J-Custom & Prestige confusion - What makes a J-C a J-C? - Page 3 - 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 #31 of 231 (permalink) Old 05-15-2002, 02:15 PM
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The Truth About J-Custom/Prestige


Hello everyone. My name is Jay and I work for Hoshino. I received an email from one of the forum members asking for clarification on this issue. I will only post the truth...

The J-Custom models are made in our smallest factory by the most experienced people within the company, most having 20 or more years under their belt. The quantity this factory can produce is quite low. So what Hoshino wanted to do, was to move some of the skill over to the standard production line, to train the newer employees how to do more detailed work on a guitar that was more affordable.

We looked at the points of the J-Custom line to see what can be brought into regular production. The Prestige models are not hand made like the J-Customs, but we tightened up all of the tolerances to equal that of the J-Customs. These are areas such as the depth of the neck and the pickup routing. The neck and frets are also hand finished (6-extra steps) and the set-up standards are much higher than that of a regular production model.

The J-Custom guitars are designed to be sold only in the Japanese Market, however we do on occasion see some of these guitars come into the US. Models such as the RGCustom1, RGCustom2, and the SCustom with the GK2 pickup. (From the NAMM Show)

When a model is imported here, we get the relevant statistics. If the guitar is not released in the US, we get very little info, if any at all. As unglamorous as this may seem, it is the truth.
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post #32 of 231 (permalink) Old 05-15-2002, 02:33 PM
 
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Thanks for the input Jay. It is well appreciated.
Out,
Gregory
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post #33 of 231 (permalink) Old 05-15-2002, 03:06 PM
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Re: The Truth About J-Custom/Prestige

Welcome to the forum Jay & thanks for the clarification. Drop me an email if you get a chance please While not an absolute clarification, it does explain some parameters facing Hoshino of Japan's workers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay13
was to move some of the skill over to the standard production line, to train the newer employees how to do more detailed work on a guitar that was more affordable. SNIP.
The J-Custom guitars are designed to be sold only in the Japanese Market, however we do on occasion see some of these guitars come into the US.
History has shown us that if Ibanez believes there is a sales market for a guitar... it will find it's way to be produced and sold in America. With that in mind, can you comment if the initial J-C trial run in America had indeed altered the way the J-Cs were to be sold/marketed in non-Japan regions (ie. the USA)?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay13
The Prestige models are not hand made like the J-Customs, but we tightened up all of the tolerances to equal that of the J-Customs. These are areas such as the depth of the neck and the pickup routing. The neck and frets are also hand finished (6-extra steps) and the set-up standards are much higher than that of a regular production model.
Can you please define "hand made"

I don't want to debate "hand made" but are these J-C guitars and necks not computer routed? Maybe hand-assembled is more accurate?

Off-topic a little, but I would please ask everyone not weigh too-heavily "ornamentation" when discussing quality and "hand-made". For example, we all know that abalone inlays, fancy bindings and multicolor paint does not ALONE make for a top quality guitar I can vine inlay in 24-k gold and/or swirl a Hondo guitar... buy when you plug in and play it's still a Hondo. A rude comparison for sure, but just making a point clear... glen
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post #34 of 231 (permalink) Old 05-15-2002, 03:26 PM
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...awating apology...
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post #35 of 231 (permalink) Old 05-15-2002, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevan
...awating apology...
Get a friend who works in Hoshino Japan's J-C line, lets do a detailed question/answer session... then you may be vindicated. Until then, start answering Rich's posts here

I left out a few paragraphs to follow up with later if Jay replies... it's called courtesy.. no need to beat-up on visitors ...glen
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post #36 of 231 (permalink) Old 05-15-2002, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich
I've already shown you examples of "bottom of the barrell" J Customs, is your memory that short?
Yes. I quit drugs. My memory sucks.
And it seems from Jay's post, that even the "bottom of the barrel" J-C's are still a notch above the TOL Prestiges....so the post is now completely irrelevant. (Who's wasting who's time now?)

Done. Question answered.
Still awaiting apology...
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post #37 of 231 (permalink) Old 05-15-2002, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevan
Done. Question answered.
Speak for yourself please.

For those of us who are objective and without an emotional devotion to the "J-customs are perfect" mantra.... many questions are left unanswered and devoid of explaination beyond marketing/PR-speak ...glen
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post #38 of 231 (permalink) Old 05-15-2002, 04:22 PM
 
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If there was a bare (no paint or graphics etc..) highend prestige (i.e. RG 3120, USA CUSTOM or RGT 3120 etc..) just with the items needed to play (i.e. trem, pickups etc..) so u could play through an amp. Next to it a bare J-Custom (no paint, or graphics) with just the essential parts needed to be able to play (as the aforementioned bare Prestige). Where would one see a difference in quality and or sound? If I understand from Jay13's post the neck maybe the biggest difference. Is that correct?
Out,
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post #39 of 231 (permalink) Old 05-15-2002, 04:24 PM
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Glen- It's just been explained to you, in some detail, that JC and Prestige are NOT marketing ploys or some PR stunt, yet you continue down that path.
Do you need a map?

