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J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige Ibanez Guitars Discussion about USA Custom, USRG, American Masters, Prestige and J-Custom Ibanez 6-string Guitars.

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  #1  
Old 02-10-2013, 06:21 PM
Boleyn1895  is offline
 
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Need help choosing an S Series.


Hello all.

I intend to buy an Ibanez S series guitar in the next month or so but have a few questions I need answering first if possible.

I have read many posts here and elsewhere and 90% seem to say the same thing get a second hand pre 2003 S Series. That though is not an option as it must have 24 frets and as far as Iím aware S series only started sporting 24 frets in the past 4 or 5 years.

With that said I have done a fair bit of research already and I believe I have narrowed it down to these two - S5470F (Dark Shadow) or the EGEN-18.

Now the questions are really just comparisons between the two and a few observations I have noticed via reading posts.

Is the Edge Zero really better than the ZR-2.

Are the custom HLM pickups any better than the HGD & ST Pickups?

Is the EGEN neck better than the Super Wizard?

Are the other details like scalloped frets, push/pull volume and a deeper cut horn just gimmicks or are they worth the extra money?

Anything else that that I should know about the two models?

The cost of either and the difference in price makes no difference in my decision. I want the best 24 Fret S model available.

Many Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 02-10-2013, 07:12 PM
IbanezDaemon  is offline
 
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Re: Need help choosing an S Series.


[quote=Boleyn1895;1224178]
I want the best 24 Fret S model available.

QUOTE]

Have you considered the J Custom S8570 (providing you can find one for sale of course ) ????? That would probably be a higher end guitar again than the 2
you mentioned. Hard to find though.
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  #3  
Old 02-10-2013, 10:32 PM
MichelIV  is offline
 
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Re: Need help choosing an S Series.


If you can live with the purple finish and gold hardware, I'd probably do the EGEN. It does have scalloped frets in the upper range, not sure how you feel about that. I own an S5470. It's a fabulous guitar but I think I personally prefer the knife edge tremolos but do love the overall stability of the ZR2.

You probably can't go wrong with either one, if you're buying new, get it from Rich with a good setup. It makes a difference.
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  #4  
Old 02-11-2013, 06:25 AM
Boleyn1895  is offline
 
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Re: Need help choosing an S Series.


Quote:
Have you considered the J Custom S8570
Thanks. I've had a look at them and yes I did say I wanted the best S model available but I should also have mentioned aesthetics do play a part in my decision and I really don't like that tree of life fretboard inlay plus finding one I think is going to be very difficult.

Quote:
I personally prefer the knife edge tremolos but do love the overall stability of the ZR2
Does the stability come from the ball bearings? I've done a bit of research on both and the only difference between the two I have found is the knife edge & Ball bearings and a whole lot of discussion about flutter.

From the limited information I know it appears to me that the ZR-2 is better long term as it doesn't have a knife edge to be replaced.

I wish I could try them out but the two better guitar shops near me while having a great range of guitars have very few S series and definitely don't carry in stock the EGEN and rarely a Prestige. RG's they have a million of but very few S series.

Thanks for your thoughts.
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  #5  
Old 02-11-2013, 06:50 AM
MichelIV  is offline
 
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Re: Need help choosing an S Series.


I can only compare the ZR to Edge Pro's and Lo Pro's as that's what my other guitars have. The ZR is far, far easier to tune, stays in tune longer, and is just very stable overall. Takes a firmer touch though and it's less sensitive to input vs. the knife edge design. That might be the ZPS system.
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  #6  
Old 02-11-2013, 06:56 AM
Boleyn1895  is offline
 
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Re: Need help choosing an S Series.


Thanks.

Both the EGEN & the S Prestige have the ZPS3 system so as far as I can tell the only difference between the 2 guitars tremolos is the knife edge (EZ) Vs ball bearings (ZR-2).
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:47 PM
jamiewitt1  is offline
 
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Re: Need help choosing an S Series.


I own a Prestige RG2560 with an Edge Zero, and as a backup for gigging, an S570. Both guitars are professionally setup, with the ZPS removed from each. In my opinion, the ZR trem is superior. Stability is much better, returning to zero point very well even without the ZPS. Overall feel is a touch lighter which I personally prefer. The arm collar is much better, I know many people haven't had trouble with this but the pop-in system of the Zero was a nightmare for me as the spring was too tight, causing friction even with lubricant. I had to replace it with a Schaller collar system. And above all, the ball bearing system, as has been noted already, will never wear. From an engineering perspective it's more competent than knife edges.
Also, flutter is very possible with both, if anything a little easier with the ZR. I've never understood this criticism, unless people haven't removed the ZPS, which would restrict both systems.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:49 PM
MichelIV  is offline
 
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Re: Need help choosing an S Series.


