Golden era, and the ups and downs of ibanez... - Jemsite
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 06:40 AM Thread Starter
 
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Golden era, and the ups and downs of ibanez...

What is the ibanez golden era for you, and why ?

And when did ibanez guitars started to decline quality wise ? How exactly did that decline manifest itself ?

Is that decline still the same today or has ibanez improved since things started going downhill ?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 06:45 AM
 
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Re: Golden era, and the ups and downs of ibanez...

Do you have an essay to write for school or something?
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 07:01 AM
 
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Re: Golden era, and the ups and downs of ibanez...

1. Golden age stops when they stopped making copies of Gibson and Fenders

2. Decline started when they started just making copies of what they made and stopped innovating. Most everything's a strat shape and usually black. If they do oddball shapes now (Iceman/Destroyer/Xiphos) it's Indonesian which Fujigen purists piss on. Oh sure, they're changing a bit now but they'll never be like they were in the 80's/90's. If they do a reissue, it's better to find the original since it's cheaper and better made. I'm lookin' at you, RG770...where's the purple version??? If they do oddball colors, it's one color on one model. Poison pumpkin is NOT Carotene Orange! Don't start me on Edge Zero. Tomorrow's ideas for today's musicians indeed.

3. Ibanez has gotten fat and lazy. Happens to most guitar companies. Kramer got fat and lazy and putting out shoddy work and look what happened. Bought by Gibson, the original fat and lazy guitar company.

The JCustom line is still one of the best but now they can't even be imported anymore until Ishibashi or another Japan dealer sell them used on the 'bay.

I can only hope Caparison never goes that route. Finest made guitars right now, methinks.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 07:45 AM
 
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To me the Golden Era was late 80's early 90's because of the selction of shred type guitars along with wild flourescent colors and a lot of different models that were all very very high quality.Also the Original Edge and the Edge LO-PRO were awesome trems.Some of the nicest models ever like the RG Line RG 550,570,560,the 770,750,760,the awesome RG 565's
The Jems,the Gambales,the PGMs,the start of the JS line,the awesome 540PII Skolnick models,also all the USA customs just some of the finest guitars ever made all in that short period of time.Many others too that were also cool.Just a great time for Ibanez as far as I am concerned.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 08:36 AM
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Re: Golden era, and the ups and downs of ibanez...

For me the Golden Era is from about 1987 to about 2000. The advent of the JEM until the combined efforts of grunge in the US and britpop over here killed off the variety in the line.

I think the decline in quality came with the introduction of the newer trems, the Lo-Pro was a genuinely good idea but the Edge Pro stepped away too far away from the nigh on pefection of its earlier brothers. The Edge Zero was a step too far. The woodworking and finishing though, I don't think has ever been better onthe higher end models.

Now that the JEM and JS models have the Edge trem again (which Vai and Satch never stopped using) things have really started looking up. If only they'd either refine the Edge Zero or use the Edge on the higher end models altogether, I think we'd nearly be there
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 12:59 PM
 
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Red face Re: Golden era, and the ups and downs of ibanez...

Bronze Age-1957-1969

Silver Age-1970-1981

Golden Age-1982-1996

Everything after that is just current time...

I don't think there was a decline per se, as much as a change in the times...

There was certainly some otherworldly magic that went into quite a few guitars from that Golden Age...for me anyway. But I know guys who have newer Ibanez and they are just thrilled with them. I know some of the FP reissues are fantastic, but for me they lacked that certain "it" quality", that the originals have...

The GB series is still awesome, JEM, JS, PG, & AT as well...The artcore stuff is amazing for what it is!

Improved? Not sure, but definitely different though! And not necessarily in a bad way either, just a different way...
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 01:42 PM
 
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Re: Golden era, and the ups and downs of ibanez...

Golden era for me was mid-70s to 82 or so. I have three Artists from 77, 78 and 80. All beautifully made ~ all with different specs. In particular, the '77 2618 24-fret model is very resonant and has wonderful sustain. However, IMHO, to get the best out of them you need to upgrade the pickups.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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Re: Golden era, and the ups and downs of ibanez...

golden era for me was:
RG550, 560, 570
RG770 DX
years: 88 to 92
with Original Lo Edge.
Universes from 89 to 92
and that's it.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-03-2010, 12:45 PM
 
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Re: Golden era, and the ups and downs of ibanez...

I'd say all the greatest models fall into the 87-96 range, with the bookends to that range being the original LNG at the beginning and the final production of the USAC, the 7VWH and the JEM10TH at the end.

Certainly some great models have come out since then (DNA, J-Customs, certain Prestige models), but Ibanez really went in a different direction after 1996. I own three newer Ibanez guitars (04, 05 and 06) so I definitely like them, but they are pretty different guitars than that earlier stuff.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-03-2010, 01:13 PM
 
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Re: Golden era, and the ups and downs of ibanez...

Jack Secret has the right idea of what the "Golden Age" was, using the textbook definition of the term.

My two cents: I now own three Ibanez guitars; a '91 777DY, an '02 RG570 (MIJ, but not prestige), and an '08 RG2550Z. Comparing the first two vs. the last one is like night and day.

The Jem is built like a tank. Unbelievably solid. The RG570 is *almost* as solid, but has much more refined features, sharper cutaway horns. The 2550Z feels almost fragile compared to the other two. It doesn't feel flimsy, just very delicate, almost "dainty".

