Wild guitar I picked up (Ibanez content)

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Platypus, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. Platypus

    Platypus not in rivers, but in drops Supporting Member

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    So I was visiting a friend and noticed this in his closet collecting dust/rust. I asked him about it and he said he bought it for 15 bucks at a garage sale many years ago. He told me to just take it because he'd never touched it and he knows I'm into guitars. It appears to be heavily modified by whomever owned it before him though.. I can't find any pics on the web like it.

    It's an Ibanez Roadster Series II RS430 from the best I can gather. (There is a sticker on the back that says RS430 ;) )

    [​IMG]

    However.. someone put a strange looking humbucker into the bridge position and it has a weird rocker switch added too next to the tone knob.

    [​IMG]

    The switch apparently does nothing... it acts as a killswitch in the bridge position and does nothing seemingly in the other 4 positions on the blade so I assume it's just funked up somehow. :jo

    So.. does anyone know anything about this guitar? It looks like it's from the 80's judging by what I found. I've always wanted a project guitar so I can learn how to wire up/fix it but never wanted to do it on a guitar I cared about :D

    Furthermore... any tips on how to get started? I'm rather clueless. I want to buy some new pickups for it and get it going but I have no idea where to start :)
     
  2. treeofpain

    treeofpain Supporting Member

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    It's from the 83-86 timeframe, I'd guess. There should be a serial number on the back of the headstock that can help us determine the date.

    Those old Roadstars aere actually very nice playing guitars. I'm not a big fan of those clunky tremolos - they are hard to keep in tune - but for FREE, yiou did really well!
     
  3. Platypus

    Platypus not in rivers, but in drops Supporting Member

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    Serial says G842781 on the neck backplate / Made In Japan

    I dig the 'starcaster' ripoff headstock ;)

    It's actually a really nice player.. feels great to play other than the ancient 20 year old strings on it. The bridge pickup is really weird too...

    Yeah it doesn't stay in tune for anything but I figured it was just set up poorly. The trem is pretty ridiculous on it though.. not sure how I feel about it.

    Would I be able to put a Bigsby in there instead?
     
  4. Krank

    Krank Member

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    Forget about ever using the trem and staying in tune. Better just block it.
     
  5. tim gueguen

    tim gueguen Member

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    It's a July of '84 guitar. The first two numbers are the year of production, and the letter code indicates the month, with A=January, B=February etc. The humbucker doesn't look stock to me. I suspect its a DiMarzio. The single coils on the other hand are stock.
     
  6. treeofpain

    treeofpain Supporting Member

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    You should be able to look on the bottom of the humbucker and see the manufacturer.
     
  7. 5E3

    5E3 Member

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    It might be a fun project to research it and restore to original (get rid of the rusty parts, install original pickups, etc.) I wouldn't touch the finish though. Just a thought... :)
     
  8. teleman65

    teleman65 Member

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    I had an '84 Hardtail Roadstar that was stolen in '85.
    It wasn't an expensive guitar but it sure played nice.
    The toggle next to the tone knob was a phase switch to reverse the polarity of the middle pickup. I had no use for it.
     
  9. Cymbaline

    Cymbaline Member

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    I used to love these in music stores in the 80s. These were the last things they did before the RGs and Jems came out.
    You've got a string lock above the nut, so it should stay in tune pretty good.

    What I'd do with it is completely field strip it - neck off, tuners off, trem out, etc, etc and clean all the parts as well as you can. Make sure all the screws turn freely, lube where needed. It looks like some of the screws are rusted so they could use some good cleaning, maybe with WD-40 or 3-in-1 oil to make sure they turn freely. Plus I'd probably clean and polish the fretboard and frets with 0000 steel wool and Brasso, with a little Liquid Gold on the fretboard. I bet it plays pretty good after it's had some TLC.

    Here's a pretty good guide to restoring old grungy instruments that I've found helpful:
    http://www.ibanezrules.com/tech/grunge/grunge_1.htm
     
  10. phantasm

    phantasm Member

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    I tthink the only mod is the replaced bridge pickup- the other pickups look stock.
     
  11. 3 Mile Stone

    3 Mile Stone Silver Supporting Member

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    From the looks of it and the time period I'm guessing it's a DiMarzio Super II.
     
  12. Platypus

    Platypus not in rivers, but in drops Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the info guys, much appreciated.

    That toggle switch doesn't appear to be stock based on pics I've found on the web. It also seems to be wired wrong because it acts like a kill switch in the bridge blade position and has no audible effect anywhere else.

