First Guitar, tremolo vs hardtail? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Florida
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First Guitar, tremolo vs hardtail?

Hey,

I've been wanting to learn guitar for a long time, I've been researching for a while now and looked through all the brands ended up absolutely loving ibanez the most!

I pretty much decided on getting one of the RG550 variants (1570,2570) and luckily I found a 1570 with EP used at my local guitar center (210miles lol) but it was worth the trip cause I got to try out alot of guitars, but damn these ibanez just felt awesome, It really helped me make my decision for sure, I couldn't believe how the neck felt compared to the guitars I've been trying

Anyway I am planning on going to pick it up for 700$ next week or so when I get all the funds, but I'm a bit worried the tremolo might be too frustrating especially for a beginner. When I was there, I didn't even know the tremolo was a special thing lmao I thought all guitars had some sort of thing like that. I only had like 30 minutes to try it cause I got there really late...

I have been reading how hard and annoying it is to tune and change strings, and how it's hard to change tunings... so I stumbled upon the RG1421 which has the hardtail which I hear is as comfortable as the EP on the 1570 and it's literally identical to the 1570 except a HH setup. I also found out it's at guitarcenter for around the same price. Both come with cases so now I have no idea what to do! I read you can block off a tremolo and use it like a hard tail, but does it really work like one? could I take off the locking nuts and tune to alot of different tunings cause there's abunch of different tunings I'll probably want to experiment with. What's even worse is they're both colors I like, and they both look awesome it makes me want to buy them both lol but yeah I have been saving for a while and really only have money for one. Any opinions on what I should go for?

Also, I have no idea how to tell if the guitars in good shape, the neck looked straight and the strings werent far off the fretboard, the pickups had alot of dust in there not sure what that's about I guess it was in storage? Otherwise the one I checked out at GC looked great and played great too. I didn't get to try the 1421 it's actually at a different GC lol.

Edit/

uhm, I kind of decided after a bit more research... I think I'm going to go with the 1570 since I already tried it and loved the way it played. But I would like some advice on blocking the trem for using it as a fixed bridge guitar when I don't want to deal with the tremolo. I figure I could just install strings and stretch and tune them with it blocked and as long as it stays like that it'll play just like a fixed bridge right? but if I want to go back to tremolo I'd have to install new strings and do the hole setup I guess. If I can use it like a regular hardtail though when I want then it seems it'd be the best of both worlds lol.

Last edited by MiyaDV; 10-05-2012 at 05:25 AM.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 12:05 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Central Coast California
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Re: First Guitar, tremolo vs hardtail?

The good news is that the 1570 has an Edge Zero tremolo. This particular tremolo contains a modern component to help stabalize the bridge. It is similar to blocking the bridge but still allows complete movement of the arm up and down. It will still require more effort to tune then a hard tail (or even a truely blocked trem) and re-string but not so much that a person that can follow directions and has some patience can not learn.

I would have recommended a fixed bridge, but if you like the guitar, you will want to play more and your experience will be better. If you stick with it you will decide whether you need the trem or not.

You may also want to consider a new RG350 which is similar in feel and has a Edge Zero trem, but a lot less money given that this is your first guitar and if you decide to give it up you will lose less money. That being said the 1570 is an excellent pro level guitar.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 12:15 PM
 
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Re: First Guitar, tremolo vs hardtail?

Opps, you said used an EP. SO this guitar may not be equiped with the Edge Zero trem. Atrue floating trem may cause a lot of frustration. I would suggest having a good guitar tech install some kind of blocking tecnique like a tremol-no or one of the items from Floyd Rose Upgrades.

Honestly it sounds like you are fairly competant in reserching information, so if you are a person that can work on your car, build models, fix a dryer, etc. you can learn how to maintain a floating bridge. It just takes some time and you may lose a few hairs. You can alway have a tech install new strings. Minor tuning isn't a big deal.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 12:20 PM
 
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Re: First Guitar, tremolo vs hardtail?

