New guy to Ibanez, where to start? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2015, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
 
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New guy to Ibanez, where to start?

Hi everyone, I've been a Fender guy since the 1990's, and most of that was with a Stratocaster. I have a Tele now, but want to get "into" Ibanez guitars. I'm trying to break out of the blues noodling I've been doing for the last 20 years and approach the guitar in a new way (for me). No, a new guitar isn't necessary to do this, but who here would fault me for that?

I plan to buy a "project guitar" and bring it to its full glory if I can find the right candidate. I may even build a mahogany body, as I think I may have some suitable wood soon. If I'm able to do that, I'll still need the neck and the rest. I understand that the Japanese made models are typically better made, or that quality control may be better. Aside from that, if you were looking for a suitable project guitar, what years, models, and places of manufacture would you consider best? Hardware, pickups, tuners, etc can all easily be upgraded, I'm mostly interested in finding a decent neck, body, and bridge. I have very little experience with floating trems, so I have no bias for or against one style versus another (ZR, Floyd Rose, etc). I know I don't want a traditional Fender style bridge. I'm really just a hobbyist and couch player, but want something that's solid and stays in tune. I really like the thin profile of the "S" series, and the contours of the JS models more than the RG series, but really any one would meet my needs/ desires.

Thanks for any and all input!
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2015, 01:56 PM
 
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Re: New guy to Ibanez, where to start?

Welcome

The good news is that, if you want a mahogany body, the S, R, and JS series models are already there for you.

There are some basic questions we could ask to help point you in the right direction:
1. Do you want to try a 24 fret neck or are you happy with less?

With a few newer exceptions, the S, R, and JS series guitars have been 22 fret instruments. Newer JS and S series guitars sport double-octave necks but, of course, newer = pricier. RGs have come equipped with 24 fret necks since the beginning.


2. Do you hope to be able to use the bridge for dive-bombs and crazy fluttering sounds (in the fashion of Steve Vai or Joe Satriani), or do you plan to simply use it for basic vibrato?

If you are interested in the dramatic trem effects, then you'll want to seek out an instrument with an Edge, Lo Pro Edge, Edge Pro, or Edge Zero.

If you're just planning for basic vibrato, the lesser bridges (Edge Pro II, Edge III, Lo-TRS) should still be serviceable. Start really wailing on them, and you'll find that they lose tune quickly though.


3. Do you have a preference for pickup configuration?

If you want single coils up in the neck position, you'll want to check out early Radius (the model that became the JS) and S series guitars or RG560s and 760s. Of course, if you go for an RG550, you'll have a strat-style pickguard which allows you to load more or less whatever pickups you want.


4. What kind of neck do you want?

Ibanez is most famous for the Wizard necks on the MIJ RGs--those incredibly slim necks that make fast playing feel easier. But the cheaper necks from Korea and Indonesida are still pretty slim and might be more to your liking if you like a Strat.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2015, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: New guy to Ibanez, where to start?

Well, in regards to your response......

1: 22 or 24, either is fine. I've had 22 and 21, and haven't really needed the extra fret. However, neither is a deal breaker for me.

2: I'd like to be able to dive bomb like a maniac, but probably wouldn't use it all that much.

3: A two pickup configuration is perfect. I like the aesthetics of a HB in the bridge, and a single coil sized HB in the neck, but either is fine (HH, or HS).

4: I'm not entirely sold on what type neck I want/ prefer. For the stuff I've played in the past, a thick fat chunky neck was great. However, I had a Charvel Reissue (Fender Custom Shop) with a thin neck and I liked it quite a bit. I only owned it for about a week, but Its actually the guitar that got me thinking the "speed/shredding/metal/ Satriani/Vai/ EVH" direction. The problem is that I sold the guitar for a ridiculous profit before I realized how much I liked it.

Incidentally, I just returned from the local Music Go Round, and played an RG6002, that really needed some love. However, the neck and especially the body, felt very comfortable. I think a wider nut width is preferable, versus a narrower nut. I don't know how much variation there is from model to model. They also had an "SA" series I think... it was a maple topped mahogany guitar that was very comfortable, but I didn't like the neck at all on that particular one. The nut felt VERY narrow, and cheap. The weight of the body though was very nice and light. Of those two, I'd have gone with the RG, just because the neck felt better on the RG.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2015, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: New guy to Ibanez, where to start?

I should also mention that i really prefer maple boards over rosewood, though thats not a total deal breaker either.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2015, 02:55 PM
 
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Re: New guy to Ibanez, where to start?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tacomamc View Post
Well, in regards to your response......

1: 22 or 24, either is fine. I've had 22 and 21, and haven't really needed the extra fret. However, neither is a deal breaker for me.

2: I'd like to be able to dive bomb like a maniac, but probably wouldn't use it all that much.

3: A two pickup configuration is perfect. I like the aesthetics of a HB in the bridge, and a single coil sized HB in the neck, but either is fine (HH, or HS).

