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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Jemsite,

Long time lurker on these forums, but I've finally acquired an Ibanez of my own after wanting one for since I was a teenager, and thought I'd register and share. Found this RG652BG-NTF in a pawn shop while travelling for work. Just got it back from the tech after some much needed TLC and I think it plays and looks great now!
I don't think I've come across a top like this before outside this model, from what I can ascertain it's a sapele burl, which is a type of mahogany.
I haven't found a lot of info on this model online, seems like they only made them for a year or two, perhaps they weren't popular.
Mahogany body, rosewood board (i think), AN/TZ pickups.

With the 5 way selector on these HH ibanez, is position 2 and 4 usually each humbucker in parallel as opposed to split?
Seems like this is the case for the current RG652's but I couldnt find the switching diagram for this exact guitar.

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Welcome to the forum, and congrats on the guitar, that's certainly a heck of a first Ibanez to get!

Yes, sapele is a type of mahogany, and can come with quilted or burled figuring, like you have. Ibanez have used it as a top/veneer on and off since the 90s. Some of the models which came with a quilted sapele veneer include the RG520, RG320, S470. However, your guitar probably has a proper top rather than a veneer. I expect it has also been used in J Customs.

Hm, the fingerboard might even be ebony, looks very black in the pics.

The usual wiring for a HH ibanez is as in the diagram here. You can test this by tapping the polepieces in each position, the selected coils will give an appropriate thunk.
https://forum.seymourduncan.com/filedata/fetch?id=5812981&d=1550527567
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Welcome to the forum, and congrats on the guitar, that's certainly a heck of a first Ibanez to get!

Yes, sapele is a type of mahogany, and can come with quilted or burled figuring, like you have. Ibanez have used it as a top/veneer on and off since the 90s. Some of the models which came with a quilted sapele veneer include the RG520, RG320, S470. However, your guitar probably has a proper top rather than a veneer. I expect it has also been used in J Customs.

Hm, the fingerboard might even be ebony, looks very black in the pics.

The usual wiring for a HH ibanez is as in the diagram here. You can test this by tapping the polepieces in each position, the selected coils will give an appropriate thunk.
https://forum.seymourduncan.com/filedata/fetch?id=5812981&d=1550527567

Thanks heaps! I kind of had to pinch myself that I managed to stumble across it. I certainly didn't think I'd be getting a prestige as my entry into the Ibanez world! Thanks for the wiring diagram, I tested it out and that seems to be how this one is wired too.
I'm really not too sure on the fingerboard, I've only ever had guitars with rosewood and the grain looks similar on this one, albeit it is a darker colour. That said my tech/luthier was leaning towards it being ebony.
The only source I can find was on the ibanez wiki which said these guitars had rosewood in 2018 and then macassar ebony in 2019. Serial is F1806686 which If I understand correctly would mean it was made in early 2018? I'm not sure how production year matches up to model year though for Ibanez. I included some better photos of the fretboard here. It does some faint lighter streaks thorugh it and the grain seems pretty large in spots, but I understand that macassar ebony is not usually solid black either, so I'm not sure either way.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow... Beautiful guitar! Looks classy... The sapele top looks great too. My '98 RG520QS darkened so much you could barely make out the sapele grain, just recently sold it.
Thanks man! Was it one like this you had, with the sapele flame?

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I'm curious what makes it darken like that, I saw a few other pics of these guitars searching online with the flame heavily faded, is that just from the satin finish glossing up over time?

Cheers,
 

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Thanks heaps! I kind of had to pinch myself that I managed to stumble across it. I certainly didn't think I'd be getting a prestige as my entry into the Ibanez world! Thanks for the wiring diagram, I tested it out and that seems to be how this one is wired too.
I'm really not too sure on the fingerboard, I've only ever had guitars with rosewood and the grain looks similar on this one, albeit it is a darker colour. That said my tech/luthier was leaning towards it being ebony.
The only source I can find was on the ibanez wiki which said these guitars had rosewood in 2018 and then macassar ebony in 2019. Serial is F1806686 which If I understand correctly would mean it was made in early 2018? I'm not sure how production year matches up to model year though for Ibanez. I included some better photos of the fretboard here. It does some faint lighter streaks thorugh it and the grain seems pretty large in spots, but I understand that macassar ebony is not usually solid black either, so I'm not sure either way.

View attachment 19045
View attachment 19047
Yes, it's a 2018.

Thanks for the additional pics. Looking at it now, I'm more inclined to think it's rw, due to the open pore grain, which ebony doesn't really have. It's certainly possible for rw to be very dark like ebony; if you look at old Gibsons and Fenders, which have Brazilian, and you can find examples that are almost black, certainly now 60+ years after the fact. Ones which are appropriately hydrated are also darker.

You are right about Macassar ebony, it tends to be more streaky, though with playing/age they can darken also.

Regardless, you did good. Welcome to the Ibanez fold :).
 

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Thanks man! Was it one like this you had, with the sapele flame?

View attachment 19049


I'm curious what makes it darken like that, I saw a few other pics of these guitars searching online with the flame heavily faded, is that just from the satin finish glossing up over time?

Cheers,
Mine was the "Transparent Blue" that got VERY dark... Looked black in most instances, you had to get the light just right to see much color at all. I just sold it on Reverb recently... Tough to let go. The quality of the guitars of that late 90's/early 2000's was just astounding!

