Rough Frets.... - Jemsite
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Rough Frets....

So.... Im sending my RG2XXV back to the store... got it home, gave it a good play, and the frets are very rough.... when you bend a string you can hear in 'scratching' against the fret like its sandpaper. They are dull, and not smooth. I believe my RG3XXV was the same but luckily the store had it wetsanded and polished before it got to me.... I guess my question is....1) Why do they let them leave the factory with poor quality frets.... and 2) At what price point does Ibanez care enough to polish and prepare the fretboard properly? (Note: my first RG2XXV, I have 2, feels fine... no fret problems at all (same goes with my 350s and cheaper 321 etc)... anyone else had fret issues out of the box?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 05:34 AM
 
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Re: Rough Frets....

That is my big gripe with Indo Ibzs.
The fret work is the biggest downfall.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 07:08 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Rough Frets....

Sure is..... gonna give it the steel wool treatment tomorrow.....
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 02:18 PM
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Re: Rough Frets....

Next time...buy from Rich, and ask for his platinum services.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 07:41 PM
 
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Re: Rough Frets....

About $5 worth of masking tape and steel wool would have made them nice and smooth, but I completely get what you're saying.

I don't think there's an excuse for any guitar, no matter the price point, to leave the factory without polished frets. It really doesn't take any time at all to do it...
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 08:16 PM
 
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Re: Rough Frets....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swirltop View Post
About $5 worth of masking tape and steel wool would have made them nice and smooth, but I completely get what you're saying.

I don't think there's an excuse for any guitar, no matter the price point, to leave the factory without polished frets. It really doesn't take any time at all to do it...
I completely agree with this post.

I don't see any reason to return it though. I would return it if it had dead spots on the neck, or it was warped, or if it had obvious finish defects. If you can get a good setup minus the rough frets, just polish them yourself.

Actually, with enough patience, experience, and the right tools, you can do your own fret-level. Or at least know somebody (not at a shop) who can.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 08:56 PM
 
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Re: Rough Frets....

It's not just the Indo guitars.

I had the same thing on a brand new RG1527M Prestige I bought in 2011. I just got out the Micro-mesh and steel wool and polished 'em up, but did find it odd that a Prestige-level guitar would come with such rough, unfinished frets.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-03-2013, 10:02 PM
 
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Re: Rough Frets....

Quote:
Originally Posted by fwd0120 View Post
I completely agree with this post.

I don't see any reason to return it though. I would return it if it had dead spots on the neck, or it was warped, or if it had obvious finish defects. If you can get a good setup minus the rough frets, just polish them yourself.

Actually, with enough patience, experience, and the right tools, you can do your own fret-level. Or at least know somebody (not at a shop) who can.
Couple years ago I decided to give fret leveling a try for myself. I bought a cheaper double sided diamond fret file, imitation fret rocker, and a milled 18" chunk of aluminum w/ some strips of sticky back sand paper on the bay. I think it all cost maybe $70. Made a notched straight edge with a metal straight edge for leveling the board and filed it perfectly level with the leveling block.

I use a sponge with 600/800 grit paper to round the fret ends and finish everything off with 00 steel wool, then 0000 steel wool, a little Maguire's fine cut cleaner and a buffing pad/drill to finish them off. The frets and ends come out smooth as silk; there's really no need for fret end files or micromesh unless you're super anal about it...

Honestly it was so damn easy to do I don't see why anyone couldn't do a better job leveling and polishing frets than the Indonesian hacks working for Ibanez these days.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 04:45 PM
 
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Re: Rough Frets....

First off let me say that the Indonesian factories are capable of stunning product. I love some of my guitars which are Indonesian made, and wouldn't trade them for anything else.

I have a good friend who lives in Indonesia, born and raised there, and I am stunned by the high level of product quality normally produced there as well as the wonderful people themselves, who make it a very fine country in so many ways!

That said...

What's really weird is that the 2010-2011 Guitar Center/ MF only RG120's, which were Indo made, had absolutely mirror smooth, PERFECT frets.

I have 3 of them which I received in the unopened shipping boxes. Perfect fret work.

Then I go into GC and see the 2012-2013 lower end RG's (320 or something like that, with the Edge III trem), Indo again, but supposedly higher grade than the lowly RG120 which had an agathis body and 2 point non-locking trem...

And these 2012-2013 examples (not RG120's which were discontinued after 2011) have horrible, scratchy totally unpolished frets.

So why did the factory send out the 2010-2011 RG120's (which were blown out at $119 apiece in-store in January 2012 only) with picture perfect, silky smooth frets???

And not so for these newer 300 series which are $499???

Was the new Indo plant in overdrive mode, going through a proving ground period during 2010-2011?

Or were they trying to prove something about QC to Guitar Center with the RG120 (2010-2011 ONLY are the 2 years with the silky frets) which was a GC special run?

Last edited by Stradovarious; 06-04-2013 at 04:59 PM.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 04:53 PM
 
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Re: Rough Frets....

And just for the record, I think the Indonesian factories/ workers are overall phenomenal. The are the masters of the satin production neck.

Not only do they make a phenomenal Ibby, way under-rated when you find a good one, but their Fender Squier stuff is awesome as well.

My points above show what they have been capable of on the mass production level. Stunning.

On the other hand, as I expressed above, someone started dropping the ball on Ibby fret QC for whatever reason...and this is a glaring issue for even the uninformed casual shopper...why??
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