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Old 12-31-2012, 01:56 PM   #1
jjfeu662
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Upgrading $300 Ibanez

Instead of buying another $300 guitar just to look cool, I thought of not wasting that kind of money on a POS V and upgrading my current one.

Here are some pictures of my Ibanez RG421.

My plans are to:
1) Repair all the dings and dents etc.
2) Swirl the guitar black and red.
3) Put new gold hardware on it.
4) Replace the neck pickup.

How would I go about doing this?

Specific questions:
How do you repair dings in wood?
What would be the easiest / best way to take the current paint off?
How do you swirl a guitar? (what paints, what container, etc.)
Would it be best if I replaced the hardware with more Gotoh, or is there another brand that's better?
EMG 85 or 60? and what does the 89 do?
How much would everything cost?
Would it be worth it in the end?
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:33 PM   #2
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Let's call it a bump.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjfeu662
Instead of buying another $300 guitar just to look cool, I thought of not wasting that kind of money on a POS V and upgrading my current one.

Here are some pictures of my Ibanez RG421.

My plans are to:
1) Repair all the dings and dents etc.
2) Swirl the guitar black and red.
3) Put new gold hardware on it.
4) Replace the neck pickup.

How would I go about doing this?

Specific questions:
How do you repair dings in wood?
What would be the easiest / best way to take the current paint off?
How do you swirl a guitar? (what paints, what container, etc.)
Would it be best if I replaced the hardware with more Gotoh, or is there another brand that's better?
EMG 85 or 60? and what does the 89 do?
How much would everything cost?
Would it be worth it in the end?


What trem does your guitar have?

Paint stripper might be the easiest way to remove the finish, but you'll need to do the research to find out which one will work.

To repair dings in wood, you could apply some water and then iron them out with a conductive buffer, like an aluminum sheet. If the dent is too much to iron out, bondo is often used to fill. But since you're going down to solid wood, I'd just use some sawdust and wood glue mixed togther as a filler, let it dry, and sand it flush.

I don't know exactly how to swirl, but there are plenty of guides out there. Just google it.

Gotoh is a great brand, and very affordable. I see no reason to use anything else, but there are other great brands available, especially for locking tuners(which you don't need if you have a locking nut, imo). Sperzel, Schaller, Hipshot, Planet waves, and Grover all make outstanding tuners, though I'm not sure which will be a direct swap.

The 89 is the 85 with coil splitting. Some people like it, I personally wouldn't bother swapping an 85 for an 89 just for that.

You do the math yourself. I can't be bothered.

If you intend to keep the guitar, then it might be worth it to you. But if you ever decide to sell it, you probably won't make your money back for the upgrades. In fact, most people seem to be pretty reluctant to buy a guitar that an amateur has modded.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W4RP1G
What trem does your guitar have?

Paint stripper might be the easiest way to remove the finish, but you'll need to do the research to find out which one will work.

To repair dings in wood, you could apply some water and then iron them out with a conductive buffer, like an aluminum sheet. If the dent is too much to iron out, bondo is often used to fill. But since you're going down to solid wood, I'd just use some sawdust and wood glue mixed togther as a filler, let it dry, and sand it flush.

I don't know exactly how to swirl, but there are plenty of guides out there. Just google it.

Gotoh is a great brand, and very affordable. I see no reason to use anything else, but there are other great brands available, especially for locking tuners(which you don't need if you have a locking nut, imo). Sperzel, Schaller, Hipshot, Planet waves, and Grover all make outstanding tuners, though I'm not sure which will be a direct swap.

The 89 is the 85 with coil splitting. Some people like it, I personally wouldn't bother swapping an 85 for an 89 just for that.

You do the math yourself. I can't be bothered.

If you intend to keep the guitar, then it might be worth it to you. But if you ever decide to sell it, you probably won't make your money back for the upgrades. In fact, most people seem to be pretty reluctant to buy a guitar that an amateur has modded.

It has a Gotoh Strat-style bridge.

I will look into paint stripper. All the things I heard said about sanding and all that complicated stuff.

I will also look into the ding repairing method.

Googled swirling, still not getting it, need some clarification from an expert.

Do Gotoh make locking tuners? If not, what brand of gold locking tuners will be a match to the Gotoh SG381?

What about the EMG 60?

Yes, I will keep my guitar, I know upgrading devalues it (why?).
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjfeu662
It has a Gotoh Strat-style bridge.

I will look into paint stripper. All the things I heard said about sanding and all that complicated stuff.

I will also look into the ding repairing method.

Googled swirling, still not getting it, need some clarification from an expert.

Do Gotoh make locking tuners? If not, what brand of gold locking tuners will be a match to the Gotoh SG381?

What about the EMG 60?

Yes, I will keep my guitar, I know upgrading devalues it (why?).

If a Gotoh Wilkinson VS100 will fit, you can get those for about $100. I'd check that out.

