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PantallicA
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I own a Ibanez SZ520QM and it is a good guitar but the hardware is abit hopeless!, elcheapo tuners and bridge etc. im thinking of puting new pups in it but thats always a first thing i do. Although the tuners, nut, bridge i was thinking about "upgrading" to some locking schaller tuners, a schaller bridge (not sure what model it is), and a graph tech nut, and even machine some pickup surrounds, so there a polished metal not elcheapo plastic with chrome paint haha.

So would doing all that be worth my time and money or should i just keep it stock??

HeReSy
 

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This is a bugbear of mine.... no matter how much I pay for a guitar, there is always something I need to change :( With any strat the first thing I do is fit graphite stringsavers and a decent nut. Secondly out go the crap pickups - why are generic strat pickups so bad? I recently bought a Standard MIM and the pickups were dreadful, I knew this when purchasing as I bought for look and feel. Usually Fender tuners aren't too bad but a couple of years down the track... and why do I need to shield the thing properly? Are they incapable??? It would take a lot less time for them to shield a strat properly in the first place than it does me to do it with bits of tin foil and glue :( With a Les Paul, first thing that goes is the pups, the ceramic pups they fit as standard are akin to fingernails on a blackboard. The tuners again are great if you don't mind tuning up every 20 mins or so - it can't be much more expensive to fit locking tuners for gods sake! And why can't guitar manufacturers get together and decide on a standard for straplocks? I'd recommend Schallers, they don't put undue pressure on the screws and a regular strap fits on them too, it isn't rocket science!!!

Ok <end of rant> yet we still shell out the cash for them, eh ;) I usually buy decent second hand stuff in the vain hope that at least some of the above has already been done. My LP was 2nd hand and came with great 57 Classic Pups in it :D
 

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This has always been a two-sided issue with me. On one hand, buying a cheaper guitar and upgrading it makes it seem more special...if you do all the upgrading. You can smile when you say "I put those Seymour Duncans in" or add skull knobs that don't usually come any guitars. Or if you're adding hardware like a trem system that they don't even offer but you really, really like....although there is a saying "You can't make a silk purse out of a pig's ear."
BUT if the brand you're after has a higher end model with all the features you're looking for, I always say hold out for that one. You may even get some additional bonuses you weren't looking for such as a better body wood.
To me buying something like a cheaper MIM Fender Strat and adding all the parts that make it equivalent to an American is a waste of money. 9 chances out of 10 once you're done figuring it out, you'll have spent just as much money as the American and could have saved yourself all the trouble of putting it all on. When possible let someone else do all the work!!
 

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HeReSy said:
I own a Ibanez SZ520QM and it is a good guitar but the hardware is abit hopeless!, elcheapo tuners and bridge etc. im thinking of puting new pups in it but thats always a first thing i do. Although the tuners, nut, bridge i was thinking about "upgrading" to some locking schaller tuners, a schaller bridge (not sure what model it is), and a graph tech nut, and even machine some pickup surrounds, so there a polished metal not elcheapo plastic with chrome paint haha.

So would doing all that be worth my time and money or should i just keep it stock??

HeReSy
I have never been close to one of these guitars, so keep that in mind when reading what comes next :)

Knowing a bit of Ibanez guitars, and seeing the picture... I'd say forget about replacing the bridge. I don't think you're going to notice any improvement to be worth your while. If you want to replace it, go ahead, but I think it should be way down in the priority list.

Nut is a good call, perhaps. Why are you unhappy with the stock one? 9I tend to be reluctant to change stuff if I don't have to, either because of functional issues, or just looks). If the nut is not well cut, you can get that easily corrected when you take it to be set up. On the other hand, this is so cheap, that why not, splash out :) You have no tremolo in your guitar, so there's no need for anything special, just a nut well cut. Still, graphite is always nice (low friction, etc) but only if it's well cut...

Tuners. This is something I would DEFINITELY replace if there's a problem. Is there a problem, 'though? I've seen people complaining about their tuners when it was mainly the way they fit their strings. Since you have no trem in your guitar, I think you'd probably be okay with non-locking tuners. Again, if you want locking tuners, that's nice. But they are not as cheap as a nut. I'd personally probably wouldn't bother. With a trem, yes, with a fixed bridge, nah.
I would be surprised if the Ibanez tuners were not at least decent on a guitar like this, so before establishing they need replacing, I'd check other possible sources of tuning instability: mainly the nut and the way the strings are installed.

Pickups... now that could be more reasonable, in my opinion. If you are not quite happy with the stock ones, then it makes sense to get others. Which ones depends on your personal preference, so I won't say more.

That's just my opinion... I don't just replace things for teh sake of it. I've had guitars where I replaced almost everything except the body!, and then I have a cheap SX guitar that was all good, including pickups... it stays in tune, feels nice and sounds great :)
 

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bluesgeek said:
And why can't guitar manufacturers get together and decide on a standard for straplocks? I'd recommend Schallers, they don't put undue pressure on the screws and a regular strap fits on them too, it isn't rocket science!!!
ah, that's a good one!!! absolutely, it's one of the very first things I do: straplocks (I use Schaller too), always. Having seen a guitar fall (fortunately without more harm than a small finish chip), I don't want to ever be in that situation again.

Get some straplocks, do you hear??? :biggthump
 

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I agree with the straplocks also. I almost always put them on. As for ungrading guitars I pretty much change everything out over time. I even change fret size sometimes....so I am basically insane.

The only guitar I never touched was my Wolf standard...it was exactly what I wanted....except I did add straplocks.:thumb:
 

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PantallicA
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
VHF said:
I agree with the straplocks also. I almost always put them on. As for ungrading guitars I pretty much change everything out over time. I even change fret size sometimes....so I am basically insane.

The only guitar I never touched was my Wolf standard...it was exactly what I wanted....except I did add straplocks.:thumb:
Yep you sound basically insane lol, yeah i think ill have to save up some $$$ and start upgrading! cheers for yall input!
 

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I realize that me upgrading a guitar is a lot of work and the easier route is to save and buy the higher end model. However, for me the guitar feels MUCH more "me" when I do everything myself as opposed to just buying something off a shelf.
 

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I have to say that for all the above rant, I'm sure many people are happy with a stock strat/lp/whatever.

I think part of the joy of buying a guitar is when you look back in 12 months time and realise you've spent the same amount again on new pickguard/tuners/pickups and if you ever sold it you would make a 150% loss :)

Thats why I buy most of mine secondhand and never sell any of the buggers ;)
 
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