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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all... I've been searching in a bit of a hurricane of information in this forum at the moment, and I have been looking everywhere online for some direct info on this particular guitar.

I bought one of these bad boys a month or so ago to use as a project guitar this summer, I wanted to completely strip it down, respray it, fit a new pickguard, new pickups, pots, switch, bridge/tuners and nut etc but I honestly don't even know where to start.

The physical work doesn't intimidate me so much as there seems to be lots of videos out there but I just don't know where to find the right things to upgrade the guitar with.

Some help would be massively appreciated, the money isn't an issue as I have set quite. Bit aside to do this with and I want to do a proper job and learn from this experience.

The confusing thing for me is the type of bridge, pot sizes, pickup sizes and wiring arrangements etc etc, I just can't find specifics so im wondering if anyone has done a project or had experience upgrading one of these before?

Thanks in advance!

James
 

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Hi all... I've been searching in a bit of a hurricane of information in this forum at the moment, and I have been looking everywhere online for some direct info on this particular guitar.

I bought one of these bad boys a month or so ago to use as a project guitar this summer, I wanted to completely strip it down, respray it, fit a new pickguard, new pickups, pots, switch, bridge/tuners and nut etc but I honestly don't even know where to start.

The physical work doesn't intimidate me so much as there seems to be lots of videos out there but I just don't know where to find the right things to upgrade the guitar with.

Some help would be massively appreciated, the money isn't an issue as I have set quite. Bit aside to do this with and I want to do a proper job and learn from this experience.

The confusing thing for me is the type of bridge, pot sizes, pickup sizes and wiring arrangements etc etc, I just can't find specifics so im wondering if anyone has done a project or had experience upgrading one of these before?

Thanks in advance!

James
https://ibanez.fandom.com/wiki/RT450
https://ibanez.fandom.com/wiki/TZ-II

I can't offer much help in the way of the trem as I have never played a guitar that has one. You may be able to replace the saddles, but the TZ-II seems like a fairly decent bridge just based on what guitars Ibanez put it on.

The pots are probably the smaller diameter pots. With a pickguard it is easy to enlarge the holes to make CTS pots work if that is what you want. If not Burns makes good pots that are the smaller diameter.

As far as value of the pots, pickups and wiring goes that is really up to you and what you want from the guitar. If it were me doing the guitar I'd probably do an andy timmons type setup with an at-1 in the bridge, maybe an Eric johnson in the neck and maybe the area 67 in the middle position. I'd do a 500k push/pull volume wired to split the humbuckers and a fender TBX tone pot. Then standard 5 way fender style switch.

there are really a mountain of options as far as wiring pickups, it just depends on what direction you want to go. If you want a simpler setup, or as many options as you can get in one guitar. If you want something a little lower output or something for djent.

what direction are you looking to go ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply!

I'm not really sure that there is a reason to swap the bridge now you say it! do swapping the saddles have much of an effect on the guitar playability or tuning etc?

I have an RT650 too so that covers the Andy Timmons tone! :D I was thinking of using the Suhr modern pickups for it, so that would be

Bridge Pickup: SSH+
Middle Pickup: ML Standard
Neck Pickup: SSV

I love the knurled stainless steel knobs too i think id go for those along with the 5 way switch and pushpull pot like you say, but im not sure which parts are compatible etc...

Im also in two minds whether to upgrade the 650s pickups to the SUHR ones and put the 650s pickups in the 450...
 
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