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Thread: Ibanez Rhythm repair - pre '63

  1. #1
    Mentor Marcel's Avatar
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    Ibanez Rhythm repair - pre '63

    A mate of mine has asked me to "do some work" on his Ibanez Rhythm guitar that he got 2nd hand while he was doing 'Form 5' (year 11) way back in 1963. He was a bit vague on its earlier history and wants to keep it as it is one of his first guitars. Intonation is surprisingly good as is the neck and both PU's still work but the switch and pots are in a very sad condition hence the need for my services.

    I'm doing this post here on the forum mostly to seek out any info that any 'old farts' or budding historians on the forum might be willing to share. Of particular interest is the PU's which on first play and inspection seem to be remarkably similar to P90's but might actually be humbuckers, so any info shared there would be of great interest.

    I dare say few of us on the forum will ever get to see such a old axe (it is at least 54 years old) let alone get to play or work on one so I thought I'd share at least that much with all you wonderful guys n gals ...
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  2. Liked by: Swanny

  3. #2
    Mentor Marcel's Avatar
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    Found that this in a 1960 Ibanez catalogue and is a EG 80-B... so is closer to 57 years old...

    http://www.ibanez.com/anniversary/ex...t_id=334&now=4
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  4. #3
    Overlord of Music Sonic Mountain's Avatar
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    Woah. That's cool.
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  5. #4
    Member Swanny's Avatar
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    Awesome find on the catalogue! It's a shame they didn't list the price.

    Hopefully you can match the pots without too much trouble, the pickups should be okay?
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  6. #5
    Mentor Marcel's Avatar
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    They (the PU's) are okay Swanny.... After a lot of 'pops-n-crackles' I did get some clear audio out of the guitar on what I believes was each of the PU's. They are reasonably bright but not shrill at all, more a quite clear mellow. Output level is quite reasonable, which by my estimation are probably most similar in volume to a standard set of single coils as used on a Strat.

    For such a small body it is quite heavy although the total weight is not that great. I'd believe the brochure that the body is made from solid Maple. The fretboard is quite narrow and has a deep V neck profile so holding it is quite easy yet very different. There is nil truss rod and the bridge looks to be fixed in height and position so changing the string height or intonation is near impossible, and thankfully it is fortunate that the only real string/tuning/intonation problem is very low nut height. As there is nil clearance on the 1st fret when pressing the 3rd fret I was expecting at least one dead note or buzz from somewhere but there is none across the entire fretboard. I'm still deciding on how to proceed with the nut. It is a Gibson style nut in appearance so depending on exact string spacing replacement is an option, else I'll need to revisit and study up on the Stewmac YouTube videos on repairing/rebuilding bone nuts.. It needs to be fixed as 2nd fret on the G string is notably flat and out of tune.

    Pretty much the only other things I can do is replace the jack and give the pots a clean. The rotary selector switch will need a major overhaul if I'm to keep it as original as possible. There is some tuner damage so I'll see what can be done there too. It has 009-042 strings at the moment so in order to change things without changing things I'll need to hunt down a new set of those which will most likely be from D'Addario.
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  7. Liked by: Swanny

  8. #6
    Overlord of Music Fretworn's Avatar
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    Wow! I be scared to work on a guitar like that. I imagine it could be worth a bit, especially with the original parts. Keep any parts you remove from the guitar, even if they are dodgy as they should be kept with the guitar in case of future sales.
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  9. #7
    Mentor Marcel's Avatar
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    Replacing parts is the only thing that concerns me Frety... with the whole trying to restore & keep original of highest preference. Sadly some of the bits are simply screaming to get replaced.

    I had hoped that a simple squirt of contact cleaner would fix the pots, however the pots refuse to cooperate and continue to be scratchy little buggars. One Log 2Meg tone pot and two log 1Meg volume pots on order. Same goes for the input jack which will get replaced with a modern one as I doubt I'll find one anything like the original.

    Three of the 6 tuning pegs were bent due poor handling or being dropped or bumped. Two were relatively easy to straighten but the last one cracked with metal fatigue on the knob shaft so strictly the whole lot will need to be replaced if they are to remain functional. I'll need to talk to the owner about this as this will be a major change. The original open geared tuners have loose 6mm string shafts through oversized (7mm) plastic bushes which do not work or interface well with modern tuners of any sort so a how to proceed instruction is required. Any new modern tuners will sadly require the old plastic bushings to be removed and thus change the whole look of the guitar. Judging by all the filled in holes on the back of the headstock this will not be the first time the tuners have been changed.

    There is considerable damage to the fretboard (most likely from finger nails) but the frets themselves look only moderately worn so I'll most probably leave then as they are. None are out of place or sticking up so should be good for a while.

    The PU's are interesting. Bridge @ 4k9 and Neck @ 4k7. Both very wide flat wound single coils. Wide as in 25mm and flat as in maybe 5mm deep. Can't spot a magnet through any of the gaps but there must be one in there for it to work... I'm guessing it is a single bar of some sort laying down the centre of the coil...
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    Builds-
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    #13 PBG SGM-1 http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=7771
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    #11 Scratch build AC15 clone head
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  10. #8
    GAStronomist wokkaboy's Avatar
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    wow cool project and axe Marcel, what year did Ibanez start producing guitars ?
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  11. #9
    Overlord of Music Dedman's Avatar
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    great project Marcel. If it had been a Gibson the headstock would have snapped instead of a tuner bending so that's a positive You may find the plastic bushing can be pushed out and something else may fit.
    have you tried the Japanese guitar group on Facebook for replacements?
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  12. #10
    Mentor Marcel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wokkaboy View Post
    wow cool project and axe Marcel, what year did Ibanez start producing guitars ?
    From what I can ascertain Wokka the Ibanez name was originally from a Spanish partnership making acoustic guitars in Japan from 1927 onwards. This series of unique electrics was most probably started in late 1957 or early 1958 with entries in the Ibanez general catalogues from 1959 through to 1962.
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    #13 PBG SGM-1 http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=7771
    #12 PBG JK-2
    #11 Scratch build AC15 clone head
    #10 PBG RCM-4F
    #09 PBG ES-1TL
    #07 partscaster Alder Denim Tele.

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