The Ibanez 540R was part of the Radius series that Ibanez used to have way back when. The guitar is actually probably a predecessor to the Ibanez S series guitars. The one I played featured a basswood body, maple neck with rosewood fretboard, 22 jumbo frets, an Edge bridge, small dot inlays, HSS configuration, one volume, one tone and a five way blade switch.
The guitar is actually basically a predecessor to the Ibanez S series. The body shape is nice and round, thin yet resonant. It's very comfortable to play, and it's awesome for live usage due to it not being so heavy. The neck on this is actually thicker than the Wizard neck. I think it's an Ultra neck, but I'm not entirely sure. The fretwork was also very nice. The Edge bridge is one of my favorite bridges, so I immediately fell in love with that. The one thing I wish this guitar had was 24 frets, but that's actually a gripe I had with the S series for the longest time. Ibanez only recently corrected that.
The pickups in the stock model suck. I threw them out and replaced them with some nice DiMarzios. The guitar really came alive then. Basswood works great for lead tones, and I find the guitars work nicely for fusion/progressive music too. The HSS configuration leads to some very versatile tones from that awesome "quack" sound to blistering heavy metal chugging.
These guitars are very cool, and given that they're a bit more rare than the S series, it's a cool conversation piece. That said, I'd probably rather just buy a MIJ S series guitar instead of this. That's entirely due to my preference, though. The S series have thinner necks, and I really enjoy the Wizard neck, hence why I'd want that model instead. Either way, you won't be disappointed if you pick one up. Just be sure to swap the pickups.
This guitar was built in Japan in the late eighties. It was painted in a colour called "Shocking Pink," which is an extremely radiant and bright finish. The features are pretty standard for most Ibanez superstrat, which are as follows:
*Basswood body with Radius contouring.
*Maple neck and rosewood fretboard
*Ibanez Edge double locking tremolo system
*Ibanez branded tuners
*H-S-S DiMarzio/IBZ pickups
*Volume/Tone/5 way switch.
It's got a pretty diverse set of tones going on despite its looks thanks to the HSS pickup configuration coupled with a 5 way switch. The single coils were nice and spanky at times... quite like a nice Strat, and the humbucker had a nice raunchy L.A vibe to it. The overall feel and vibe of the guitar was definitely more "vintage" than my '91 RG550. The neck was thicker and the body felt more classic than the RGs.
Oh, and it's PINK.... REALLY PINK! Beware, you will want to bust out the spandex and Aqua Net when you pick up one of these!
Like I stated above... the guitar has a bit more of a vintage vibe than the '91 RG550 that I bought around the same time period. The Radius body shape is a fairly different thing for Ibanez compared to the RG... and I found that it was more ergonomic. It was a bit on the heavier side compared to my 550 but I found that it balanced a bit better and was far more enjoyable to play. It doesn't quite have the upper fret access of the RGs but it's still quite good. This guitar was made before the AANJ neck heel, so it uses the 4 bolt neckplate system with a contoured heel. I had no problem with getting to the higher frets whatsoever even though it was only 22 frets.
When I got the guitar it had been sitting dormant for quite some time... but surprisingly the setup was remarkable. I popped a new set of 9s on it and it was good to go without problems. The action was dead low and there was no buzz. I was able to bend up to 2 or 2.5 steps without issue (except when strings broke from being stretched.) The Ibanez guitars I've had have all had pretty killer playability despite the conditions I found them in and this one was no exception. It was easy to play and easy to dial in tones as well.
When I got this guitar, I was using a rig centered around a Mesa Boogie Studio Preamp. The tones I conjured up were very eighties in nature. The single coils had a bit of that old school Stratty chime... but it wasn't nearly as apparent at higher volumes. The humbucker was a great L.A rock pickup... though I found it to be a bit buzzy at higher volumes. I would have liked to put some DiMarzios or something in there just to try them... but it never happened. I later bought a USA Charvel San Dimas and the two guitars played tag team for a while... the Charvel was rawer and more vintage, the Ibanez more of that L.A processed eighties vibe.
For what it's worth, I sold the guitar after a few months and it came into the hands of a friend of mine who replaced the pickups with DiMarzios... it is a MARKED improvement over stock. All in all, I'd say that it was a great sounding guitar for that classic L.A vibe, especially when paired with the right amp... but it really wasn't a very "pure" sounding guitar. That being said... I never would have used it for much other than the L.A rock thing based on the colour... so I guess that's a bit irrelevant. It's an eighties guitar and does it well... so that's what I'm basing my rating off of.
When I got this guitar... someone brought it into the store where I work looking for an appraisal and to possibly sell it. When they pulled it out of the case... I knew that it would be coming home with me. It's definitely a 'dated' guitar, but that's the whole charm of the thing! It made me bust out the classic eighties garb for a while (for laughs, mainly) and it certainly raised some eyebrows whenever I took it out and about. Looks aside, these old Ibanez's are great guitars... well crafted and GREAT players. This one is nice because of the slightly more vintage feel compared to the RG. The Radius later served as the basis for the Joe Satriani signature model... which Joe touts as more of a vintage type guitar. Paul Gilbert also used an identical 540R during his Racer X days as well.
All in all, if you're interested in reliving the eighties, this is definitely one of the best ways to go. Sure it's a bit dated sounding and the pickups may not be the best... but it's a great playing and feeling guitar that is 'shocking' enough to catch the eye.
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chaffik's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
This is a MODEL Japanese manufactured in the 90s.
The handle is a 24 frets, it's team of the era micro Ibanez factories by Di Marzio, HSS configuration for my MODEL (2 micro C1 and F1)
The bridge is licensed Floyd.
Rglage level, 1potard for volume, one for tonal and a selector 5 positions.Prcision, the humbucker is not splittable.
The neck is rosewood with a beautiful classic shape for a purpose and trs ibanez so fast.
The handle is very easy to play especially if, like me, you do not have long fingers, Access in AIGS is very easy, it's a guitar made the basis for playing styles of music involving a certain "vlocitquot;.
As for the form, it enjoyable trs is a form of the sword that prfigurait JS, weight level, without being heavy, it begins to weigh an hour together.
Its level is that I think is the most mitig.En fact, from the bridge pickup that sends the wholesale SONET still not prcis trs, 2 single coils are rev limits, lack of level of output distortion, clear sound acceptable.
This is a guitar that I have since my teens and I went from punk to funk through the large rock and now my ear has matured and more difficult to get the sound I want , over the floyd gnre sustain a loss of trs importante.Du time, instead of letting her sleep in tui plutt I'll try to give it a second life and change the pickups, including to handle a hotrail ct.
I want to make that prciser Heavy Metal or Hardcore, the guitar is perfect, even in its clear, she defends trs good too, provided you do not be too perfectionist, what I am.
I have about 15 years, I really like the handle shape and its clear, I tried a number of guitars, Epiphone Les Paul, Gibson Les Paul Studio, ESP, Fender Mex etc ... but all I got not enough n'taient versatile.
The report quality price excllent seen the quality of manufacturing and Ibanez models compared to today in this price range.
I would do lm'exprience with this choice, the era it was a prestige guitar worth 8,000 francs in the same right.