 

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Mine was the "Transparent Blue" that got VERY dark... Looked black in most instances, you had to get the light just right to see much color at all. I just sold it on Reverb recently... Tough to let go. The quality of the guitars of that late 90's/eraly 2000's was just astounding!

wow, still less money than a new rg550
 

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Nice! I dig that headstock design, did you build this one yourself?
I didn't build the neck no... I bought a 1991 540R and got a neck made for it. I was blessed enough to have a father who was always tinkering with guitars. My whole life he never owned a store bought guitar... Just had custom built pieces from companies like warmoth and painted/put them together himself. So i knew I liked the way a guitar felt but didn't really associate it with a brand. I loved the radius/Satriani body so... I tend to buy them and mod them to my liking. That neck is made from a company called best guitar parts out of Washington state. It has a roasted maple shaft wood, rosewood fingerboard, stainless 6105 frets and a graphite reenforced truss rod. A 12" radius and a D shaped carve... They even let you customize fades into other carves and customize how thick the neck is in different areas... Allowing for a tapering where you prefer it. It's by far the best neck I've ever played... And roasted maple is no BS, it's very stable. It also has the same electrical circuit as Guthrie Goven's signature charvel, just with DiMarzio pickups... I am going to repaint this summer! But someday I hope to do what Zoot on here does, and make them from scratch!

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That fretboard is definitely rosewood, not ebony.

All of my 10 guitars (including 8x Ibanez electric & 1x Ibanez acoustic) have Indian Rosewood fretboards. There's a lot of variation in colour and degree of figuration between them, but my 2017 RG652FX (same neck as your RG652BG) has by far the darkest fretboard of them all. I've always assumed it's stained slightly darker for aesthetic reasons, but it could equally be natural variation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I didn't build the neck no... I bought a 1991 540R and got a neck made for it. I was blessed enough to have a father who was always tinkering with guitars. My whole life he never owned a store bought guitar... Just had custom built pieces from companies like warmoth and painted/put them together himself. So i knew I liked the way a guitar felt but didn't really associate it with a brand. I loved the radius/Satriani body so... I tend to buy them and mod them to my liking. That neck is made from a company called best guitar parts out of Washington state. It has a roasted maple shaft wood, rosewood fingerboard, stainless 6105 frets and a graphite reenforced truss rod. A 12" radius and a D shaped carve... They even let you customize fades into other carves and customize how thick the neck is in different areas... Allowing for a tapering where you prefer it. It's by far the best neck I've ever played... And roasted maple is no BS, it's very stable. It also has the same electrical circuit as Guthrie Goven's signature charvel, just with DiMarzio pickups... I am going to repaint this summer! But someday I hope to do what Zoot on here does, and make them from scratch!

View attachment 19064
Wow!! That's beautiful man, nice guitar!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That fretboard is definitely rosewood, not ebony.

All of my 10 guitars (including 8x Ibanez electric & 1x Ibanez acoustic) have Indian Rosewood fretboards. There's a lot of variation in colour and degree of figuration between them, but my 2017 RG652FX (same neck as your RG652BG) has by far the darkest fretboard of them all. I've always assumed it's stained slightly darker for aesthetic reasons, but it could equally be natural variation.
Very true, I have three guitars with rosewood boards now (including the 652) and there's a lot of variety from creamy brown to almost black on the 652. My PRS SE board is also very dark, and at the time I got it, it was the darkest rosewood board I'd come across, but the 652 is even darker which made me wonder especially as there is a lot of macassar ebony boards out there now and that tends to have lighter brown streaks through it as opposed to the traditional jet black ebony .
This morning whilst visiting I was looking at my brothers Epiphone LP custom which has an ebony board, and it seems to be the grain that gives it away much tighter and less pronounced then rosewood.

Looking at the stock image of the RG652FX it almost looks like it must have been stained darker to suit the overall colour scheme, but perhaps it was just a darker batch of rosewood. I have no idea where far east guitar manufacturers source there rosewood from, but interestingly your RG, and both my RG and Korean PRS which seem like they were all made more or less within the same 12 month period, and all have really dark rosewood boards.

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Very true, I have three guitars with rosewood boards now (including the 652) and there's a lot of variety from creamy brown to almost black on the 652. My PRS SE board is also very dark, and at the time I got it, it was the darkest rosewood board I'd come across, but the 652 is even darker which made me wonder especially as there is a lot of macassar ebony boards out there now and that tends to have lighter brown streaks through it as opposed to the traditional jet black ebony .
This morning whilst visiting I was looking at my brothers Epiphone LP custom which has an ebony board, and it seems to be the grain that gives it away much tighter and less pronounced then rosewood.

Looking at the stock image of the RG652FX it almost looks like it must have been stained darker to suit the overall colour scheme, but perhaps it was just a darker batch of rosewood. I have no idea where far east guitar manufacturers source there rosewood from, but interestingly your RG, and both my RG and Korean PRS which seem like they were all made more or less within the same 12 month period, and all have really dark rosewood boards.
The fretboard on my RG652FX looks extremely dark in some lighting (like in the stock image), but in other lighting it looks much browner.

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Hello Jemsite,

Long time lurker on these forums, but I've finally acquired an Ibanez of my own after wanting one for since I was a teenager, and thought I'd register and share. Found this RG652BG-NTF in a pawn shop while travelling for work. Just got it back from the tech after some much needed TLC and I think it plays and looks great now!
I don't think I've come across a top like this before outside this model, from what I can ascertain it's a sapele burl, which is a type of mahogany.
I haven't found a lot of info on this model online, seems like they only made them for a year or two, perhaps they weren't popular.
Mahogany body, rosewood board (i think), AN/TZ pickups.

With the 5 way selector on these HH ibanez, is position 2 and 4 usually each humbucker in parallel as opposed to split?
Seems like this is the case for the current RG652's but I couldnt find the switching diagram for this exact guitar.

View attachment 19037
View attachment 19036 View attachment 19038
This looks lovely and friendly.
 
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