NGD Ibanez J Custom RG 1702 - Jemsite
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 62
NGD Ibanez J Custom RG 1702

Hey everyone!
I never owned any Ibbys before, so thats my first one

here's a long story, if you dont wanna read it - skip to photos and specs lol)

since 90s nobody liked Ibbies that much in my city(i live in Ukraine) since all that was available in stores here were chinese Gio's so everybody associated Ibanez with lo-quality guitars. So basically i avoided them as well

i tried a couple of LTD's, Schecters(which were pretty ****ty), Godins were good(at least Solidac is good with all that piezo feature, but stay away from Redline - the frets there have overly rolled edges so that your low E will be constantly sliding off the fretboard)

then i bought a Gib LP Standard and while i was very happy with the look of it(it was like a holy grail) - sonically that was very dull sounding for my ears.
my fellas told that its not the best year for Les Paul and i should look for pre-1980 or 2003 or 1991 Classic but i have no patience for trying out like a hundred of guitars to find "the one"

so i bought a PRS McCarty Goldtop with P90, and later a McCarty with Humbuckers, they're very nice for achieving a good fat and edgy tone

after that i sold all my guitars except for McCarty Rosewood and set a rule for myself - that i should have no more than 2 guitars to not get distracted much by tons of instruments since the musicianship suffers(at least for me)

i tried some fenders for the second guitar - Jeff Beck strat was nice but i couldnt shred that much on it and there wasnt any good chug obviously, so after i learned a couple of Audioslave songs i felt that there's nothing else that the strat can do for me as i dont care for old blues stuff. i didnt want to replace pickups either since it ruins the all-original state

so i decided to sell it or maybe trade it for something more shreddy
i searched on the local forums and there were some nice musicmans jp's ibanez 1550/2550 ESP's available for a trade but they were all made from basswood with no tops and i'm really ash or mahogany + maple cap whore type of person)

i've read a ton of articles here on Jemsite and decided to search for J Custom however the models with tree of life set me off both visually and price-wise and then i've found this '97 1702 available for a trade and the guy was looking for a strat or tele

the trade's done and it finally arrived













the spec-wise it has:
- 40 mm Mahogany body with 4 mm AAAA maple top
- All access 3 pc Maple neck with ultra profile - 19.5 mm at 1 fret, 21.5 mm at 12 fret, 43 mm thick 1 fret, 56 mm thick 21 fret, 430 mm Radius - pretty thick feeling neck, not the typical wizard, feels like some sort of 7 string but its a 6 lol
- selected dark rosewood fingerboard
- Edge Lo Pro
- direct mounted Dimarzio Tone Zone + Air Norton
- 5 way switch
- 24 monstrous huge dunlop 6100 frets
- abalone side dots and ibanez logo on headstock
- flush mount straplocks(never seen those anywhere before)
- it's even has Mr. Vai's sig! which is nice)

however when it arrived it was was very rusty and sticky, the edge's fine tuners were stuck and didnt move, the action was too high(like 1 or 2 mm at the nut and 3-4mm at 24 fret), the tremolo arm holder was loose and it was always spinning so that i couldnt fix the arm for flutter sounds

after the endless week of setting it up(the action, replacing the pots to dimarzio, the trem arm socket fix) i finally was able to play

i tried to play it before i plugged it into amp - and boy does it resonate like crazy
the amplified distorted sound is very thick and huge, sometimes i even think like i'm playing in drop C or something, however its in standard E lol
the clean sound is average so far and the 2 3 4 positions are not very convincing, the best possible clean sound is available in the neck position with tone rolled a bit back - it sounds almost like an acoustic

the only thing bothers me a little bit are the pickups - Tone Zone and Air Norton
is it just me or they sound on the muddy/flabby side with very little attack? or i'm doing something wrong like the pickup/polepieces height is wrong or something. or its just not a very good set of pickups for mahogany? any suggestions?

anyways guys, i hope you enjoyed reading all of this)

Last edited by axis_musicman; 03-13-2016 at 04:36 PM.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 10:52 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Canada
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Re: NGD Ibanez J Custom RG 1702

Beautiful axe man, congrats! Is it just me, or are only the first 2 photos working? I kind of feel the same way about the TZ in the bridge with my RG3120. I think I may try tossing in a set of breeds or a D-sonic bridge I have laying around. I don't mind the PAF Pro in the neck, it sounds clear and open. I've heard that Evo's sound great in mahogany, maybe a couple others can chime in on that.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
 
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Location: Toronto, Canada
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Re: NGD Ibanez J Custom RG 1702

hey Steveche
all the photos work just fine, just tested it on different browsers to be sure
i'm thinking about d sonic too(or crunch lab, not sure which one's better)
i've checked the 3120 online and it seems like its almost identical to 1702 spec-wise, just a little different neck profile and paf pro in the neck

please let me know once you'll have the d sonic installed and how you like it) then i'll order one too)
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NGD Ibanez J Custom RG 1702

update: some pics in fact didnt worked in mobile chrome) fixed that, you should see all 6
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 08:10 PM
 
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Re: NGD Ibanez J Custom RG 1702

Hey! A new J Custom day...especially a first Ibanez day are fantastic! Well done and congrats and the nice bonus of the Steve Vai autograph!

