Kid in a Candy Store Can't Make up his Mind - Jemsite
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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Kid in a Candy Store Can't Make up his Mind

So, without going into a huge story, after a year of breaking my *ss, my company is giving me a bonus check at the end of March.

I am guessing that I will have somewhere in the neighborhood of $2500.00 that I can spend on some new gear.

I have a JS100 that I will be upgrading the pups on. Besides that, I have a Washburn acoustic, so you need to understand, I have never really owned a "higher-end" pricier guitar.

So with that amount of dough to spend, I find myself in a world of options I've never really thought about, or considered, simply because I never had the money I could simply drop on something, and I'm getting more frustrated than excited, because I know I'll have this for the rest of my life.

Right now, I am considering the following:

LTD MH-1000FR

Ibanez S570DXQM

Ibanez Prestige S5470F

Music Man Axis (NOT Super Sport, or the Ernie Ball Edition)

EVH Wolfgang Special

(Yes, I am a EVH Fan, and while the EBMM is my dream guitar from a collecting perspective, I don't have the money to buy it so it can sit in a case. I want something I can play.)

What it comes down to, for me, is the way the thing ultimately feels, and that, by far, should be the #1 concern on everyone's mind when they go to buy a new axe.

Secondly to that, though, using a JS100 as a baseline, I would be hoping that any guitar I buy (for double the cost of the JS100) would have some upgrades (IE - 24 frets, nicer finish, better trem, better pups, etc.)

Now before the "buy a JS1000/1200" comments begin, I would like to mention, I am looking for something different than what I already have. From the way I understand this, the basswood in the JS is meant for a crisper, more "soloing" sound, while the mohagany in an S is more designed for meaty rhythm, while maintaining a "shredder" feel. I am not looking to "update" my JS100. I'm looking for a solid departure from it.

Right now, the Prestige *REALLY* has my interest peaked. I keep reading, and hearing (even direct from Ibanez) about how wonderful that neck feels.

Problem - in order to play on one, I have to basically buy it from GC before they even bring it into the store. Dropping 1700 so I can simply play a neck seems....wrong.

So, what I ask you ALL is to check these out, and give me ANY opinions you have on ANY of them, or to suggest something I haven't thought of / seen myself.

For purposes of what I play, it's metal / shred type stuff, but I WOULD like a guitar that isn't a one-trick-pony.

I know im posting about multiple manufacturers that aren't Ibby, but seeing that the 5470F is one that is VERY high on my list, I figured this would be a good place to post and ask the question.

Thanks, in advance, to all, and cheers!
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 07:54 PM
 
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Re: Kid in a Candy Store Can't Make up his Mind

I have some small amount of opinion to share.

The LTD I have no experience with, so I won't comment there.

The S570 seems quite nice, but if you're considering the Prestige S, I'd focus there a bit more, since you're likely to have the budget to do so.

The Prestige S would be a good bet, for sure... fit and finish tend to be quite excellent, and the S series are great to play - but I hope you're one for wearing a strap even when sitting. If your experience with S bodies is anything like mine: for me, they tend to want to wander off of my lap while I'm playing =]
Truth to tell, that also happens to me with the Radius and JS bodies.
I really like all of the above, and want to re-add an S at some point, especially since the 24 fret ones became available.
The mahogany gives this sleek body some nice mass, and keeps them sounding great.

Now, the Music Man Axis is completely not my kind of guitar (though I'm a long-time EVH fan)... the looks of it never grabbed me at all.
HOWEVER, when I tried playing one, it was pretty darn magical; narrow and thick neck (complete opposite to what I like), but the asymmetrical profile makes it fit in the hand amazingly well.
The fit and finish details are excellent, the trem is a great Gotoh model, the stock pickups sound really quite good... it's a great recipe. Who knew?
Fact is, Ed only left EB/MM because they couldn't keep up with the demand, and they seemed to refuse to sacrifice quality for quantity. Good on them.
So you'd likely like playing that.

The Wolfgang Special... that I would consider more of a hit or miss for you; you'd really have to put your hands on it.
I can say that the ones I've tried compared amazingly well to the top end models, and the lack of carved top is a non-issue to me... I was quite impressed with the Special, and was surprised that they'd cut into their own potential top-end sales with this contender.
It's a well-built instrument.
Having said that, I wasn't overly-amazed with the EVH Wolfies in general (although I'm one of not that many who actually likes the 'burst colour).
I would say the Axis might agree with you more. It seemed more 'organic' in my hand than the Wolfies did for some reason... and I've test-driven multiples of these.

Hope this gives some clarity... but this kind of thing is all ice cream, really. So I'm trying to be objective about it.
I'm a huge Ibanez fan (currently have .. 10 of them, I believe is the count...) but I have managed to be impressed with those certain other things like the Axis.

