Buying an Ibanez, need some advice - Jemsite
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: New Delhi, India
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Red face Buying an Ibanez, need some advice

Hi all,
I am really looking forward to buying my first Ibanez guitar! After having used a Fender HM Strat ('89 model, the kind of guitar Greg Howe used to play) for quite some time now, I'm on the market for a competent guitar with a floating trem of some kind on my guitar, because the Kahler Spyder on my Fender has begun to act up on me and I think its time to keep myself motivated in the instrument with some GAS. So....

My search for a new axe has shortlisted some potential candidates, namely the RG1820X, RG2550 and Ibanez Xiphos XPT700. For reference purposes, the kind of music I play can be given a listen here:
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/jimmyrageslegion

The order in which I've listed the guitars is pretty much the way I've ranked them in my mind, but there are some rankling issues, like:

RG1820X: The 1820X has become "obsolete", meaning Ibanez just doesn't sell them anymore. Does anyone have any idea other than low sales, which seemed like the logical conclusion, but then again, what caused these low sales? Some feedback from users would be great, cos I can't find any substantive reviews on the internet This issue also seems to have its reflection at the Ibanez online shop, where the dual control knobs for the piezo bass/treble tonal control on the 1820X are not available for sale... Other than that, I love the tone I can get out of this guitar even with the stock V8 and V7s (which will be replaced) and particularly the piezo bridge, which will be very helpful with some of the softer parts of the kind of songs I write...

RG2550: The RG2550 is a great guitar with a similar neck, but I am a little skeptical about the pricing [in India, it is sold for around $1333 as compared to the 1820X, which goes for $1512, but on which I am getting a 10% discount (mind you the Jem 555 sells for almost $2000 here, so the prices are pretty arbitrary compared to what you would pay in the states)]. It also seems that the augmented price for this guitar vis-a-vis the RG1570 (which costs around $1000+) is solely on account of the Dimarzio pickups, which are nice, but will be swapped for sure... Would it make more sense to go for the RG2550, the RG1570, or just abandon both for one of the other guitars I have listed? I have also read some freaky things about trem bars and the RG2550's volume knobs hitting each other because of the added scratchguard. And is this guitar a worthy successor to the venerable RG550? What happened to the RG1550?

XPT700: This is a real darkhorse contender that I never took seriously till trying out today. I really liked the feel of the neck and the tone of the wood, i think because it was neck-through. The pickups were so-so, the Edge-III trem is a lower version than the Edge Pro trems on the prestiges, so I really couldn't take a call, but I hear can be swapped for an OFR and Dimarzios. What really scared me though is the fact that there are no strap buttons and that means I would have to entrust the drilling job to the shop, which gives me nightmares, considering the very nice finish on the guitar.

Erm, those are my grouses and apprehensions really and I'm sorry it took over 500 words to list them out. To be honest, I just want to be a happy Ibanez customer #1 million or whatever and not have to worry about changing guitars for the next couple of years till I can go custom or very high end, depending on whether I need to at that stage. At this juncture, I thought it prudent to sign up on these forums and ask for whatever help I could get to make a decision based on experienced and knowledgeable opinions of the members here. Your inputs are valued, thanks for taking the time to read this ramble. Cheers.
- Jimmy Rage

Last edited by jono; 01-05-2008 at 12:17 PM. Reason: Just editted for paragraphs :)
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-05-2008, 11:33 AM
 
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Re: Buying an Ibanez, need some advice

I don't know about the XPT700 as I haven't seen one. The 1820X has a piezo bridge so unless you need that feature, I can;t think of a good reason to go with that one. The 2550 is the same as the 1550 but with shartooth inlay and neck binding(I think) and is indeed a great guitar. The 2 things about the volume, 1-some of them have the knobs set a little high on the pot shaft so lowering it works. You could also swap the knobs for strat style which are lower anyway. The other thing that happens to some is the volume pot freezes and needs to be replaced, but since a new 500K pot is only a few dollars, I don't see that as a big deal. If a 1570 is cheaper, you can always add a pickguard if you prefer that look. I feel your pain regarding those prices!!
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-05-2008, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Buying an Ibanez, need some advice

Great, thanks for the information, Albee! The RG2550 was definitely one of the better guitars I played. Hey, I thought I should mention that I cross checked some of the prices with UK stores (only online) and they more or less matched up, so I guess that I am getting the book value for the RG2550 and the RG1820X and maybe a bit cheaper thanks to my friends at the instrument store.

