Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Hey guys,

    Hoping to hear from people who are familar with the Ibanez AKJV95. I want to swap the tune-o-matic metal bridge for an ebony one. I also want to change the tailpiece to something more solid.

    Ideally, I'd much prefer anything that will directly drop in without any drilling or modifications necessary. Any suggestions or experiences are appreciated.

    Thanks

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    Hey there, 63 vibroverb! I posted about my AKJV95 upgrade project a while back. I’m happy to share any and all experience. I tried to answer your IM but I kept getting a server error. Then, I’ve been under the weather for a few days. I am very sorry for the delayed response.


    The mounting and strap button screw holes in the new tailpiece did not line up at all with the factory mounting holes. I plugged the 4 original mounting screw holes and strap button hole by gluing in dowels and cutting them off flush. Then I carefully lined up the new tailpiece, and used an awl to mark the locations for the new mounting screw holes and strap button hole. I then drilled pilot holes slightly smaller than each screw diameter. Lastly, I carefully installed the mounting screws and strap button screw to ensure a tight fit and to make solid contact with the tailpiece ground wire Ibanez uses (when you remove the factory tailpiece, you’ll expose a small bare wire coming through the tail block).


    Regarding the bridge, I bought a good quality bridge on eBay or Amazon (can’t remember which) and carefully fitted the bridge base to the curve of the guitar’s arch by taping sandpaper face up on the belly of the guitar and sanding the base (in the position where the bridge sits, using careful back and forth strokes simulating the path of the strings), Note that there are videos online showing how to fit the bridge base to an archtop guitar. Stew Mac sells a special jig for this purpose, but I’ve fitted many bridges by hand using this method and no special jig is needed for a perfect fit if you are careful and deliberate.


    Please let me know if you have additional questions.


    Good luck!


    Roli

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Hey 63vibroverb - I have an original Brownface VibroVerb myself. It might possibly be a '64. Greatest amp ever or what?

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    Wood bridges: Measure the string height on your guitar and check that it is comfortably within the stated adjustment range og the considered bridge and likewise for the string spacing. Some like to have some small grooves/indentations where the strings pass the bridge and it may be needed to adjust the curvature to match the fretboard radius (which should be 12" on your Ibanez). If you are not comfortable with that - ask the seller about the radius. Some bridges adapt reasonably well to the guitar because the have like two feet interconnected by a flexible piece. If the fit is not satisfactory - file as mentioned by rolijen. I only mention the bridge because it is the only thing I changed on my guitar. I tried a few before I found the right one (height, width, appearance, feel and fit). Pictures before/after always stimulates the responsivity of such threads

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Thank you for the question and the replies. I have an AKJV95, bought in Japan last year and apparently made in Indonesia. I really appreciate this thread, and especially rolijen sharing his experience with us here and in the thread describing his project, and teeps weighing in on wood bridges. I would consider the mods in the future if I can find someone where I live, but until now I have been generally happy with it. However, there's now an issue with buzzing. It's intermittent but particularly pronounced with complex chords. I can't seem to isolate its source. I wonder if that's a known issue with the stock bridges and tailpieces and a reason for changing them on the AKJV95?

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Buzzing on electric archtops is often found to be caused by the springs on the pickup height adjustment screws OR The pickup selector switch.

    While playing the guitar acoustically, try rocking the pickups back and forth a little to see if it affects the buzzing. Some people remove the pickups and put surgical tubing over the spring to dampen it.

    Also, try moving the selector switch into the neck position or bridge position as you play (again, acoustically) to see if that affects the buzzing.

    Another place to look, as you suggest, is the tune-o-magic style bridge. I have found some of them to buzz. You can hold your finger on each saddle, one by one, to try to locate a buzzing saddle. If that is the culprit, give the intonation screw for the buzzing saddle a small adjustment. Just enough to I get the screw/saddle to stop buzzing. To be honest, I have replaced the metal bridge with an ebony or rosewood one (matching the fretboard and or tailpiece) on every Ibanez archtop I’ve had with excellent improvement in tone every time.