Cheers.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 10:19 PM
 
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Re: Kid in a Candy Store Can't Make up his Mind

Hello there, just thought I'd share with you that I've played the MH1000.. They're damn nice. Neck is very nice, but not overly thin. EMGs (could be a good thing or bad thing depending on if you prefer actives) sound great IMO. Very solid guitar and well worth the money.
I also own a prestige S series.. granted it isn't the same model, but talking from a quality perspective. I've never regretted purchasing mine.
Hope I helped!
fogninja
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 12:27 AM
 
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Re: Kid in a Candy Store Can't Make up his Mind

Hi Erase,
I'm going to preface this with "I'm an official Ibanez fanboy geek". With that said, I'll give you some comments on my experiences with some of these guitars.

The LTD MH-1000 is a VERY nice guitar with a few (IMO) shortfalls. First, and most importantly, the Floyd Rose 1000 is a very bad licensed FR copy. It is made in Korea, not like the schaller (German) made OFR. They are made of softer metals and plagued with instability. The neck is not as wide as your js, but it IS much thicker. you'd have to get used to that. I'm also not a fan of the EMG's. If you were to buy this guitar, you might want to plan on changing the trem right off the bat. You could also do an easy pup swap by going to the EMG x-series. The X-series have a lot more headroom than the originals and are a lot more dynamic. Plus, EMG's are plug and play.... no soldering needed. When I played the MH-1000 I found it to be VERY comfortable and a guitar I could grow into very quickly.

Music Man Axis. This was flat out a great guitar. The tone was beautiful, crisp, and full of attack. I played a maple board version. It has a VERY classic feel to it. Again the neck will take some getting used to, and this was not a particularly light weight guitar. If it were a few hundred dollars cheaper....... I would have bought it (personally, I think this guitar would be fairly priced in the $1100-$1300 range). The finish work on the neck was not quite up to par for me because the fret were rough and the fret-ends were sharp. The neck profile was narrow and thick. The fretboard radius is only 10" so it's QUITE round as compared to your JS. Like I said...... Its nice, but WILL take a while to get used to it.

I don't have any experience with the Wolfgang.

Both S-series guitars that you like are excellent guitars. Since you have the $$$ available, the 5470 would be the better choice. Both are a BIG step up from your JS.

If your really looking for a new animal altogether, you may want to check out the new Ibanez Premiums, they were just released last month at NAMM. For the cream of the crop, you might want to check out the new J-customs. You might still be able to get one in your price range. You'll want to check with Rich on that one.

Speaking of Rich. He's a regular everyday senior member here, and quite frankly, the ONLY place in the states to be buying "high end" Ibanez'. For the $$$ that you have to work with, I know he'll be able to set you up with a HELL of a lot more guitar than you'll ever find at GC. I seriously urge you to call him after visiting his website. He has all of Jemsite as solid A++++ references.

Rich's website:
http://ibanezrules.com/

Let us know what you decide on....... were looking forward to seeing what you get, regardless of what you choose.

Ryc
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 05:42 AM
 
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Re: Kid in a Candy Store Can't Make up his Mind

I'd say get a Jem.

Forget the "not really EvH" EvH type guitars,
forget the "not really ESP" LTDs
forget the "not MIJ" S570.
Coming from the JS100 you might not appreciate the difference between an ESP and an LTD yet, but you will.

You can get a good deal on a leftover EdgePro model (IMHO preferable over Edge reissues) They are versatile, do not sound, play or look like a JS and will last you a lifetime.

Next, check out the RGA420Z. If you like the looks of the S and LTD above, you will love the RGA. As versatile as a Jem, but quite different in looks and Pups.

My other choice would be the prestige S5470. Also very versatile, but I could never get along with the Pup rings and all the clutter on the front (switch, jack) even worse since they moved to 24frets, coming from a JS this could bother you. Don't think it's going to sound like a typical mahogany guitar, either: the lens shape has too much of an influence.

What might also bother you coming from the rounded, aerofoil JS body are the relatively sharp corners on all of these, so I would also consider the RGD with this in mind. The RGD does ,however, have an extended scale (26,5"), which you really need to play to feel if it suits you.

Lastly, don't buy anything you haven't played, if you're willing to spend 2.5k$, you should invest the time to go to another city where they do have everything in stock. If you are in SoCal, check out Carvin as well.

