How to Customize an Ibanez Roadstar II

Written by lisa wampler
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The Ibanez Roadstar II is an S-shaped guitar that follows the normal Stratocaster formula of having a full face plastic pickguard, three single coil pickups and a fulcrum style tremolo bridge. Although the Roadstar II is getting harder to find, the fact that the guitar is an import model keeps the collector value down. This makes it a perfect guitar to customise.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Router
  • Pattern router bit
  • Hand drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Pickups
  • 500K potentiometers
  • Input jack
  • Tuner machines

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  1. 1

    Convert the guitar from three single coils to two humbuckers. This can be done by using the old pickguard as a template. This will allow you to keep the overall shape of the pickguard the same but routed for just two humbucker pickups. With the new pickguard material/colour and by reducing to just two humbuckers, you'll create a dramatic change in the guitar's appearance.

  2. 2

    Upgrade the guitar's tuning machines. The Roadstar II was a moderately priced import guitar, so one opportunity for improvement is upgrading to better tuning machines. The use of newer 18:1 tuners will greatly increase tuning stability.

  3. 3

    Create a new tremolo cover plate from the same material as the pickguard material you used. Again, use the old plate as a template to ensure proper fit. This will give the guitar a consistent look.

  4. 4

    Upgrade the potentiometers and toggle switch to reduce unwanted noise. Upgrading to humbuckers means you need 500K potentiometers, not the 250K potentiometers the guitar came with. This is a good time to upgrade to a higher quality toggle switch and input jack.

  5. 5

    Upgrade the fulcrum style tremolo bridge to a bridge with hardened knife edges and pivot points. You can use a model that retrofits to a fulcrum style bridge which will greatly reduce tuning instability.

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