The RG1570 Miya mentioned has an Edge Pro. Edge Pro can be easily blocked. Best to do it between the sustain block of the trem and the wood of the guitar inside the trem cavity in the back.You can find lots of how-to's on the internet. It's pretty easy.
I usually suggest fixed bridges to people starting out on the guitar but a trem that's blocked is okay as well. It is still a little more difficult changing strings and a bit harder to intonate the instrument but you should do fine. On the "pro" side when you're ready to use the trem you can simply unblock it.
Fly_with_v is right in that Edge Zero makes the switch a little easier though, as he mentioned, not as truly reliable as blocking the trem. Finding an EZ equipped RG1570 for $700 I imagine will be quite difficult as they run $1,200 new.
IMO you can't go wrong with an older RG1570 or, preferably, a pre-Prestige RG570 with an original edge. The trick there is finidng one in good condition. Getting a used guitar with a bad neck, bad trem, or other serious issue can be as discouraging as not knowing how to tune and setup a trem properly. My advice there is to not buy blind without playing the guitar first, i.e. don't buy it off fleaBay. Also if you can take a buddy with you who may already know how to play guitar and what to look for. That would help as well.
Good luck!
EDIT: v your post showed up at the same time as mine.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 12:23 PM
 
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Re: First Guitar, tremolo vs hardtail?

For your information the "Zero" type trems are different because the have counter acting springs. The traditional floating bridge use a set of strings that balance against the tension of the strings. So String tension equal Spring tension to keep the bridge level and the strings in tune. If that either of the tensions change 1 or more likely all strings will go out of tune. So as you adjust one strings tension the others will change so it can be a battle to equalize tuning. Once the tension is correct a loccking nut at the top of the neck keeps the string tension in check for the most part. After that minor tuning adjustments are simple because the are made by minor adjustments to the fine tuners located at the back of the bridge. The fine tuners are really nice and much more adjustable than pegs to most.

The "Zero" type bridge also has an additional set of spring that help to maintain the level or center position of the bridge when a string or two is out of tune and sometime even when a string breaks. (When a string breaks on a traditional trem tuning is completely lost.)

I hope this helps, justy keep researching for more info.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 12:24 PM
 
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Re: First Guitar, tremolo vs hardtail?

Thank Mike.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 12:29 PM
 
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Re: First Guitar, tremolo vs hardtail?

I've played trems for a long time and recently switched to fixed bridge in the last few years. The one HUGE difference to me is the fine tuners. I've been used to fine tuning on the fly with my right hand with the trem which can't be done on a hardtail unles it's a fixed Edge or something like that. This is especially a pain when playing live though, of course, a fixed bridge is less likely to go out of tune while playing.
Probably not a huge deal in the beginning, Miya, but little habits like that build up over time.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: First Guitar, tremolo vs hardtail?

Yeah the model at the store had an EP. And yeah I've read and looked how to set it up, read everything on ibanezrules about (though didn't understand most of it since I'm new..., I'll need to check it out again when I have my guitar)

The thing that was scaring me the most was breaking a string, and having to resetup everything... I like that it locks and keeps the tunings though. But yeah if I can install something to use it ALMOST like a hardtail then thats cool with me since at first I wanna learn to just play it

Thanks for the info on the EZ, I had mostly avoided looking that up, since I heard people preferred the earlier tremolo systems but it seems really useful.

I looked up the tremolo no wow that looks awesome, I had thought I'd have to shove some wood in the tremolo thing (seen someone else do it, lol) but if that thing works I'm definitely going to get one! thanks!

Anyway yeah I definitely, really like that guitar I tried. I kind of definitely said to myself yesterday "get that guitar! stop confusing yourself!" lol about the guitar at the shop everything was stock, the pickups etc and bringing a friend is a great idea I only know one other guy who plays he'd probably not want to come on a 5 hour trip maybe though, the guy in the store said it was in great shape he knew alot about ibanez but I dont know if hes trying to make a sale or not lol maybe when I'm there, I'll find some guy shopping who looks like he knows about guitars and ask him about it lol
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 11:44 AM
 
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Re: First Guitar, tremolo vs hardtail?

Hardtail specially being your first guitar...
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