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Bighand (Bighand)
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2002 - 3:05 pm:   

I bought this at a garage sale a few years ago for my father. He since has lost interest so I added it to my collection.
After posting at several boards I am hoping for some confirmation from this expert crowd.

The tail piece does not look original and the previous owner added some hohner harmonic pieces to spice it up. Also, there are what appear to be blocks inside the body, one of which I pulled out and does not appear to be glue in. I don't think the single coil in bridge position is original either but looks rather aged. The humbucker looks slightly cracked and the bonded neck seam has some stress marks but looks original. The neck bends out when not stringed. When stringed it is flat without buzz.

Please view the pictures and add any info you might have.
Thanks, Mark

Harry (Harry)
Posted on Sunday, February 03, 2002 - 8:16 am:   

Hello Bighand!
First of all: what an amazing beautiful guitar you have there! Great flame top! I looked at the pictures and tell you what I think:
1: It's definitely a 2453 Howard Roberts.
2: Serial number I 765574 tells us it's made okt. 1976.
3: The pickguard is missing.
4: There's an added pickup in bridge position that looks like a telecaster pickup to me.
5: I also think the tailpiece is not the original one.
6: There is no "Ibanez" logo on the headstock, but there are more Ibanez copies to be found without it: I myself have a Dan Armstrong plexi copy that has no name also.
7: Looking at the humbucker in neck-position: is the pickup still in? It seems to me it's only the metal boxing, since I can't see the screws of the adjustable pole pieces.
8: Control knobs are missing.
That's a lot of "no goods", unfortunately. But to be honest: If I would see this guitar for sale in this condition, I would undoubdly buy it (depending on the price, but I'm referring to the condition here) and most can be repaired/restored. I would surely do so, if I were you. These guitars are fairly rare and valuable, especially among "jazzers". I don't know how much you paid for it, but I guess it was not too expensive since it was a garage sale. So you might consider spending some money on restauration in order to get a fine Ibanez guitar. If not: let me know; until now my collection lacks an HR.... ;-)
Bighand (Bighand)
Posted on Sunday, February 03, 2002 - 11:20 am:   

There is a pick up in there, don't know if original. It looks like felt poking through the holes.
The knobs are chrome... Probably not original. I just removed them for the pictures.

What would you suggest restoring or repairing first? I paid $225.

Thank you for the great input.

Harry (Harry)
Posted on Monday, February 04, 2002 - 3:12 am:   

Hi Mark!
Looking at the guitar the only thing that I would get done by a luthier is the removal of the telecaster pickup. That's a hell of a job, because to get that pickup in some drilling and sawing in the top must have been done. Removing this pickup means you're left with a hole. The top of the guitar is flame maple, so it will be difficult to find a matching and fitting peace of wood. Actually: two bookmatching peaces, since this hole goes across the middle. Then there is another problem: Getting the newly inserted wood in the right colour and the right laquer finish. Difficult, but I think not impossible. I think this restoration only will cost you at least $100. But I think this guitar is very much worth it. After all: added together you still only paid less than $400. (Over here in Holland an Ibanez Howard Roberts in good original condition changes owners for at least $800 till $1000, if your guitar is restored properly it still would be worth $500/$600 at least) The rest of the things that are not good/not original about this guitar you can fix yourself by finding good replacement parts. Maybe the parts-company "Boston" can help you out here. Okay, so you still got non-original parts on this guitar, but at least it's more correct from an optical point of view. Let us hear what you do with the beautiful instrument and how you're getting along!
Iggy (Iggy)
Posted on Monday, February 04, 2002 - 7:14 am:   

Hi, What a beauty! It looks to me like the chrome telecaster p/u has been mounted above the body, as the bridge sits pretty high on these, so you'll probably only have two small holes to worry about when you (carefully!) take it off. Put a really good humbucker in the neck position, a guitar like this deserves only the best.
Bighand (Bighand)
Posted on Monday, February 04, 2002 - 11:50 am:   

Great hearing from you all.

He must have glued the single coil in there as there are not interior holes. There is one hole drilled for the wires.

1)What about the posts on the inside of the body, was this normal or after market thing? Was it to keep body sag?

2)Is there a set place to put the bridge? Since it floats the intonation can be tricky.
Harry (Harry)
Posted on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 5:12 am:   

I give you my gratulations! You are very lucky that the only damage due to the Telecaster pickup is a tiny hole for the wires. If I were you I would carefully remove the pickup and the remains of the glue and leave that little hole as it is. Maybe I would consider putting in a wooden plug to fill up the hole and give that plug a matching colour. You lucky b....d, you!
I cant tell you anything about the posts inside the body; I never saw a HR "live" so I can't tell you out of my own experiences.
As for the bridge: yes, it's a matter of trying, maybe with help of a guitar tuning device to find the correct place for the bridge. Many jazzers have a floating bridge and this is quite inconvenient every time you have to put on new strings. Patience will help.....
Bighand (Bighand)
Posted on Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 3:47 pm:   

Should I just cut the pickup wires as far back as possible? Or, should I pull out all the pot(s)/all electronics and unsolder it?
One of the pots is kinda scratchy, I'll shoot some cleaner in there if I "go in."

I'll change one string at a time if I have to!

What would be a good humbucker to put in there?
Will that pickup bracket accomodate it?
Harry (Harry)
Posted on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - 5:50 am:   

Depends: pulling out the pots etc. is a tricky job that can cause attacks of sweating, sighing and cursing during the period of a few hours. I know that by experience since I fixed the electronics of my ferrari-red ES 345-copy. You have to tie thin but strong threads to each pot and the jack output, unscrew the nuts of the pots and jack and pull the things out through the soundhole. When the unsoldering of the tele pickup is done, you pull the threads in order to get the pots and the jack back in place again.
Simplier might be cutting the wire of the tele pickup, but I don't know if that will cause you trouble with interference, short-circuit or whatever.
As far as the to-be-installed pickup: I would definitely go for a Super 70 pup. If you restore the guitar, try to do it as accurate as possible: I think it would be a shame to have this guitar in good condition again, but stacked with a Bill Lawrence or an EMG (for instance). And if I were you: I would put that humbucker in the original casing you have on your guitar. In most cases humbuckers have the same measurements and so I think it would fit.
Munch (Munch)
Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 7:47 am:   


The correct location for the bridge can be found by doubling the distance from the nut to the 12th fret. The 12th fret is exactly half the scale length of the guitar. Locate the bridge such that the centre of the bridge is at the exact measured location, and then twist it so that the treble side is closer to the fingerboard and the bass side is further away. The amount of twist depends on the string gauge you use. Use a tuner to check and fine tune you intonation.



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