Ibanez Gio GRG270B -- to upgrade, or not to upgrade?

Upgrade the GIO, or not?

  • Yes, upgrade it.

    Votes: 3 50.0%
  • No, don't upgrade it.

    Votes: 3 50.0%

  • Total voters
    6

Dee_Vagabond

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Hey folks,

so, uhh.. I dont know what to do with this guitar. As the topic title says, it's a Gio Ibanez, that I purchased back in 2007. I already own two Prestige Guitars and I'm really happy with them (especially tone-wise), but I cant afford a third one for that price and a decent second-hand guitar has become hard to find in this city.

So, I thought.. why not upgrade this thing, instead of selling it for 100-200€? I cost me 360€ when I bought it new. Or is the wood, that Ibanez use on these guitars, kinda .. bad? Of cheaper quality, so to say? The body material is Basswood.

List of hardware I'd put in:
Neck: an Ibanez RG-Prestige neck (stainless Jumbo Frets would be nice to have)
Tuners: Gotoh SG381-07 MG-T Locking 6L CB (or similar that fit)
Single Coil: DiMarzio DP175S True Velvet
Humbuckers: DiMarzio DP193 Air Norton, DiMarzio DP 155FBK The Tone Zone
Bridge: Ibanez Lo Pro Edge (Tremolo)
(... and maybe better electronics, or whatever it needs to make this guitar better and faster responding, etc.)

I really hope that there might be other people around here, that did upgrade their GIO guitars and can tell me of their experience. But besides that, I'm happy to read everyone's opinion on that.

Best Wishes
Dee V.
 
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BlueX

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I got hooked on building and modifying guitars, so I agree with previous speakers: Upgrade!

Seems like you already have an idea what the guitar should be. Regarding the basswood, I have no experience but have heard that it can vary (and that i can be good). What's your impression of that particular guitar? I think that's important for your decision.
 

SkyMonkey

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I have thought along similar lines in the past.
I've often been tempted by the thought of a 7-string, and figured the way to go would be a 2nd hand GRG7 of some sort.
If the guitar was a goer then upgrades would probably ensue.

I put a Tone Zone in the bridge of my '89 Charvel Fusion (basswood body), and it is my favourite bridge pickup.
As that guitar is a HSS, pairing it with an Air Norton won't happen.

But they do 7-string versions of the TZ/AN set that would be my 1st choice for a GRG7.

So, you've already done stage one, and got the GRG you like.

I would recommend the TZ wholeheartedly, but would probably just upgrade the pickups and electronics for now, as they can always be keepers for another guitar down the road.

The tremolo and neck upgrades may be more difficult to justify for a GRG, and harder to use on any future guitar.
Also, just how much do they cost as standalone upgrade parts?
You may be heading into a dead end of realistic returns for your money if you go too far.

On the other hand, upgrading is fun, and you will learn a lot about guitar electronics from doing that part (I know I did).
 

Dee_Vagabond

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I'd do the upgrades for absolutely no reason.
But, I do that sort of stuff...

upgrade it if you have the extra stuff setting around. if anything just for kicks.

Hey folks,
thanks to all for replying to the topic and giving me helpful answers! :bowdown:

To Fitz and Rick: So I guess, that I should not worry too much about the quality of the body material / wood?


@BlueX
I'm just worrying about the quality of the wood.. some people on the internet (other forums) wrote, that the Gio Ibanez got cheaper wood quality and so on, but my impression of the guitar is: that it sounds really good. Just a lil bit muddier and darker in comparison to my two Prestige RGs. So I think the 'flaws' depending on the tone, definitely come from the low budget pickups, that the Gio models have built in. Basically: I'm happy with that guitar, and especially that it's Black (Piano Lacquer) .. which is a good contrast to my greenish/blueish guitars. :lol:

@SkyMonkey
Well, the reason why I'd choose the TZ is mainly because my other guitars got them also. They sound great and are really versatile, despite myself playing only Hard Rock and Heavy Metal; and after all they're High Output (if that's a thing, regarding the distorted tone and gain in general) AND they sound really mean and evil with my Marshall/SJ. Another alternative might be to get the SD Dimebuckers or the SD Jupiter Rails, but I'm not sure what to use for the middle pickup, which single coil it should be, if I choose them over the AN/TZ/Velvet combination. :scratch:

Price of the parts: The neck would be the most expensive thing to buy, I'd put that into the price range of 500-800€ ... tremolo-bridge, pickups and tuner-machine heads would cost me around 500-600€ ... and my luthier offered me to build and set up the whole guitar for just 70€uros, so I'd rather let him do the job than myself. I mean, I couldnt afford a blatant mistake; that's mainly the reason why I want to upgrade this guitar with Prestige parts, instead of a whole new guitar, which might cost me twice the money. Otherwise I'd definitely enjoy to learn more about the work of a luthier, or as you say: guitar eletronics. :(

Wish you luck to find that 7string-GRG you want, btw.! :) It would be interesting to hear one with the Tone Zone - I only remember Angel Vivaldi doing a demonstration for them, even seven strings:

It seems that there's at least one model, called: Ibanez GRG7221QA-TKS ... fixed bridge, though.


Thanks again for your replies!

Best Wishes
Dee V.
 
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ricksdisconnected

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to be honest, i wouldnt put that much into it.
the Prestige parts alone are gonna cost you big.
by that time you could have a nice S series or
550RG. usually if im replacing a neck on a guitar with one
from a higher end guitar, i just buy the guitar
the newer neck was coming off of. just makes sense to me.
i always try to keep neck and body in the same ball park in quality.
everything else the sky is the limit or the pocket anyways.
 

PaulHikeS2

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The only reason that I'd keep and upgrade a guitar like that is if I loved the neck. But you say you want to change the neck. Everything else? I'm all for changing out the pups, bridge, electronics, even the strap buttons. I love doing that stuff - refinishing them too. But if I didn't like the neck from the start I wouldn't change it out - I'd pass the guitar along and find another one on the cheap that feels right when you play it and upgrade that one.
 

BlueX

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I'm just worrying about the quality of the wood.. some people on the internet (other forums) wrote, that the Gio Ibanez got cheaper wood quality and so on, but my impression of the guitar is: that it sounds really good. Just a lil bit muddier and darker in comparison to my two Prestige RGs. So I think the 'flaws' depending on the tone, definitely come from the low budget pickups, that the Gio models have built in. Basically: I'm happy with that guitar, and especially that it's Black (Piano Lacquer) .. which is a good contrast to my greenish/blueish guitars.

In this case I would start by replacing pickups, and see/hear what effect that has (maybe that's already your plan). I usually do modifications stepwise, to evaluate and learn before taking next steps.
 

SkyMonkey

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That price is too high for my tastes.

I still say just do the electronics yourself, for the experience, if nothing else.
As long as you don't cut the wires on the pickups, they can be 'fixed' by a professional if you get it wrong.
The only parts you could kill with bad soldering are a pair of pots (15€?) or the switch (15€?).

The wiring may not look pretty after a first attempt at soldering, but that's what the compartment cover is for.

Just be sure to protect the guitar body/paint from solder splats with an old towel, or cardboard and masking tape.
Get a decent soldering station too. A good one will serve you well for years.

I do understand your reticence to tinker though.
I would prefer a TZ/AN set in my Prestige RGA321F, but am loathed to get it wrong.
But you are talking about a GRG.
The perfect practice guitar, in every sense.
 


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