    Im glad you are enjoying your AKJV95! They really are wonderful guitars and great foundations for improving. I just upgraded this weekend the entire wiring harness, pots, caps, jack, switch and pickups in my LGB30 (almost exactly the same guitar as the AKJV95, built on the same production line in Indonesia). It turned out wonderfully well. It has played well since new, but now it sounds warmer and fatter and feels better (the stock dime-sized pots and low-grade harness hold back what is otherwise a fantastic value in a jazz guitar.

    Good luck in your modding and enjoying your AKJVs and others!

    Roli

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    i have to get the loom out of my af120 at some point , it’s got an intermittent electrical buzzing fault , curable by thumping the guitar !

    what source did you use for the new loom/ parts please ?

    while i’ve already replaced the
    switch and jack socket with switchcraft items couple of years ago .... and they are functioning just fine now ...
    this time i need replace the wiring and pots with good stuff

    many thanks for any recommendations forthcoming

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by pingu View Post
    i have to get the loom out of my af120 at some point , it’s got an intermittent electrical buzzing fault , curable by thumping the guitar !

    what source did you use for the new loom/ parts please ?

    while i’ve already replaced the
    switch and jack socket with switchcraft items couple of years ago .... and they are functioning just fine now ...
    this time i need replace the wiring and pots with good stuff

    many thanks for any recommendations forthcoming
    I bought 4 CTS 525k ohm audio taper pots and 2 Sprague orange drop .022mf caps from The Art Of Tone (they sell on Amazon).

    Also bought 10 feet of Gavitt vintage style braided cable. It’s not super easy to work with but it’s super durable and quiet.

    Finally, procured Switchcraft jack and switch.

    The hardest part is finding a good template to build the harness. I suppose you could just try to duplicate the existing harness but I typically switch to the 50s style Gibson wiring scheme anyway.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    But, honestly, next time I do this, I will purchase a pre-built harness. There are several sellers on eBay and Reverb. Even StewMac sells them. That will leave only the task of soldering the pickup leads and ground wire and then doing the dreaded “building a ship in a bottle” routine of pulling everything into place.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by rolijen View Post
    Buzzing on electric archtops is often found to be caused by the springs on the pickup height adjustment screws OR The pickup selector switch.

    While playing the guitar acoustically, try rocking the pickups back and forth a little to see if it affects the buzzing. Some people remove the pickups and put surgical tubing over the spring to dampen it.

    Also, try moving the selector switch into the neck position or bridge position as you play (again, acoustically) to see if that affects the buzzing.

    Another place to look, as you suggest, is the tune-o-magic style bridge. I have found some of them to buzz. You can hold your finger on each saddle, one by one, to try to locate a buzzing saddle. If that is the culprit, give the intonation screw for the buzzing saddle a small adjustment. Just enough to I get the screw/saddle to stop buzzing. To be honest, I have replaced the metal bridge with an ebony or rosewood one (matching the fretboard and or tailpiece) on every Ibanez archtop I’ve had with excellent improvement in tone every time.

    Im glad you are enjoying your AKJV95! They really are wonderful guitars and great foundations for improving. I just upgraded this weekend the entire wiring harness, pots, caps, jack, switch and pickups in my LGB30 (almost exactly the same guitar as the AKJV95, built on the same production line in Indonesia). It turned out wonderfully well. It has played well since new, but now it sounds warmer and fatter and feels better (the stock dime-sized pots and low-grade harness hold back what is otherwise a fantastic value in a jazz guitar.

    Good luck in your modding and enjoying your AKJVs and others!

    Roli
    Plus one on the surgical tubing. I'm systematically replacing springs on all my guitars when I change strings. Good luck!

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by rolijen View Post
    Good luck in your modding and enjoying your AKJVs and others
    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74 View Post
    Plus one on the surgical tubing. I'm systematically replacing springs on all my guitars when I change strings. Good luck!
    Thanks Roli and citizenk74, I really appreciate you sharing your expertise.

