Thursday, February 25, 2016

1984 Ibanez RoadstarII RS130BK - [5] Rewiring

This post is the last of a five-part series on a gloss black Ibanez RoadstarII RS130 strat-styled guitar. In this post, I shall focus on what was done to get this guitar's electronics up to snuff.

For starters, allow me to opine that Ibanez of old really had the inside scoop on vintage "strat tone," so to speak. I tell you, even through my crappy 10W practice amp, the Super 5 single coils chimed and quacked their way into my heart. I mean, bell tones by the truckload!

I've played too many old strats to remember, and this unassuming RoadstarII would've given any one of them a run for their money. The icing on the cake was that the middle pickup was (I presume) RWRP, as positions 2 and 4 were hum-cancelling. All this in 1984? Bravo, Ibanez!

On the downside, I have to admit that this guitar exuded loads of hum and noise in positions 1, 3, and 5; more so in high-gain settings. To make matters worse, the master tone control was behaving weirdly: 0 was full treble while 10 cut off all the highs. Besides this, the pots and switch were scratchy and/or noisy, even after servicing.

It was definitely time to look at the innards, and what I discovered was not pleasing. Someone had replaced the full-sized master volume pot with a smaller one, and while rewiring, hooked up the master tone pot backwards. On the whole, the wiring was rather gnarly and needed to go. Thus said, I ended up doing a complete rewire, which included replacing all the components; save the original pickups. I also had to replace the Sure Grip II control knobs, as they could not fit the CTS pots.

I'm thankful to report that the rewiring job took care of the pre-existing hum and noise problem; much to the owner's delight.

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