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  1. #51

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    As a former owner of a model in the Expressionist range, which I thought was a bit overrated, I'm very curious to know how that experiment turned out. Assuming the basic build and materials are the same, and the electronics and the hardware are going to need to be changed anyway, it's possible that the basic models represent a much better deal.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meggy
    Looks fabulous, excellent work. Neck pickup the wrong way round? or deliberate? Not that it matters. forgive me mentioning it, just curious.
    Yes, on purpose. The reasoning behind is that the pole pieces now sit in the same position as where normally that coil would sit, since on the Ibanez the pickup sits closer to the neck. Not sure if it works though Ibanez AF55

  4. #53

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    A bit of a spoiler maybe, but I think she sounds great. Different from my ES-333 and ES-125, but a very nice and round sound. The sound has a somewhat ‘light’ and ‘airy’ quality to it, I think because the woods used in the ply are young and probably not so dense in terms of growth rings. But especially the Gibson patent number bucker sounds very good on it. I can’t get a shrill or harsh note out of her!

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian B
    I like how you reconfigured the controls. Looks great.
    Thanks, yes this looks and feels more familiar to me.

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    Yes, on purpose. The reasoning behind is that the pole pieces now sit in the same position as where normally that coil would sit, since on the Ibanez the pickup sits closer to the neck. Not sure if it works though Ibanez AF55
    Worth a try, all the same! I'd actually be interested to try a 20 fret archtop with the pickup right up against the fingerboard - never had such a guitar, and never played one either - maybe I'd find the tone a bit too mellow, but it might be good. There is the Gibson L5 as a noble example, after all - Wes seemed to get quite a nice tone with those...

  7. #56

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    Neat work!

    You obviously know what you're doing but for a quick and dirty pickup change like this I'd be tempted to just cut the wire close to the old pickup and solder the new one outside the body without messing with the pots.

    You wouldn't want to do this with a pickup you really wanted to keep of course.

    Just curious if anyone here has taken this shortcut before.

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    Neat work!

    You obviously know what you're doing but for a quick and dirty pickup change like this I'd be tempted to just cut the wire close to the old pickup and solder the new one outside the body without messing with the pots.

    You wouldn't want to do this with a pickup you really wanted to keep of course.

    Just curious if anyone here has taken this shortcut before.
    I did this the last time I changed pickups on my semi-acoustic - actually, sort of bizarre, but I installed a new wiring harness and fed wires from that through to the pickup cavities, then wired the new pickups to the ends. It was still easier to do this than it would have been to fit the pickups, feed the wires from them through and out the f-hole, then solder to the harness, and feed the whole lot back in through the f-hole and maneuver into place. And if I ever change the pickups in the future, that will be dead simple and quick to do. I've since done the same thing with another 2 humbucker guitar, even though that does have a control cavity with a removable cover - it's just simpler to do somehow, and makes trying different pickups a lot easier. I guess not a "proper" thing to do, but it works fine, and I'm not feeling at all guilty...

  9. #58

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    When I installed new pickups in my Epiphone Sheraton II, I took out only the volume pots thru the f-hole and soldered the new pickups in the place of the old ones. I didn't take the rest of the harness out (but I did some time later when I again changed those pickups :-)

  10. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay


    I took some pics from the inside:






    Was taking pictures of the inside a matter of poking the smartphone into the pickup hole or is there more complex hardware involved? Great pix!

  11. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by guido5
    Was taking pictures of the inside a matter of poking the smartphone into the pickup hole or is there more complex hardware involved? Great pix!
    Just sticking the phone inside! Modern phone-cameras are pretty amazing...

  12. #61

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    As promised: sounds!

    Please ignore the black rings under my eyes as last night’s gig became late.... for that reason also forgive the occasional slip of the finger.... :-(

    Acoustic (recorded with a Nady condenser):



    And amplified, recorded thru my Blues Deluxe with a Sennheiser e609:


  13. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    Just sticking the phone inside! Modern phone-cameras are pretty amazing...
    Cool I'll have to try it!

  14. #63

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    Sounds wonderful! Lovely playing for a morning too...

  15. #64

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    Looks and sounds great. Nice project...great playing!

