Pre-1990 Ibanez SDGR SR300/SR400 Bass

Scored this Ibanez SDGR bass a couple months ago.  The serial number dates it before 1990 but it’s  not been easy identifying the model.  Pickups, controls and output jack all suggest it’s a pre-1990 SR300 or SR400 but the flamed maple top and gold hardware toss this theory out the window.  I’ve seen a SR400 with a quilted maple top but it didn’t have gold hardware.  Either way, this is a great bass that plays and sounds better than all mid-range Ibanez basses I’ve tried.

Specs: Basswood body, 3ply maple neck, active pickups, adjustable bridge.  The neck is really slim, nice countoured light weight body with a sweet flamed maple top, matching headstock and AANJ (all access neck joint).


Ibanez SDGR SR400 bass guitarIbanez SDGR SR400 bass guitar
Ibanez SDGR SR400 bass guitarIbanez SDGR SR400 bass guitar

Old Guitar Day & Review: 1987 Ibanez RG550 RF

Pics from previous owner:

Ibanez RG550 RFR rg550rfr

Pics after restoration & setup:

Ibanez RG550RF Ibanez RG550RF Ibanez RG550RF

1-piece original Wizard neck (quartersawn maple), square heel joint
17mm 1st fret – 19mm 12th fret
430mm radius rosewood fretboard
43mm nut width
Jumbo frets
Light-weight basswood body
Edge tremolo with die-cast saddles

It’s unbelievable how well this 22+ year old guitar was maintained before I bought it off a Jemsite member in September 2008.  The price wasn’t wallet-friendly but when you come across an original RG550 in good condition, you don’t negotiate! :)  No cracks in the neck pocket or behind the nut which is pretty common with old RG’s.  The only signs of age are a few paint cracks. Continue reading

New Guitar Day: Ibanez J Custom RG8470F FE

I’ve been a good boy this year so Santa got me this rare Ibanez J Custom, a couple weeks early too ;)

RG8470F pics:
Ibanez JCRG J Custom RG8470F Ibanez JCRG J Custom RG8470F Ibanez JCRG J Custom RG8470F Ibanez JCRG J Custom RG8470F

RG8470F specs:
Mahogany body with AAA flamed maple top and natural binding
5 piece maple/walnut neck with matching headstock and flamed maple binding
430mm radius rosewood fretboard with abalone and mirror J Custom vine inlay
Jumbo frets finished to the highest standard
Cosmo black hardware and Edge Pro bridge with locking studs
Recessed volume & tone controls
Direct mount pickups: Dimarzio Air Norton neck, DiMarzio Blue Velvet mid, DiMarzio D-Sonic bridge
FE – Fire Agate finish

It’s hardly been a week since I scored this beauty and I can’t wait to swap out the D-Sonic for a Tone Zone, string some 10’s on and wail away!  This is the first guitar I’ve owned that is “perfect” straight out of the case, thanks to the flawless fretwork, awesome setup and brilliant craftmanship.  I’ve played many high end guitars before and never felt the urge to buy one because there was nothing special that made them play better than my modded Jackson/Ibanez super strats.  This JCRG is easily on par with my ’87 RG550 in terms of playability, even though the necks and neck joints are different.

The previous owner kept this guitar in excellent condition (thanks Andras), there were only 2 small nicks in the body that is visible at a specific angle.

A detailed review will follow in a month or less so Merry Christmas and I hope 2010 holds another J Custom for me…

Jackson DK2M vs. Ibanez RG1570 vs. Ibanez RG2550E (Part III)

Ibanez RG2550E Galaxy Black:
Ibanez RG2550E Galaxy BlackSince I have already talked a bit about the RG2550E-GK here, I’m going to make this a quick subjective review about why this guitar was worth every £ I spent on it.

What I liked (besides the great build quality):
– Perfect fretwork: Supposedly same frets as the RG1570 but for some reason this guitar had better fretwork
– Acoustically sounded better than the RG1570 which has the same basswood body
– Pickguard mounted pickups: I was concerned how this would affect tone, but it has worked out better than the rear-routed pickups of the RG1570. In fact, the DiMarzio Evo pair will not fit an RG1570 without modding the body because of the increased pickup height
– Stock DiMarzio/ibz pickups sounded good, not as hot as I’d like them, but they’re way better than the V7-S1-V8 pickups on the RG1570
– Cosmetic: Ghost sharkin inlays, Cosmo hardware, Bound rosewood fingerboard Continue reading

Jackson DK2M vs. Ibanez RG1570 vs. Ibanez RG2550E (Part II)

Ibanez RG1570 Mirage Blue:
Ibanez RG1570 Mirage BlueMirage Blue is truly an eye-catching finish and just like other Prestige guitars it is well built but slightly over-priced in the UK :) The Prestige 5-piece Wizard maple/walnut neck was a welcome change from Jackson and Fender necks. The RG1570 is clearly built for shredding but too bad the biggest letdown with this guitar was the terrible fret buzz of the wound strings in the lower frets (including open string buzz). The action was set quite low by the store, which accounted for some of the buzz, so I added some neck relief to reduce the fretted buzz and shimmed the nut to resolve open string buzz. Continue reading

Jackson DK2M vs. Ibanez RG1570 vs. Ibanez RG2550E (Part I)

Jackson DK2M Snow White
Ibanez RG1570 Mirage Blue Ibanez RG2550E Galaxy Black
Among all the guitars I received in the last two months, these were my top three. The one thing they had in common was the exceptional build quality and a very good finish. It was tough choosing one but I eventually had to so I could get on with my recording projects.

At first I was really tempted to buy a used JS1000 or EBMM JP6, not because they’re my favorite guitarists’ signature models but because both guitars are well crafted, play like a dream and are bloody brilliant in general. However, I didn’t think it was a good idea because I knew I’d be experimenting a lot to get the sound I want out of it. Continue reading

Ibanez RG2550E – an end to guitar woes

I spent the last couple of months looking for my next guitar, primarily for rock but capable of handling some blues and metal too. After going through a string of Jacksons and Ibanez guitars, an RG2550E-GK arrived 2 days ago. It wasn’t perfect (hey, no guitar is!), and the factory setup was a bit sloppy, but I started to like her within a few minutes of playing.

Continue reading