That is a beautiful looking guitar. With a little TLC and a pickup change, you'll be rocking in no time!

I too am not a fan of the Tone Zone or the Air Norton, especially in a mahog/maple top. I've had enough J Customs to know how they sound and I've removed them from everyone one I have had.

What kind of music do you play and what kind of sound are you after?
I have a few suggestions but it helps to know what you are looking for.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-14-2016, 03:20 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NGD Ibanez J Custom RG 1702

Quote:
Originally Posted by PBGas View Post
Hey! A new J Custom day...especially a first
What kind of music do you play and what kind of sound are you after?
I have a few suggestions but it helps to know what you are looking for.
Hey PBGas!
i play(at least attempt) prog, southern, maybe rap metal and some cheesy clean stuff

i like a couple of bands, if i had to narrow my tone preferences to some particular songs these would be:
- Mastodon - Motherload
- Dream Theater - Pull Me Under, Another Day, Constant Motion
- Audioslave - Show me how to live, Cochise
- Rage Against The Machine - Killing in the name, Guerilla Radio
- Marco Sfogli - Still Hurts, Andromeda
and of course the beloved Rush - Tom Sawyer, YYZ

so we have les paul/prs for Mastodon, lacs ibby for Petrucci, strat/tele with rail humbucker for Morello, some italian made Rash which reminds me of JP6 for Sfogli and god knows what Lifeson had used for recording these awesome tracks)

anyway i dont want my Ibby to sound like a particular telecaster or les paul or nail the exact player's tone, all i want is a useful musical sound with good note definition for chords, clarity and at the same time tight, punchy
something that will inspire me to play all the time, to find my own tone other than lets say Lifeson-wannabe kind of guy, people will listen to Rush instead of some random guy who tries to copy))

originally i wanted to find Ibanez JPM but after checking a tons of videos i saw that Petrucci wasnt a Japanese made JPM user at all, he had "USA Custom" on the headstock + the holes left from the mounting rings(on rock discipline DVD) so god knows what was the spec of his real guitars

there's a funny parody vid for his rig here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sq9HIxfVDXA

however the more i see it, the more i think that its not very far off from his real gear - everything is indeed custom made one of a kind and not available for mortals)

btw whats the prefered action height measured on 24 fret for that "sweet low action" in millimiters? cause i think mine's a bit high and the tremolo's studs are all the way down so that it even cannot do a major pull up move for more than 1-2 tone, and what should be the best relief for low action measured on 8 fret?

i have a nice low action on my PRS but its very easy to adjust due to the simplicity of wraparound fixed bridge, its a lot harder thing to do on floyd-equipped guitar

thanks for advise

Last edited by axis_musicman; 03-14-2016 at 04:36 AM.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-14-2016, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
 
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Location: Toronto, Canada
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Re: NGD Ibanez J Custom RG 1702

maybe i should get my strat back or get 1308 from Swamp Ash lol
no idea why Ibz puts that TZ AN combo in Mahogany guitars

on the other hand - after i lowered TZ a lot it actually sounded nicer, i think it can kick a lot of Les Pauls' asses with a wall of fat sound)

Last edited by axis_musicman; 03-14-2016 at 01:35 PM.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-15-2016, 03:50 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NGD Ibanez J Custom RG 1702

bump) guys pls give me some directions regarding the good pickups for my J Custom) i've been thinking about it the whole day and looking at my PRS which is mahogany too - it has 8-9K Alnico pickups very PAF'ish, suppose they're very bright on their own and they compensate the dark tone of mahogany
hence i guess some PAF 36 or PAF Pro or something similiar will suit my J custom too? correct me if i'm wrong
pls help)

and let me know what's your AN+TZ pickup height if measured from the pickup to the string(the string is pressed on 24 fret)

Last edited by axis_musicman; 03-15-2016 at 04:19 AM.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-16-2016, 05:01 PM
 
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Re: NGD Ibanez J Custom RG 1702

Nice J Custom!! Looks like a pimped RG3120, which also has the same pickups. The 3120s that I have played sound really great and powerfull. If you are used to lower output humbuckers and your rig is set up for those, a TZ could drive everything more.
What pickups are in your Mc Carty? The original Mc Carty pickups are a bit dark for my tastes and the ToneZone will certainly have more presence while retaining the bass. Lowering the pickups certainly helps, but adjusting your rig should also be considered.
I have a guitar with PAF 36TH'S and another one with a TZ. Switching between them certainly requires some rig adjusting.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-16-2016, 05:06 PM
 
