Seeking advice on a guitar with locking trem - Jemsite
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View Poll Results: Which route would you go?
Upgrade JEM Jr 0 0%
Used RG1070PBZ 4 44.44%
New RG5120M 1 11.11%
Other (list below) 4 44.44%
Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

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  • 2 Post By oliver_p
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  • 2 Post By jim777
  • 1 Post By Joan
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
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Seeking advice on a guitar with locking trem

I've been learning guitar for about 9 months, and I'm looking for a guitar with a locking trem system.


I bought a used JEM Jr. a few months ago, and I really want to like this guitar. I think it looks awesome and feels really great, but, unfortunately, the frets aren't level, the trem doesn't return to pitch very well, and I don't really like the pickups.


So I'm considering a few different options:



Upgrade the JEM Jr.

I could replace the trem with a Gotoh, have the frets leveled, and install Dimarzio or Fishman pickups. It might turn out great, or I might sink $500-800 into it and end up with a disappointing guitar that has little resale value.


Used S/RG1070PBZ

This is a really cool looking guitar with stainless steel frets and Dimarzio pickups. They get pretty good reviews, but the one I saw in person at Sam Ash looked like it suffered from pretty poor craftsmanship. I could probably find one for ~$900 used.


RG5120M

This is a pretty cool looking guitar. It has the Lo-Pro Edge, which I've heard is great, stainless steel frets, Fluence pickups, and it's a Prestige. My main concern here (besides the steep price)is that the pickups are Fishman's Moderns, which might not be ideal for the music I want to play. Would these work for hard rock and 80s metal? Or would I find myself wanting to replace them with the Classics?


Which route would you go?


Thanks,
Cory
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 01:13 AM
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: El Paso, TX
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Re: Seeking advice on a guitar with locking trem

well you could do some of the work on your jem jr. yourself. Your main cost is going to be taking it to someone to do the work you want to do. The only thing that would require expensive tools you probably don't have is the fret level, and I am curious why you feel you need a fret level ? Do you have some dead spots on the neck ?

wiring in the pickups isn't very hard, and a soldering iron and solder isn't very much. You could always save the stock pickups and put them back in if you decide to sell it later on. You could also save the upgraded trem and put the stock back in for selling it.

those stock trems aren't the greatest but it sounds like yours needs to be set up correctly. The knife edges of the trem need to meet the trem posts at a 90 degree angle when the guitar is tuned the way you want it. If the trem is ****ed forward or back from the 90 degree point, you can get tuning instability. If the knife edges are worn or dirty, that can also impact your tuning stability.

anyways at most you'll sink $500, the more work you do yourself, the less you are paying someone else to do what you can do for free.

there are plenty of great used guitars out there which may suit what you are going for a cheaper price than what you are looking at spending on the jem jr.

the premium stuff isn't too bad. They don't have great resale value so you can usually pick them up reasonable. the 920s are great and can be had for less than 500.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 08:28 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
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Trying to figure what you really want. You going from a Jem jr. to a Jem 7VP price range with the RG5120M. If you want a Jem I'd suggest getting a Jem, but if you're fine with an Ibanez then then you'll get more bang for the buck if you buy new. If you buy used the Jem prices are much closer. My suggestion would be to play a usedJem or Ibanez and then decide
I have a fluence modern on my Schecter, and they'll be no problem playing metal on those pickups.

Good luck.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 09:02 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
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I'd sell/px and replace the Jem Jr in your position, it's not worth throwing the money at it.
It really comes down to budget, tell us what you can afford to spend.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Seeking advice on a guitar with locking trem

Quote:
Originally Posted by j.arledge View Post
well you could do some of the work on your jem jr. yourself. Your main cost is going to be taking it to someone to do the work you want to do. The only thing that would require expensive tools you probably don't have is the fret level, and I am curious why you feel you need a fret level ? Do you have some dead spots on the neck ?

wiring in the pickups isn't very hard, and a soldering iron and solder isn't very much. You could always save the stock pickups and put them back in if you decide to sell it later on. You could also save the upgraded trem and put the stock back in for selling it.

