High maintenance versus low maintenance guitars - Jemsite
All Other Guitars (including Prestige) Discussion about other Ibanez Guitars not covered in the above topics. Includes J-Custom, USA-Custom, Prestige subforum.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 06:41 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Northern California
Posts: 2,511
High maintenance versus low maintenance guitars

First off a non-trem RG or Ibanez Artist (or similar other guitar/brand) seem quite the low maintenance axe. You can play them everyday, or leave them alone for years and they are always the same.

But while the stability of Edge tremolos are well known (as are OFR and Gotoh), the tradeoff is with what happens live when a string breaks or even just setting up floating, double locking trems. To me, these have been high maintenance guitars over time.

But also a headache can be maintaining some stability with a Bigsby trem or keeping on top of the wiring of anything similar to a Fender Jazzmaster. Not fun, either.

What are your experiences of high and low maintenance electric guitars?
63Blazer is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 06:58 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Australia
Posts: 189
Re: High maintenance versus low maintenance guitars

Having a floating trem, as well as a few other reasons is why I'm now selling my Jem.

In comparison my premiums and my ironlabel (all fixed bridge) are so much easier to live with. Don't get me wrong, the Jem is fantastic, but its just to fiddly.

I love the fact on my fixed bridge guitars I can have one with 11's, and just play in Eb and then drop to C if I want, and worst case have to do a minor truss rod adjustment. With the Jem or any Rg/floating trem guitar its one tuning only pretty much.

I just wish Ibanez made more fixed bridge guitars, especially J Customs.

So, IMO low fixed bridge = low maintenance.

Unless were dealing with old guitars things like wiring isn't really a maintenance issue, plenty of 30-40 year old guitars with stock wiring going around. My old RG520 has only had a volume pot replaced and strangely needed a pickup replaced (was noisy), but really nothing goes wrong with Ibanez Guitars that are not the real cheapies.
eightsixboy is offline  
post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 07:58 AM
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Kansas
Posts: 2,095
Re: High maintenance versus low maintenance guitars

I'm getting used to messing with floating trems finally, after owning/using them for the last year+. My ultimate low maintenance guitar is a 76 Les Paul... I can pull it out of the case after a month and it is still in tune. I think If I get a bone nut installed on the SZ320 it will be pretty close to that. I must say that I am very impressed with the Edge trems though, they are right behind the Les Paul in terms of tuning stability. The EZII is right there with the Edge.

Don't seem to have many issues with wiring or electronics, although the 5 way switch is getting a bit scratchy on the old 540s. Hoping I can clean the contacts with a fiberglass brush and apply some Stabilant 22 to get it back to clean switching.
FireEagle is offline  
post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 08:14 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Athens, Greece
Posts: 983
Re: High maintenance versus low maintenance guitars

I played floyds all my life, but the edge zero II 7-string, was *by far* the hardest trem to cope with. And not only the trem but the whole guitar as well. Anyways, now I think I can deal with it, but it is a PITA hands down. I dont know if it is the edge zero ii, or the fact that a 7-string guitar will *always* be more sensitive to even marginal changes, especially when it is about a fully floating trem. Overall I like it. + It didn't give me this horrible sitar effect that nearly all new Gotohs and Schaller nuts have given me.

On the downside, I had one nut pad bolt broken and 2-3 saddle screws heads stripped. Nothing to worry about.
panix is offline  
post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 08:27 AM
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 5,768
Re: High maintenance versus low maintenance guitars

I think I'd hesitate to call a Floyd-equipped guitar high maintenance. I think medium maintenance would be a more accurate term and even there I'd call that highly dependent on what you consider maintenance vs perhaps "versatility" or "user friendliness".

I say this because I've owned a truly high maintenance guitar before, a '96 USRG30 Ibanez. It had one of those "tension free necks" designed and built by Bunker Guitars and while it may have been tension-free, it was certainly not headache-free. That neck moved so much it basically needed weekly truss rod adjustments.

My guitar teacher often plays an LTD EC1000 (Les Paul clone) and he can't even get through a lesson with the thing in tune. I don't think he's using the locking tuners correctly but still. Another guy who plays with us has a Gibson SG and his guitar is always out of tune. My Jem that I take to lessons is rock solid. Once the guitar is set up and the spring claw is adjusted, I only need to make minor tuning adjustments with the fine tuners and maybe two truss rod adjustments per year. How much more low maintenance could you get?