But yes, I have felt a need for a piezo pickup (at least since I played that 1820X, haha), so I would really appreciate some information on this guitar or at least fill me in on whether this guitar is similar to one of the other double edge guitars (which one? 2020? 2120? 1620?) and any reasons why it could have been discontinued.
My bias towards the axe is probably apparent, but as an addendum, I would like to reiterate that I would have need for a doohickey like the piezo bridge on some of the songs I am writing, though that might not seem apparent from the clip I posted. I am extremely likely to take the plunge on this axe, it just felt so right, but if someone more experienced had some things that I need to factor in before taking a decision, I will appreciate it.

For anyone else reading this, I have been desperately searching this site for more information on the RG1820X since I discovered it, but the information just isn't there. If users like 1820X and Rich of Ibanezrules.com could maybe fill me in on the pros and cons of this guitar, I would be extremely grateful, its holes like this that make me wish that the internet was free of the one-sided flow of information that we see in most of the media these days. Peace.
- Jimmy Rage
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-05-2008, 06:45 PM
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Re: Buying an Ibanez, need some advice

The RG1820X is, according to the Japanese Ibanez webiste still available for the 08 model year lineup. This probably means that although your dealer might not be able to get the guitar from his distributer, that it is alive and well in other countries.

It's probably just not selling enough in India to warrant the distributer bringing any more in and I wouldn't think it's anything to worry about.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-05-2008, 08:19 PM
 
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Re: Buying an Ibanez, need some advice

For what it's worth: I just got a new 2550 and I also had full intentions on changing the humbucking pups to a Tone Zone and a PAF Pro in the bridge and neck respectively.

After playing the guitar both live and in the studio for about a week and a half now, I've decided that the DiMarzio/IBZ pups are staying. There are numerous threads here about the differences between the DiMarzio/IBZ and the V7/S1/V8 pickups. Most folks (myself included) prefer the Dimarzio/IBZs.

Suffice to say: In my opinion, it's worth the extra money to go with the 2550 for the better pickups unless you're absolutely certain you'll be swapping them out. After listening to your track, I get the feeling that you probably like a fairly high output bridge pickup and the DiMarzio/IBZs have plenty of output.

I also think the sharktooth inlays and neck binding look a little nicer too. I'm not sure when Ibanez started adding the binding and inlays but I think it was 2007. All of the other 2550s I've played had dots and no binding.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 12:00 AM
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Re: Buying an Ibanez, need some advice

I would go for the 2570 out of all those guitars you listed. BUT I'm not a fan of the 2 paint job choices (Vital Silver and Gold).
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 06:36 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Buying an Ibanez, need some advice

Hey, thanks guys!

Jono, you're right, even the Ibanez India site hasn't discontinued the guitar, so I'm presuming only the USA have stopped marketing them, though I can't tell if that's because they're coming out with a newer model or coming out with a better paint job. But just for the record, I think I heard someone else on these forums say that its real cool top have a guitar no one else has, so I might just bite. My only concern is whether in case a need for unique parts surfaces, where will I find them if the product has been discontinued? Admittedly, the only unique part I can figure on this guitar is that wierd double knob for the piezo tone controls and I doubt that I'll ever have to replace that. Still, as a case in point. I sometimes wish that I could get a new Kahler Spyder for my HM Strat, but they've stopped manufacturing them. In fact, the guitar fretboard has a weird radius which quells the possibility of getting another bridge to replace, so I am stuck with it till death. Great guitar though!

It's interesting to note that you decided to stick with the 2550's stock pickups, ButchRG. I liked them a lot too, they can be pretty heavy, at least that's what I gauged from playing through a solid state Marshall at the shop. Pinch harmonics are pretty good too. But I still wouldn't rule out the possibility of a new set of pickups giving me a sound that no one else has as opposed to the generic feel of stock pups and maybe even better playing dynamics at times. Pickups tend to interface with each other magnetically even when not directly selected, so I've always had this notion that messing around with a few candidates for your neck/middle/bridge pickups could give you an altogether new sound that you can call your own. My Fender used to have a Dimarzio S-3 (Super Distortion) in the bridge position earlier -- along with some stock single coils at the neck and middle -- but I swapped the humbucker for a Duncan Invader (choice of pickup was motivated by Metallica's "Master of Puppets") and it just has its own sound now. Still, your experience with the guitar tells me not to knock the pickups before I really try them, so I will put the guitar through its paces again before any money changes hands