When you remove the ZPS, do you just rebalance like a normal floating trem? I looked for a few links but didn't find any good info on it.
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  #9  
Old 02-11-2013, 01:04 PM
Boleyn1895  is offline
 
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Re: Need help choosing an S Series.


Thank you.

Does anyone have an opinion on the pickups?

The Prestige comes with Hot Grinder 1 & 2 Humbuckers and a single coil Short Tracer while the EGEN comes with DiMarzio HLM pickups.

Thanks.
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  #10  
Old 02-11-2013, 07:32 PM
Roachy  is offline
 
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Re: Need help choosing an S Series.


My S5470Q is without a doubt the best guitar I own, and probably the best I will ever own.

I agree completely with jamiewitt1 on the trem subject: I've also got an RG with the Edge Zero system but I much prefer the ZR - the ball bearings seem a little smoother and what I love most is that the pivot point of the ZR just feels much more "natural" than that on the Edge Zero (or any other Floyd Rose system I've ever used, for that matter, which have a pivot point further forward).

I've also never experienced any sustain problems with mine and it definitely sustains better than my RG3570Z. Also the tone when unplugged is very Les-Paul like (admittedly less sustain) which is great for when practicing.
Plugged in I find the pickups to be by far the best high-output pickups I've ever used - they've got much more clarity than any others, a less booming bottom end and a much less shrill/harsh sound for high notes.

As for the scalloped frets on the EGEN, I've always had the personal opinion that having the last few frets scalloped offers no advantage (or not to me anyway) - when I play at those positions my fingers never really touch the board anyway. But of course everybody plays in a different way and Steve Vai saw an advantage in them, as must've Herman Li.
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  #11  
Old 02-12-2013, 06:46 AM
jamiewitt1  is offline
 
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Re: Need help choosing an S Series.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelIV View Post
When you remove the ZPS, do you just rebalance like a normal floating trem? I looked for a few links but didn't find any good info on it.
Yep, but obviously much easier thanks to the thumb screw that controls the spring tension rather than screws.
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  #12  
Old 02-12-2013, 06:47 AM
Boleyn1895  is offline
 
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Re: Need help choosing an S Series.


Thanks Roachy.

I've seen the videos around moaning about the sustain issue, even one where the owner has returned the guitar twice already and is awaiting a third although this seems to be an easy fix by lowering the very high output single coil a bit to balance it with the two humbuckers.

As for my choice I think I'm leaning towards the Prestige, mainly down to the ZR-2.

Tremolo: Ball bearings are better long term and have a smoother movement. +1 Prestige.

Pickups: Apart from the Sustain issue (Which can be fixed) Roachy confirms what I have read about these but the EGEN's do appear to be very good as well and has the push/pull knob option for further sounds. +1 EGEN for the extra options.

Scalloped Frets 21-24 I have no preference either way as I have never played a guitar with them on before but as Roachy pointed out Steve Vai and Herman Li seem to like them but only those two out of all the Ibanez guitarists. Off the top of my head I can only think of four guitarists that use scalloped necks, Vai & Li plus full fretboard Fender users Blackmore & Malmsteen so very much the minority. So +1 for the Prestige I think.

Aesthetics: I do like the Violet/Gold look of the EGEN but that is my only choice and that grip is hideous whereas the S5470 has at least a few options, Quilted, Flame and normal plus a few colour choices. +1 Prestige.

I haven't completely counted out the EGEN yet. Something still draws me too it but I think the Prestige is just edging ahead.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts so far.
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  #13  
Old 02-12-2013, 07:10 PM
SHREDlamode  is offline
 
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Re: Need help choosing an S Series.


The EGEN18 is the top of the line S body style guitar, of course it is better hehe.

In my mind, it is better in every single way but don't listen to me though, I'm biased
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  #14  
Old 02-12-2013, 07:13 PM
LonePhantom  is offline
 
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Re: Need help choosing an S Series.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDlamode View Post
The EGEN18 is the top of the line S body style guitar, of course it is better hehe.

In my mind, it is better in every single way but don't listen to me though, I'm biased
" Of course you are Herman. I hope you would be considering it's "your" guitar!
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  #15  
Old 02-13-2013, 09:49 AM
aliensporebomb  is offline
 
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Re: Need help choosing an S Series.


I definetely think the sustain issue was overblown - hot pickups with high magnetic pull certainly didn't help but that can be addressed.

The other question is - you ask about the different trems but are you a guitar whammy mangler that goes absolutely insane on the Floyd every chance you get? That would have a lot to do with my answer.
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