Played an Ibanez Premium guitar today.... - Jemsite
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-21-2011, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
 
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Played an Ibanez Premium guitar today....

The local Ibanez dealer got one in today (the blue one). Here's my rundown:

NECK/ FRETBOARD

- the frets ARE extremely nice.... definitely way better than what you would think of an Indonesian Ibanez
- the guitar was setup LIKE CRAP from the factory (high action, way too much relief.... just awful)
- with a setup, the guitar played great, so that is to its credit
- the offset dots are awesome, but not as nice as the RG3120 offset dots.... the wood grain on the fretboard also looks kind of .... cheap. I can't quite explain it
- the whole neck, in fact, seems kind of cheap to me..... not as bad as the cheapie Ibanez models, but definitely not in the same ballpark as Prestiges. Sorry, but it's just not.

QUILTED TOP/ FINISH/ BINDING

- the quilted top is pretty, but NOT outstanding or amazing or anything close to jaw dropping. The LTD models with the quilted tops are much nicer. The quilted top on the model that I played was nothing to write home about at all. More colors (purple and orange, I believe) will be arriving soon, so I will update this thread when I play those guitars. Maybe this particular guitar just didn't have a great top. It happens.

- the finish seemed durable, but you never know until you ACTUALLY ding it.

- the binding is nice, but you can kind of tell that it's not really "all" maple. Something just seems.... off.... about it.

SOUND

- this is the guitar's strength. I must admit: it sounds awesome. It sounds full and has great bite. The pickups are awesome.

OVERALL OPINION:

- The guitar is definitely a success, overall, for what Ibanez attempted to do.

I'd definitely consider buying one. The ONLY reservation I'd have is this:

For only a hundred dollars more, I can buy a Japanese made Charvel "wildcard" that has a BEAUTIFUL quilted maple top and comes with a hardshell case. And, this is just a sidenote, but the Charvels are, I believe, alder rather than basswood. Just throwing that out there.

So, personally, I'm going to wait for the purple and orange models to come in, then test them against the Charvels. I hate to say this, but if the other Premiums are exactly like this one, I'd have to give the edge to the Charvels. I just think they're better guitars for only a little more money.

But, then again, you have to take the stupid neck off a Charvel to adjust the stupid truss rod. But, whatever.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-21-2011, 10:55 PM
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Re: Played an Ibanez Premium guitar today....

I completely disagree about any assessment that the necks look cheap, although I can't see what you're evaluating, I've had 12 now and not a single one looked anything less than Prestige plus. BUT, the Blue hides the figure like crazy so that's why you'd think anything else looks better. It's not the maple, it's the color. Setups were always all over the place but that's to be expected.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-21-2011, 10:57 PM
 
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Re: Played an Ibanez Premium guitar today....

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnakeEyes View Post
I hate to say this, but if the other Premiums are exactly like this one, I'd have to give the edge to the Charvels. I just think they're better guitars for only a little more money.

But, then again, you have to take the stupid neck off a Charvel to adjust the stupid truss rod. But, whatever.
Don't forget that the Charvel has a Floyd FRT-02000 which is a rebadged Lo-TRS II. That would be the deal breaker for me. I know the EZ2 is still unproven, But the FRT is fully proven to be a POS.

add $200 to the price of the Charvel to install an OFR, then you would have a good comparison to the 920.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-21-2011, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Played an Ibanez Premium guitar today....

You know what, Rich? I'll look at the neck tomorrow and inspect it in more detail. Maybe I'm wrong about that.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-21-2011, 11:03 PM
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Re: Played an Ibanez Premium guitar today....

Every neck has had woods as nice [or nicer] than anything with a Prestige badge [so far anyway]. The gloss clear on the head / satin back of the neck they took from the older JC's is also a nice touch. The dots are what you'd get on a JPM. 3120's used abalam, but who cares?
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-21-2011, 11:11 PM
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Re: Played an Ibanez Premium guitar today....

