Ibby sound quality variance by era - Jemsite
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post #1 of 64 (permalink) Old 11-02-2015, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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Ibby sound quality variance by era

I have owned a lot of Ibbys particularly from the late 80s/early 90s fujigen era, as well several newer ones (2010 - current), and in my experience and in my opinion the new ones just sound bad. Some are not even usable as far as i'm concerned (well I briefly owned an rg550 2pth anniversary, which sounded alright but still not comparable to my old school rg550s).

So im just looking for info on when this change occurred? Does anybody else agree? disagree?

To put into words what I have found between the sounds of guitars from these two eras (i dont have much experience with guitars in between these eras... mid 90s to 2000s). I found the modern Ibbys to have extended sub low frequencies (these are bad, you dont want stuff below 80 - 120 hz in your signal, hence they are high passed when recorded). As far as more usable low frequency in the guitars signal (150 - 250 HZ) I found the low end to be muddy, inaccurate, and indistinct on the newer guitars... not that there was necessarily too much or that it was a frequency level thing because my Fujigen era guitars with rosewood fingerboards have just as much low end except that it is tight and detailed. Also, the newer guitars had much less midrange (with the same pickups, I put a Dimarzio Breed in pretty much every Ibby i get).

I suspect part of it might have to do with the quality of the wood... basswood and maple, but I cannot find any info on the basswood supply ibanez have used over the years.

Last edited by Devon8822; 11-02-2015 at 03:33 PM.
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post #2 of 64 (permalink) Old 11-02-2015, 04:17 PM
 
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Re: Ibby sound quality variance by era

Wood affecting the tone on a solid body electric guitar? Hang on! Let me get my hardhat to the ensuing war of words.
I kid.... that's an inside joke to a recent thread on wood and cutouts affecting tone.

Seriously though. I've owned RG's from all of these eras. I honestly don't recall the tone exactly from my old 1991 RG570 but there are distinct differences to the 2001 RG570 I own today, which IMO is FAR better than the 1991 version. I also own an 06 RG1570 and an RG550 20th.
Comparing the 1991 RG570 and 2001 RG570.
One piece maple neck in the '91 versus the three piece neck with the bubinga stripe.
A slightly thicker neck profile
Plastic pickup rings in the '91 (crap!) versus steel in the 2001.
The old tilt joint square neck joint on the 1991 versus AANJ on the 2001. (this IMO might be the biggest difference tone wise - second being the three piece neck.)
Also I had the exact same bridge and neck pickup in both guitars; a bridge Tone Zone and a neck PAF Pro. The TZ for my setup has a lot of top end clarity, notably on picking, while having lots of bass, which to me gives it that car engine growl.

The RG1570 has direct mount pickups which I prefer over all.
The RG550 is front route so I can hear more "popping" in my picking from how the pickups are mounted. Maybe that's just me but it definitely sounds, to me, different from the other three. The RG550 is also the 20th with the titanium stiffeners and, while the profile is very close in my memory to the 1991 it sounds better to me.
If I had to rank based on sound.

RG570 from 2001.
RG1570 from 2006.
RG550 from 2007.
RG570 from 1991.

I should add I own a stock RG921 which I dig quite a bit but being fixed bridge with Dimarzio/IBZ's and strung with 10's its a bit of a different animal from the ones listed above.
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post #3 of 64 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 06:11 AM
 
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Re: Ibby sound quality variance by era

It really depends.....woods, pickup etc.
I had a few old Ibanez (a JPM 90HAM, a 8520 J-Custom) and I currently have a UCEW1FM and a JBM100; I can honestly say that the quality is there, in all of them.
Sure, if You pick a Japan made Ibanez vs an Indonesian made (not hating Inodnesian models, but let's be realistic) the difference is there; You get what you pay, I'm a firm believer of that.
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post #4 of 64 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 06:53 AM
 
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Re: Ibby sound quality variance by era

well, let's see...
my all time fav is 2001 RGR 1220, hands down best guitar ever.
BUT I also had the same guitar : another RGR1220 from the same year..and guess what?
It's not even feel, react, play and sound the same.

So I support the theory : each guitar is different than others.

right now, If I can pick which is my #2 in term of tone?
it would be my 91 USAC Streetwise, with IBZ USA F2-C2-C2 combo.
not the best playbility, but the tone is wonderful.
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post #5 of 64 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 08:28 AM
 
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Re: Ibby sound quality variance by era

Well, I've owned a 2012 RG2550MZ, a 2009 1550MZ, a 1990 RG560, a 93 RG550, a 98 RG685 and RGR580, a 91 RG5000...

As far as tone is concerned, the best ones I have used out of all of these are the RGR580 and RG5000. The 580 has AANJ, the 5000 has the square heel. They both play GREAT and sound great too.

I think it depends on what your ears tell you. Everyone hears things differently.