Now what I obviously can't do is change tunings on the fly, but I'd call that a versatility issue, not a maintenance one. Changing string gauge, not that I ever do that, but I don't care what guitar I have, it would need a truss rod adjustment after that.

I will concede that the initial setup and intonation adjustment is far more involved on a Floyd, but again that's setup work, not maintenance. I get that people find that frustrating because they don't know and can't easily figure out how to do it. But once you're past that, the actual maintenance is virtually nil.
Takin' a Ride is offline  
post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 08:45 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Athens, Greece
Posts: 983
Re: High maintenance versus low maintenance guitars

Quote:
Originally Posted by Takin' a Ride View Post
My guitar teacher often plays an LTD EC1000 (Les Paul clone) and he can't even get through a lesson with the thing in tune. I don't think he's using the locking tuners correctly but still. Another guy who plays with us has a Gibson SG and his guitar is always out of tune.
Hi Jesse,
Most LP types of guitar suffer at the nut. Just a little rough surface inside the slot or a slightly larger string diameter and each bend results in getting the guitar out of tune. I have the Ibanez ARZ800 MIC single cut, (now its descendants belong to the Iron Label series), and I had that problem too. A little lubrication with super-glide (by super-vee the makers of bladerunner), did the trick. Even when e.g. after a bend, G goes slightly flat, I see it goes to correct pitch by itself by the tension of the string. It is ironical, since you mentioned LTD EC1000, cause most people were bashing the ARZ series in favor of the better LTC EC1000, and its locking tuners (which have little effect on tuning stability if the nut is malfunctioning)
panix is offline  
post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 10:25 AM
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Kansas
Posts: 2,095
Re: High maintenance versus low maintenance guitars

[quote=panix;1305732]
Most LP types of guitar suffer at the nut. quote]

I agree... My old beat up Les Paul has a brass nut and it is crazy stable. The black nylon nut on the SZ is so bad you can twist the tuning peg and the string pitch stays the same... twist again and "tink"... it goes way sharp. Lube takes care of it for a while. The local guitar tech says he can put a bone nut on with properly cut slots and it will be good to go.

Two very similar guitars in build and feel... one zero maintenance and one fussy, all due to the nut (or maybe the size of strings I used - 10's?).
FireEagle is offline  
post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Northern California
Posts: 2,511
Re: High maintenance versus low maintenance guitars

Like TAR said, once you have the Floyd/Edge set up, then it's low maintenance.

The issue with me is live playing or practicing with others. Unless I string up a guitar with new strings with any Floyd, I just don't like the issue of string breakage live. Even with practice I hate to lose the thread and become a guitar mechanic.

There are just too many unknowns, even after 30 years, that I just go with low maintenance guitars live. But if strings didn't break, then Floyd/Edge all the way. Not only has the string thing been an unknown it's easy to lose a wrench or two in the dark and that has happened, too.
63Blazer is offline  
post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 10:37 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Athens, Greece
Posts: 983
Re: High maintenance versus low maintenance guitars

^^^ just try some daddario NYXL : no breakage with wild floyd action.
panix is offline  
post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 11:15 AM
 
RGTFanatic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: New Lenox, IL-USA
Posts: 10,116
Reviews: 2
Re: High maintenance versus low maintenance guitars

Quote:
Originally Posted by 63Blazer View Post
Like TAR said, once you have the Floyd/Edge set up, then it's low maintenance.

The issue with me is live playing or practicing with others. Unless I string up a guitar with new strings with any Floyd, I just don't like the issue of string breakage live. Even with practice I hate to lose the thread and become a guitar mechanic.

There are just too many unknowns, even after 30 years, that I just go with low maintenance guitars live. But if strings didn't break, then Floyd/Edge all the way. Not only has the string thing been an unknown it's easy to lose a wrench or two in the dark and that has happened, too.
A trem setter on a trem equipped guitar solves all of those problems pretty quickly. The trem setter will get you through the rest of a song on a broken string guitar the same as you would on a fixed guitar. After that, you either have to fix the broken string or switch guitars......... no difference between the two types.
RGTFanatic is offline  
post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 11:24 AM
 
RGTFanatic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: New Lenox, IL-USA
Posts: 10,116
Reviews: 2
Re: High maintenance versus low maintenance guitars

Quote:
Originally Posted by panix View Post
^^^ just try some daddario NYXL : no breakage with wild floyd action.
Those NYXL's are getting my "dander" up. D'addario is acting like the NYXL's are something brand new that they invented when, in fact, they're a direct copy of Curt Mangans fusion matched nickel wound strings that have been in production for far longer. AT $12 a pack.....the NYXL's are only successful at outpricing other strings. Curt Mangan also took the field even further by making fusion matched pure nickel sets....that still cost less than the NYXL's.