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGTFanatic View Post
Don't forget that the Charvel has a Floyd FRT-02000 which is a rebadged Lo-TRS II. That would be the deal breaker for me. I know the EZ2 is still unproven, But the FRT is fully proven to be a POS.

add $200 to the price of the Charvel to install an OFR, then you would have a good comparison to the 920.
The Charvel has an FRT 1000/2000 which is exactly the same as the german made Schaller OFR, and unlike the Lo-TRS it features a hardened steel baseplate. The only lousy part is the trem arm and the collar, but that's an easy fix as you can get the Schaller one from Stewmac. And it isn't POS at all, I own three US made production models San Dimas and the trem is just as good as the one on my custom shop San Dimas. And it comes with either Duncans or Dimarzios. Not sure about the maple top on wildcards though if it's an actual maple top or just a millimeter thin veneer like on Ibanez.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-21-2011, 11:58 PM
 
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Re: Played an Ibanez Premium guitar today....

I've seen quite a number of Premiums at my local dealer and they all look very good; definitely exceeding my expectations of a Made in Indo guitar.

I don't own a Premium RG, but I have an S770FM which is also made in Indo and I am pretty satisfied with it. I find the Premium necks very nice and well finished. I believe the Ibanez Indo factory is definitely headed in the right direction.

About the stock setups... over here in Singapore where the humidity and climate is much closer to where they are made, the Premiums are set up ok... not fantastic but decent enough. It would be natural to expect changes to neck relief once the guitars head over to the US where humdity is much lower. Anyways a full setup is always expected with any new guitar so thats not a big issue.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 04:53 AM
 
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Re: Played an Ibanez Premium guitar today....

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGTFanatic View Post
Don't forget that the Charvel has a Floyd FRT-02000 which is a rebadged Lo-TRS II. That would be the deal breaker for me. I know the EZ2 is still unproven, But the FRT is fully proven to be a POS.

add $200 to the price of the Charvel to install an OFR, then you would have a good comparison to the 920.
After I got my 920...I sold my Charvel Pro Mod So-Cal straight away. Everything on the 920 just felt better than the Pro Mod. The Korean FRT and nut on the Pro Mod is the weak call on that guitar, and I am not a fan of Grover tuners. The neck on the 920 is better...I would choose a 920 any day over the Charvel, thats my opinion.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 08:10 AM
 
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Re: Played an Ibanez Premium guitar today....

I will say that of the pictures I've seen, the blue was by far the least impressive looking.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 02:15 PM
 
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Re: Played an Ibanez Premium guitar today....

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgx View Post
The Charvel has an FRT 1000/2000 which is exactly the same as the german made Schaller OFR, and unlike the Lo-TRS it features a hardened steel baseplate. The only lousy part is the trem arm and the collar, but that's an easy fix as you can get the Schaller one from Stewmac. And it isn't POS at all, I own three US made production models San Dimas and the trem is just as good as the one on my custom shop San Dimas. And it comes with either Duncans or Dimarzios. Not sure about the maple top on wildcards though if it's an actual maple top or just a millimeter thin veneer like on Ibanez.
Sorry man..... the FRT-02000 is NOT the same as a German OFR. The OEM FRT trems are made in China and ONLY available as a unit on a new "complete guitar". The Baseplates are NOT the same as OFR. The saddles are NOT the same as OFR. The hardware is NOT the same as an OFR (screws, springtabs...etc.) I cannot comment on the metallurgy of either trem with any certainty, but I am willing to speculate that a Chinese made "licensed" Floyd Rose is directly comparable to the Lo-TRS trems. My 3 year experience using this trem on a Jackson SL-3 is identical to that of my '99 RG470 Lo-TRSII equipped guitar. The knife edge's are NOT hardened to the same scale of the OFR. They DO bunt to easily, and are nearly useless after filing them down more than twice.

I know that my statements are speculation, but they are based in REAL LIFE experience. Maybe I can get someone to do a rockwell test on both bridges for me, but I don't own any more OFR's. I'll have to look into it.