Happy hunting!
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 06:38 AM
 
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Re: Kid in a Candy Store Can't Make up his Mind

Personally I would avoid the MH1000 as it is covered in abalone which I think is pretty ugly. If you want an ESP I'd go for a real one and get an M-II

I think what I'd do though is get a prestige Ibby and then get a nice amp with the rest.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 09:56 AM
 
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Re: Kid in a Candy Store Can't Make up his Mind

I just want to say a few things here. First off the back of the neck on the LTD is painted. I personally hate playing on a surface like that. Definitely play a guitar with a painted neck before considering ordering this.

Second, if you go Ibanez, go Prestige. I've owned 4 non-prestige Ibanez's and 1 Prestige. While the non-prestiges were nice guitars, there's is just no comparison to a Prestige. I can't stress enough how good a Prestige Wizard neck feels in the hands, these guitars tend to just play themselves . You're also getting something made in Japan by Ibanez's best people, made from the finest woods, and have the highest quality hardware.

You should also check out the SV5470F. It's got auto-trimming locking tuners, a trem backstop, and coil tapping options going on. You can also get it in the same blue finish as the S5470F.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 12:39 PM
 
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Re: Kid in a Candy Store Can't Make up his Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by erasetheprocess View Post
. . .
I am guessing that I will have somewhere in the neighborhood of $2500.00 that I can spend on some new gear.

. . . I never had the money I could simply drop on something, and I'm getting more frustrated than excited, because I know I'll have this for the rest of my life.

In some ways, you and I are a lot alike. I've never spent more than $1000 on a single guitar or amp and I am lucky to have the guitars I have (Ibanez RG550, an Artcore, and two Les Paul Studios). I don't anticipate having a budget of $2500 for a guitar for at least two more years. But I have a different perspective on this buying decision of yours.

Don't get frustrated at all, relax, this is a nice problem to have!

Don't think that you are wedded to this future guitar. You seem to be on your way to making a careful decision, and I doubt you'll regret it. And even if you do ever have buyer's regret, if you've made a decent choice, you're going to be able to recoup a fair amount of your purchase price. You might lose some money, but with future earnings, you ought to be able to replace it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by erasetheprocess View Post
. . . while the EBMM is my dream guitar from a collecting perspective, I don't have the money to buy it so it can sit in a case. I want something I can play.)
. . .
Okay, a $2500 guitar is a very nice instrument, but let's put it in perspective. Every week at every single Guitar Center location, they sell a couple of them. Many, many, guitarists play and gig with instruments from the Gibson and Fender Custom Shops, Ibanez JEMs, sweet Taylors and Martins, PRS guitars . . .

heck, a couple of months ago I was at an open mic / blues jam at a bar and somebody was ripping on a Telecaster. I found out later it was a mid-1950s guitar and it was worth many thousands. But everybody in the joint had a big smile on his face. There's where the real value is, the joy we get playing guitar.

If you want an EBMM, go play few, pick the one you want, and rock on! You'll treat it nice and that will prevent lots of damage, but you'll get an inevitable nick here and there and you shouldn't care too much about them. Life is short.

Peace

Mike
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Kid in a Candy Store Can't Make up his Mind

First off, all, this forum is AWESOME. I **TRULY** appreciate the time and thoughts you guys have sent my way. Each post is chock full of information, suggestions, and things to consider, and I really appreciate it.

Point by point remarks:

Quote:
Originally Posted by xXLinkageXx View Post
First off the back of the neck on the LTD is painted. I personally hate playing on a surface like that. Definitely play a guitar with a painted neck before considering ordering this.
I actually played on an LTD M-1000, which is REAL close to the MH, and that was one of my biggest problems with it. I like the feel of the wood. I know I could scuff it up to get more of a ďwood-feelĒ to it, but I was thinking about this, and for the amount of cash I'm considering dropping, I don't really feel like I should immiately need to change something (besides the pups) on a brand new guitar, especially, in essence, when Iím intentionally wrecking a finish. ďBuy a, expensive, brand new guitar so I can screw it upĒ doesnít seem logical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve View Post
S series are great to play - but I hope you're one for wearing a strap even when sitting. If your experience with S bodies is anything like mine: for me, they tend to want to wander off of my lap while I'm playing =]
Hmm, I didn't even THINK of that. Luckily for me, I don't seem to have that problem with my JS100, but still something to consider. I'll definately need to play on one in order to see if that happens to me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGTFanatic View Post
Music Man AxisÖAgain the neck will take some getting used to, and this was not a particularly light weight guitar.
Iíve played on official EBMMís, and the Axis, and the neck is kinda what always sold me on that particular guitar. It just feelsÖincredible. The weight of the tank of the body though kinda turns me the other way. Doesnít seem like itís balanced real well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGTFanatic View Post
If your really looking for a new animal altogether, you may want to check out the new Ibanez Premiums.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eviltwin View Post
I'd say get a Jem.
The prime reason I didnít have a Premium, Jem, or any RG listed is simply because, for whatever reason, I donít care for RGís. I know that before, my biggest single problem was the thinness of the necks, but my tastes have definitely evolved, and now I find I really like them. Iíll have to give a few of these a go again, see if I finally fall in love with them, though, in 15 years, I havenít yetÖ