....and I'm *still* awaiting my apology....
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post #40 of 231 (permalink) Old 05-15-2002, 04:29 PM
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No offense to Jay, but I'll wait for further clarifications. We've all been told for 4 years now that all Prestige and Signature models are made in the J Custom shop. Obviously somebody isn't right, I'd like to be sure *who* isn't right before I further comment.
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post #41 of 231 (permalink) Old 05-15-2002, 04:41 PM
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Kev if you want to debate, please exercise independant thought after reading replies... instead of simply RECITING

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich
No offense to Jay, but I'll wait for further clarifications. We've all been told for 4 years now that all Prestige and Signature models are made in the J Custom shop. Obviously somebody isn't right.
well said

Quote:
Where would one see a difference in quality and or sound? If I understand from Jay13's post the neck maybe the biggest difference. Is that correct?
actually if you read what Jay posted, he reinforced what we already knew... the "six-step neck" (ie. marketing lingo) is featured on the prestige, jem, js, j-customs, signatures, etc. which is NOT FOUND on the "production model" japanese guitars (ie. RG550, etc).

...glen
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post #42 of 231 (permalink) Old 05-15-2002, 05:00 PM
 
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So if the six step neck is is featured on the prestige, jem, js, j-customs, signatures, etc. where is the main difference in quality between a "bare" Prestige and a "bare" JC if all the "tolerances were tightened up to equal that of the J-Customs"?
Out,
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post #43 of 231 (permalink) Old 05-15-2002, 05:46 PM
 
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My guess (ONLY a guess!) is that the main difference between the Prestige/Signature lines and the J Customs is going to be the details:

-Perhaps there are a few more "finishing touches" (i.e. extra neck work)done to the J Customs
-Higher quality (for the most part) woods
-A wider range of wood choices
-More/Different pickup options
-More/Different finishes
-More/Different inlay options & materials
-More/Different hardware finishes/options
-Smaller production batches
-Special production features not found on other Prestige/Signature models:
-the etched/stained design on the ART
-the gears on the GEAR
-the lacquered wood cavity covers on the ARCH
-the insanely intricate & intense etching/inlay/finish work on the EGYPT
-custom graphics like the RG-USA1
-foil finish like the RG-GOLD

Just special things that go above and beyond that which creates a standard production model. In my opinion (OPINION ONLY!) that is what really sets the J Customs apart from the Prestige and signature models. Basically, something that you can't walk into a Guitar Center and see up on the wall! Something unique...out of the ordinary. I honestly don't give the latest run of J Customs much more credit than the Prestige line. Most of the current models that are available in Japan really don't have any features that make them stand out. There ARE more options, etc. available, but long gone are the interesting designs of the GEAR, ART & ARCH. I honestly don't know if the production process is any different for the J Customs and the other lines, but I am inclined to believe Jay when he states that there ARE differences. All I know is that my J Customs play and look WAY better than any Prestige or Signature model that I've had (but then, maybe I've just been lucky?).
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post #44 of 231 (permalink) Old 05-15-2002, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaijem777
My guess (ONLY a guess!) is that the main difference between the Prestige/Signature lines and the J Customs is going to be the details:

-Perhaps there are a few more "finishing touches" (i.e. extra neck work)done to the J Customs
-Higher quality (for the most part) woods
-A wider range of wood choices
-More/Different pickup options
-More/Different finishes
-More/Different inlay options & materials
-More/Different hardware finishes/options
-Smaller production batches
-Special production features not found on other Prestige/Signature models:
-the etched/stained design on the ART
-the gears on the GEAR
-the lacquered wood cavity covers on the ARCH
-the insanely intricate & intense etching/inlay/finish work on the EGYPT
-custom graphics like the RG-USA1
-foil finish like the RG-GOLD

Just special things that go above and beyond that which creates a standard production model. In my opinion (OPINION ONLY!) that is what really sets the J Customs apart from the Prestige and signature models. Basically, something that you can't walk into a Guitar Center and see up on the wall! Something unique...out of the ordinary. I honestly don't give the latest run of J Customs much more credit than the Prestige line. Most of the current models that are available in Japan really don't have any features that make them stand out. There ARE more options, etc. available, but long gone are the interesting designs of the GEAR, ART & ARCH. I honestly don't know if the production process is any different for the J Customs and the other lines, but I am inclined to believe Jay when he states that there ARE differences. All I know is that my J Customs play and look WAY better than any Prestige or Signature model that I've had (but then, maybe I've just been lucky?).
Good points Chris. Putting the "better wood" debate aside (as none of ibanez' woods will win awards)... the rest of this list is 100% ornamentation, decoration or aftermarket parts. Pickup choices hardly qualify as an update in context of this discussion.

For example, it is obvious that an RG-GOLD and JEM77PMC require more "steps" than their respective RG7CST or UV7PWH counterpart

"Play better" is a term that is too subjective to be anything more than personal likes/dislikes... our personal preferences in neck profiles, wood choices etc. is 100% independant of the build quality and tollerances of these instruments ...glen
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post #45 of 231 (permalink) Old 05-15-2002, 06:04 PM
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To be specific, there are only 2 differences I've ever noticed on a JC, the fret end finishing is marginally better (depending on the List price some are quite a bit better) and extra rounding of the board edges for that broken in feel. No other differences have I ever noted. The same QC blems and misques I've seen on Jems and Prestige I have definately seen on JC's too, and I'm talking $3000 JC's, not your bottom line models. Loose neck pockets, discrepencies in trem routs, dirt under the clear. I've never seen any notable differene in wood quality, or hardware, none whatsoever. In fact the Gear I had last year has a very light rosewood board. The fit in all the 'gear' puzzle pieces left a little to be desired, there was alot of router chipping in these pieces, etc. Cool guitar, but flawless? No chance. Kevans has the same router chipping and 'fit' (but is still Mint). The RG1680x I just shipped had very nice fret end finishing, much better than a 3120. Iain's RG4 has the same thing. That I'm not disagreeing you do get, what I do disagree with is that they're the best quality, as I've seen perfect Jems, and not near as perfect JC's. QC is on a per guitar basis, and some are undeniably better than others.
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