Hey everyone, first post here. I'm looking to get a new guitar and I've never been a fan of Ibanez in the past, but I'm starting to come around a little. I have mostly played ESP's in the past, and by ESP's I mean only LTD's
. I've never bought an LTD that's more than $450 new, so I don't have any experience with the higher-end LTD's. Anyway, a lot of my friends are hyping Ibanez and I just checked out my local dealer. This is gonna be kinda long so I'm gonna organize it so you can skim easily.
What I'm looking for in my guitar:
- Price range: $600-$1000 (goodbye prestige, see you after grad school)
- Condition: New (I've bought and loved used guitars, but not going to pursue that this time)
- Neck-thru: I recently acquired an 8-string that's neck-thru and I love the sustain and feel of playing it. Also played a couple at the Ibanez dealer and I'm a big fan. The guy told me that Ibanez has stopped making these guitars. Anyone know why?
- Floyd Rose: I'm not gonna use the whammy bar much to be honest but I'd like a FR again.
- Good Metal pickups! They don't need to be diverse, I have other guitars for that. I'm not gonna lie, I love my EMG 81/85's, but I haven't much experience with any Ibanez pickups that are good for metal (inform me??)
- Not just a plain black finish.
- Also, I'm a minimalist when it comes to fret inlays, so the less the better.
- Not looking for a crazy body like the xiphos
Anyway, the guitar I've been looking at is an ESP LTD MH-350FR
(site won't let me link cause I'm a n00b, sorry). It's a new model, and you'll notice it meets all of my criteria. However, I have owned a bunch of LTD's and I'm ready for something new.
Here are my thoughts on the two brands, based on my experiences:
ESP: Neck's are good, not great. Set neck's are fine, and don't bother me on the upper frets. They feel good to me overall, but the quality doesn't last very long (everyone knows this). I'm a big fan of the 81/85's, which seem to rarely be found on Ibanez models.
Ibanez: Wizard necks are sexy. I'm not very familiar with their pickups. I think a lot of the guitars look incredibly plain (ESP has them beat there). I like the Edge III and it seems to be made of better materials than the Floyd Rose special that's found on the ESP I was looking at. Not a big fan of their inlays.
So here are my questions:
Why did Ibanez get rid of neck-thru's? On a previous thread, someone said "I love that All Acces Neck Joint. It's unbelievable good. That thing is what made me give up neck-thru". Can anyone elaborate on that? I played an Ibanez RGT42DXFM
. I wasn't blown away by the pickups, but then again I was using equipment at the store, not my own. That guitar is the closest to what I'm looking for but those inlays are fugly!!
Are there any Ibanez pickups similar to the EMG 81/85's? (flame me) How do the Ibanez active pickup's compare?
If the ESP I linked to above can boast all of these features for the same price as Ibanez's with "seemingly" lesser features, where are they lacking? Build quality?
And I don't want to restart this endless debate, but if people could briefly
touch on their experiences with Ibanez bolt-on's vs neck-thru's (if you have experience). I could go w/o neck-thru if there is good reason.
Is there anything important I seem to have overlooked?
Finally, can you suggest me some Ibanez guitars that seem to be close to what I'm looking for? I have looked at so many ibanez's today that I'm getting fried, and some fresh opinions would help.
Thank you everyone.