  16. #65

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    Great job playing! The amplified sound is definitely full. Also, the axe looks really good (nicely done). I think you may have started a few of us on a new project!
    Chuck

  17. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by es34569
    Great job playing! The amplified sound is definitely full. Also, the axe looks really good (nicely done). I think you may have started a few of us on a new project!
    Chuck
    Thanks! Haha, mission accomplished then! (Now I have to collect my bonus from Ibanez ;-)

  18. #67
    Sounds beautiful! And it looks great! I've done some things on my Ibanez AFJ 81 which I got used for 300€ and I really wish mine had the simple inlays on the fretboard like your guitar has. I am not really a fan of block inlays, but that's just me.
    Great Job!

  19. #68

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    You've done a great job there, Jay - that cheapo guitar sure looks and sounds like a much more costly instrument - was worth all the effort you put in. Enjoyed your playing, too.

  20. #69

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    Great job on the guitar and the tunes! I have the same model Ibanez and I like what you've done to yours. Where did you source the ebony bridge and was it an easy swap? What did you use and what's the technique for buffing the finish?

    Thanks for any help!

    Jonathan

  21. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by jschiele
    Great job on the guitar and the tunes! I have the same model Ibanez and I like what you've done to yours. Where did you source the ebony bridge and was it an easy swap? What did you use and what's the technique for buffing the finish?

    Thanks for any help!

    Jonathan
    Hi Jonathan, I had the ebony bridge laying around. I don't remember where I got it, but looks like a Göldo one, that you can get at Thomann.de for example. But any nice wood bridge would do I suppose (I usually prefer rosewood). The swap was very easy: just loosen the strings, put it alongside the old bridge (make sure it's lower than the old one), take away the old one and slide it in position (you might have to intonate a little) and raise it to the preferred height.

    For the polishing I used car polish and a cloth and a lot of elbow-grease :-) Just follow the instructions on the polishing product and you'll be fine. I like the new look a lot, so for me it was worth the effort! But of course it yields nothing in terms of sound. But I also polished the back of the neck and for me that feels a lot better.

  22. #71

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    Nice work, Jay! It looks great, the acoustic sound is crisp and balanced (perfect for lo-vol practice); the amplified sound is velvety and defined - just amazing! Kudos!

  23. #72

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    i just bought an AF-75 i am planning on doing something similar to.

    had the AF-55 for a bit - GREAT sounding guitars!!!

    fantastic thread - thanks for sharing.


    especially the pic, taking that to my tech if you don't mind.

    still looking for a set of PAFs.



    Ibanez AF55-af75-jpg

  24. #73

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    Thanks hodshonf! I gladly share these things as it may help and inspire others. Seems to work!

    The AF75 is a step up from the AF55 so to see, and it looks like it has the neck pickup in the conventional location. What pickups are in there? A pair of classic 57s or SDs could be a step up. A wood bridge might also change the tone more to your liking as well.

    I am considering a bone or tusk nut. I have some bone blanks in my drawer and a set of fret files so soon I will give it a go. For me this is also a nice experiment to see what changes in sounds the different parts make.

    For now I only have some cosmetic changes coming: some Ibanez sure-grip knobs and a pickguard that I will shape myself.

  25. #74

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    funny you mention,

    i JUST ordered a used Classic 57/57+ set this evening for about half the price of new.

    i'll swap out the bridge and tailpiece for nickel - and trapeze style for tor the tailpiece.

    i'll keep the tune-o-matic style bridge.

    harness, pots, and switch upgrade while my tech is in there.

    i do my own mods on my solid body guitars.

    but from your pics and videos i've seen about upgrading archtops, i seriously doubt i have the temperment.

    i'll let my tech take care of it all proper and such. Mike Lull Guitarworks here in the Seattle/Bellevue area.

    I asked Mike about a bone nut (he's done that to most of my solidbodies) and he suggested i play what's on there until it wears out.

    for knobs, i've been looking at Heritage and Eastman for ideas.

  26. #75

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    Couldn’t resist further modding of course, so I made a pickguard, bought some Ibanez sure-grip knobs and an amber pickup-selecter knob. Especially the latter gave a big improvement in tone Ibanez AF55





    Last edited by Little Jay; 12-18-2017 at 04:46 AM. Reason: Auto correction error

  27. #76

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    Congratulations! Listened to your audio file "French Fries"--real nice guitar playing!

  28. #77
    There's not much wrong with that now man ...
    Really nice ...

    Do you reckon the clearcoat is a bit thinner on
    these af55 than a usual ibanez ?

    I'd put black chicken head knobs and cream pu rings
    and remove the pickguard ... I did that with my Af81

    Did you have to smooth the fret ends much ?
    I did on my Af81

    I might put a CC type pickup on mine , its got
    a HB size P90 on it at the mo

  29. #78

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    Yes, the finish seems pretty thin, but I couldn’t say if it’s thinner than usual. After I polished it you can see a hint of wood grain if you look at it against the light in a shallow angle, so it might be thinner indeed.

