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RG1527 Hoarder
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228 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Project Overview

I've always wanted a 7-string version of a DSY Ibanez RG550... right down to the maple fretboard. It's a project I've been dragging ass on for several years now as I've slowly accumulated the parts I need.

Ben Eller's RFR 7-string project not only got me inspired, it obliterated my last 2 roadblocks: where to get a neck made, and what paint to use.

Now that those mysteries are solved, this project is once again under way... and dare I say could possibly be completed this year. I'll use this thread to document the build. The neck is being created by Eric Bauer (thanks again to Ben Eller's recommendation), and the assembly, painting, pickguard, etc. will be completed by Atomic Guitar Works here in Phoenix, AZ.


Design Philosophy

In general, I'm trying to stay reasonably true to the aesthetic of the early RG550's. This means sticking with some of the main features... such as pickguard, maple fretboard, strat style knobs, etc. If I deviate too much, then it sorta ceases to be an "RG550" and is instead just a heavily modded Ibanez.

HOWEVER, that said, I'm still making a few "enhancements" and exceptions here and there. Since it's an RG1527 body, it'll have an Edge Pro, 2 humbuckers, and Cosmo hardware. There will also be a few other deviations, which will be revealed with this story...
 

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RG1527 Hoarder
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228 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Acquiring a Body

Quite some time ago (about 4 years ago, I think), I got a steal of a deal on a 2007 RG1527 body. I snatched it off the 'bay as the platform for my RG550 project. I've always loved the older 1527's (which is why I own two, not including this one).

I don't mind the big hole where the volume knob used to be because, this being an "RG550"... it'll have a pickguard over that area.






Accumulating the Parts

Most of these were bought new from Ibanezrules, some stuff may have been bought off the 'bay.
 

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RG1527 Hoarder
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228 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Neck: Update #1

Next item on the agenda was to get in touch with Eric Bauer--who I learned about thanks to Ben Eller's project--about making the neck.

While talking to Eric about specs, I mentioned that my '07 RG1527 necks have my all-time favorite 7-string profile. He was like "Well, if you don't mind sending one, I can make a reasonably accurate copy of it." Right on. So, the specs for the neck will be:

  • Dimensions: modeled after an '07 RG1527 neck
  • 3pc maple / bubinga (idea came from the DCM100 neck)
  • Maple fretboard
  • Standard dot inlays
  • Huge frets
  • Scallop frets 20 - 24
  • Tru Oil finish
  • Unfinished headstock (since it'll be painted DayGlo Saturn Yellow soon)

About 3 weeks after sending him my neck, these update pics came in:




(the green dot neck on the left belongs to another customer)
 

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RG1527 Hoarder
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228 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Neck: Update #3

About a month went by after the previous pics. Eric got pretty busy and whatnot with his primary business (he does custom woodworking in addition to luthiery). However, it was worth the wait, because these updates came in:

The neck on the right is the RG1527 reference neck (thanks Cassidy) I sent him:






Closeup of the scalloping...



I received these photos about 3 weeks ago, with Eric letting me know he still has to do some final shaping of the headstock and heel, then finish everything off with TruOil and drill for all hardware.

This is where the project currently stands. I'll post more updates once they come in.
 

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RG1527 Hoarder
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228 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Moar pics naow!!

:fap:
Don't worry, as soon as I get ANY new information or pics, they'll be posted here. I'm super anxious to get the neck from Eric so I can move onto the next big phase.
 

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RG1527 Hoarder
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228 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
...You using Dayglo paint on it?
I really want to--Saturn Yellow to be exact. However, Atomic Guitars seems to have some reservations about DayGlo and are pushing for me to use a fluorescent from House of Kolor instead.

That conversation was a few months ago, so I don't exactly remember what their reasoning was. Once I get the neck from Eric and we move to the next phase, I'll figure out exactly what their issue is with DayGlo... and whether it's a show stopper or not.

If so, I may have to find someone else to paint it--someone who isn't afraid of DayGlo.
 

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Gotcha! Not sure what their concerns would be.... the Dayglo Saturn Yellow looks more like the "modern" DSY, which has a little teeny bit of a green undertone to it (like a tennis ball, but milder in the green shade, if that makes sense). But HoK doesn't fuck around, they make great products!
 

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RG1527 Hoarder
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228 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Since all fluorescent pigments have fading issues (it's just a matter of how rapidly they fade), I'd love to know if there's a notable difference between GayGlo and HoK's fade-rate.
 

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part of the glamour of RG550's is the vintage color they fade into over time. Use the DayGlo and do it correct I say. And if you take care of it, and keep it out of unnecessary sunlight it won't ever really fade anyway.
 

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RG1527 Hoarder
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228 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
part of the glamour of RG550's is the vintage color they fade into over time. Use the DayGlo and do it correct I say. And if you take care of it, and keep it out of unnecessary sunlight it won't ever really fade anyway.
Agreed. With this guitar, I plan (due to the color) to keep it in its case when it isn't being played. I never play outside in daylight, so that shouldn't be an issue either.

I remember something now: when I first approached Atomic about doing this project, I told them that I was "... modeling this after an early 90's era RG550DY." These guys have proven to me over the years that they know their shit, so it's possible they took me literally, and feel the HoK's neon yellow is closer to that original shade Ibanez used in the 90's.

I'll know more when I get to that crossroads and can revisit the topic with them.
 

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RG1527 Hoarder
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228 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just got an update on the neck.

No pics right now, but Eric said he's "about 99% done." Hopefully I'll have some new pics to post soon.
 

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RG1527 Hoarder
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228 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, nearly 2 full months ago--on Sept 13th--I got an update email from Eric (the one building the neck) saying that he was "about 99% done" and that the neck "...will be on its way by mid week. Pics and all that to follow." No pics... or any further communication... followed.

This neck has taken so long now that I'm actually beginning to change my mind on what I want this project to be. In fact, I'm now leaning toward something that is the complete OPPOSITE of a 7-str DY RG550.

I've always loved the stealthed-out, matte black look of the Jake Bowen model, and the guitars Tony MacAlpine plays. I think that would look pretty awesome with a maple fretboard. By the time I get the neck and can proceed with the project, I may very well go that route instead.

Ugh, this waiting is messing with my mind.

I just sent Eric an email asking for a status update. I try to avoid doing that, because I don't want to be one of "those customers" that luthiers hate.
 
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