J-Custom Owner with some general questions - Jemsite
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-09-2010, 01:42 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
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J-Custom Owner with some general questions

Hey guys...new to the forum..but I've been out here many times just browsing and have found some great info.

Just to tell you about myself...I have a very diverse collection of guitars...but back a few years ago, I acquired a new J-Custom RG320QRBB. This is an absolutely beautiful guitar..but it is a mysterious instrument to me. I've finally been able to peg down the model number and year based on the serial number and catalog. So that's that.

Now onto the questions. It's a 2006 model...so it's got the Edge Pro trem. My question is (because I don't know)...when were the edge Zero trems introduced, and what are your thoughts on it compared to the Edge Pro (which is a little bit of a pain in the ass for me..compared to other floyds..course, that's just me and my unfamiliarity to this particular trem.

I also was not thrilled with the direct mount pickup...especially the bridge..not so much that it's direct mount...but that I couldn't raise it very far. So I used some rubber washers under the mounting screws and that did the trick. But I am curious, what Dimarzio pickup is this thing based on. I've actually read some reviews on this very site complaining of the stock pickups on this guitar. Once I was able to raise it, it's become one of my favorites...so I'd be curious as to which one it is if I wanted to buy it in the store.

I'd post a pic, but am not allowed yet.
Thanks for your replies...much appreciated

Todd
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-09-2010, 03:09 AM
 
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Re: J-Custom Owner with some general questions

That's a Prestige model, not a J Custom. Nice guitar!!
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-09-2010, 05:16 AM
 
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Re: J-Custom Owner with some general questions

Your Guitar is indeed a Prestige, not a J-Custom, although in my opinion the most beautiful Prestige. By the way: The "T" in RGT stands for "Neck Through.
See this page for details.

About the Edge Zero: I think it was introduced in 09. Personally I really like it and in my opinion, every Trem equipped Guitar should come with an EZ. On the other hand, I don't use it very often, so certain criticism might be justified. However, it really works well, keeping the guitar in tune, even when dropping or breaking a string.

Think of the EZ as a Mac and the Edge Pro as Windows.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-09-2010, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: J-Custom Owner with some general questions

Very interesting...so educate me here (and not on the Mac/Windows thing..I'm a professional...literally...in that dept...I'll keep my comments to myself ; ) )
I always thought that my guitar was a J-custom because of the "Team-J-Craft" documents/stickers/emblems, whatever you want to call it. Can you explain to me what a J-Custom is then? I downloaded the entire 2006 catalog last night, and my guitar was the one on the first page...the model number is RG320QRBB (for a long time I thought it was RGT320Q..or at one time, RG320Z..until I found out that the Z stood for Edge Zero....am I right?)

I just want to get to know as much about this thing as possible. I've had it since 2007 (purchased 'new' at Sam Ash, Edison, NJ). It's really a stunning guitar to look at. I've got some really nice stuff these days...everything USA made, top shelf, etc...and I still put this guitar up with all of them in terms of quality, playability, craftsmanship, and just overall looks. I could see why some might not like all the lacquer on this thing...particularly on the neck...but it doesn't bother me at all.

I also read a post or two claiming they didn't like the stock pickups...but i have to say, they're some of my favorites of all the guitars I've ever owned...and there's been a lot over the last 25 years..probably just as many guitars as years I've been playing. So it makes sense that I would want to possibly install these pickups in another guitar or two. I guess it's completely subjective. I also, usually prefer duncan pickups to dimarzios...but in this case, IBZ used a great setup.

Anyway, thanks for the replies...This site has been great...particularly the info about serial numbers, and the link to IBZ's catalogs for every year going back...what is it..25 - 30 years? I also appreciate you clearing this J-Custom thing up for me. What is a "J-Custom" then? Is it a signature model?

Thanks.

Todd
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-09-2010, 01:27 PM
 
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Re: J-Custom Owner with some general questions

I'll have a stab at the J Custom thing though I'm sure there are others more qualified to speak than me but maybe they'll chip in as well.

J Customs are not signature models but rather high end Ibanez made by the best Luthiers available to them in the Ibanez Custom shop.

Range was introduced in late 1996 or 1997 and featured 'showcase models' to demonstrate what Ibanez could make. Initially available to the Japanese market only the range did, I think, become available through some retailers outside of Japan but as of recently Ibanez has banned all retail sale of J Customs outside of Japan.

