Monday, January 02, 2017

Ibanez RGIR27FE Iron Label 7 String Guitar

Is the art job on this particular RGIR27FE Iron Label stock? Nope, so you won't find anything quite like it in Bentley or eBay, for that matter. It's a custom job for the Pilgrims'/Achtung Riders' guitar player, who shall remain unnamed. Yes, it's all nifty sticker work, and not a paint job. Only the bottom half of the body and neck remain untouched. I have to admit that this is the first 7 string guitar I've ever played, let alone worked on. Imagine my surprise then, when I found myself happily strumming away (while carefully avoiding the low B string, of course) after just a few minutes. The neck, though wider than you'll find on a 6 string, is really comfy; for want of a better word.

Looks good, feels great, so what's the problem? Turns out the guitar would quite often go dead whenever the 3-way switch was in the middle and neck positions. All the electronic components checked out OK and the single 9V battery still had lots of juice. However, a closer look at the control cavity and output jack wiring revealed some pretty gnarly soldering as well as  burnt insulation. Ah, well ... let's deconstruct this baby, rewire it and see if that solves the problem. I'm glad to say that after rewiring the switches, 25K volume pot and output jack; this RGIR27FE sounds a whole lot better in all three positions.

The moral of this story is that you can equip your axe with the best components money can buy, but still screw it all up with a poor soldering job. Cold solder joints can fail at any moment, and burnt insulation can cause shorts when you least expect it (besides looking absolutely gnarly). Below you'll find some specs I found on the Ibanez website, followed by a couple of pics I took with my Zenfone 4. Enjoy :)

Origin: Indonesia
Neck: Nitro Wizard-7 3pc Maple/Bubinga
Body: Basswood
Fretboard: Bound Rosewood, 400mm Radius
Scale Length: 25.5"
Fretboard Markers: Side Dot
Frets: 24, Jumbo
Bridge: Gibraltar Standard II-7
Pickups: EMG® 707 Alnico Humbuckers (Active)
Hardware Color: Cosmo Black
Notable Feature: Kill Switch