"Satch Only" mods on JS's? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
 
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"Satch Only" mods on JS's?

I was just watching a Herman Li / EGEN18 video on Ibanez.com and he was saying how he wanted the guitars in the stores to be exactly what he plays on stage. Sort of how Vai said about the JEMs and UVs.

A friend of mine once overheard a fan ask Satch if HIS axes were the same as the ones in the stores and Joe said "no", rather tersely.

So anyone know what differences Joe has in his personal guitars vs the ones for sale?
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 10:20 PM
 
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Re: "Satch Only" mods on JS's?

Edge vs Lo-Pro etc...

Other than that I could see premium woods being used and a little more attention to detail and setup. I don't think that is any different than Vai or anyone else with a signature guitar though.
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 11:27 PM
 
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Re: "Satch Only" mods on JS's?

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Originally Posted by JayRobIBZ View Post
Edge vs Lo-Pro etc...

Other than that I could see premium woods being used and a little more attention to detail and setup. I don't think that is any different than Vai or anyone else with a signature guitar though.
Typically it goes beyond that. There are a lot of electronics mods that get slipped into performance guitars that don't really get mentioned to the general consumer.

Typically when an artist gets the opportunity to make a signature model, the consumer gets a guitar with the same hardware. Whether or not it's the same electronics is usually a whole different story. For instance, imagine how long Ynqwie's signature strat has been around. They don't update that often, but I would be certain he's made a few modifications to it since it was released.

The thing is, some of these mods belong to the techs that implement them. Like, a namesake mod. I would venture to say that some of the mods that the pros use don't make it into consumer models just because they're too specialized or there would be patent issues.
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-21-2010, 01:45 AM
 
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Re: "Satch Only" mods on JS's?

The recent JS's had the EP, Joe has always used the Original Edge, also Joe uses the Buzz Feiten thing for better intonation (basically just moves the nut forwards)
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-21-2010, 06:02 AM
 
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Re: "Satch Only" mods on JS's?

guys, trust me, the only mod no one except Joe can have is... the foam in the pickups cavity!



that's an impossible mod to do at home because of patent issues and too much skills involved in the making process. forget about it, no one can't do it!



ps: seriously, i think better wood choice and an extensive re-build job by a "guy" named Gary Brawer are the "only" mods in Joe's JSs. oh and probably he's got DiMarzio components in his electronics.
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-21-2010, 10:30 AM
 
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Re: "Satch Only" mods on JS's?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuno View Post
guys, trust me, the only mod no one except Joe can have is... the foam in the pickups cavity!



that's an impossible mod to do at home because of patent issues and too much skills involved in the making process. forget about it, no one can't do it!



ps: seriously, i think better wood choice and an extensive re-build job by a "guy" named Gary Brawer are the "only" mods in Joe's JSs. oh and probably he's got DiMarzio components in his electronics.
Hi all,

I've recently had a JS guitar set up by Gary Brawer to Satch's specs and spent some time talking to the man about Satch, his guitars and setup, so what follows is straight from the man that sets up Satch's guitars. Gary seems like a very decent guy - happy to do what it takes to get things right for you. If anything else takes place with Satch's guitars, I don't know, but this is what I've been told happens:

1. All of Joe's guitars go to Gary for setup. The profile of the neck and fingerboard in the JS's is untouched from factory; it's the same for Joe. He gets' Edge trems in all guitars and likes the Mo Joe and Paf Joe in them too.

2. He now has his guitars 'Plek' fret dressed. Before this, Gary used to fret dress by hand. I don't think the plek setup is some magical thing that can't be done by hand, I think it is just done for consistency in the fret dressing and for speed. Gary says that he and Joe spent a long time way back when trying all combinations of fret sizes, dressing (flattening the radius of the frets the further up the board you go - which is what this fret dress does), saddle shimming (such as putting an extra shim under the high E bridge saddle to remove buzzing from bends in the middle of the neck with a super low action - however he never liked the feel of this so they didn't go with it), bridge adjustments (such as radiusing the bridge to match the radius of the board) etc etc until they found something that worked for him. I guess the programme he has in the Plek machine is the 'Joe' setting for the fret dress and it gets used on all his standard setups. Joe prefers the feel of small frets. Gary said the radius on my bridge was pretty much perfect - nothing to be done to it really.

3. To get the low action he likes on a JS (which now ranges from 4/64ths of an inch at the 12th fret to 3/64ths of an inch - it starts off higher at the start of a tour and then gets lowered as time goes on as he gets fatigued), he puts up with a lot of buzz (for the 3/64ths setup). The guitar will buzz a lot and be setup to the point of choking on the top E on a full bend, but you don't hear it when the guitar is amplified and - particulary when playing with distortion. For studio - he will use whatever he needs (low setup, or the higher one). He used to like the action set at 2/64ths of an inch back in the day - this is very low! I've tried it on my guitar (it's possible), but it was too low for me and the high E was choking out all over the place.