As official production figures were never released no one really knows for certain how many of each of the early and indeed present day J Customs were made. Some were made in runs of 6, 12, 18, 24 etc (less for some of the rarer models including one offs), but a lot of the actual figures put on production totals of individual models is guesswork with maybe the exception of the RG Paints which were hand painted, signed and numbered.

I've heard that Luthiers chosen to build JC's must have over 20 years experience at the highest level.

As well as standard production models Ibanez do make limited runs of J Customs for the big retailers in Japan such as Ishibashi, Ikebe, Kurosawa, Rock Inn, Shimamura etc. A lot of those models comes in runs of 6 pieces only though sometimes more.

J Customs are available as RG models to a large extent although some S Series JC's are available as well along with FR's now as well.

Check out RG Series J Customs in the link below. This has me reaching for the whiskey bottle every time I look at it!!

http://www.kessier.com/2009/ing/Jcustom.html
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-09-2010, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: J-Custom Owner with some general questions

Thanks for the info man. I'm actually a big Jackson/Charvel guy...so you'll have to forgive my lack of knowledge here. I suppose it's the same concept....USA Custom Shop Jacksons are certainly the cream of the crop...although a standard USA Soloist or Dinky can still be one hell of a guitar. I gotta say though...mine sure looks like the ones on that J-Custom site...albeit, without the detailed inlays (on a lot of them).

Like it was said...my Ibz is certainly a nice piece...nicer than most guitars I've seen, and certainly one of the nicest Ibanezes that I've seen...and there have been lots and lots over the years. The big chain stores have always carried Ibanez....not so much Jackson/Charvel anymore. And they have loads of ESP LTDs...but no real ESPs. It kinda drives me nuts. Very few real high quality shredder guitars (tons of Fenders, PRS, and LP's of course).

In any event, I have owned some other Ibanez guitars...owned an older 'S' model (I think)...as soon as I can post pics, I'll post a pic of that guitar..and then back in 07, I went to Sam Ash and was just browsing, when I saw some of the new S models...paper thin bodies...they were the 'natural' ones...not sure what they're called exactly..but they were the bare wood models. I picked one up, and once home, noticed a big scratch on the body. So I brought it back, and the guy behind the counter told me about the one I have now...he offered it to me for a little more than the one I had already purchased...maybe 150-200 bucks. As it turns out, after doing some research, i saw that my rg320qrbb was a considerably more expensive guitar...woops on the part of that sales guy.

Anyway..thanks for the info.

Todd
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-09-2010, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: J-Custom Owner with some general questions

BTW...does anyone know where I can get one of those allen wrench holders that's on the back of all the Team J models now (two wrench holder..kinda small and thin, unlike the ones you see on other brands of guitars)? Mine never had one, and there was nothing in the bag. I've been looking all over for that specific one, but can't find it. I don't want any aftermarket, or 4 wrench holder...just the one that's a stock IBZ part.
Thanks
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-09-2010, 05:58 PM
 
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Re: J-Custom Owner with some general questions

Hi Todd,

You are most welcome. Your Prestige model is a great guitar, just because it's not a JC doesn't detract from it. Trust me I own J Customs but would give my right arm for your Ibanez. Super cool guitar. You are lucky to own one of those!!
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-09-2010, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: J-Custom Owner with some general questions

I just started reading the J-Custom vs. Prestige thread, and didn't realize there was that much confusion..but I suppose I shouldn't be surprised...considering I was confused myself. After reading some of the posts, it is my understanding (along with the posts here) that there really isn't a quality difference between Prestige and J-Customs...it's just a marketing thing...J-Customs are sold in Japan and Prestige are sold here. And just like anything that isn't officially imported, when you do get a hold of something from another country (particularly Japan), it instantly becomes more valuable. This makes sense and has been going on for a long time. But what I didn't realize is that the Prestige line really is the J-Custom line. Am I pretty accurate with that assumption?
Thanks again for all the info...I appreciate not getting bashed for my ignorance ; )

One last question...do you guys know what these guitars originally sold for...List and steet price. I know I saw the same exact guitar at Sam Ash, Springfield, NJ about 6 months ago used for around 15-1600 dollars.