those stock trems aren't the greatest but it sounds like yours needs to be set up correctly. The knife edges of the trem need to meet the trem posts at a 90 degree angle when the guitar is tuned the way you want it. If the trem is ****ed forward or back from the 90 degree point, you can get tuning instability. If the knife edges are worn or dirty, that can also impact your tuning stability.

anyways at most you'll sink $500, the more work you do yourself, the less you are paying someone else to do what you can do for free.

there are plenty of great used guitars out there which may suit what you are going for a cheaper price than what you are looking at spending on the jem jr.

the premium stuff isn't too bad. They don't have great resale value so you can usually pick them up reasonable. the 920s are great and can be had for less than 500.
I'm comparing it to my main guitar, which is a Warmoth tele I built and had fretwork done to, and has a very low and buzz free action. I've tried, but can't get the Jr's action anywhere near as low. Also, when I take a fret rocker to it, it pretty clearly has a lot of uneven frets.

I do have the trem level to the body, and last night I cleaned the knife edge and applied a little chapstick to it. Now, if I tune and then use the trem to slack the strings, it returns about 20 cents flat. Since I don't have any experience with Floyds, I guess I can't really say if this is unusual or not. Is this considered normal?

I could most likely upgrade the trem with a Gotoh myself, but I wouldn't be able to replace the studs. Would replacing the trem and leaving the studs be a significant upgrade?


The RG920 looks like it'd be a really good fit for me. If I can find one without the quilted maple top, I might go that route.

Thanks,
Corey
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Seeking advice on a guitar with locking trem

Quote:
Originally Posted by sepulchrave View Post
I'd sell/px and replace the Jem Jr in your position, it's not worth throwing the money at it.
It really comes down to budget, tell us what you can afford to spend.

At $1900, the RG5120M is at the very top of my budget. I'd rather spend $1900 on a guitar that I love than $1000 on a guitar that I'll want to replace in a year. That said, if I could find an awesome guitar for $1000, I'd probably feel a lot better about it.




One other problem I have is that I haven't found a guitar shop that stocks high end Ibanezes near me, so I can't really try them out. Does anybody know of a good shop in NE Ohio?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 10:19 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 547
Have a look on Reverb and on Ebay to see what's available near you, if you like Jems you should consider a 70VSFG, it ticks all the boxes if you can get a decent one.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 10:26 AM
 
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Re: Seeking advice on a guitar with locking trem

That's quite a wide range of spendings that you point out.
Have you considered a RG550 genesis to stay in the medium price range? Excellent bang for the buck in my opinion.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Seeking advice on a guitar with locking trem

Quote:
Originally Posted by oliver_p View Post
That's quite a wide range of spendings that you point out.
Have you considered a RG550 genesis to stay in the medium price range? Excellent bang for the buck in my opinion.

I do really like the look of the RG550, and the price is right. How are the V7/S1/V8 pickups? How does the tilt-joint feel compared to an AANJ?
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 11:52 AM
 
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Tilt joint is not as nice as AANJ, V7/V8 are a bit 'hair metal' but not bad. Your call really.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 10:19 PM
 
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Re: Seeking advice on a guitar with locking trem

Quote:
Originally Posted by cory View Post
I'm comparing it to my main guitar, which is a Warmoth tele I built and had fretwork done to, and has a very low and buzz free action. I've tried, but can't get the Jr's action anywhere near as low. Also, when I take a fret rocker to it, it pretty clearly has a lot of uneven frets.

I do have the trem level to the body, and last night I cleaned the knife edge and applied a little chapstick to it. Now, if I tune and then use the trem to slack the strings, it returns about 20 cents flat. Since I don't have any experience with Floyds, I guess I can't really say if this is unusual or not. Is this considered normal?

I could most likely upgrade the trem with a Gotoh myself, but I wouldn't be able to replace the studs. Would replacing the trem and leaving the studs be a significant upgrade?


