Re: Does anyone else NOT like the Ibanez quilted tops?
Well for starters, the Premium is just a veneer, which limits your finishing options.
But in general you're right, and the reason is the way that Ibanez does transparent finishes compared with the "right/best" way to do it. The right way to do it is to start with a very dark dye that you flood on quickly and then quickly wipe off. Then you sand this back and only the more porous parts of the wood will retain the dye. This is where you get the very high contrast from in flame and quilt maple. Then you follow with a color dye, then clear. You may have seen this referred to as a three-stage finish.
Ibanez trans finishes on the other hand are often single-stage. It's just transparent stain (not dye) right over the wood. You just won't get the same depth in a figured top that way, but it's much quicker to do.