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Re: NGD Ibanez J Custom RG 1702

Awesome JC you scored there. I own J Customs with the TZ/AN combo
and have never found them muddy.....darker yes (as I have said on numerous
posts on here) so never felt the need to change them out. If you are looking
for a pickup with more midrange attack try Bareknuckle Nailbombs. I have them
in my mahogany bodied Daemoness Cimmerian and they work great. I've also
played BKP Holy Divers in my mates Gibson Les Paul and they have great balance
and clarity. Amazing crunch on the lower register and searing lead tones.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-16-2016, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NGD Ibanez J Custom RG 1702

Hey Jazzedout!
Yep, i have the original McCarty pickups which are around 8-9K DC resistance - i guess thats vintage-styled compared to very hot output AN/TZ
actually my 1999 PRS(its limited edition or something like that) sounds a lot brighter than this Ibby with Tone Zone
maybe thats the solid rosewood neck's impact, the guy who sold me this PRS back in the day told me that it adds a lot of attack and brightness and its indeed very bright and clear sounding
here's the pics if you are interested)


it's like three times brighter sounding than J Custom

i had the simple McCarty before but i dont quite remember whether it was bright or dark and it never had the original pickups when i bought it (it had Dimarzio Superdistortion+Virtual P90)
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-16-2016, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NGD Ibanez J Custom RG 1702

Quote:
Originally Posted by IbanezDaemon View Post
Awesome JC you scored there. I own J Customs with the TZ/AN combo
and have never found them muddy.....darker yes (as I have said on numerous
posts on here) so never felt the need to change them out. If you are looking
for a pickup with more midrange attack try Bareknuckle Nailbombs. I have them
in my mahogany bodied Daemoness Cimmerian and they work great. I've also
played BKP Holy Divers in my mates Gibson Les Paul and they have great balance
and clarity. Amazing crunch on the lower register and searing lead tones.
Hey IbanezDaemon! what JC models do you have?
when i play my JC sometimes i cannot believe that i play in standard E
if i play some chuging riff like Pull me under by Dream Theater it sound like i'm in Drop C) very big and heavy

btw, have you tried dropped tuning with the Tone Zone? or its not recommended to go lower than E standard with it?)

regarding Bare Knuckle - i havent played one in my life yet, they're rare here
are they better quality than duncans&dimarzios?
cheers
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-16-2016, 06:44 PM
 
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Re: NGD Ibanez J Custom RG 1702

Quote:
Originally Posted by axis_musicman View Post
Hey IbanezDaemon! what JC models do you have?
when i play my JC sometimes i cannot believe that i play in standard E
if i play some chuging riff like Pull me under by Dream Theater it sound like i'm in Drop C) very big and heavy

btw, have you tried dropped tuning with the Tone Zone? or its not recommended to go lower than E standard with it?)

regarding Bare Knuckle - i havent played one in my life yet, they're rare here
are they better quality than duncans&dimarzios?
cheers
Hi axis....regarding your questions:

1: A lot of J Customs have passed thru my hands...maybe 16-18 in total (search for my posts on here....I can't seem to find them but I had like 13-14 at one time)

2 Nope I don't do drop tunings. Lowest I go is Eb for Yngwie and early Slayer stuff.

3. Bareknuckles aren't hard to get, in fact the guitar you own is much rarer than the pups.
IMHO yes they are of higher quality than SD's and DM's but that's in the 'ear of the beholder'. Although my first 2 Daemoness builds have Bareknuckles in them my third will have SD's. Horses for courses. Good thing about Bareknuckle is if you email Tim Mills (the owner) he will give you great advice as to what pup you are after.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-16-2016, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NGD Ibanez J Custom RG 1702

Quote:
Originally Posted by IbanezDaemon View Post
Good thing about Bareknuckle is if you email Tim Mills (the owner) he will give you great advice as to what pup you are after.
Thanks for the advise, i'll try contacting Mr Mills then)

and regarding Air Norton - is there a reason to flip it 180 degrees like on JPM's(the adjustable polepieces facing the bridge) in order to get the brighter sound? or it doesnt have anything to do with that and it was used only for some kind of coil splitting for middle position?
thanks)
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 08:48 AM
 
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Re: NGD Ibanez J Custom RG 1702

Quote:
Originally Posted by axis_musicman View Post
Thanks for the advise, i'll try contacting Mr Mills then)

and regarding Air Norton - is there a reason to flip it 180 degrees like on JPM's(the adjustable polepieces facing the bridge) in order to get the brighter sound? or it doesnt have anything to do with that and it was used only for some kind of coil splitting for middle position?
thanks)
It might make a slight difference if you are lucky but in all honesty
it won't be enough to solve the problem.
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