    I did run a sanding paper (wrapped around a small wood block) along the fretboard edges, but more to give those a bit of a rounded off feeling. Fret ends were pretty much near perfect. I am still amazed about the quality of the fit and finish for such a low priced guitar!

  30. #79

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    Fantastic
    If the veneer isn't thinner than on other Artcores it certainly looks so.

  31. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by m_d
    Fantastic
    If the veneer isn't thinner than on other Artcores it certainly looks so.
    I tend to think it is...

    I had an Ibanez AF-75 briefly (for a year or so) once upon a time (traded it for a really nice MIK Epi Dot, that I in turn traded for a sweet Tele I still have, but I digress...)

    The AF-75 seemed much heavier than the 55 that I tried at GC recently. That was one of the reasons I moved it along, truthfully. It was a beast.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  32. #81

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    A short revival and update of this topic:

    Remember I reversed the neck pickup so that the coil with the adjustable polepieces would be in the position of the virtual 24th fret? I assumed thus would bring a little bit of extra clarity.

    To test this theory I reversed the pickup to a ‘normal’ position last weekend. Result: I like the position of the ‘falsely’ mounted pickup (with pole pieces in the 24th fret position) better! It does indeed bring some extra clarity and makes the tone a little lighter. In the normal position it sounds much more as if you are playing with your right hand over the fretboard all the time. It’s a matter of preference of course, so what suits you best is something you have to find out for yourself, but for me with this particular guitar I like the pickup reversed. (So I have to swap it back again :-)

  33. #82

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    I’m curious as to what the neck profile is like on this guitar.
    Thanks

  34. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by jtpal25
    I’m curious as to what the neck profile is like on this guitar.
    Thanks
    It’s a perfect medium C(or maybe I should say shallow D), doesn’t feel too thin at all, with enough meat. I mostly play a ‘50 ES-125 with a big neck and although the Ibanez neck is thinner than that of the ES-125, it’s not that much thinner to annoy or trouble me (when I switch back and fourth between the two I don’t need to adjust). The fretboard radius feels just a little flatter, but really only a little, could be just in my mind (could be because the fretboard edges of the 125 are more rounded off after all these years).

    I think the neck profile is about the same as of my 2005 ES-333.
    Last edited by Little Jay; 03-09-2018 at 04:45 AM.

  35. #84

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    Hi folks, I really like the look of this guitar with a pickguard. Wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of which one to buy for it. Would any Gibson style ones fit?

  36. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hood
    Hi folks, I really like the look of this guitar with a pickguard. Wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of which one to buy for it. Would any Gibson style ones fit?
    I doubt it.... distance between the pickups is different.

    I made the pickguard myself from a blank. You can order those at thomann.de for example.

    Goldo PG53B Pickguard Blank BK – Thomann Nederland

  37. #86

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    is the trussroad work properlly?
    is a new af-55 guitar need fretworks?

  38. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    is the trussroad work properlly?
    is a new af-55 guitar need fretworks?
    Kris, the one I got was almost perfect right out if the box. Trussrod works. Frets were leveled, crowned and polished perfectly. The only thing I did was to run a sanding paper along the fretboard’s edges because I don’t like the feel of the sharp edge of a new fretboard. But the frets were not protruding.

    Very good quality control on these Ibanez guitars! (Well, at least on the one I got.)

  39. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    Kris, the one I got was almost perfect right out if the box. Trussrod works. Frets were leveled, crowned and polished perfectly. The only thing I did was to run a sanding paper along the fretboard’s edges because I don’t like the feel of the sharp edge of a new fretboard. But the frets were not protruding.

    Very good quality control on these Ibanez guitars! (Well, at least on the one I got.)
    Thanks Little Jay,
    I think about this model of Ibanez...I have ocasion to buy it used for 250 Euro.
    best
    Kris

  40. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    Thanks Little Jay,
    I think about this model of Ibanez...I have ocasion to buy it used for 250 Euro.
    best
    Kris
    For €250 you can buy a lot of guitar! But you might want to replace the pickups. Although the originals are not really bad and might work for you.

  41. #90

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    Hi Little Jay,

    last week I bought a two months old AF55 from a guy in Milan that gave me
    the guitar (newly strung with Ibanez 010/013/017/030/042/052 strings) +
    an Ibanez soft gig bag + a nylon strap for a total of 150€. In Milan (Lucky Music)
    they are selling it for 275€ (just the guitar).