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Thanks guys, appreciate the warm welcome and kind responses!

    I ended up buying an ebony bridge from StewMac and just sanded the bottom to match the arch of the top like rolijen mentioned. Carefully filed the slots into the saddle and was good to go! I also replaced the plastic nut with Tusq. Last thing, I opened up both pickups and swapped the stock Alnico 3 magnets for roughcast Alnico 4. Much rounder, fatter, and umph - but still articulate. I also scraped away all the excess wax in the pickups before closing them back up for a little more air and articulation. The stock magnets actually sounded good too, but I like more low mids. I will replace the tuners with Gotohs at some point (maybe the tailpiece too, but it's doing its job fine). Strung up with John Pearse 2700 strings, it plays/sounds real sweet.

    JazzPadd - Once I replaced the metal tune-o-matic bridge with the all-ebony one, all the buzzing and rattling was gone.

    citizenk74 - Yes, I love that amp! I may actually have someone build me a 6G4A brown Super Amp eventually - it's the Vibroverb's grittier cousin!
    Attached Images Attached Images Upgrading parts on an Ibanez AKJV95-ibby-jazzbox-jpg 

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by 63 vibroverb View Post
    JazzPadd - Once I replaced the metal tune-o-matic bridge with the all-ebony one, all the buzzing and rattling was gone.
    Thanks for the update, vibroverb, that's very good to know! And it looks better, too. Play your AKJV95 with joy and in good health!

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    i own a ak95 dvs. Has a different tailpiece (do they call it that in English?).
    Mine has the PU's replaced by Gibson '57's. Sounds great, but i never compared them to the originals, since they were allready replaced when i bought it.

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Hi rolijen!

    Curious as to what the difference was between the original Ibanez wiring and the Gibson layout you changed to. I’d be interested in the wiring idea for my AF95FM.
    BTW I’m heading into my PM200 today to do a pickup swap, putting in a DiMarzio 36th anniv. The PM being all maple is way bright to my ears, hoping this will tame it but keeping the Super 58 nearby if it doesn’t.

    And yes the non MIJ Ibanez quality is amazing especially at the price point. Not an ego boosting guitar, but they play and sound great at a very good price.

    dave

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter View Post
    Curious as to what the difference was between the original Ibanez wiring and the Gibson layout you changed to.
    I used the Gibson “50s style” or vintage wiring. But, be warned: With the vintage circuit, using audio taper pots makes the volume really drop off fast. Meaning, all the volume drop (from 100% volume to 0%) happens between 10 and 7 on the knob. Some people hate this non-linear drop. But I love it because the tone mellows when you roll the volume just a touch.
    Upgrading parts on an Ibanez AKJV95-ecef0ecf-432c-4fb0-80bd-05e108d82d61-jpg
    (Credit to Arty’s Custom Guitars for the diagram)

    NOTE: If you use a USA Switchcraft switch, this diagram is correct. If you use another switch be sure to adapt the circuit as they usually have the ground opposite to the Switchcraft style.

    Regarding the PM200, I hope you can tame the brightness to your liking. If I recall, they have the exact same pickup placement as the neck pickup in an ES-175 (roughly at where the 24th fret would be if it had 24 frets). Whereas the L-5, L-4 and even your AKJV95 position the neck pickup at the virtual 22nd fret. To my ears, having the pickup closer to the bridge calls for a slightly darker pickup. Let us know how your Dimarzio sounds!

    To your last point, yes, these budget jazz guitars can be fun. Hopefully this evening, I’ll be doing the same harness, pickup, switch, jack upgrade on my MIC Epiphone Broadway. The pickups sound per good but a touch too dark. But the switch and wiring is very cheap and needs upgrading. I got a set of Seth Lovers for it and am excited to hear the difference!

    Good luck on the PM200!

    Roli

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Thanks Roli!

