Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread) - Page 2 - Jemsite
All Other Guitars (including Prestige) Discussion about other Ibanez Guitars not covered in the above topics. Includes J-Custom, USA-Custom, Prestige subforum.

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post #16 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-23-2017, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

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it was included the original sales pitch, closer tolerances on fit and finish and the extra 6 steps of hand finishing on the neck. They went over all the cnc programs and cleaned everything up. ie. you remember how piss poor the vine route on the JEMs was, it was never most obvious as the 2000 run of FP's because on ebony you'd have to look really close [and I would ne3ed to inspect a 98'/99' VWH to see when it changed] but on the FP's it was obvious. They might have even cleaned them up earlier for the JEM10th, but it wasn't in your face noticeable until the rosewood showed it on the FP's.
Yup, but it's ironic they didn't spell that out to customers more directly. it's not knocking the old product by improving to meet new standards.


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And I would disagree that if they're not getting the Prestige finishing it shouldn't matter what the badge says, it may say Prestige on the headstock but they are not finished to Prestige spec, so to me, they are NOT Prestige, even if they're badged.
Yup but it's splitting hairs as the prestige spec is fluid. They'll argue if the "tolerances" are as tight the "hand finishing neck" or whatever intentionally omitted step is just one ingredient.

Prestige is a ticket to the show... some get nosebleeds some first row. It's also one-directional... you can improve upon it (fret ends for the banal players) but you can't make a Premium or Standard into a Prestige no matter what you do to fret ends. Those people listen from the parking lot.
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post #17 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-23-2017, 02:36 PM
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Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

But splitting hairs is what we do. Call them out when they're screwing up and give them a little pat on the butt when they're doing well. Now you can only pat the men on the butt, I miss the old days of being able to grab anybody by the p*ssy.

The way I see it when Fujigen did the master time chart for every procedure [why S's cost so much more because of cnc time] and started charging accordingly the 6 extra steps lost some of their quality. They could do them all like they did in 2005 but they're well trained employess and now only give the amount of work they're being paid to give.

The maple problem they blame on "procedure" and my argument is "change the procedure" because JEM777's got the same level of treatment a JEM77 does, while the 655M gets squaduche compared to a 655.
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post #18 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-23-2017, 05:54 PM
 
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Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

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Prestige is a ticket to the show... some get nosebleeds some first row. It's also one-directional... you can improve upon it (fret ends for the banal players) but you can't make a Premium or Standard into a Prestige no matter what you do to fret ends. Those people listen from the parking lot.
This is a good metaphor for Ibanez as a brand, specifically their solid body electric guitars. If the uninitiated want to know where the "line in the sand" is drawn, it is between Prestige and everything else.
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post #19 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-24-2017, 04:56 AM
 
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Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

can you elaborate on the "6 steps/prestige/maple vs not" line of discussion? i mean, i understand that there's things obviously one cannot/does not do to maple fretboards, but are there some things that they "could" be doing but they're not? is the takeaway that--technically?--maple prestige boards may be slightly (in some technical yet forgivable way) "inferior" quality (in terms of care/precision), or receive less attention to detail, due to those steps not being applicable, or being not worth doing on a cost basis (whichever the case may be on a given step)?

"tighter tolerances" on the one hand and more tenderly-cared-for fret ends/finishing/etc on the other hand; is the former something that is a semi-big deal, inherent to the guitar's technical quality, while the latter is something that's mainly comfort/"i paid for extra smooth sh!t" etc? sure, it's at most what, the difference of 1-2-3?00 bucks, maybe several hours at most of an expert's work on tidying/smoothing up fretboard? but is the fretboard itself noticeably and commonly going to be less impressive/satisfactory vs a rosewood prestige? rich, do you reject more maple prestiges due to less attention/detail/handwork on fretboards?

let's say a master lifelong ibanez expert player/tech/dealer is looking at the aforementioned example of RG655 vs 655M. for purpose of the comparison let's say both models are either nice specimens or at least acceptable to not return. is he going to notice merely less finely-TLC-ized fret ends/etc, or is there a feeling like "meh, the guitar itself is prestige quality, sure! but this fretboard finishing is not prestige level, how can they call this a prestige?!"