    I can clearly see the guitar is new even if it should be a 2014 model (code 1202) with ACHS pickups
    instead of the Infinity R they mount nowadays. I think it's been sleeping in the shop
    quite a bit.

    I'm not a guitarist like you guys and I bought it because my 17 years old daughter
    started to learn to play to accompany herself a few months ago and recently said to me
    that she would love Tuck Andress guitar's sound better than the stock nylon classical
    Admira Menina's, that's been around in the house for about 45 years, on which she started
    her learning path.
    So I looked around for a cheap semi hollow and found that bargain: non bad, isnt'it?

    For now I'm not thinking to change anything but after reading all this thread
    I'm thinking to try and reverse the stock pickup at the neck and I would love
    to get to the same finish you got on yours. I read you used a car polishing product
    but, being afraid to use the wrong polishing product and to ruin my AF55 I beg you
    to squeeze your memory and please give me some more details or examples (names)
    about the actual product you used. I've never used a car polish thing so I don't even know
    if there are different categories or "ingredients" so, here I am.

    I love the look of your one and I will go on this route only if I will feel
    absolutely safe.

    Thanks.

    fabio

  42. #91

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    I like that; I see a poor man’s ES-350, Kessel Style. Nice job.

    Steven

  43. #92

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    Hi Fabio,

    Great bargain on the guitar! You did well!

    I used Valma scratch remover:



    But I really think that any polishing compound would do the trick. You can always try it out on a little spot on the back. Mind you: it took a lot of rubbing! You just rub until it starts to shine, little spot by little spot. It took me at least an hour per side. The technique is to make a little ball of cloth on which the polish form a rubbery film that is your polishing surface. Use circular movements. Breathing on it helps! (Like you would do cleaning a mirror.)

    Good luck! I’m confident you can do it!

  44. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevo58
    I like that; I see a poor man’s ES-350, Kessel Style. Nice job.

    Steven
    It’s really a very nice guitar that plays super comfortable!

    Here’s me playing it on a boat jn the city canal last weekend. I took it instead of the ES-125 because of the chance of rain. Good thing I did because it started raining cats and dogs and it got wet indeed! But poly finish can easily handle that ;-)


  45. #94

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    Great thread. Ive got one of these babies and I love it. I was torn between upgrading to an almost sub-1000 guitar or upgrading the pups on this one. After looking at the job you did I think I might go for upgrading the pups, pots and maybe add a tortoiseshell pickguard. I was thinking about Gibson 57 Classic Plus pups.

  46. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poolshark
    Great thread. Ive got one of these babies and I love it. I was torn between upgrading to an almost sub-1000 guitar or upgrading the pups on this one. After looking at the job you did I think I might go for upgrading the pups, pots and maybe add a tortoiseshell pickguard. I was thinking about Gibson 57 Classic Plus pups.
    Great to see my work is still inspiring others! ;-)

    I think the classic 57 would work well in this guitar. I like them a lot in my ES-333 and I think they are not very different from the Gibson patent number humbucker I put in the neck position of the AF55. And I like the tone the patent number delivers there!
    Last edited by Little Jay; 09-24-2018 at 06:17 AM.

  47. #96

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    Man the finish looks AMAZING.

    I’ve just upgraded my (Korean) AF85 with two Gibson 57 Classics, sounding pretty good. I’m going to gig the bejeezus out of it late October so will report on it here.

    But I might try the pick up swap thing. Does it give you a Peter Green middle position?

  48. #97

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    I suppose you’d need to rewire it for that

  49. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I suppose you’d need to rewire it for that
    Indeed, for a Peter Green circuit it needs to be rewired (or magnets swapped around or something)

  50. #99

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    Hi there!
    I am looking forward to this outstanding looking AF55 Modell.
    I have a question about the volume and tone button change.
    Can the amber ibanez buttons you used be placed on the installed pots or do I need
    other pots to use the amber colored buttons?

  51. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prof.Reverb
    Hi there!
    I am looking forward to this outstanding looking AF55 Modell.
    I have a question about the volume and tone button change.
    Can the amber ibanez buttons you used be placed on the installed pots or do I need
    other pots to use the amber colored buttons?
    I am pretty sure they will fit. I changed the pots, but the ones I used have just the same standard ‘split shaft’ as the factory ones I took out, so I don’t see why they wouldn’t fit!