Japanese 2002 RG1570 vs Korean 1998 RG420FA - Jemsite
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
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Japanese 2002 RG1570 vs Korean 1998 RG420FA

I recently purchased both a Japanese RG1570 from 2002 (Yes, the serial number on the neck says 2002) and a Korean RG420FA from 1998.

After years of playing diverse strats, finally playing RGs is a blast. In my subjective opinion, both sound great, feel fast have a good clear sound. The 1570 sounds like it has a little more bite. However, I need identical strings on both for a better comparison.

The main difference (apart from the tremolo system) I have noticed is the frets. On the RG420FA the jumbo frets are really jumbo. Coming from a strat they feel huge! In comparison the frets on the RG1570 look and feel noticeably lower and narrower, although they are listed as jumbo frets as well.

I know that there are different sizes of jumbo, I just wonder whether the lower frets on the 1570 are more due to wear than design?

The 1570 looks like it has been played a LOT more than the 420, which is in incredible condition.

The different frets give them a completely different playing feel - The 1570 is closer to what I know but lightyears faster than my strat. The 420 with its monster frets is like a completely different instrument.

Does anyone have any experience with the 1570 and the fret size?
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 08:03 AM
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Washington, DC
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Re: Japanese 2002 RG1570 vs Korean 1998 RG420FA

First, welcome.

Second, your 1570 would be considered a 2003 despite the 2002 serial. This is actually totally normal as Ibanez launches new models on January 1st and they need guitars ready, so their production year doesn't really align with the calendar. Sort of like how the US government Fiscal Year 2019 started on October 1, 2018. Your serial number probably has the last 5 digits 33xxx or 36xxx.

Regarding the frets, I've found a reasonable amount of variance in the width of frets but the height is usually pretty consistent. A new fret should be 0.058" tall and I've seen them that way and I've seen some that are more like 0.055", but I'm 99% sure these have been leveled.

A 2018 RG550 has frets which are 0.118" wide, which would correspond to Jescar FW58118 wire. However an RG1570Z neck with a 2013 serial has frets measuring 0.113" wide, which is the same as a 1990 RG neck. I would assume your guitar has frets similar to one of these. Not certain where those might come from?

I've never seen an RG where anyone would consider the frets narrow. If your guitar looks like it's been played a lot, it's entirely possible it was refretted with smaller wire.
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