Gotoh does make locking tuners. When I made that first post, I thought you had a double locking tremolo. And I think Schaller makes locking tuners that are a direct replacement for Gotohs, but you'll want to verify that.

The EMG 60 is a more mellow pickup. I think that's the pickup Metallica used for the soft part of Nothing Else Matters, if you want an example. I've always found the 85 to be too harsh myself, good for leads though, but not so much pretty soft music. The 60a is the 60 with an A5 magnet. I hear great things about it, but it seems to be rather expensive.

Modding a guitar devalues it because people want a guitar that hasn't been messed with. The average guitarist doesn't seem know even the basics of setting up a guitar, let alone modding one, so they usually want something that they know they won't have issues with a bad mod job. And on top of that, you're customizing the guitar to your liking, which puts it in a niche. The market for swirled guitars with gold hardware is likely much smaller than the marker for chrome or black hardware and a solid color or wood grain.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:00 PM   #6
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To be more clear:
The current tuners are Gotoh SG381.
The current bridge is a Gotoh GTC101 or 2. That is a HARDTAIL strat-style bridge.

Do Schaller M6 Locking machine heads come in gold? (Gold isn't a necessity, but I just thought it would look cool against black and red.

Also, what extra routing etc. does it take for a non-floating tremolo? Just an idea.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjfeu662
To be more clear:
The current tuners are Gotoh SG381.
The current bridge is a Gotoh GTC101 or 2. That is a hardtail strat-style bridge.

Do Schaller M6 Locking machine heads come in gold? (Gold isn't a necessity, but I just thought it would look cool against black and red.

Also, what extra routing etc. does it take for a non-floating tremolo? Just an idea.

Take a look at the back of a Strat there is a rear rout to get the Springs/claw in the guitar.

You would probably be cheaper if you looked for a used Guitar that has the things you wan't or you'll end up throwing money (probably more than a new used guitar) away on your current Axe
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbgnarly
Take a look at the back of a Strat there is a rear rout to get the Springs/claw in the guitar.

You would probably be cheaper if you looked for a used Guitar that has the things you wan't or you'll end up throwing money (probably more than a new used guitar) away on your current Axe


So they don't make non-floating trems? I know strats are floating.

They do not make guitars with the things I want. I'd rather spend $400 on my guitar to make it look cool than buy a $400 already cool looking guitar. They don't really make good-playing guitars that look cool.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjfeu662
Read the whole thread. They do not make Ibanez RG421s with a black and red swirl, gold hardware and EMG pickups.

But you could always get a diff RG that has most of what you want like the gold hardware and Trem

It is your money and you can do what ever you want with it, but if you are unsure of how to route for a trem cavity, you will end up paying a pretty good sum to have a luthier do it.

I was just trying to help you put it in perspective, I am all about doing upgrades to a guitar. But only if they don't go over the price of something already made to a similar spec.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjfeu662
So they don't make non-floating trems? I know strats are floating.

They do not make guitars with the things I want. I'd rather spend $400 on my guitar to make it look cool than buy a $400 already cool looking guitar. They don't really make good-playing guitars that look cool.

Strats are no floating for the most part you can set them up to float though.

If you spend $400 on a used RG you can get a Prstige (if your lucky and it will be much better than your current guitar) or another older MIJ Ibanez.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbgnarly
Strats are no floating for the most part you can set them up to float though.

If you spend $400 on a used RG you can get a Prstige (if your lucky and it will be much better than your current guitar) or another older MIJ Ibanez.


There is absolutely no way you could get a $800 Prestige (that's what they are new, right?) for $400. If you could, it wouldn't be as cool as a swirled one. Anyways, I don't want a new guitar, I want a project, something to do.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjfeu662
There is absolutely no way you could get a $800 Prestige (that's what they are new, right?) for $400. If you could, it wouldn't be as cool as a swirled one. Anyways, I don't want a new guitar, I want a project, something to do.

Thats fine, I just wanted you to be aware of the costs you might come in to

I did a quick look at Guitar centers used section and there are several RG4xxx and higher models for <$400 and they are not prestige models, but they are MIJ wich is still better than most

Good luck at what ever you choose to do
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:50 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Robbgnarly
Thats fine, I just wanted you to be aware of the costs you might come in to

I did a quick look at Guitar centers used section and there are several RG4xxx and higher models for <$400 and they are not prestige models, but they are MIJ wich is still better than most

Good luck at what ever you choose to do

It's cool. My RG421 is also MIJ. Right now I'm just looking for parts and prices, and tutorials on how to swirl and repair dents in wood.

This is my shopping list sofar:
GOTOH GTC102 bridge - $80
Grover 505G6 Tuners - $80
Used EMG85 - $60
Random Heat Gun (for paint stripping) - $20

Also, who makes good strap locks, (whatever you call those things that go around the pickups), and knobs?

I really need an expert on swirling to tell me what container, paints etc.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjfeu662
It's cool. My RG421 is also MIJ. Right now I'm just looking for parts and prices, and tutorials on how to swirl and repair dents in wood.