    I’ll definitely let you know what I hear with the 36. I’d be curious how the Lovers work out. I did (too much))) research of comments on pickup sound quality before going with the 36. It seemed to have the most mention of darker/fuller sound. But the Lovers are very popular. I tried Benedetto A6s on a LGB I had couple years ago, nice but too pick sensitive to me. Finger style was clear and bell like. But I reserve fingers for classical.
    The best sounding of the lot is the AF200 with the Super 58s as built. That’s a sweet sounding box. My L5 (89) is just too darn heavy compared to the Ibanez, so it tends to be in its case these days.

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    jazzkritter,

    If you're feeling experimental, you could always swap magnets in the stock pickup to tailor the tone before replacing the whole pickup. Saves some headache with rewiring on a hollowbody (at least it's a headache for me).

    The Silent 58 has an Alnico V magnet, which is comparably very bright. Switching to an Alnico IV or II magnet may solve your treble problems.

    Using pure nickel or flatwound strings will also help tame more highs. The 50's wiring helps retain clarity when you roll the volume knob down. Some people like the darker tone when rolling down with modern wiring.

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Not a big fan of logrhythmic pots, that fast drop can really muck you up on a gig. I am going to put in a small connector so swapping back and forth will be easier.
    Yup I’ve used flats alone since ‘68 switched from D’Addario to nickel TI Benson 14s around ‘90 and never looked back. I used to swap the two high strings to 15/18, which most of the ‘big names‘ did (Wes, Tal, Kessel etc) but I don’t have the hand strength for that after an injury. My main amp is a Walter Woods M100-8 into an EVM-12L, the combo of which is total whipped cream. So you can see how the PM200’s treble end left me flat. Of course it will always be maple no matter what I do, so we shall see. It’s like with a classical guitar, if you want the rounder sound of cedar don’t get spruce and think the string choice will be magic.
    I’m thinking to leave the Super 58 as is, especially since it’s a MIJ and who knows I may want it back.
    lunch over, time for surgery!

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    Magnet swaps are a pretty profound change, more so than strings! But do what you wanna do, we're all on our own tone journey.

    I love logarithmic pots for playing with a distorting amp, the cleanup with them can be beautiful. But yes, for jazz and strict clean tones, I would opt for linear pots. You can tailor the high end with the value of the pot as well - 250K or 300K would tame it real smooth.

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by JazzPadd View Post
    Thanks for the update, vibroverb, that's very good to know! And it looks better, too. Play your AKJV95 with joy and in good health!
    Appreciate it, brother. Yes, I agree it looks nice. You should be able to get your hands on an All Parts ebony bridge very easily, they're made in Japan.I believe Ibanez makes their own wood bridges too.

    Actually I am pretty jealous that you're in Japan - you have access to many of Ibanez's models we don't get here in the US!

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    Hi JazzPadd
    FYI the Ibanez stock number for their ebony bridge is
    2GB00A0001. (This is from the LGB300 but I was told by USA Ibanez they were the same across all ebony fingerboard guitars.) Fits perfectly sounds great.

    63Vibroverb
    The DiMarzio is in and i think its going to be the answer. Haven’t had a lot of time but the sound is rounder, less sharp, and the response is good.
    I’ll followup later Thursday when ive had some quality time with it.

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    I really wish Ibanez made this same model but with P90's. Anybody have a nice ES-175 style guitar with P90's? I know there are the Gibsons, but can't afford them.

    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter View Post
    63Vibroverb
    The DiMarzio is in and i think its going to be the answer. Haven’t had a lot of time but the sound is rounder, less sharp, and the response is good.
    I’ll followup later Thursday when ive had some quality time with it.
    That's good to hear, keep us posted. DiMarzio makes decent stuff - I love their traditional Tele style pickups.

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    A late reply, but.... you should be ablr to find P90s in standard humbucker size....
    Here's a link to a useful article evaluating different P90s of this sort
    Humbucker-Sized P-90 Review Roundup | Premier Guitar