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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought my first Ibanez, an RG550DX Laser Blue, about 6 months ago. Already I’ve had the paint chip twice. Now I’m really careful about taking care of my guitar and don’t remember ever knocking or bumping into anything. I’m curious if this is typical of Ibanez guitars or is the paint just really thin on this model? I repaired the first chip with a little color mixing of nail polishes but am getting tired of fixing it and may just leave it this time and call it “character”. I’ve had a Fender Strat for a couple years and haven’t had 1 chip or scratch yet.
 

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I borrowed a Japanese RG back when I was 16 that had super brittle paint. This was.... Damn 17 years ago 😬. Ibanez uses urethane which is definitely really hard stuff. It's very resistant to scratching... But can chip because it's very hard. The one I had borrowed (while my guitar was getting repainted by my pops) had a chip and the paint seemed to be lifting... however the paint was super thick. It seemed flakey of something. I wonder if perhaps the wood of your body has shrunk a bit causing the paint to lift? It's sort of odd for it to chip without any bumping.
 

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out of curiousity, may I have a picture? In my experiences, ibanez clear coats are usually very thick except on J customs. They clearly use an entirely different product from main line guitars; but those finishes definitely chip easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think I attached the picture. The gloss coat does appear to be thick. When I fixed the first chip I had to build up the gloss coat quite a bit once I had the color on it. In both cases it look like the paint didn't bond to the wood. At least that's what it looks like to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Whatever causes it I'm getting dissatisfied with my choice to buy an Ibanez. I have a MIC Peavey Raptor I started with 20+ years ago and a MIM Fender Strat I bought a couple years ago and both of them now look better than the Ibanez which is about 6 months old. It looks like the paint doesn't adhere to the primer and Ibanez should be able to do something about it. My next purchase will likely not be an Ibanez.
 

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Is it also that the RG body shape has those rather sharp edges?

Looking at where the chip is on your photo that would seem to be a factor.

I've got similar chips on my Jem 77FP (from the previous owner), but none on 3x JS I've owned... Same paint, same build quality. But more rounded shape...
 

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^^ Agree. I imagine it's because the RG body has fairly sharp edges, and due to the way the paint is physically spread by the angle changes, these areas of the finish are more likely to delaminate if you ding the guitar. Have a look at any older RG on sale, pretty much all of them have chips around the body edge, horn tips etc., big or small. I don't think it's necessarily because of the finish composition or the basswood (if you give any guitar a good smack in the right spot, it'll get dinged and the finish may come off).

In comparison, Strats have much more radiused body edges, so when you bump the guitar along them, the stress is distributed in a different way because of the lack of abrupt angles.

So the fact is that you did bump the guitar without knowing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I never doubted I bumped it... I just never bumped it hard enough to realize it. The 1st chip was right on the edge like this one is.
 

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For clarification, before paint, bodies get coated with a few coats of catalyze polyester resin that absorbs into the wood then sits proud. After the resin phase the bodies are are sanded perfectly flat then they get their base layer, sanded again, then their color layer, sanded again, then clear coat is applied.

Ignoring "vintage style" guitars and ... well vintage guitars; this process is done by most guitar manufacturers. This process allows them to use multi piece bodies, because it obfuscates paint lines that develop on cheaper makes. If you've seen an undamaged guitar but theres a visible "line" in the paint, this is because it doesnt have that base coat. That said, Im quite unsure why jem7vwh's have a veneer ...

The clear coat on basically all ibanez guitars is a catalyzed urethane. It dries VERY hard, so on guitars with softer finish that would get a "dent" in the finish; instead will chip out because of the increased brittleness. That said; the process used is ubiquitous in the industry, basically the only thing that changes from maker the maker is HOW the process is actually performed.

That said, these finishes are *usually* extremely durable. Its entirely possible yours is defective. If you bought it within the last year, you can contact ibanez for a replacement if thats a route you want to try.
 

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That said, these finishes are *usually* extremely durable. Its entirely possible yours is defective. If you bought it within the last year, you can contact ibanez for a replacement if thats a route you want to try.
Let me just interject, that if you contacted Ibanez and said you bumped your guitar into something and it chipped, they're going to tell you that's what paint does when you bump it into something. There will be no action taken on their part.

The edges are sharp, it's almost always going to chip when bumped on an edge. As has been said, the paint it brittle, hard, but brittle makes chips.
 

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Well... yeah Rich lol. This guy seems to think his paint is defective though, and chips or not thats something Ibanez would sort under warranty. Its rare, but paint defects happen...
 

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With as many guitars as I've personally chipped over the years with little to no effort, sh!t happens. The paint is hard, it resists scratching, but it is brittle, and that is exactly the easiest place on a guitar to chip.

I'm giving the advise of a dealer that's been dealing with them a long time. They will not cover a chip under warranty. They will not repaint the guitar or rebody it, at best they would charge you to do a touch up and shipping both ways, and after seeing some of their color touch ups can firmly say that you could have it done much better by a professional painter somewhere else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I had contacted Ibanez when it chipped the first time and told them it looked to me like the paint did not bond to the primer coat (I sent pictures) and they told me they do not warranty paint. With the first chip, I could even see part of the remaining paint edge was not adhered to the primer coat and decided to fill it with some superglue before touching it up. I'll probably just leave this chip alone since it's likely to just keep happening. I'm happy with the guitar and use it every day but will likely not purchase another Ibanez. I'm thinking about getting a Gibson LP Standard next.
 
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