 25mm.

Edit: The neck on my RG560 is also 17mm up until the fretboard hang and the whole neck is 25mm aswell, confirming the necks are identical between the two models, despite the body measures being slightly different.

Could it be that they had different body sizes, and maybe even different neck sizes?
I'm even more confused now than when I started all this!

Might be worth to add, my 560 is from 1987, my 450 from 1993 and my "USA" body I got no clue at all.
 

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My "USA" body has a "C" of 16.5mm and a "D" of 20mm.

My RG450 seems to have a "C" of 16mm and a "D" of 20mm. (kinda looks like 15mm in the photo, but i double checked and its 16mm.)

The neck seems to be 17mm up until the fretboard hang.

The whole neck measures at 25mm, without the frets.

I didn't disassemble my RG560, but it seems like the neck is also around 25mm.

The weird part is that the "D" on the RG560 seems to be around 19mm?
EDIT: just assembled the 450 and it also reads 19mm from the same place, so this means this isn't a reliable way to measure it at all. Please disregard this one. But probably the 560 is also 20mm, not confirmed.

Could it be that they had different body sizes, and maybe even different neck sizes?
I'm even more confused now than when I started all this!

Edit2: might be worth to add, my 560 is from 1987, my 450 from 1993 and my "USA" body I got no clue at all.
Welcome to the golden age of ibanez guitars :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Do you have any neck from those guitars with the 21mm body that you can measure?
For science :)
 
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