Hehe, I think that the pickguard on the RG2550 looks a little weird too, you know? And to boot, I can get the RS2570 for a little cheaper too, at least going by the list price of the 2550. Unfortunately, my store doesn't have them in stock and I would have to order it online, which seems a little risky to me, purely from the perspective of instinctively liking or disliking the feel of certain guitars. Also, going beyond the cosmetics, I think having a pickguard would save me some grief over the actual finish of the guitar later, so the choice of guitars remains the same for now

Just an update on my search... I've dropped the idea of getting an XPT700, cause the body style doesn't do it for me and perhaps more importantly, there are no strap buttons which means I would have to get the job done through the shop and I have little faith in luthiers here.

I was also hoping to glean some information about another RG Prestige which I was looking at, the RG2620E with cube design. Why does it cost more than some of the other models even though the specs are similar? Paint job? I haven't tried it out yet though, so I'm pretty ill-opined on that axe. Irregardless, I will be visiting the shop early this week to buy a new axe. If there's someone who can shed some more light on these Ibanez models, I'd appreciate it.
Regards,
- Jimmy Rage
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
 
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Location: New Delhi, India
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Re: Buying an Ibanez, need some advice

Interestingly, there's a thread from sometime back which sort of suggests the 2620 is the 1820X without the piezo bridge... and there's also a lot of confusion over whether it's an ultra or wizard neck...

Hey, is it just me, or is the gear reviews link on the home page not working?
- Jimmy Rage

Edit: By not working, I mean that the search database link doesn't seem to be working. Admin?

Last edited by Jimmy_Rage; 01-06-2008 at 08:31 AM. Reason: More info
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 02:30 PM
 
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Re: Buying an Ibanez, need some advice

Personally, I'm not crazy about the "textured" finish on the 2570 and the Gold is downright ugly if you ask me. The Silver is tolerable. The 2550 looks great onstage. The pickguard seems to kind of "change hues" as the light hits it at different angles. That's strange about the price. The 2550 and 2570 are the exact same list price from HUSA.

The 2620 is a nice ride if you like the finish. I think it looks much better "in person". I kind of like having the middle single coil though. I've already got a 3120 and a USRG30 with just the two humbuckers. The 5 position switch on 2620 splits the coils on both pups like the RG3120. The 2620 has a Wizard neck just like the 2550, 2570, etc. DiMarzio/IBZ pups, Edge Pro Trem. Most retailers here in the States had them or could get them until recently. Now I'm not finding as many because I think it's discontinued.

Check out the link below. Not sure if this retailer still has the guitar in question.

http://www.guitarrez.com/inventory/i...rg2620cbk.html

BTW: Gear Reviews link isn't working on my end either.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-09-2008, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Buying an Ibanez, need some advice

Hi all!
Well, I went against the grain and bought the RG1820X after doing some serious A/B comparison shopping with the RG2550E. It was a tough choice in the end, because I could really have used the functionality of a HSH pickup configuration (had all kinds of wierd dreams about fitting in Evos, lol), but just sitting there in the shop and trying those guitars out through different amps, I found myself excited with the sonic possibilities which were possible by being able to have an electric sound, an acoustic sound, or blend both together as desired by using a bass/treble tonal control. Playing that guitar was just plain fun and I really needed that to make this a worthwhile investment.
I wanted to thank all of the guys who helped me with their opinions and time. I hope to reciprocate by posting an objective review of the guitar in a week's time which will help anyone interested in buying the same guitar, or a similar double edge guitar, in future. Thanks again!
- Jimmy Rage
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-10-2008, 01:15 AM
 
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Re: Buying an Ibanez, need some advice

Congrats on the new guitar. The 1820 is sweet. Enjoy it!!
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Tags
bridge pickup , bridge pickups , bridge position , control knobs , dimarzio pickup , dimarzio pickups , duncan invader , edge pro trem , edge pro trems , ibanez models , neck binding , paf pro , piezo bridge , piezo pickup , pinch harmonics , sharktooth inlay , sharktooth inlays , strap button , strap buttons , strat style , super distortion , tone zone , volume knobs

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