i'm not questioning or wondering about the overall/final MIJ/prestige quality of the guitars, i'm just curious if there's a meaningful quantifiable difference in these finishing steps that can't/aren't done to maple boards. ultimately is it just technicality/nitpicky thing that means little to the consumer, especially after a dealer like rich puts a X service package on the instrument, or is it like "meh, they really should be putting some more effort onto these guitars, aside from all the scraping/whatever that isn't applicable to maple"
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post #20 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-25-2017, 01:02 AM
 
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Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

AAAAAAND the new 550s really put a wrench into the flow chart that Glenn compiled. They aren't "prestige" but they are MIJ. Mine is of impeccable quality. Wonder what'll happen after Rich gets some and goes through them with a fine tooth comb to find all the tiny little things wrong with them.
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post #21 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-25-2017, 01:58 AM
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Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

I already inspected the 550's and they were by far the sharpest fret ends I've felt on maple, I made "X" run his hand over one [I checked all] just to keep proving a point. They may go thru tech before getting to the show but they were the show samples. Nothing else, regular Fujigen, just the lack of all 6 of the extra steps they're supposed to be getting.

[HUSA used to, may still, probably does but I wouldn't know because I have a standing order not to touch my guitars, what I suspect was they're running grades of paper over the ends definitely taking some edge off, but they also semi polish a good 1/2" of the fretboard clearcoat surface. It's quite noticeable if you're looking for it, if you're not you'd probably never see it, and you will end up polishing the clearcoat as you play it anyway.]
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post #22 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-25-2017, 10:05 AM
 
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Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

That sucks. Oh well. I think mine on the high E side might be a little rough but I never actually make contact with them so they dont really bother me.
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post #23 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-25-2017, 11:52 AM
 
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Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

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Originally Posted by Formerly Given To Fly View Post
This is a good metaphor for Ibanez as a brand, specifically their solid body electric guitars. If the uninitiated want to know where the "line in the sand" is drawn, it is between Prestige and everything else.
It's funny because every time I hear people complain about Premium QC I think of the few Prestige's I've seen that turned out sketchy too. Some are indeed front row and some are nosebleeds. I will say I can play my RG1570 and RG921 interchangeably and they feel very similar. Yes, I know the RG1570 is better quality but the RG921 isn't bad either. And, yeah, I know the RG15xx tier wasn't the best Prestige either. I actually like the new RG6XX and RG7XX designations as it seems to cut the Prestige tiers down.
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post #24 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-25-2017, 11:55 AM
 
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Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

Also, if the rumored US pricepoints I hear are true I don't expect the RG521, RG550, or RG570 to be top-tier Prestige either. Maybe on par with the old RG15xx tier or the 20th RG550. I don't mind that though as long as the fret edges aren't saw blades.
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post #25 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-25-2017, 01:12 PM
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Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

There are no tiers to Prestige. Genesis Collection is not and never was a different tier. It's just a marketing slogan like Team J Craft.
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post #26 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 12:21 PM
 
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Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

Glen, you are doing yourself a huge disservice by seemingly limiting yourself to US-specific literature. It does at best a poor job of explaining what really happened and at worst introduces a bunch of misinformation and completely distorts the story.

Let's start with J Custom, which does date to 1995 with the RG1808 and RG1508

Ibanez Catalogs

Now look at the models from 1996. RG1702 looks pretty similar to an RG3120...

Ibanez Catalogs

Moving on to 1997, while it may be true that the Prestige term was first used to describe the 1996 USRG's, it now was repurposed to sell select J Custom models outside of Japan. It first appeared in Europe in 1997

Ibanez Catalogs

Japan kept the RG1702 but added the RG18XX with the start of some nicer features like bound fretboard and matching headstock.

