Inexperienced player and an old s1520 - road to pain or pleasure? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 06:51 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Poland
Posts: 8
Inexperienced player and an old s1520 - road to pain or pleasure?

Hi Jemsite!

Short introduction: I've been playing for about 3 years now, more or less reguraly. I think I've developed musically and technically, but I still consider myself a guitar newbie. My current guitar is an ART-120, which is my 3rd axe already (previous ones were so cheap they aren't worth mentioning). I've had contact with some much more pricier instruments, including FR, RG and S prestige. The last one was something miraculous. I knew I wouldn't be able to afford it anytime soon (costing 6x my guitar), but nevertheless I fell in love with it.

I bought this LesPaul-ish instrument from a friend, because of good condition and neat price. Its active pickups have proven to sound acceptable on quite bad amps and modelers, and I am generally quite happy with it. However, as I improved, I kept looking for the possibility to own an S.

That's how I found a guy selling a beauty, s1520 Prestige FB NT (flamed bubinga top), which I dated on 2001. It still has good 'ole Lo Pro and ceramic Quantum Pickups. And the price is amazing. I am going to meet the guy tomorrow and, if everything goes well, probably come back with it. However, I've been reading a lot about Edge bridges, and, simply put, I am afraid. I am an engineering student, so I can cope with electronical problems, but woodwork is something that's miraculously elusive for me.

I've made a list of things I want to check, such as all knobs and switches, tuners, bridge pitch return when whamming, socket, fret wear, any signs of cracks, bad screws, worn springs or blades, probably a few more. I'd be glad if you could say what else I should particularly look at considering the age of it. It was stored in an original case, which is quite comforting, since it should keep proper humidity, and the owner states it's in perfect condition, tuned and all set up.

And here goes the main question: will such a guitar (quite old, with the floating trem) won't be too much for a newbie like me? I figure I can get it to a luthier to take good care of it, but all stuff regarding tuning seems awfully complicated, and the guitar itself is a lot more sophisticated than a simple hardtail. I am not sure if the next owner of that instrument shouldn't be someone that can really handle it better.

Oh, and I figured out that I might state what I would go for, if I decide not to buy it: it would be either Iron Label SIR70FD (S, full mahogany, fixed bridge), or the new Paul Gilbert's signature Fireman (a tad more pricey, so I would need to save up more. I love Paul Gilbert's style and sound, though, so I kinda trust him on this one).

Last edited by bananu7; 05-31-2013 at 08:49 AM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 10:45 AM
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Antonio, Texas
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Talking Re: Inexperienced player and an old s1520 - road to pain or pleasure?

Dude, don't worry bout any of that stuff. Just get it. After awhile it will all come naturally and you will wonder what you were afraid of!
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 10:57 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: San Jose, CA
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Re: Inexperienced player and an old s1520 - road to pain or pleasure?

Don't be intimidated by the edge. You can always block it, effectively making it a fixed bridge. I don't use the trems much on mine either, but I still love the Edge / LoPro over all other bridges, even fixed bridges.

12 years is nothing for a high quality guitar like this. Check for cracks behind the nut, and general cosmetic condition. Most other things can be fixed by your tech.
just4kinks is offline  
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 11:10 AM
 
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Re: Inexperienced player and an old s1520 - road to pain or pleasure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bananu7 View Post
Hi Jemsite!
I've made a list of things I want to check, such as all knobs and switches, tuners, bridge pitch return when whamming, socket, fret wear, any signs of cracks, bad screws, worn springs or blades, probably a few more. I'd be glad if you could say what else I should particularly look at considering the age of it. It was stored in an original case, which is quite comforting, since it should keep proper humidity, and the owner states it's in perfect condition, tuned and all set up.

And here goes the main question: will such a guitar (quite old, with the floating trem) won't be too much for a newbie like me?
My first priority in considering a used Ibanez is the neck. Look for cracks behind the locking nut and at the scarf joint. Hairline cracks in the body where the neck is bolted on are common and rarely anything more than a cosmetic flaw. But cracks in the neck are to be taken more seriously.