As for the Edge Zero...well, you got me guys. I concede. The Edge and lo pro are indeed VASTLY superior bridges. Beefier and better made. The EZ has some of its own quirks with that ZPS bar that are cool, but the difference in quality is obvious.

BUT...all the Edge Pro vs. Edge Zero crying around here...no idea about that. I've since played a guitar with the Edge Pro. It looks like it is made with the same quality as the EZ. It is just as noticbly cheaper looking and feeling when compared to the original Edge and lo pro. Complaints about the ZPS bar and the fact that there was another change are valid. Any comparison saying the Edge Pro was better quality is something I have a hard time agreeing with.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-03-2010, 03:40 PM
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Re: Golden era, and the ups and downs of ibanez...

I don't see a decline other than the introduction of lower-priced instruments.
Fender had their "CBS" ear and Gibson had their "Norlin" era and those companies offered lower quality for the same models.
Japanese manufacturers really 'got it' in the 70's and although the lawsuit era Ibanez guitars were (to most people) superior to their Fender and Gibson counterparts, the introduction of the Jem line signaled the Golden era in my opinion.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-04-2010, 10:44 AM
 
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Re: Golden era, and the ups and downs of ibanez...

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Originally Posted by jemaholic View Post
I don't see a decline other than the introduction of lower-priced instruments.
Fender had their "CBS" ear and Gibson had their "Norlin" era and those companies offered lower quality for the same models.
Japanese manufacturers really 'got it' in the 70's and although the lawsuit era Ibanez guitars were (to most people) superior to their Fender and Gibson counterparts, the introduction of the Jem line signaled the Golden era in my opinion.
Yeah, actually you're right. I was thinking that "Golden era" meant the period when something was in its infancy, right before major innovation. "Golden age" actually refers to the period directly after that, when new innovation or ideas spawns an "era" of great works.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-04-2010, 10:04 PM
 
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Re: Golden era, and the ups and downs of ibanez...

80's 90's ibanez was huge, now I see many people who wouldn't piss on an Ibanez if it were on fire. 80's 90's were definatly the golden era.. back in the 70's no real muso would be caught dead with a made in Japan Ibanez, untill Vai came on board. Then it started to be cool, and hence the golden era began.. Unfortunatly Ibanez is looked at as a plastic fantastic even tho many people deep down know that High end Ibanez are excellent instruments, they prefer the style of the old Gibson PRS etc... these brands give credability... all to often I see bands on Video clips all holding old skool Gibsons cause that is the look at the moment... Of course Metal is helping the Ibanez brand, but Ibanez are still trying to crack that hard to reach Gibson LP style popularity.. The lawsuits are great an all, but most who want that style would prefer a real Gibson LP any day of the week over a Lawsuit

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-04-2010, 10:57 PM
 
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Re: Golden era, and the ups and downs of ibanez...

Quote:
Originally Posted by IbanezFreak777 View Post
80's 90's ibanez was huge, now I see many people who wouldn't piss on an Ibanez if it were on fire. 80's 90's were definatly the golden era.. back in the 70's no real muso would be caught dead with a made in Japan Ibanez, untill Vai came on board. Then it started to be cool, and hence the golden era began.. Unfortunatly Ibanez is looked at as a plastic fantastic even tho many people deep down know that High end Ibanez are excellent instruments, they prefer the style of the old Gibson PRS etc... these brands give credability... all to often I see bands on Video clips all holding old skool Gibsons cause that is the look at the moment... Of course Metal is helping the Ibanez brand, but Ibanez are still trying to crack that hard to reach Gibson LP style popularity.. The lawsuits are great an all, but most who want that style would prefer a real Gibson LP any day of the week over a Lawsuit
Unfortunately Ibanez will probably never get there. Gibson and Fender have the market cornered on "tone". There's a Gibson or Fender sound that appeals to many because it is iconic and timeless. They've been around for years and they've won that ability to be the gold standard.

Ibanez isn't alone. You mention PRS. I've never heard anyone talk about "PRS tone" or even acknowledge that PRS guitars have a distict sound all their own, let alone a sound that is sought after. I usually hear something like "in between a strat and a Les Paul". I'm guilty of that myself. How does an RG550 sound? Uh...like a Strat with a humbucker in the neck and bridge? Just about the only two other guitar companies I've heard people talk about in terms of iconic sounds is Rickenbacker and Gretch. Not surprising -- they've been around for years and have recorded just as many classic songs.

Who knows? Hang on to your J Customs and Jems, everyone! Maybe in 20 or 30 years, they'll be highly regarded! When Page and Clapton first played '59 Les Pauls, you couldn't give those things away.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 12:06 AM
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Re: Golden era, and the ups and downs of ibanez...

Ibanez had plenty of cred long before Vai came aboard. Luke, Benson, Stanley, Holdsworth, Metheny, Moore, Miller, Ritenaur, Pass, among others. What Steve, Paul, and Joe brought was the shred era to Ibanez, and the pointy headstock made Ibanez cool enough to be slung by a lot of the hard rockers of the day.

Golden Era is whatever base you personally believe was your favorite. To a vintage guy it would be the lawsuit models only. To a shredhead it would be 87'-92'. To a young pup it may have started with Prestige in 1998.
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