Hey guys, I was wondering what mods I should do to an Ibanez GRG170DX-BK Black or should I just buy a more expensive guitar and save the time. If I do end up modifying it then I will probably get someone to scallop from the twelth fret onwards because I quite like scalloped necks.
I wouldn't waist the money. Just get a better guitar
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try scalloping it yourself if its a rosewood fretboard , i bought an 8$ round file and a bit of sand paper and it was a breeze. Now if the ibanez is a basswood body honestly go nuts with parts , i'd 99% of the time say save up and get something better; BUT.. if you like the sound of it why bother? especially since there is not much contrast to a non-ibanez player besides parts in most of their models. It's just this or that added to the neck, like a strip of bubinga, rosewood..etc , better tuners or new pickups or a color you are forced at musical gun point to get

all the money you spend swapping parts you can just use them in other guitars the only two factors for me if i was you would be shipping and guitar tech bills. But guitars minus painting and fret work almost anyone can do with enough patience and youtubing.

because say if you had a 200$ Epiphone with a jazzed up plywood body, all chinese parts and bolt on (not set neck) comparing to a say gibson les paul custom when they used ebony fretboards was a massive difference. But with ibanez minus the necks from an after market perspective hardly any of them would jump out at me. Neckthrough ones cost a fortune, pickups are pickups and after market bridges and tuners (to say the least) you can do some amazing things with.

this is something my friend did to a 7 string the other day. they took out the edge or whatever it is and put an evertune in. The evertune is one of those things you route into your guitar and cannot look back on as you're taking all kinds of wood like a floyd rose on a les paul . It's really expensive to buy and put one in but my point is better parts do make a difference (not just expensive hand wound pickups).

but like i said before most of them like tremolos, 10mm tuners and all are pretty interchangable so if you dont want that bridge or those pickups any more in a guitar you can probably swap them into another guitar and put the old stuff back in
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Jan 10, 2016,
Thanks for the detailed response man, I don't have any experience with building and modifying myself I was planning to get someone else to do it, If a guitar has inlays on the fretboard do I remove them or just scallop over them?
Quote by stevenharriso4
Thanks for the detailed response man, I don't have any experience with building and modifying myself I was planning to get someone else to do it, If a guitar has inlays on the fretboard do I remove them or just scallop over them?

1. I'd leave it alone

2. Depending on the depth of the inlays on the fretboard, the scalloping process could go through them in certain areas and leave pieces of them in others.

3. You might try locating a Dremel Contour Sander. These are discontinued, but a bit of hunting will often turn up a used one. You might find one at a tool rental house. The sanding "tubes" are still available.


This is a near-perfect tool for scalloping a fretboard and doing a good job of it. Those little black shape tools at the bottom of the photo are what you use, getting progressively narrower as your frets get closer together.

Pulling one of the inlays will tell you how much depth you have to work with before you bottom out. It might be worth having those inlays removed, routed out deeper and replaced with thicker inlays before beginning the process. Then you'll want to be sure you don't exceed that depth when routing. Be sure to mark your "do not exceed" limits on the sides of the fretboard before you begin.

4. Make sure that you own another guitar before beginning this. I don't know who you're going to hand this job off to, but if it's not an experienced tech who's done these before, you're likely to get back a hash job. It's a cheap guitar, so there may be no real loss here, but you may end up spending as much as the guitar is worth to have this done.
Last edited by dspellman at Jan 10, 2016,
I would say that it really depends on your attachment to the guitar. If your Ibanez is just an instrument to you then no amount of parts is going to make it better than a higher standard model, however if you are very fond of that particular guitar then I would say upgrade to your heart's content.

I have always found stock Ibanez pickups to be fizzy and a bit nasty and can be easily improved by adding something such as a DiMarzio Evolution or Breed (I mention these because they were specifically designed with the RG shape in mind).

I see a few people on this thread mentioning different wood type but I don't think that you will notice this as (if this is your first guitar) your ear isn't going to be that developed yet. I also don't think it makes as much difference until you start looking to guitars that are distinctly more expensive and that are using hand selected woods that also have pickups fitted to optimise the sound that the wood makes.

As far as the tremolo is concerned, upgrading to a Floyd is impossible (as Ibanez have intended) and I think that retro-fitting a locking Edge-Pro would be costly and time consuming. I would recommend upgrading to a roller nut or bone nut and fitting some locking tuners.

But it's all up to personal choice and as people say, 'different strokes for different genitals'.
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Just want to chime in, but I would absolutely not pay someone to modify a cheap guitar like that. Not saying there is anything wrong with that guitar, but the cost of the work could very well out price the guitar. If that is the path you are considering I would take that total budget and buy a new guitar.

Honestly, I always saw modifying a guitar as something you do to fine tune your instrument to exactly what you want. To me it doesn't really seem like you have a specific goal in mind. Just some food for thought.
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