The RG920 looks like it'd be a really good fit for me. If I can find one without the quilted maple top, I might go that route.

Thanks,
Corey

if you have a fret rocker, then you just mark which frets are high and take a rubber mallet and hammer them back down. As long as your frets don't have gauges or are really worn then high frets are super easy to take care of. Have you checked out the neck to make sure it is straight and doesn't need a truss rod adjustment ?
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 12:16 AM
 
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Re: Seeking advice on a guitar with locking trem

Quote:
Originally Posted by oliver_p View Post
That's quite a wide range of spendings that you point out.
Have you considered a RG550 genesis to stay in the medium price range? Excellent bang for the buck in my opinion.
This is wise advice.
With a good setup, an RG550 gives you a neck that is easy to play, a bridge that stays in tune, and pickups that sound good enough. If you wanted to swap them out for aftermarket pickups, you would not be the first person to do so. If you want to replace an RG550 as I described, in a year, it will having nothing to do with playability, tuning stability, or sound quality.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 05:18 AM
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Re: Seeking advice on a guitar with locking trem

There are valid reasons to buy any of these guitars (although personally I think the RG550 is a good choice, well balanced instrument with some wiggle room for customising).


The only real piece of advice I can give is to play them. One thing I have found with guitars, is that I knew immediately when I struck a guitar that was right. Interestingly, there were times I could try half a dozen of the same model and it was only one of them that felt right, usually the right one was the wrong colour, lol. (I used to sell guitars many many years ago, so I got to setup and play hundreds).


One example of this that sticks in my mind was an EMG-loaded ESP neck-thru that I played. I never liked any of the previous ESP's we'd had in stock and I've always hated EMG pickups, but this one particular ESP that came through just blew me away, I really bonded with that guitar, played it every day and it killed me selling it.


The money you are talking about is not insignificant. Think of it like buying a car, would you buy one without driving it first or at least the dealer demo? Maybe a road trip to a decent Ibanez dealer is in order, spend the day playing different brands/models and see which ones resonate with you. (pun intended).


I hope whatever you choose makes you happy after all that's what really matters, let us know how you go and post some pics
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Last edited by pteropid; 02-07-2019 at 05:19 AM. Reason: grammar
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 01:32 PM
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Re: Seeking advice on a guitar with locking trem

You could always look for a Jem 505, which pop up once in a while. It's a Japanese basswood Jem, and depending on how you got on with the pickups might not need anything. I have one, and they are great guitars and usually run around 1100-1300 US. All that's missing from a 7 series Jem is the scallops and Dimarzios (and the vine, but you don't play the vine).
But as others have said, I wouldn't sink any money into the Jr. if you have other options.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 12:25 AM
 
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hi,Cory. I just bought RG 550 genesis about two weeks ago. U should read my post when I asked about it in this forum.

To be honest, I don't know why, but ,personally, I like the stock pickups better than the Dimarzios in RG 655(I believe Rich still has it?) ..I decided to buy the genesis because of it..I made some pickup height adjusments right after I bought it and they sounded differently. Someday I'll probably have to switch my pickups to seymour duncans(which I always like) or bareknucles, but it is surely enough for now.

btw, I just want to ask this : have you adjusted your truss rod before checking the frets? and did you check only three frets at a time with the fret rocker?

and I know that edge zeros are not the best, but I have several friends who have guitars that come with it and they don't have such trouble like yours even after plenty abusive whammy dive bombs. They do, sometimes, then go a bit flat, though, but not too far.

If I am not mistaken, Floyd Roses and Edges and other floating trems usually can not consistently hold the guitar in tune as great as the fixed bridge. So, I guess you will have to accept that consequence( please someone correct me if I am wrong).

If it is possible, I think you should go to a guitar shop or a luthier to have them check it out for you and ask their opinion about this too.
I was in the same boat a long time ago, but it turned out that my non Ibanez guitar only needed some inexpensive adjustments 🙂

Hope you get the best decision,Cory! tell us how it goes!!
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Last edited by Joan; 02-08-2019 at 12:58 AM.
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