But hey- if you guys all like the "D'addario Kool-aid", who am I to suggest otherwise..........
RGTFanatic is offline  
post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 11:35 AM
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 5,768
Re: High maintenance versus low maintenance guitars

Quote:
Originally Posted by panix View Post
Most LP types of guitar suffer at the nut. Just a little rough surface inside the slot or a slightly larger string diameter and each bend results in getting the guitar out of tune
I completely understand this and it was kind of my point. I know that there are better nuts on high end guitars, like Graphtech TusqXL, but most regular guitars that average people own will have garbage nuts that ruin tuning stability. So the average person is going to have a ton of problems with tuning.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 63Blazer View Post
The issue with me is live playing or practicing with others. Unless I string up a guitar with new strings with any Floyd, I just don't like the issue of string breakage live. Even with practice I hate to lose the thread and become a guitar mechanic.

There are just too many unknowns, even after 30 years, that I just go with low maintenance guitars live. But if strings didn't break, then Floyd/Edge all the way. Not only has the string thing been an unknown it's easy to lose a wrench or two in the dark and that has happened, too.
Are you really seeing these kind of issues with strings breaking? Strings should break no more often on a Floyd then they do on a fixed bridge, unless you're picking the guitar up by the bar and swinging it around or something. I've seen lots of guys play almost entire shows on a single Floyd-equipped guitar.

In my experience, strings break most often right at the saddle. This is a problem with the quality of the saddle, not the type of bridge. On cheaper Floyds, they're using a soft metal the gets grooved over time and eats up strings. A quality hardened saddle should never suffer from this problem.
Takin' a Ride is offline  
post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Northern California
Posts: 2,511
Re: High maintenance versus low maintenance guitars

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGTFanatic View Post
A trem setter on a trem equipped guitar solves all of those problems pretty quickly. The trem setter will get you through the rest of a song on a broken string guitar the same as you would on a fixed guitar. After that, you either have to fix the broken string or switch guitars......... no difference between the two types.
In all the live playing I have never tried the trem setter. If it works as well as you say it does then I will give it a shot next week (if I get one).

I guess the more I play the more utilitarian I get and it's like a job where I want to do it with as few issues as possible. I remember trying to bring a stereo setup I had, when I first started, and I had every pedal on full without regard for how it sounded. I thought the faster I played and the more gear I had the better, and it worked through small gigs.

When I got my first big gig at 18, the professional sound man came in and set us straight. It was San Diego Civic and the speakers, dozens of them and lights were up on rafters that literally looked like a UFO above us. He put 57s (Shure SM-57) right in front of one amp which was barely turned up and let the thousands of watts in his PA do all the heavy lifting. I went in dry with no reverb and he supplied that effect from his board.

As a kid I thought about all the gear I used to see up on stage with the likes of KISS then I found out from him, who did all these bands who came by that stadium, that he put a single 57 or two on a working Marshall and told me the rest were either turned off and that most of the huge Marshall cabinets they used as a stage were mock ups.

But being a kid I thought I was right and there was no way a 57 could go through a small amp and fill a whole stadium and get a big sound. Why would KISS or AC/DC use fake Marshall cabinets? Well he was right.

Come to think of it, if a 58 mic could take a voice and fill even bigger stadiums like Hammersmith or Budokan, then why not a mic on an amp? He was of the belief that keeping it simple was the most important thing all on things from guitars/basses, to pedals, to amps. Sure you could go wild with trem and try to be Eddie Van Halen, have a ton of distortion and reverb on, dime up lots of effects, but what sounds "cool" in the living room won't sound the same way at the Cow Palace or San Diego Civic.

I translated the simple philosophy to much smaller gigs and the less is more philosophy and trusting your fingers, a single mic, and using the PA as a simple formula will win more times than not.

Now if I had a guitar tech standing in the wings with identical Floyded guitars with every push pull and flip switch on the guitar (like the mad projects I like), then I wouldn't mind. But there's almost no feeling more defeating than having a guitar with too much that can go wrong then actually go wrong when you play live. I notice many established bands who literally switch out their completely stable Floyded out guitar at every song. There's a reason big name bands have their guitarists travel with a dozen guitars each during live concerts, and not wanting to slow down the flow due to technical issues is a big reason why.

