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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Pickup Ring Removal - The Epic Saga

Well not so much failed, but gave up.

Today I thought I'd tackle the job of removing the pup rings on my RG421 and direct mounting the pup's. As a preface I'm fairly handy, I've renovated my house, service our cars, and make my own audio visual cables.

So anyway, first up, removal of the strings. Easy. Done this a million times.

Next, remove pup ring and unscrew pup from the ring to reveal...a swimming pool sized rout. WTF. I wasn't expecting it to be so big. But it is. Oh well. So I start to think, maybe if I paint it flat black in the cavity it won't be so bad. The holes left by the rings were also larger than I thought they would be, and stood out like dogs balls with the dark metallic blue paint. So I stood back and visualized for a bit. "Should be right", I thought to myself.

Then I went to measure the deep holes so I could cut some wood and fill them. Not so bad, but a pain in the bum to do.... Then I realized I would have to actually desolder the pup's and pull them out....and then I noticed that the tab/ear holes were very small and threaded, which then led me to check the size of the screws I have. Too big. So I would also have to drill out the ears which would mean that mod would be irreversible....

It was one realization after another. The final one being that I would be left with a guitar that looks like it has huge holes around the pups (which it would)...

I've all but given up. The guitar remains stringless (the attempt happened only in the past 30mins).

Has anyone else tried but then given up?
 

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i say leave the rings on. its just gonna look like a guitar that used to have rings. kinda like when people take off the pickguard and you are left with a perimeter of holes all around the guitar....

on a side note...i need a pair of cosmo black rings for my RG421. anyone have a good source besides the Bay?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
white volume, and black tone knob on their way...

damn pickup rings...and damn fretboard dots!!! (I've photoshopped them out)

 

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I swear people never learn.......

If you didn't want pickup rings, why ddin't you just buy a guitar that didn't have them in the first place? I personally don't see anything wrong with the guitar, even with the fretboard dots.

If you must get rid of the rings, then get a clear pickguard and get it over with.

Jimmy:smile:
 

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I'm now considering a clear or mirror scratch plate....

I don't know where in Australia to buy one from though.

universaljems.com has replacement rings.
well, if you ditch the pickup rings, sell em to me. ha ha. i have that exact guitar, except in black. sooo, i guess its not the same exact guitar.

i put black evolutions in mine. what you got there?
 

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i removed the bridge pickup ring on my razorback, i had changed pickups so many times that i had gone through a couple of pickup rings and screw sets to hold the rings.

the guitar and pickup i have in there now (steve speical) are both black so you can't really see the route or even the screw holes left from the rings.

i dont know what to tell you, you could leave the rings and just direct mount under them as someone else suggested, and your probably going to have to enlarge the mounting holes on the ears of the pickup .
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I swear people never learn.......

If you didn't want pickup rings, why ddin't you just buy a guitar that didn't have them in the first place? I personally don't see anything wrong with the guitar, even with the fretboard dots.
When I bought this one, none were available at the same price. I was need of a fixed bridge. This played beautifully and fit my needs.

If I had the choice, I would've bought one without rings :)

well, if you ditch the pickup rings, sell em to me. ha ha. i have that exact guitar, except in black. sooo, i guess its not the same exact guitar.

i put black evolutions in mine. what you got there?
lol, I'll keep you in mind.

Evo neck and bridge too. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have photos of Glen's 421. I want his neck! :D

I too wonder whatever happened to it, and how far he got with modifying it.

Well, I've started talking to Ernie at ETguitars and I should be able to get a clear scratch plate for it sometime soon I hope.

I can't wait to be rid of the rings. I wonder where the modding will stop.
 

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thanks... here is the 421 link:

http://www.jemsite.com/jem/photos/custom/rg421/index.htm

the rings - Butch's idea from Hosh USA at the time's - make it look completely finished.

my older daughter dinged up the upper back body edge a little playing with the stand AARRGH!!! The vine aged very nicely and the axe is gorgeous. I have it strung 056-010 hybrids but i gotta revert as the thicker neck coupled with me playing mostly my AR2000 or AM200 makes it tougher to play than it should... glen
 

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I have had a couple of 421s and currently have a 521. Great guitars, and it would be nice if Ibanez brought us another "poor mans PGM".
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
thanks... here is the 421 link:

http://www.jemsite.com/jem/photos/custom/rg421/index.htm

the rings - Butch's idea from Hosh USA at the time's - make it look completely finished.

my older daughter dinged up the upper back body edge a little playing with the stand AARRGH!!! The vine aged very nicely and the axe is gorgeous. I have it strung 056-010 hybrids but i gotta revert as the thicker neck coupled with me playing mostly my AR2000 or AM200 makes it tougher to play than it should... glen
Thanks Glen.

It'd be nice to see some current photos, especially taken with your new gear.

Did you ever end up changing out the pickups and modifying the electrics?

I have had a couple of 421s and currently have a 521. Great guitars, and it would be nice if Ibanez brought us another "poor mans PGM".
Very cool. The only pictures I can find of the 521 are tiny ones on some forum. From what I can tell the guitar in the picture had pickup rings, but has had them removed. Swimming pool sized routes remain.

Hard to tell though.

Do you have any photos of your 521?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Here's an update. Looks like this failure may turn into a guitar that will have been modded a bit more than I was expecting.

I've received white and black volume and tone knobs in the mail, and have decided I prefer the white knobs on the guitar. I will also have a clear pickguard on her soon too, as one is being custom cut for me. Will reveal details later.

As a short term solution to my all black EVO's, I have ordered white bobbin toppers, and they're on their way too.

What's next? A new neck with a swish board, and funky inlay? ...we'll see. I'll wait for the pickguard before I decide.
 
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