Todd

Last edited by veniculum; 09-09-2010 at 10:51 PM.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-09-2010, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: J-Custom Owner with some general questions

I'm gonna drive you guys nuts...but now I'm confused again. If you go to the Ibanez catalog site, it shows (what appears to be) my guitar on one of the first pages...page 2 or 3...anyway...it says the model number is 'RG320QRBB'. But from everything I see...and from what you guys have said specifically, it should be 'RGT320QRBB'...as mine is certainly a neck-through. So I guess the question is, is there a Prestige 'RG320QRBB' (non-neck through)?...or is this a mistake in the catalog. Check it out...once again..page 2 or 3...dammitt I wish I could post pics...at least I'm getting to that 10 post milestone ; )
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-10-2010, 12:34 AM
 
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Re: J-Custom Owner with some general questions

There is no such thing as an RG320QRBB. There is always a T in there. I own one of these. The breakdown of the model number is quite simple:

RG = RG body style

320 = 3000 series implies certain feature level. It is the highest feature level for a Prestige level guitar. 1000 and 2000 level guitars will have progressively fewer features. There was a preceding model, the RGT3020, which would have kept the 3xxx nomenclature intact, but the 0 was dropped in order to keep the model number from becoming unwieldy. The "20" part of the model number implies two humbuckers. A 50 would be H-S-H with a pickguard and a 570 would be H-S-H with no pickguard.

Q = quilted maple top

RBB = Royal Brown Burst, which is the color code.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-10-2010, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: J-Custom Owner with some general questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Takin' a Ride View Post
There is no such thing as an RG320QRBB. There is always a T in there. I own one of these. The breakdown of the model number is quite simple:

RG = RG body style

320 = 3000 series implies certain feature level. It is the highest feature level for a Prestige level guitar. 1000 and 2000 level guitars will have progressively fewer features. There was a preceding model, the RGT3020, which would have kept the 3xxx nomenclature intact, but the 0 was dropped in order to keep the model number from becoming unwieldy. The "20" part of the model number implies two humbuckers. A 50 would be H-S-H with a pickguard and a 570 would be H-S-H with no pickguard.

Q = quilted maple top

RBB = Royal Brown Burst, which is the color code.
Thanks so much for the clarification. I figured out the RBB...but I did not know the Q stood for quilted...and I wasn't aware of the 3000 designation either.
Either way, this means that there's a very blatant mistake in the catalog (2006 - #2). I'd post the link, but I think I'm still not permitted to.
Lets see if I can do it in code ; ) ...like my smilies

just add the www You'll see what I'm talking about. Sorry to the moderators if I'm violating forum policy...I swear I'll hit the 10 post minimum very shortly!

ibanez.co.jp/anniversary/expansion.php?cat_id=275&now=2

Thanks again buddy!

Todd
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-10-2010, 03:18 PM
 
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Re: J-Custom Owner with some general questions

Yes, the North American catalog has a misprint, but the EU and Asia catalogs are correct. Oh yeah, and I forgot in my explanation that T = neck-thru.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 08:58 PM
 
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Re: J-Custom Owner with some general questions

Hi Todd. Great guitar. I have a 2005 and love it, one of my favorites.

Some great replies here, especially by Takin a Ride, not much I can add for educational purposes.

Original list price (from Rich's site and his NAMM sections): 2006 was $2666.65 with case, 2005 was $2659.99 with case. I've seen claims they could be purchased on the street for around $2100 (I've read this but not substantiated this myself, the same person claimed a list price of $3199.99 which may not be accurate).

Current market used, under $1000 seems to be a very good deal depending on the condition. I scored a great deal on mine. I keep my eye out for them, I wouldn't mind another one. There is a very nice 2006, looks like new, on evilbay asking $1199 starting bid. The Blue Book of Guitars previously listed 2005 RGT320 condition 8/10 $1200 (10/10 $2000 down to 6/10 $900), so a 2006 might be a bit more. Not to imply that as a definitive source, just a reference I sometimes check out to get an idea of a reasonable value if I'm not familiar with a given guitar. I looked that up when I was shopping for my RGT320Q RBB.

As for the Allen wrench holders you referred to on the back of the head stock, mine does not have one either, nor any of my J-Customs/Prestige guitars, I believe they are user add-ons.

Like you, I actually also have grown to like the IBZ pickups in there. I know there are players who prefer others such as Tone Zone/Air Norton, Breeds, PAF Pros, certainly nothing wrong with those, but I've come to really like the IBZs for now. Kind of a love em or hate em thing I guess. They seem pretty clean and warm, which suits me well, but have no trouble cutting through and overdriving. I love how this guitar looks and sounds. I think the IBZs go well with the mahogany, but I wouldn't mind hearing the Air Norton/Tone Zone combo in there sometime.