I will say this though, unplugged, all of my pre-2000 era Ibanezes resonate a LOT more than the 2 prestige RGs I had.
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post #6 of 64 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 09:56 AM
 
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Re: Ibby sound quality variance by era

I'm not a wine guy but I've always thought of guitars, especially Ibanez RG's, like that. It's not that they've gotten progressively better or worse. It's just that some years are better than others. Some regions where they are made are better than others. And, as noted by psychoshredder, you can have some examples of the same model in a given year be better than others of the same model and line.
I think a lot of RG's from the 99-01 era are great. The sad thing is a lot of guitars from that era are quite bland color-wise OR many have been parted out on eBay.
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post #7 of 64 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 10:06 AM
 
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Re: Ibby sound quality variance by era

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike570 View Post
I'm not a wine guy but I've always thought of guitars, especially Ibanez RG's, like that. It's not that they've gotten progressively better or worse. It's just that some years are better than others. Some regions where they are made are better than others. And, as noted by psychoshredder, you can have some examples of the same model in a given year be better than others of the same model and line.
I think a lot of RG's from the 99-01 era are great. The sad thing is a lot of guitars from that era are quite bland color-wise OR many have been parted out on eBay.
MIJ Wizard II ftw I love that neck and that came out in what, 96 or 97 or so? My 580 has it, such a wonderful neck
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post #8 of 64 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 11:35 AM
 
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Re: Ibby sound quality variance by era

I've owned:

1991 RG550
1998 JS1000BP
2007 S2170FW Prestige (Korean)
2007 RG1527
2012 JS1200

All of those guitars have been great to me but if have to pick a favorite it would probably be my JS1200, so no i don't think the new Ibbys are bad.

Also if it helps all of them with the exception of the S2170 has basswood bodies and maple necks.
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post #9 of 64 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 06:47 PM
 
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Re: Ibby sound quality variance by era

Maybe it's the materials, maybe that everyone hears things differently and maybe it's that one guitar sounds better with one amp than another, but it's also how good the setup of the guitar can be. I have a 1991 RG550 and it feels like to a certain amount the sound is so great because it plays so effortlessly and the harmonics pop out so easily. Feels like you have more ways to create and change the sound with your fingers.
Can be coincidence that it is from 1991 or can be part of the mojo.
I must admit that i never had an Ibby newer than 2002.
Also: Ask me again in some month and i might say another guitar sounds better because i like the sound darker or whatever.
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post #10 of 64 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 05:35 AM
 
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Re: Ibby sound quality variance by era

I have yet to own an Ibby that's more than 20 years old so I can't really comment on how they stack up to my post 2000's models however, I will say without a doubt that all my Ibby's sound AMAZING. The newest one I have is a 2009 PGM401 that is mind-blowingly good. All of them I own - Prestige 2570, 1527, limited RG470FM look, feel and sound incredible. I have an Illuminator neck/DAX bridge in my 470 and that combo works really well to bring out the intricacies of the basswood body. Got a Duncan '59 neck in my 1527 and that guitar sounds even better than it did with the stock V77. As for the post 2010 models, I've played a JEM 77FP2 and that guitar was awesome in every respect so I disagree that all new model Ibby's are sub-par when compared to their older counterparts.

Wood differences, build differences, hardware, amps, effects, etc. all make a difference like Jemerator said above.
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post #11 of 64 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 07:14 AM
 
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Re: Ibby sound quality variance by era

Quote:
Originally Posted by RolanTHUNDER View Post
I have yet to own an Ibby that's more than 20 years old so I can't really comment on how they stack up to my post 2000's models however, I will say without a doubt that all my Ibby's sound AMAZING. The newest one I have is a 2009 PGM401 that is mind-blowingly good. All of them I own - Prestige 2570, 1527, limited RG470FM look, feel and sound incredible. I have an Illuminator neck/DAX bridge in my 470 and that combo works really well to bring out the intricacies of the basswood body. Got a Duncan '59 neck in my 1527 and that guitar sounds even better than it did with the stock V77. As for the post 2010 models, I've played a JEM 77FP2 and that guitar was awesome in every respect so I disagree that all new model Ibby's are sub-par when compared to their older counterparts.

Wood differences, build differences, hardware, amps, effects, etc. all make a difference like Jemerator said above.
You need an old 550 or something, just to have one lol
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post #12 of 64 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 08:25 AM
 
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Re: Ibby sound quality variance by era

The only good sounding Ibanez I've owned have been older ones with the exception of the Jcustoms. I would never buy a new Ibanez without trying it first in person. They sound so dead to me compared to other brands.
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post #13 of 64 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 08:39 AM
 
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Re: Ibby sound quality variance by era

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealthtastic View Post
The only good sounding Ibanez I've owned have been older ones with the exception of the Jcustoms. I would never buy a new Ibanez without trying it first in person. They sound so dead to me compared to other brands.
I dunno, my RC1720 sounds incredible and that model came out last December.
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post #14 of 64 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 06:02 PM
 
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Re: Ibby sound quality variance by era

Quote:
Originally Posted by psychoshredder View Post
well, let's see...
my all time fav is 2001 RGR 1220, hands down best guitar ever.
BUT I also had the same guitar : another RGR1220 from the same year..and guess what?
It's not even feel, react, play and sound the same.

So I support the theory : each guitar is different than others.

right now, If I can pick which is my #2 in term of tone?
it would be my 91 USAC Streetwise, with IBZ USA F2-C2-C2 combo.
not the best playbility, but the tone is wonderful.
THIS^^^^

nothing more needs to be said.
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post #15 of 64 (permalink) Old 11-05-2015, 01:12 AM
 
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Re: Ibby sound quality variance by era

My suggestion is simple: you can buy the better one with higher price. I trust in the price.

Last edited by KFTYijosd; 11-05-2015 at 08:48 PM.
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