Ibanez Catalogs

But they used Prestige to indicate a slightly lower tier. So the J Custom RG1302 from 1996 becomes a Prestige in 1997

Ibanez Catalogs

Ibanez Catalogs


The real story is that Prestige is an outgrowth of J Custom. The nomenclature actually made much more sense in Japan than it ever did in the US or EU. We had various 3000 Series and later a 4000 Series Prestige with real wood tops. That was eventually dropped and now Prestige aligns correctly with what it always meant in Japan: FujiGen guitars without real wood tops. Those are now reserved for the J Custom line, which was how it worked in Japan since 1997.
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post #27 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

^ good point the jpn stuff for some reason doesn't appear when I browse Ibanez.com archive but I've bookmarked the direct .jp site which clearly has different scans. I'll edit in some non-US references for sure. Just don't confuse the point of the article which is not to be a bible/reference of prestige guitars.

Likewise the "model year" is over-discussed IMHO. Ultimately like cars, etc. you need to designate a model year for reference sake. A car released June 2017 might be 2018 model year. What you're calling 1995 are showing in 1996 brochure it seems and some of the print material might be for models shipping MONTHS later. Ultimately not vital.

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The real story is that Prestige is an outgrowth of J Custom.
Interested perspective but it seems like drew a conclusion then selectively chose certain evidence to make it stick. I don't see how you conclude this when taking a big picture view, especially when you consider prior models, signatures that became Prestige over time (marketing lingo).

I first started looking into an article "What is Prestige" & sat on it and before publishing added the LACS/JC stuff for context that filled in missing gaps. So the entire POV was trying to connect some dots not proving a predetermined conclusion.

We all have to be careful adding context when there was none implied for a line simply meant to sell domestic products (JC) in a limited quantity than what might be needed for worldwide distribution. Some fanboys thinking some guy there set firm J-C criteria & parameters "ABC top and XYZ feature" is pretty unlikely to have been done.

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Originally Posted by Takin' a Ride View Post
The nomenclature actually made much more sense in Japan than it ever did in the US or EU. We had various 3000 Series and later a 4000 Series Prestige with real wood tops. That was eventually dropped and now Prestige aligns correctly with what it always meant in Japan: FujiGen guitars without real wood tops. Those are now reserved for the J Custom line, which was how it worked in Japan since 1997.
I think you've categorized to fit a neat package that was never intended. But maybe i'm wrong. To me, J-Custom only and ever made sense in Japan as originally explained by JD to me was for domestic (JPN) market only. I'm not drawing any conclusion about JC other than they're the unicorns that no one really cares enough about over the last 2 decades. These devalue after purchase for cripes sakes.
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post #28 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 03:07 PM
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Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

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These devalue after purchase for cripes sakes.
Feel free to make a large list of anything that doesn't.

Prestige is simply a good marketing word, used at first as pure marketing but then aligned with the revision of manufacturing and finishing tolerances and techniques that allowed the word to actually stand for something. And it does. It stands for much better fit and finish and those 6 extra steps that make a neck feel like an old friend. Leave any part of that equation out, like maple fretboard guitars, and it has lost its meaning for those models.
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post #29 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

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Feel free to make a large list of anything that doesn't.
Yup but the point being JC is over analyzed/discussed and moot.... also has many nosebleed models as well.

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Prestige is simply a good marketing word, used at first as pure marketing but then aligned with the revision of manufacturing and finishing tolerances and techniques that allowed the word to actually stand for something. And it does. It stands for much better fit and finish and those 6 extra steps that make a neck feel like an old friend. Leave any part of that equation out, like maple fretboard guitars, and it has lost its meaning for those models.
You're entitled to your opinion. It's just a marketing word as such i'd personally expect Ibanez to use Prestige branding for the RG550 missing any "extra steps" which have never been quantified. One guy wiping the fretboard with a clean cloth could be 1 step for all you know
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post #30 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 03:16 PM
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Re: Ibanez J-Custom, USA Custom & Prestige (master reference thread)

550/570's are Prestige, the 570's actually are, the 550's, you have removed how ever many of those steps you want to count but are not finished to Prestige standard, the standard the company set.
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