As for the IBZs, they are DiMarzios designed and manufactured for Ibanez with unique sound characteristics from the other "real" DiMarzios (Breed, Tone Zone, Air Norton, PAF Pro, Fred, etc.) I've read that according to DiMarzio, the neck pickup is fairly bright-sounding, similar to a DiMarzio Super 2 (DP104). The bridge pickup is a little louder and warmer-sounding, and resembles a cross between the DiMarzio Steve Morse Bridge Model (DP200) and the DiMarzio Super Distortion (DP100).

Take care. Enjoy that guitar!
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: J-Custom Owner with some general questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by zzrider View Post
Hi Todd. Great guitar. I have a 2005 and love it, one of my favorites.

Some great replies here, especially by Takin a Ride, not much I can add for educational purposes.

Original list price (from Rich's site and his NAMM sections): 2006 was $2666.65 with case, 2005 was $2659.99 with case. I've seen claims they could be purchased on the street for around $2100 (I've read this but not substantiated this myself, the same person claimed a list price of $3199.99 which may not be accurate).

Current market used, under $1000 seems to be a very good deal depending on the condition. I scored a great deal on mine. I keep my eye out for them, I wouldn't mind another one. There is a very nice 2006, looks like new, on evilbay asking $1199 starting bid. The Blue Book of Guitars previously listed 2005 RGT320 condition 8/10 $1200 (10/10 $2000 down to 6/10 $900), so a 2006 might be a bit more. Not to imply that as a definitive source, just a reference I sometimes check out to get an idea of a reasonable value if I'm not familiar with a given guitar. I looked that up when I was shopping for my RGT320Q RBB.

As for the Allen wrench holders you referred to on the back of the head stock, mine does not have one either, nor any of my J-Customs/Prestige guitars, I believe they are user add-ons.

Like you, I actually also have grown to like the IBZ pickups in there. I know there are players who prefer others such as Tone Zone/Air Norton, Breeds, PAF Pros, certainly nothing wrong with those, but I've come to really like the IBZs for now. Kind of a love em or hate em thing I guess. They seem pretty clean and warm, which suits me well, but have no trouble cutting through and overdriving. I love how this guitar looks and sounds. I think the IBZs go well with the mahogany, but I wouldn't mind hearing the Air Norton/Tone Zone combo in there sometime.

As for the IBZs, they are DiMarzios designed and manufactured for Ibanez with unique sound characteristics from the other "real" DiMarzios (Breed, Tone Zone, Air Norton, PAF Pro, Fred, etc.) I've read that according to DiMarzio, the neck pickup is fairly bright-sounding, similar to a DiMarzio Super 2 (DP104). The bridge pickup is a little louder and warmer-sounding, and resembles a cross between the DiMarzio Steve Morse Bridge Model (DP200) and the DiMarzio Super Distortion (DP100).

Take care. Enjoy that guitar!
Great post man...thanks so much for the info...especially the pricing and pickup information, specifically. I'm a bit surprised that they're not a little more valuable in used condition. Not that 11-1200 dollars is bad...I guess I'm just used to my USA-made guitars holding a little more value (at least on the street). Funny, because the Ibanez RGT320 is as good, if not better made than any of my USA guitars. The only ones that touch it (in the looks and finish department) is my 2006 PRS CE 22 or my 2008 Les Paul Standard. I've got a Jackson PC-1 Natural finish, which is up there too...but in my opinion, the Ibanez is cooler looking.

Your comments about the allen key holder are pretty accurate...the only thing I have learned in my searching is that they started putting them on all Prestige guitars in 2008. But as far as finding one somewhere...forget it. I've even called Ibanez parts direct (# given to me by Rich/Ibz Rules)...no luck. So I guess I'm not getting one. All the others use bigger screws...which have me a little concerned ...I really don't want to drill into the back of that headstock. Little screws don't worry me...but the big ones could do some damage...which I certainly don't want to do.

Anyway...I really enjoyed reading your post...you really provided a lot of the info I was looking for.
I've had this guitar for 3 years, and only now am I starting to research the details. I guess I've been so busy buying other instruments, that this one kinda got put aside. Then a few weeks ago, I pulled it out and started playing it again...and I realized how much I do love this thing...even if it isn't a USA-made guitar..which has always been pretty important to me. I suppose these days Japan is just as capable of putting out a real high quality piece as the US. I just remember some of the crap that came out of Japan back in the 80s, and it just stuck.

Anyway....thanks again man!

Todd
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