BTW... I was not very clear in my first post. The TRSII is the POS. I won't go quite that far with the FRT.

Ryc
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 03:12 PM
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Re: Played an Ibanez Premium guitar today....

Well, according to floydrose.com, these 1000 series are: "Floyd Rose makes three versions of the Floyd Rose Original Style Tremolo:

•Floyd Rose OriginaL
•Floyd Rose 1000 Series
•Floyd Rose Special Series

All three units are produced exclusively for Floyd Rose by our Handpicked Manufacturers:

The Floyd Rose Original is produced in Germany and is our flagship model.
The Floyd Rose 1000 Series is made in Korea. An excellent unit mirrored after the Original and is only available OEM.
The Floyd Rose Special Series is also made in Korea. This is our version of the licensed tremolo. This unit is well manufactured and is as good if not better than any other licensed version Floyd Rose. We also stand behind this bridge 100%."

In my personal experience with those FRT1000, I never had any problems, except for the loose fitting bar and collar on one of them, which was resolved by installing the Schaller arm. There were some heated debates at jcf on this topic and as usual there was no consensus if it's as good as Schaller or not.
Anyway, in my personal opinion, there's nothing better than the Edge or Lo-Pro Edge
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 04:26 PM
 
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Re: Played an Ibanez Premium guitar today....

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgx View Post
Anyway, in my personal opinion, there's nothing better than the Edge or Lo-Pro Edge
I could NEVER disagree with that!!!! ......LOL

I've seen the Korean FRT's and they're a bit nicer than the one on my SL-3. the best way to describe the baseplate on this thing is "sloppy". Even the logo is unevenly stamped. The knife edges are just too soft.

I always thought that the only difference between the FRT 1000/2000/3000 was color, but I've found out otherwise sadly.

I've grown up with and always played Edge/Lo-Pro guitars. needless to say the FRT was a big disappointment, especially considering that Jackson originally advertised these guitars to have an "OFR". I suppose they ARE technically OFR, because Floyd is now the producer but I was expecting to get a Schaler OFR, not a crappy copy.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 04:28 PM
 
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Re: Played an Ibanez Premium guitar today....

I've been to the JCF forums and seen the debates you describe. I think the guys that are big FRT fanboys have NEVER played on an Edge. They have no idea how much better a trem can be.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 04:38 PM
 
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Re: Played an Ibanez Premium guitar today....

I played one today, it felt great I loved everything except the feel of the EdgeII, it just felt so cheap and like it was made of tin foil.

held tuning very well though.

I can see myself getting one when I start playing again.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 01:54 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Played an Ibanez Premium guitar today....

Small update:

I was expecting the purple and orange ones to arrive today, but they didn't. I was really looking forward to playing those, but oh well. They should be in soon, though.

Now, I'd like to revise my original opinion a little:

- the finish is a little nicer than I thought. I looked closely at the Ibanez Premium (blue) and at a red LTD, both with quilted tops. The quilt on the LTD was definitely more apparent, but I think that's because it's really, really, really red, which might bring out the quilt more. But, the Premium is nice. I was kind of wrong about that.

- I really looked at the fretboard on the Premium and I really spent some time feeling the neck. I have owned many high end Ibanez guitars: RGA (Sapphire blue one), RGT320Q, numerous RG3120's and an Ibanez RG550LTD (not "high end," but a nice guitar). So, I KNOW what a really, really nice Ibanez neck feels like. Plus, I have owned a Strat and I own a Gibson ES-175.

The Premium is not as nice as the Prestige necks, in my opinion. At least THIS guitar's neck wasn't. Don't get me wrong, it's not a piece of crap by any means. It's still NICE, but, to my hands, it definitely feels like it's a little bit of a step down from a Prestige neck. Not to an amazing extent, but I can feel it. Maybe the other ones will be different.

Overall: awesome axe!
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