    I'd like to keep the finish the way it is, I really dig the color a lot. I do want to replace the rusted components and I'd like to get all new pickups in the thing. I'm not too concerned about making it original by any means.

    As far as parts.. where should I begin? I imagine finding a pickguard made for this might be hard to come by. I want to get a mint green or aged white one and replace the pots to have this same color scheme.

    Ideally I want to replace the bridge with something more usable. Can you guys tell if this is the Edge Pro trem or if it's the earlier model? Would I be able to install a standard Bigsby trem on it instead of this one or is that a silly idea? (Should I then remove the locking nut too since it wont be floating?) I don't really have a use for tremolo tricks and would prefer a more subtle warble. I want to try some Fender CS69 single coils in the two positions and get a nice fat/warm humbucker but I'm open to suggestions :)
     
  13. infiniteposse

    infiniteposse Member

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    I had a Strat style Blazer that was great. Very nice wood, great neck and just a fun guitar to play. Mine actually had a stock kill switch as well, so yours might be original. Some of these had coil-taps and phase switches stock, so I think the kill was another variation available.

    Re: the bridge, I think I'd personally just block it, take off the arm and call it a day. Finding a bridge to cover all of that and/or filling it could be a pain the bootie.

    Re: a pickguard, contact http://www.pickguardian.com/pickguardian/ and I bet they'll be able to make you the guard you want. If they don't have a template you can just send the guard in and they'll make one for you. They're doing that for my 63 Epi Olympic at the moment.

    Re: pups - I don't know why, but I see a TV Jones in the bridge position:) I've been in to odd pup combo's lately though, so take that suggestion with a bucket of salt.

    Congrats on the free guitar.

    -------

    Edited to add:

    I just took a look at the pics I still had of my Blazer I had and it looks like it might have had your style of trem originally based on the screw holes on the headstock. If so, they did drop in a strat style trem which I had blocked when I bought it. The trem cavity had been hacked up a little when I got it, seemingly to make it larger, so I don't know if a normal trem system would be drop it or require some routing. Here's some shots.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
  14. Platypus

    Platypus not in rivers, but in drops Supporting Member

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    Great info/pics infiniteposse, thanks!
     
  15. Platypus

    Platypus not in rivers, but in drops Supporting Member

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    Here's a shot of the trem cavity

    [​IMG]

    The bridge is the older Ibanez rocker bridge :(
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
  16. Platypus

    Platypus not in rivers, but in drops Supporting Member

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    You guys were right about the DiMarzio, I took the strings off so I could soak the screws that held the pickguard assembly in some dexoit to get the rust off.

    I need suggestions for a replacement bridge for this thing, I really am not fond of it at all.

    Bridge cavity:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So with that huge hole it doesn't look like I can put a bigsby on it :(

    lame.

    Besides this monstrosity of a bridge, is there anything else I can use instead?
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
  17. joejoe

    joejoe Member

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    Great necks on these Roadstar II's. I read somewhere that the same company built these and Fender MIJ necks. Who knows, but they are well-known for the great necks. I have a guitar that appears to be a Roadstar II neck on a Schecter strat-style body:

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]
     
  18. infiniteposse

    infiniteposse Member

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    For the life of me I can't find a link, but I know there's a company that's making a Bigsby that requires no mods to many guitars like strats, etc... They may have one that would work for your guitar. Not sure though. I think there's a Z cut into the Bigsby as a brand of some sort...

    BTW, a very helpful forum to check out would be: http://www.ibanezcollectors.com/for...a1e709ca5c3257e33003436d7b8255f;www;pg=topics

    These guys are nuts for the old Ibanez guitars. When I got mine I got some very useful help over there.

    Good luck!
    ----------
    Edited to add: Found it! http://www.zzguitarworks.com/servlet/the-Bigsby-Vibrato-EZ-dsh-Mount-Kits/Categories
     
  19. Platypus

    Platypus not in rivers, but in drops Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the info once more.. I don't mind doing mods to the body to accommodate the Bigsby but the giant hole in the body where the old bridge once was seems like it'd be hard to cover up.... or am I wrong?
     
  20. Sean

    Sean Supporting Member

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    I had the same guitar that I played for years, except mine only had a bridge humbucker and no pick guard. Same color, too.

    That bridge is a PIA. It won't stay in tune well and is a mess to change strings on. IIRC, you have to take a phillips head screw out, then remove the string?

    At any rate, I blocked mine, removed the monstrosity of a lock nut and it played great. I picked mine up for $100 around 1990, played it for a bunch of years, then sold it for $250 around 1997. You did real good for free.
     

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