4. Even though the strings may buzz, the fret dress allows bending without choking out across the length of the neck. If you hit the strings light, you get minimal buzzing - but not everywhere - more so on the low E and A- hit them with medium strength and you get a bit of buzzing, hit them hard and it sounds more like compression than buzzing - it's a weird effect!

5. Now that he is playing more 'bluesy' than he used to, he is preferring the higher action generally - as it gives more sustain, but goes low for the reasons I mentioned above.

And that was about it! I don't think there is any magical setup here, but it has been well worked out between Joe and Gary to get something that works perfectly for his style and needs. The setup certainly isn't for everybody and there is a compromise between super low on the JS necks (for which you have to put up with buzzing, but it works out for Joe) and higher action (which is still pretty low to be honest) but is more of a standard setup.

Hope that sheds some light. I was great to chat about it directly with Gary - top bloke!

Cheers,
Sukh
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-21-2010, 02:40 PM
 
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Thumbs up Re: "Satch Only" mods on JS's?

Great info.

Thanks,
Scott
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-22-2010, 08:09 AM
 
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Re: "Satch Only" mods on JS's?

ditto, great info, thank you
that cheers me up a lot, as many customers of mine don't accept any buzz at all at ultra-low action and medium strenght picking, and it's hard to have them understand that it's impossible to get rid of it at that string height. sometimes i even wonder whether i'm not able to do a decent fretwork, but this info cuts any doubt. thank you.
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-22-2010, 10:25 AM
 
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Re: "Satch Only" mods on JS's?

Thanks Toadfish! Great post!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuno View Post
ditto, great info, thank you
that cheers me up a lot, as many customers of mine don't accept any buzz at all at ultra-low action and medium strenght picking, and it's hard to have them understand that it's impossible to get rid of it at that string height. sometimes i even wonder whether i'm not able to do a decent fretwork, but this info cuts any doubt. thank you.
I watched my tech argue with somebody over this one time. Guitars are going to have fret buzz if they have low action. IMO, if the buzz doesn't go any higher than the 5th fret, its either an exceptional setup, the way the guitar is currently sitting wood and age-wise, or a combination of both. My thing is, as long as you can't hear it through the amp, I'm fine.
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-22-2010, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: "Satch Only" mods on JS's?

Wow. Thanks for all that, Toadfish!
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-23-2010, 09:16 AM
 
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Re: "Satch Only" mods on JS's?

You're welcome!

It is a very quirky setup - I'm still tweaking it to get it to play right for me and it certainly isn't for everyone.

Something interesting I've noticed though - have you ever noticed how Satch's clean sound has a slightly compressed, 'clunky' sound to it and not a full open sound? It's down to this setup! (I'm guessing because the harder you pick, the more the string is vibrating off / hitting multiple frets). My guitar through a clean channel now has the same characteristic. It doesn't sound full at all when unplugged - you'd think there was something wrong with it!

If I raise the action on this guitar to a more normal level (around 1.5mm), it sounds like my other JS again.

Anyway, glad the info was of interest. 20 years of wondering about it myself - glad to have had the chance to find out from Gary Brawer himself!

cheers,
Sukh
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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-23-2010, 09:31 AM
 
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Re: "Satch Only" mods on JS's?

Wow! It sounds like he's got it way to low.
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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-23-2010, 09:42 AM
 
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Re: "Satch Only" mods on JS's?

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Originally Posted by GuitarGuru View Post
Wow! It sounds like he's got it way to low.
Not for him obviously! (and he still makes it sound PRETTY good...)

Like I said, it's not for everyone - I'm enjoying it though - never played a guitar set up this way.

It's very hard to get an idea of what i's like just from a description. On paper, it sounds like a horrible setup, but the guitar plays incredibly well, is VERY easy to do bends without your fingers slipping off strings (which was my biggest worry), intonation is great ( small frets), and playing is almost effortless (for me, anyway).

What you lose in terms of full ringing strings not bouncing off of frets you make up in playability when you plug it in, but again only if it suits you. I know a couple of friends who would vomit if they played this guitar, as they are into much higher action and heavier strings!

Each to their own. I guess the thing I've learned is that there is no 'perfect setup', only what is perfect for you.

Cheers!
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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-23-2010, 10:54 AM
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Re: "Satch Only" mods on JS's?

I've been trying to tell everybody this for years
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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-23-2010, 12:44 PM
 
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Re: "Satch Only" mods on JS's?

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Originally Posted by Rich View Post
I've been trying to tell everybody this for years
Doesn't stop people from chasing it though Rich!

I think it's a good thing to try as many different setups as you can and just feel out what's right for you.

Knowing how to tweak your guitar yourself (truss rod, bridge, action etc etc) is a very useful thing to learn to be able to find what's going to suit you.

At the end of the day, just got to shut up and keep playing! (as a good friend of mine regularly reminds me, if I spent as much time playing and practicing as I do rearranging my pedals and playing with the setup on my guitar, I'd probably be giving lessons to Satriani by now!)
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