Ibanez Destroyer DT555ango

s George 

...Long time coming

Third Time's a Charm

Ever since first seeing the Def Leppard videos back in the early 80's, I wanted a guitar with three pickups.  After all, three pickups was more than two, and that meant more noise!  As I progressed in my guitar playing from "air guitarist extraordinaire" to a real musician making the neighbors wince whenever I opened my window and played with my amp turned to 11, I realized three pickups had little to do with the monstrous noise I was making.  But that image of three pickups, the lightening bolt shape merged with guitar and gloss black left an impression on me.  

For many years I would come back to wanting a Destroyer (Ibanez Destroyer DT555 actually).  I finally decided to look for a real one about 5 years ago, a good 20 years after I first saw it.  I looked long and hard, and came across what appeared to be my guitar:  "Phil Collen of Def Leppard" as it was often erroneously referred to.  Well, turns out my real guitar had several variations.  I eventually found the "real" McCoy.  I bought it and it turned out to need a lot of work.  By now, my guitar building skills were pretty solid, so I figured I would take on the challenge.  I got the guitar after shelling out way more than I should have, only to see it was scratched to hell and back and I think I saw something that resembled matter that you would find in a hotel room if you had a black light available.  I needed a case if I was going to do something with this monstrosity, and set out to find a case before I started my work of tearing down the guitar and pouring my life's blood into it.  

Well what do you know?  I found a guitar case with a better condition guitar in it!  I snatched it up, then sold my glib monstrous Destroyer for almost double.  Score!  I kept the newer, much prettier guitar for about a month before thinking to myself that I was too old for it and should go back to my normal style guitars.  I sold it for a very pretty penny, and regretted it even before I was paid.  

I spent the better part of 3 years searching for my baby.  I saw a few of the guitar reach exorbitant prices.  Screw that, I bought low and sold high.  Not this time.  I failed several times to convince myself to spend that kind of money on a guitar.  After three years, I finally did.  This is my third attempt at going back to my youth in some fashion, and I spent a great deal of time rebuilding this guitar into the glory of my late night MTV memories of days long gone.

Here is my story...






Coming of Age...

It Has Finished... 

I will stay away from some of the more tedious crap and say that I swapped out just about everything on this guitar to make it a real work horse axe.  While the stock Ibanez Destroyer DT555 was nothing to sneeze at, I made significant modifications to suit my needs... which was world domination, at least from my living room's perspective.  The true beauty of this guitar is the neck-through design, binding and split pearl inlays.  This was pretty much all that I kept in place.

I installed a Kahler 7200 tremolo and new locking nut.  The Ibanez trem was utter crap, and handled even worse than it looked.

From this...


To this...

I had the guitar refretted with jumbo, stainless steel frets.  The previous frets were too flat to do much with, and I really like the jumbos as on my Les Paul.  The split pearl fret markers were polished and look like new.

I took out the Ibanez V2 pickups and replaced them with (3) DiMarzio Super Distortion DP100s.  I was going to replace the rest of the electronics, but decided to keep everything in tact since the pots and switches all worked fine after a bit of cleaning.  I have new volume pots, pickup switch and jack all waiting patiently to be used in the event of the vintage electronics going to pot.  No pun intended.

I have not been able to determine if the original knobs were Sure Grip I or Sure Grip II, so I tried them both and went with the Sure Grip I knobs.  

The original Ibanez tuners were faded and very out of whack.  I may get them re-gold plated at some point, but for now I replaced them with gold Gotoh style tuners.

I did some heavy duty cleaning of the fret board after it was refretted, polished the body real perty, then played the hell out of the guitar.  By far, one of my best efforts to date in 20+ years of guitar building and restorations.  Please shoot me if I try to sell this guitar as I will surely  regret it and only deserve to die a slow death with Def Leppard's "Rock of Ages" playing in the back ground...  

Special thanks to my son for helping me along this journey, especially with the Kahler install, and not tuning this specific guitar to Drop B as he does with the other guitars around the house...

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