Hi all!

Quick (hopefully) question for you. I'm starting to think about buying an Ibanez ARZ cause I really like them, but I'm struggling to decide which one to get....

I could get the ARZ800 on the left, which has the cool quilted maple finish (looks WAY better in person than in the picture) - but I'm also considering buying the cheaper ARZ400 in the middle, and then upgrading it to have gold hardware like in the pic I quickly photoshopped on the right.

I know I can just buy replacement gold parts for the tuners/bridge/etc (which would probably ultimately cost more than just buying the ARZ800 but never mind) but my question is this: How would I go about making the white binding into gold binding? Can I masking tape it off and then paint it? Should I sand it down... can I? Totally ignorant here sorry.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated (also any suggestions for which one I should get are welcome too - as long as it's one of those 2. I don't want an ESP eclipse or Gibson/Epiphone even though I could buy one that is already black/gold - I much prefer the Ibanez).

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I saw the picture before reading, mi first thought was that you were choosing one of those three guitars, and I was about to post: pick the second one, gold hardware looks awful.....
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I'm a sucker for that black-on-gold les paul type ala Matt Heafy style, but I'd go for the ARZ800. You'd have to strip the finish along the binding and then somehow recolor it.. you're looking at a considerable amount of extra cash just to change colors.

Though if you REALLY want the black-gold option, I'd consider getting that ESP Eclipse. Forget the name on the headstock and use your brain.

EDIT: by the way, I'm a die-hard Ibanez fan. But if you really want that black/gold look, consider the ESP
Last edited by SilverSpurs616 at Jul 6, 2011,
youd have to get rid of the finish around the binding, probably heat it up and pull the binding, then lay new binding in, and all this would probably include redoing the black on the whole thing.
not worth it...
i would do gold hardware and leave the binding white
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I would say the purple one, but I'm biased because I like purple.

The standard black one is great too, but I think replacing the hardware with gold hardware would be a waste of money better used on other things, but then again it is your guitar.

As for the binding, that is a lot of work. To put real binding on and not make it look like shit is a long process that includes filing, routing and a lot of machine work. Unless you know a good luthier, or are really good with woodworking, I would avoid doing that.

here is some more info on binding, and how it is done, in fact an entire step-by-step tutorial. http://www.stewmac.com/freeinfo/Binding/Installing_binding/a-bindings.html
Last edited by stonyman65 at Jul 6, 2011,
You MIGHT be able to just sort of trace the white binding with a vintage yellow lacquer. But there is no saying that would even work.
Thanks for the info guys!

I definitely want the Ibanez, not an ESP like I said. Of course I would choose playability (my own preference) over looks, but yeah I am a sucker for that black with gold hardware look. But that said I probably will go with the blue one then, sounds like the gold will be more trouble (and expensive) than it's worth.

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Hahah, no thanks. Not that game. xD
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Quote by stonyman65
I would say the purple one, but I'm biased because I like purple

yep me to, that purple is awesome......i'm not a big fan of quilt tops but that one works
You forgot to do the pickup rings in gold, and the knobs. Changing the binding does mean a total refinish job. What are the chances you can find a used ARZ400 where the finish is already asking for some help? I've done a bit of binding, and its not terrible work. I've had more trouble with the painting!
TBH I hate gold binding on a guitar. I prefer white binding with gold hardware... Looks more like a LP.

Black guitar w/ white binding and gold hardware: Classy.

Black guitar w/ gold binding and gold hardware: Gaudy.
Then there's this band called Slice The Cake...

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Stupid name.
Probably picked "for teh lulz"

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Last edited by Shinozoku at Jul 7, 2011,
It's totally subjective.
I would say go for the Purple one, because I have too many black guitars, and I'm planning on getting a purple Agile Septor 8-string anyway.

Don't go by others opinions in terms of looks.
The hardware specs on all of those models you posted are pretty much the same.
The only difference is the finish, so choose what you want.

In regards changing the hardware to gold......easy and pointlessly costly. The binding, hard, and again, pointlessly costly.
Find a similar spec guitar that has gold hardware, if you're adamant on it. At least you won't void any warranties, or destroy a perfectly good guitar if you mess up.
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^ Yeah, fair enough. I'm very much leaning towards getting the quilt top...

Quote by fenderfreak100
the quilted one
sure ill give reason

it has EMG acvtive pups

.. but not for this reason. I don't like EMGs much at all. Which ever one of these guitars I get I'd swap out the pickups for something different, but at least the active EMGs I could put up with longer than the EMG Hzs.

Quote by Shinozoku
TBH I hate gold binding on a guitar. I prefer white binding with gold hardware... Looks more like a LP.

See I'm exactly the opposite. I think it looks weird to have gold hardware and then not have gold binding, I much prefer it to all match up.
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of those three, i'd go for the ARZ800 since it has active EMG's instead of the passives.

or, get an EC-1000 and get a better guitar.
they go for about $550 used all day long

EDIT: just reread your first post.

why do you not want the ESP eclipse?
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Last edited by larson8er at Jul 7, 2011,
Cause like I said in the OP, I prefer the Ibanez. I have played the ARZ800 before, and I love the way it plays. And it's quite thin, compared to a more full bodied LP/EC type guitar - which is my personal preference, I know others would disagree. It's just that I love the look of the black/gold EC so I was considering emulating it, but with a guitar that would suit me more. But yeah, instead I think I'll just get the ARZ800 since it already looks cool.
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