Iím noticing one very consistent thing in this thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by xXLinkageXx View Post
Ö there's is just no comparison to a Prestige. I can't stress enough how good a Prestige Wizard neck feels in the hands, these guitars tend to just play themselves . You're also getting something made in Japan by Ibanez's best people, made from the finest woods, and have the highest quality hardware.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eviltwin View Post
My other choice would be the prestige S5470.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RGTFanatic View Post
Both S-series guitars that you like are excellent guitars. Since you have the $$$ available, the 5470 would be the better choice. Both are a BIG step up from your JS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve View Post
The mahogany gives this sleek body some nice mass, and keeps them sounding great.
Noone has said anything bad, at all, about the Prestige S.
Iím not a huge fan of EMGís, and the painted neck on the MH-1000 seems like it should be taken out of the running. I donít mind the abalone (I actually kinda like the way it looks,) but I have a feeling that guitar is just not going to ďdo it for me.Ē

If Iím looking for a higher end guitar, I shouldnít be looking at lower-end Ibbys, so I think the S540DXQM is out of the running as well.

The Axis plays really well, but itís a heavy beast. I need to put some more time in with this one.

I donít know how the Wolfie plays, or feels, at all. My love for VH and the fact that it is in the right price range is the prime reason this is even up here. If the neck feels similar to an EBMM / Axis, but the body is lighter, this one might become a very serious contender.

And it looks like I should get re-acquainted with the RGís and Jemís as well.

Iím heading down to GC tomorrow, just to put a few different things in my hands. Iíll keep you all posted.

Thanks again, everyone, and please, if you have anything more to say, please, chime in. This actual purchase is probably not going to be made for another month, and until then, Iíll be going in circles.

Oh, and for the record, I'm a large Ibanez fan as well. Its what I grew up playing, it's what I learned on. I am not trying to knock them, at all, and so far, they are still totally in the running. I just don't see myself making another purchase like this for a LONG time, if ever, and want to make sure I wind up with something I'm truly happy with.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 02:25 PM
 
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Re: Kid in a Candy Store Can't Make up his Mind

Check out the original RG550's 570's 750's and 770's

Upgrade the Pups on them and Buy yourself a Nice amp (Tube)

Much better than a Good Guitar through an Average Rig.
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 02:54 PM
 
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Re: Kid in a Candy Store Can't Make up his Mind

I'd say take the plunge and get the S Prestige or an EB. The opportunity to own a high end guitar doesn't come up everyday for most of us, and it's a decision you won't regret. If you want to keep it under $1000 for a new instrument you could hit up Rich for one of the new RG920QM's. Of course a case will cost you another $100 or so, but they've got good pickups, good trem, and a nice looking top.
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 03:06 PM
 
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Re: Kid in a Candy Store Can't Make up his Mind

This might not make it easier for you, but still something you might want to consider.

- http://www.rasmusguitars.com/ - Great value for money. $1332 MSRP for a great guitar.

- The new Ibanez Premium guitars might be something to look at. Rich got them (soon?).

Personally, if I had $2500 to spend, I would try to find a good RG550 - and buy a (used) Axe-FX.
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 04:19 PM
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Re: Kid in a Candy Store Can't Make up his Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by erasetheprocess View Post
Thanks again, everyone, and please, if you have anything more to say, please, chime in. This actual purchase is probably not going to be made for another month, and until then, Iíll be going in circles.
My advice would be literally to be like a kid in a candy store. $2500 isn't "that" much money to spend on a guitar these days but none the less it will buy you a VERY nice guitar. If you don't know what you want going into the store, I'd visit the place and tell them you're looking to spend $2500 on a new rock guitar.

What have they got?

Try everything, even if you don't think you'll like it just to rule it out. You might find you want a telecaster or a PRS when you play it. If you go back over a couple of weeks and try a lot of guitars then they should let you do this as long as you are honest and say you're looking to buy next month but need to try some different things to find out what you're going to splash the cash on.
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 04:46 PM
 
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Re: Kid in a Candy Store Can't Make up his Mind

Not a fan of the s type shape and I think if it were me I would have the Wolfgang in black as I am not a fan of colors and the headstock has grown on me unless they changed it as i remember it looking terrible a while ago?
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 12:44 PM
 
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Re: Kid in a Candy Store Can't Make up his Mind

I can say that the EVH Wolfgang necks (regular and special) don't seem to have that same organic fit in the hand as the EB/MM Axis does...
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