Heck there are a ton of guitarists right here who admit they have never played a live gig who have arsenals bigger than many rock stars.
63Blazer is offline  
post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Northern California
Posts: 2,511
Re: High maintenance versus low maintenance guitars

Quote:
Originally Posted by Takin' a Ride View Post
I completely understand this and it was kind of my point. I know that there are better nuts on high end guitars, like Graphtech TusqXL, but most regular guitars that average people own will have garbage nuts that ruin tuning stability. So the average person is going to have a ton of problems with tuning.

Are you really seeing these kind of issues with strings breaking? Strings should break no more often on a Floyd then they do on a fixed bridge, unless you're picking the guitar up by the bar and swinging it around or something. I've seen lots of guys play almost entire shows on a single Floyd-equipped guitar.

In my experience, strings break most often right at the saddle. This is a problem with the quality of the saddle, not the type of bridge. On cheaper Floyds, they're using a soft metal the gets grooved over time and eats up strings. A quality hardened saddle should never suffer from this problem.
That could be my issue or that I can get excited playing live and break stuff, although not like Pete Townshend or Garth Brooks.

My old guitar roadie used to totally criticize me for being spastic and helped me tone down. And he hated fixing stuff more than it needed to be.

Not being too particular about double locking trems, I think from what I have learned from you guys/gals at Jemsite is that I better get on it and get something with a real Edge I or Lo Pro Edge. I wonder what IbanezMag does at gigs and what is too much on a guitar, or rack with effects, and what works live on a consistent basis. He does this for a full time living and I would love to hear his secrets. I know Eric Clapton tired of his humongous 1980s rig and went with a lot simpler setups from the 1990s onward. He could afford anything and any amount of techs but there's a reason he has simplified in a big way. That being said, Joe Bonamassa travels with a set of effects that puts NASA to shame.

Anyway, below, praises on Ibanez Edge (and especially interesting from 4:15 and relating to hardness):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnBTWz23mvM.

Even the way some on the internet even talk down the Original Floyd Rose as done in this video (...there were a lot of problems with it (Floyd Rose) and everybody recognized that), it makes me think that there's no reason to get anything other than Edge/Lo Pro Edge.

I remember when the Edge first came out and Steve Vai was talking about how he only got two weeks from any Floyd Rose because of how they didn't hold up. Not everybody abuses their trems like Steve but it's amazing how just regular small gigs (around excitement, beer, girls, stupid people from drugs, etc) can just eat the heck out of gear.

Also the problems/praises of locking trems, or which one, have caused a lot of spirited debate with great points from both sides.

http://www.ultimatemetal.com/forum/a...e-tremolo.html

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum....php?t=1147600

Last edited by 63Blazer; 02-13-2015 at 12:32 PM.
63Blazer is offline  
post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 01:08 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Athens, Greece
Posts: 983
Re: High maintenance versus low maintenance guitars

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGTFanatic View Post
Those NYXL's are getting my "dander" up. D'addario is acting like the NYXL's are something brand new that they invented when, in fact, they're a direct copy of Curt Mangans fusion matched nickel wound strings that have been in production for far longer. AT $12 a pack.....the NYXL's are only successful at outpricing other strings. Curt Mangan also took the field even further by making fusion matched pure nickel sets....that still cost less than the NYXL's.

But hey- if you guys all like the "D'addario Kool-aid", who am I to suggest otherwise..........
you might send me some Curt Mangan sets in Greece, cause I can't find them here.
panix is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Jemsite forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address

IMPORTANT: You will be required to activate your account so please ensure that your email address is correct.

If you do not receive your activation check your spam folder before using the CONTACT US form (at the bottom right of each page).



Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How do you maintenance your JEM + string question smoke2 Ibanez JEM, UV, JS & Other Signature Models 9 04-19-2013 01:51 AM
Check-up/Maintenance - if and how often?? jtmann Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods 6 12-04-2011 08:51 PM
Bridge Maintenance Mario83 All Other Guitars (including Prestige) 1 04-08-2010 09:28 PM
Question on Guitar Maintenance teof Ibanez JEM, UV, JS & Other Signature Models 3 02-13-2005 01:03 AM
Lo-Pro Maintenance FruitSnax Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods 4 06-10-2003 05:29 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome