NGD: RG3120 neck questions and other issues - Jemsite
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-26-2011, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
 
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NGD: RG3120 neck questions and other issues

Hey guys,

I just become the owner of a 2002 era RG3120vv. It's in pretty good shape and will surely give me long nights of pleasure (oh yeah ahah). However I have 2 little questions regarding the neck. I also have some maintenance problems with the guitar that will write down below. I could have created 2 threads for this but well I guess there's no need.

So first, the neck:
I own an RGT320 and I was expecting the neck on this guitar to feel the same as the RG3120. However this is not true. The RG3120 neck is narrower by a small amount and it also feels thinner. Also the frets seem to be smaller on the RG3120 and the fret wire seems to be thinner than the one on the RGT320. From what I gather on ibanez.wikia.com, the RG3120 has a Wizard neck whereas the RGT320 has a Wizard Prestige neck. Is this the reason for the differences ? Both guitars on the website have 24 Jumbo frets but even the frets appear a bit different, with my taste at this point (cause I'm used to it maybe) leaning more into the RGT320 neck and fret size. The RGT320 neck however does get a bit sticky with sweaty hands since it's all painted in the back... the RG3120 seems to be smoother.

Now the problems:
1) the tone knob is stiff as hell. Is there a way to make it a bit more loose ?

2) At full volume, and using my POD with a high gain amp, the guitar hums. If I place my hand on the strings, it still hums. My RGT320Z in the exact same circumstances, does not hum. This happens on the bridge position, full humbucking. Could it be that something is poorly isolated or is the bridge pickup on the RG3120 (tone zone I believe) so hot that I need to tweak my noise gate on the pod ?

3) Turning the volume knob makes a scratchy sound. I guess this can be solved by simply cleaning the pot by removing the back plate and spraying it with contact cleaner ?

Thanks a lot for any help guys!


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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-26-2011, 11:43 AM
 
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Re: NGD: RG3120 neck questions and other issues

BEAUTIFUL guitar! I've always wanted a Vintage Violin 3120. I have a black one and have had a couple of blue ones, but my favorte is the VV. I'll let the tech guy handle your questions, but just out of curiosity (if you don't mind me asking) - what'd you pay for that guitar?
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-26-2011, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NGD: RG3120 neck questions and other issues

Hey man! Thanks... it really is beautiful and in top form. Hardly no scratches... just 3 minor dings on the edge of the body bottom on the backside that didn't even chip away the paint. I paid 790 eur including shipping costs, 1156 USD, not including a prestige hard case but the guy sold it with a good soft case.

Frets are not 100% but not bad at all either. I still need to do a little "face cleaning" on it.. the fret board is a little dirty and dry.. nothing that lemon oil won't fix
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-26-2011, 11:50 AM
 
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Re: NGD: RG3120 neck questions and other issues

Yeah, that's what I figured. That guitar is totally worth it. Congratulations on finding a nice one!
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-26-2011, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NGD: RG3120 neck questions and other issues

yep, I've seen other models like this around asking for the same price or higher. I have defined a list of search keywords on ebay and other local market place for guitars, and subscribe to all of them through Google Reader. Everyday there's like 300 or so items to scroll through... normally 2,3 times a month there's something that gives me serious GAS... a special guitar will always show up, sooner or later. But it's best that you're ready when it does pop up
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-26-2011, 12:37 PM
 
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Re: NGD: RG3120 neck questions and other issues

Beautiful guitar wind........ I love the VV..impossible to find here in the US. (Snakes BK is VERY nice too!!!) now on to your questions:

The neck... as you know they are different necks. The Wizard on your RG3120 is 2mm thinner @ the heel than your RGT. (the RG is 56mm wide, the RGT is 58mm)

the fret-wire should be the same on both guitars, but because they're different years Ibanez could have changed their fret-wire supplier at any point without anyone knowing...... different suppliers could have different specs for "jumbo". It's also possible that the 3120 has been re-fretted with smaller wire at any point in the last 9 years....so there's really no way of knowing for sure whats going on with it.

Electronics: It sounds like you have a loose or completely unattached ground wire somewhere. Coupling that with your scratchy/sticky pots, I would plan on changing out all of the electronics. My favorite way to wire the 3120's (including mine) is with a 3-way switch, a 500k push/pull (coil tapping) for the tone (I also use a .068mfd cap on the tone), and a 500k volume.

Regardless of how you configure the electronics, this should have her rockin again!!!

Again GREAT SCORE!!! I jealous of both you and Snake!!!
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-26-2011, 11:08 PM
 
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Re: NGD: RG3120 neck questions and other issues

Wow, yeah that is a beautiful guitar, I love the natural colour, I didn't know they came without a stain on them, well done mate, lovely.

I thought the RG3120 has a wizard prestige neck too.

I was lucky enough to pick up a red one second hand a few months ago myself, and just reading around for some setup information myself before starting a new thread.

I had a similar problem with a scratchy sound on the volume knob, however from memory the earth wasn't soldered properly onto the back of the tremolo plate thing. I remember writing about it in the post I made at the time while buying it. I just tucked it under the tremolo spring for now. I have no experience with a hum sound though, and tone pots are easily replaced if it is too tight. As RGTFanatic says you might be best to replace the lot.

I love that setup you have with your caps and pots there RGTFanatic. I might look into that. Mine has a cap on the 500k volume atm as well as the tone, did you take yours off the volume pot? I guess at the moment position 2 and 4 are the split coil positions, that is a good idea using a push pull knob and a 3 way switch too, cool mate. I am a bit new to pickup wiring, but with your setup could tap both humbuckers at the same time while in the middle position using that push pull knob for tone?

I had a setup question more to do with the neck, which brought me here. I can't seem to get rid of a fret buzz, and have had to raise the action way too high. I remember reading a post months ago where people were bragging how low they could get the action on these babies. I am just wondering if my problem are these Regular Light Gauge Strings 0.010 to .046. I started playing around with loosening truss rod last night, and cause it was late I am sure exactly where it was before I started, however I only did 1/16 turns at a time, trying to increase the bow. When I hold the first and 16th fret down, there is only about 1mm or so over the 5th-8th frets, which doesn't seem enough to me. Is there a good truss rod guide around for the RG3120? There doesn't seem to be much of a bow anyway, and I would of thought I would had to tighten it, not loosen it, to counter to pull on heavier strings. Anyway I am a bit lost on the neck setup anyway.

At the moment I am wondering if I am pushing sh*t up hill trying to get this guitar set up for Regular Lights? I still have a heap of Extra Lights 0.09 to 0.042 laying around so it is no problem to change back, I just prefer Regular Lights now. To handle the Regular Lights, I had to add a third spring in the back too, which makes me think the guitar is pretty much set up for Extra Lights. The intonation isn't too bad with my Regular lights, however a bit sharp on one string.

By the way guys, don't bother trying to install a Seymour Duncan Liberator in your RG3120... I just tried that, it was an uncomfortable fit next to the selector, the post was too wide for the guitar body, and in the end, then damn ToneZones either had custom feet/heels, or they were different from the square shaped Seymour JB4s anyway. Atm I have the damn pot part that wouldn't fit all binded up with electrical tape and hanging loose in my cavity, all soldered up ready to go with no purpose now, lol. So my ears are open on ways to better ways to wire it all up, as have to go back in there soon to pull the Liberator out.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 12:13 AM
 
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Re: NGD: RG3120 neck questions and other issues

You must like alot of bow...none of my guitars have that much. You have to compromise between low action and fret buzz. Super low action WILL introduce some fret buzz. It's up to you to decide how much you can live with. On an acoustic, buzz is a no no, but on an electric it's tolerable. As long as notes aren't choked out and you can't hear the buzz through your amp, you should be good.

Unless the RG3120s are oddballs, there should have already been 3 trem springs.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 01:25 AM
 
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Re: NGD: RG3120 neck questions and other issues

Concerning the topic of low/ high action..... every guitar is different, which means every neck is going to feel different and behave differently.

I have noticed that A LOT of Ibanez guitars (even Prestige models) REQUIRE fret leveling in order to get the action as low as they "should" be, so to speak. It's really irritating, considering the amount of money a guitar like a 3120 or other Prestige costs, but it's not uncommon to have to do that.

Also, keep in mind that buzzing is also largely dependent on HOW HARD you pick. If you have a light touch with your picking hand, you can definitely get away with much lower action.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 01:28 AM
 
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Re: NGD: RG3120 neck questions and other issues

Damn, that is a sweet guitar.
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 01:45 AM
 
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Re: NGD: RG3120 neck questions and other issues

Two questions for the op. Do you have a multi-meter? And can you take a high res closeup of the frets, including the ends. This is for troubleshooting purposes, otherwise its just a guess that I'll throw out at ya.
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 03:55 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NGD: RG3120 neck questions and other issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by musikron View Post
Two questions for the op. Do you have a multi-meter? And can you take a high res closeup of the frets, including the ends. This is for troubleshooting purposes, otherwise its just a guess that I'll throw out at ya.
I don't have a multi-meter at the moment. I might get one down the road though, if the quote from the guys nearby to replace my electronics is to steep and if I don't mind learning how to solder and do the job myself.

I will try to take a close picture of the frets in enough detail. My cam has a macro mode.. hope it works!!

As for the other guys asking about the action on the RG3120, this one came pretty low. In fact it's set-up about the same way I setup my other guitars. Which is low-E between 1.5-2.0mm and high-e between 1.2-1.5mm. Definitely I can't place my 1.5 Jazz III pick under the high-e string and between the fret without touching the string it so definitely it must be lower than 1.5. And there's no noticeable fret buzz and I can still bend the strings a full tone up without choking the note. However you need new strings... after some rust starts accumulating on the strings they become floppy and specially the high E kinda buzzes and sounds like poop.
However I'm using light .9 gauge strings. Normally I go for D'addarios Super light 9-42 but I've tried Ernie Balls super slinkies 9-42 and they work just the same
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 04:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NGD: RG3120 neck questions and other issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by musikron View Post
Two questions for the op. Do you have a multi-meter? And can you take a high res closeup of the frets, including the ends. This is for troubleshooting purposes, otherwise its just a guess that I'll throw out at ya.
Here's a pics of the frets. There's a couple more if you need at my picasa album here: https://picasaweb.google.com/mindwalkr/IbanezRG3120vv



Thanks for looking into it
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 04:52 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NGD: RG3120 neck questions and other issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnakeEyes View Post
Concerning the topic of low/ high action..... every guitar is different, which means every neck is going to feel different and behave differently.
This is how the RG3120 came set-up. Just the way I like it... string gauge must be 9-42 but the action is pretty low I think ? The neck is has very tiny relief when I measure the distance from the string to the fret around the middle of the neck, when pressing both the 1st and the last fret.

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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 01:24 PM
 
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Re: NGD: RG3120 neck questions and other issues

When running your hand down the sides of the neck, do the ends of your frets feel sharp? Meaning can you feel them slightly sticking out or is all you feel smooth wood.

It looks to my like that guitar could use a little humidity, (only have these 2 pics though, this guitar isn't on you pisca, nice RGT tho) because the rosewood appears to have shrunk in leaving the fret ends a little proud. Even electric poly coated guitars should be kept at 45% RH.

Regarding electronics, if you haven't ever soldered before, I would just take it to the best pro in your area. For starters, you shell out most of what they will charge on a good soldering station, but more important than that, there is a finess to making a good solder joint and wiring harness. And the quality of that work WILL affect your sound. Is should (in the states anyways) run you about $120-130, parts included do gut it except for the pups and start fresh, pots switch, jack.
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