This is my shopping list sofar:
*will edit in soon*



For some reason I thought you had a RG2XX series

Well I can give you a quick how to swirl paint list. I did it to my Lowrider in the 90's

1. prep it good, if you have chips small dings and your going solid colors I use bondo glazing puddy. It works great and dries super fast for sanding.

2. put you bas color down

3. Paint the top(swirl color on)and lay plastic wrap (renoylds type) on the body and bunch it up in a circular pattern. This will remove some of the paint, but leave paint where it is bunched up some.

4. Then you finnish like any other paint job. Clear, wetsand, buff.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:19 PM   #15
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I just looked GC has 1 Ibanez Prestige for <$400, but it is not the RG Just to show you you can get one for <$400 if you look hard enough
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:40 PM   #16
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I'm glad you're figuring out how to search for this stuff online. I'm not trying to be asshole, but you really need to stop asking every little question here and start finding the answers yourself. They are out there, and they are plentiful. Questions like "Does Schaller make this tuner in gold?" can be answered through google, Schaller's website, or just browsing a store's inventory list. And there are a ridiculous amount of swirl tutorial websites and youtube videos to choose from.

Again, I'm not trying to be a jerk. I hope your project works out, and that you post pics when you complete this. Or better yet, document your progress once you get started in another thread so other people might get some ideas about what they can do to their RGs.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:56 PM   #17
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I'm glad you're figuring out how to search for this stuff online. I'm not trying to be asshole, but you really need to stop asking every little question here and start finding the answers yourself. They are out there, and they are plentiful. Questions like "Does Schaller make this tuner in gold?" can be answered through google, Schaller's website, or just browsing a store's inventory list. And there are a ridiculous amount of swirl tutorial websites and youtube videos to choose from.

Again, I'm not trying to be a jerk. I hope your project works out, and that you post pics when you complete this. Or better yet, document your progress once you get started in another thread so other people might get some ideas about what they can do to their RGs.

Maybe I do ask too many questions. I'll look up various pointless questions I have.

However, Google will not tell you certain things. For example: Does the brand of small guitar parts matter? If I bought cheap plastic knobs, pickup rings and that stuff, would it matter? Google will not tell me that.
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:07 PM   #18
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How too swirl a guitar.

There's loads of videos on Youtube, Look harder next time.
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:07 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjfeu662
Maybe I do ask too many questions. I'll look up various pointless questions I have.

However, Google will not tell you certain things. For example: Does the brand of small guitar parts matter? If I bought cheap plastic knobs, pickup rings and that stuff, would it matter? Google will not tell me that.

Those things are good to ask here, though you could probably find those questions answered already in another forum. Still don't hesitate to ask something like that.

And if you are serious with those questions, the brand of cheap plastic cosmetic parts doesn't really matter. I'm sure someone out there will claim that they have a valid reason for only using Gibson humbucker rings, or Fender knobs, but that could just be the typical snobbery.

Of course, you can always get cosmetically "better" stuff for more money, but that's up to you.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:31 PM   #20
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Swirling isn't too complicated.

First off, dont worry about paint stripper, sanding is cheaper and is no where near as messy. Got an power sander? Will take about 20-30 minutes... if not... do it by hand... depending on your enthusiasm 1-3 hours. Any dents, dings, holes, fill them with woodfiller (2.99 a tub) leave it sitting proud, then sand it flat.

For swirling, loads of guides go on about primer, i didn't bother, just bought satin black spray paint from local hardware store.

They also go on about borax, to 'break surface tension'...borax is used is laundry and cleaning products to soften water. The water in northern ireland is soft from the tap, so i literally filled a bin with cold water, added like 7-8 kettles of boiling water so it was lukewarm

Then used wee syringes to drop the paint onto the water.. i suppose you could pour it, but this was less messy. It was enamel paint, i used humbrol and another brand i cannot recall. Some guides say humbrol is the best, but the other brand of paint worked fine.

then you get a straw or a stick, swirl the paint about on the surface, dip the guitar, move it gently from side to side, lift it out, i gave it a wee shake, then hairdryer to get excess water off. Any air bubbles, either push them in, or let it dry and sand it off with really fine paper. For taking the original finish off i used like 120 grit, then for the air bubbles and clear coat ive got 1400 grit.

Spray it with lacquer, but for the love of god, make sure there are no posters on the wall, which may fall onto your wet lacquer... i had to redo mine

http://i1279.photobucket.com/albums...s76082575. jpg



Would it be worth it? I swirled a stagg strat copy i bought for 15, put it back together, and the action is sweet, so i enjoy playing it, and its a real headturner. A pair of dirty finger pups later and i have no intention to ever sell it, it rocks, and its unique. So if you take the time and do it right, and correct anything you mess up, then yes, it is totally worth it.

Mine cost about 200 but i didnt buy any fancy hardware...and pickups made up 3/4 of that price.

Good luck
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