4: I'm not entirely sold on what type neck I want/ prefer. For the stuff I've played in the past, a thick fat chunky neck was great. However, I had a Charvel Reissue (Fender Custom Shop) with a thin neck and I liked it quite a bit. I only owned it for about a week, but Its actually the guitar that got me thinking the "speed/shredding/metal/ Satriani/Vai/ EVH" direction. The problem is that I sold the guitar for a ridiculous profit before I realized how much I liked it.

Incidentally, I just returned from the local Music Go Round, and played an RG6002, that really needed some love. However, the neck and especially the body, felt very comfortable. I think a wider nut width is preferable, versus a narrower nut. I don't know how much variation there is from model to model. They also had an "SA" series I think... it was a maple topped mahogany guitar that was very comfortable, but I didn't like the neck at all on that particular one. The nut felt VERY narrow, and cheap. The weight of the body though was very nice and light. Of those two, I'd have gone with the RG, just because the neck felt better on the RG.
If you liked the 6002, then you should really try to get your hands on a Prestige. The 6002 is probably one of the nicer ones you'll find hanging on the wall at your average Guitar Center, but it's lower-middle of the Ibanez range.

In terms of pickup configurations, I think it's fair to say that two-pickup configurations are a bit less common historically, but are increasingly common. You'll find H-H on a fair number of RGs in the current lineup.

Since you have a preference for maple (sadly, maple is rare on Ibanez guitars these days) and H-H, you might want to see if you can get your hands on an RG652AHM.

http://www.ibanez.co.jp/products/u_e...153&color=CL01

H-S configurations are a lot less common. I think I've seen it on a few random old S-series guitars, the current Korn Apex signature 7-string, and on the newest Satriani models. The JS2450 in Muscle Car Purple is a real stunner.

http://www.ibanez.co.jp/products/u_e...265&color=CL01
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2015, 02:58 PM
 
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Re: New guy to Ibanez, where to start?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tacomamc View Post
They also had an "SA" series I think... it was a maple topped mahogany guitar that was very comfortable, but I didn't like the neck at all on that particular one. The nut felt VERY narrow, and cheap. The weight of the body though was very nice and light. Of those two, I'd have gone with the RG, just because the neck felt better on the RG.

My perception of the SA series has been very similar. I'd only recommend them to young beginners or people with very small hands. The S series will have the wider Wizard and Wizard III widths.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2015, 03:33 PM
 
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Re: New guy to Ibanez, where to start?

I think the 2009 RG1550M would be a great starting point for you Tacoma. You'll get the 58mm Wizard Prestige maple neck, a pickguard to add any pup configuration you want, and the VERY reliable and comfortable Edge-Pro trem. Of course all the hardware will be MIJ. 2009 was the only year to get these specs though.....Ibanez moved to the Edge Zero in 2010.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2015, 03:35 PM
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Re: New guy to Ibanez, where to start?

I'd got with a new 655M with the Edge.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2015, 07:51 PM
 
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Re: New guy to Ibanez, where to start?

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Originally Posted by Rich View Post
I'd got with a new 655M with the Edge.
Another great suggestion. If the OP has the $$, the 655 is the best place to go.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2015, 08:34 PM
 
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Re: New guy to Ibanez, where to start?

the good old 550 is always a good project guitar.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2015, 09:48 PM
 
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Re: New guy to Ibanez, where to start?

What neck shape you like will greatly determine which model you go for.

Pretty much all the prestige RG/S series have the paper thin necks, where as the cheaper versions have the fatter wizard III necks.

If you are used to a strat going to the super wizard or wizard HP might seem a bit weird, even I find the super wizard it too thin to play, even after been an Ibanez only guy for ages.

If you can find an older Japanese Ibanez like a RG550 or similar, they are really the best if you ask me, the good Fujigen made Rg's with the not to thin neck, and not to wide either.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2015, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: New guy to Ibanez, where to start?

I really appreciate all your input here guys. I'm really very unknowledgeable on all things ibanez, but I want to get smart on it all!

The RG 6002 I looked at today was $229, and had an HH pickup configuration. Are these Indonesian made models still all solid wood bodies?
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2015, 10:29 PM
 
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Re: New guy to Ibanez, where to start?

indonesian made is not too bad at all, but if you want to experience the 'real' deal, maybe 550 is a good way to start.

I'm quite opposite as yours, I'm an ibanez guy that wanted to experience the fender way.
But I didn't go to squire only because it's cheaper, I took the american standard strat.
So I can really learn what is fender all about.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2015, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: New guy to Ibanez, where to start?

That makes sense. budget is definitely my Primary limiting factor. I actually started with an American standard stratocaster, and now play a Squier classic vibe tele. Is it as good or better than the American? Definitely not, but it's worlds better than it should be for the $225 I paid for it, and it's American counterpart is not $800 more fun, to me. I try to buy the best I can afford, and realize I cannot always buy the best, so I try and get the most for what I spend. My Squier fits that bill perfectly.

Your input is very valuable to me, and I'm Already smarter than I was just 12 hours ago on all this.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2015, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: New guy to Ibanez, where to start?

I don't understand the model Numbers yet. Where does the 6002 fit? I would assume (maybe incorrectly) that the higher the number the higher in the pecking order it is? Or is that number (6002) two separate designations (model and color?)
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