Next, look at the frets. Pull the strings to the side slightly and check for pitting and wear in each of the frets (this is often most visible on the first 4 frets and then up between the 9th and 15th. Play the guitar without plugging in: listen for buzzing or any sort of sitar-like sounds--these may be signs that, at least, it will need a setup or, more costly, it'll need some fretwork.

Next, examine the hardware. Issues like pitting and de-chroming are really only cosmetic--but especially worn screws on the control cavity and neck joint might suggest that the guitar has been someone's beater or frankenstein, with frequent parts changes.

Depending on how much you're thinking of paying for this instrument, consider the cosmetic quality of the guitar. Is it beat up? I don't really ever notice dings on the body of a guitar I'm playing, but dings in the neck drive me crazy.

Finally, and most importantly, does it play nicely?


Fifteen years isn't a problem for a bolt-on electric guitar. I own Ibanez guitars built in 1987, 1991, and 1997 and they're practically identical in terms of stability and playability.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Poland
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Re: Inexperienced player and an old s1520 - road to pain or pleasure?

Hey, thanks for all responses. I will check her thoroughly and listen to the sound.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jem7vwh View Post
Depending on how much you're thinking of paying for this instrument, consider the cosmetic quality of the guitar. Is it beat up? I don't really ever notice dings on the body of a guitar I'm playing, but dings in the neck drive me crazy.
I have always wanted an older guitar; I don't mind dings, I like if the guitar I buy has a history (my first one had a tiny burn, because it was put on fire on stage once ). The price of it is approx $600, but in general instruments are more expensive in Poland than in say, Germany or UK. I was mostly concerned about the playability issues, though scratches on neck could probably be put too into that category.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 01:53 PM
 
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Re: Inexperienced player and an old s1520 - road to pain or pleasure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dccomputersa View Post
Dude, don't worry bout any of that stuff. Just get it. After awhile it will all come naturally and you will wonder what you were afraid of!
Quote:
Originally Posted by just4kinks View Post
Don't be intimidated by the edge. You can always block it, effectively making it a fixed bridge. I don't use the trems much on mine either, but I still love the Edge / LoPro over all other bridges, even fixed bridges.

12 years is nothing for a high quality guitar like this. Check for cracks behind the nut, and general cosmetic condition. Most other things can be fixed by your tech.
I agree wholeheartedly with both of these posts!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 02:20 PM
 
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Re: Inexperienced player and an old s1520 - road to pain or pleasure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dccomputersa View Post
Dude, don't worry bout any of that stuff. Just get it. After awhile it will all come naturally and you will wonder what you were afraid of!
+1
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 06:30 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Poland
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Re: Inexperienced player and an old s1520 - road to pain or pleasure?

I got it. I'm on the way home. Pics soon
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Re: Inexperienced player and an old s1520 - road to pain or pleasure?

I can't post images yet
i.imgur.com/9swneH7.jpg

My first tuning. I unscrewed back cover and took one spring off. Can you imagine that it was loaded with 5 springs for 9-42 set? The previous owner didn't know that Lo Pro has to be slightly up (the blades are aligned with the bottom edge, obviously). After I did that, I was able to make it perfectly aligned, and tuning went easier than expected. I was also pleased to see that intonation was set up perfectly.

I'm now rocking a great riff from Gilbert's lesson, and man, is she amazing. My friend came by yesterday with his SG Standard, and he was impressed too. And considering that his guitar was more than 2x more expensive... that was heck of a deal.

Thanks for tips, you were right. I will probably come back soon, but in other thread; I have a few hardware (amp) questions, and I need time to formulate them all.

PS. Deal was even better, because he gave me two Schaller straplocks as a bonus
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 08:14 PM
 
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Re: Inexperienced player and an old s1520 - road to pain or pleasure?

Here it is, nice guitar.
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