Showing low end Ibanez some love. - Jemsite
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-02-2011, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
 
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Showing low end Ibanez some love.

I have been lurking around here for a few days now and I have noticed one thing for sure. Any time that anybody mentions picking up a low end Ibanez, everybody suggests that they go for a higher model. While I understand that this is decent advice. A Jem is clearly better than a GIO, but a lot of times, the reason that the person is asking about the low end guitar is because they cant afford the high end models.

I have been an old school Fender and Gibson guy for years. I have owned everything from Multi-thousand dollor Les Pauls to $90 Squires. Being in the market for an inexpensive humucker/metal guitar, I have recently been drawn to ultra cheap lower end Ibanez guitars that keep popping up on Craigslist. RG120's or RG350's for less then $100 are not uncommon around here. I have recently picked a couple up, and while I understand that these models are not top of the line, they are a lot better than most manufacturers low end guitars and with a little tweaking of the setup, they are amazing players for the money. Fast straight necks, decent hardware. Yeah the pickups are a little muddy, but not bad at all for a sub one hundred dollar buy.

I guess my point is, if somebody is asking for the BEST guitar for an application then yeah, break out the high end models. But if they are asking for an inexpensive player or something to customize, dont scare them away from what will likely be a great fit for them just because its on the low end of the line.

Just my two cents as a newbie.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 04:26 PM
 
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Re: Showing low end Ibanez some love.

My first post will be to chime in here. I totally agree with this. I've been an Ibanez fan all my life, starting in the late 1980's when I dreamed of having an RG. A few years later I bought my first guitar - a 1992 EX170. Other than the crappy "traditional" trem, I loved it. Took it college, etc. One day it got damaged in a move, and I could not longer play it - but I'm restoring now.

10 years ago times were tight but I needed a guitar, but wanted something more traditional - so my wife bought me GIO 120. Another GREAT guitar. Since it was a hardtail, it avoided any trem issues, which are where I feel the low end guitars suffer most.

Today I own a Gibson Explorer, a Charvel, and these two Ibanez guitars. Now that money is no longer an issue, I'll probably pick up an RG550 or something like I used to dream about.

So in the end...the low end guitars are a gateway to Ibanez and should get some respect.

Last edited by Displaced Hokie; 05-03-2011 at 04:32 PM.
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 04:51 PM
 
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Re: Showing low end Ibanez some love.

The reason Im not a fan of the low end is cause people who are more experienced with gear know you can buy used for close to the same price as the low end new.And you wont end up with a guitar thats like a toy instead you get a real instrument.If you search around you can probably get a used RG570 for like $200 how much cheaper do you want to buy a guitar for.Then you have a guitar that you can use for a show or anything else it like a pro level instrument has a good trem,stays in tune,decent pickups,good tuners,decent electronics you could loan it Steve Vai at a guitar clinic if he didnt have a guitar.What more do you want? If you cant afford $200 then wait til you can or get to work and make some money.Buying a Starter pack Ibanez Gio or other pos guitar is like more than 200 bucks anyway.Its a simple principle get the best guitar for the least money.All newbies should adopt a gearhound to help them find better cheaper equipment.How many starters quit guitar cause the strings are like super high off the fretboard,the pickups hum like a blender is running,and it doesnt stay in tune at all.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Showing low end Ibanez some love.

I see your point, but I am not really comparing a used 550 to a NEW GIO starter pack. I am more comparing a used 550 to a used 120 or 320 or even many GIO's. I could be wrong, but I dont remember seeing an RG5## model for less than $400 around here and those are the models that everybody says bypass that sub $100 RG320DX and get a RG5##. Which, if you can afford the $400, I agree. im just saying if you cant afford $400, or if you simply dont WANT to spend that much, try out that cheap used RG120 or whatever. They are some of the best low end guitars made. If it feels good to you, go for it.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 07:21 PM
 
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Re: Showing low end Ibanez some love.

I see you're point, I bought an RG321MH for 300 a while back and love it. Great neck, mahogany body, beautiful color. Solid tail bridge for great sustain.

But was looking on CL the other day and saw a RG570 for 300. Would it have been a better guitar? Yes. would the v7 s1(?) v8 been better pickups than my inf3 and inf4? yes. Do I regret jumping on the 321 before looking around for something better? Yes.

And some one on here told me to look for an older 5xx series and only looked on ebay and here, where people know what they have, most of the time, and thought they were out of my price range. If I just did a little more looking I could have found something better for only a 100 bucks more, I could scratch that up.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 08:06 PM
 
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Re: Showing low end Ibanez some love.

The thing is, you are not going to find a "ready to go" RG550 in that price range. Any of us with experience can buy a used one and get it right, but so may ebay RG's are in rough shape, need a setup, etc. Both of my "new cheapies" I bought were set up great and played fine - one bought from a small music store and the other from Guitar Center. You also have to consider that many are gifts or purchased by kids/teens - they want something new, not used.

Corpraider69 does have a solid point though - my hated the trem on my EX. Touch it and it went out. And in my case, it DID make me not want to play the dang thing at times as I always wanted to use the arm but couldn't. But also, that flat fretboard wasn't the easiest thing to chord on either. But overall, I did like the guitar and brand. That was part of the reason for me getting the GIO as it had the more traditional radius board and 24 3/4 scale - and fixed bridge. It played great. But the thing is that I still stayed in the Ibanez family.

It's so funny, as I work in the outdoor power industry (lawn mowers), and on the forums I'm involved with for that stuff we have THE EXACT SAME conversation. Should I buy a new low-end lawn tractor or a used high-end one? There are arguments both ways...as again some folks want new, with a warranty, and without someone elses problems....others can see the value in an older higher quality unit.

I think all anyone is saying that the entry models are not that bad if comparing apples to apples. Brand snobbery really gets on my nerves. If I buy a Ford Ranger and you have a Ford F150 do I have a "real" Ford truck? Etc.

Last edited by Displaced Hokie; 05-03-2011 at 08:11 PM.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 09:15 PM
 
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Re: Showing low end Ibanez some love.

OP, I think that if you search a little harder you'll find that we regulars have a real affection for the "lower level" Ibanez guitars. There are MANY threads that involve the older MIK guitars. There are probably just as many MIK RG3xx and RG4xx guitars that we help folks with as there are Jem's and Prestiges.

I am often guilty of suggesting that a new(er) player with $500 to spend look around for any of the RG5xx or RG7xx guitars that come up quite often for sale both here on Jemsite and on ebay.

The typical scenario goes........ A new member poses the question.. " I have $500 dollars MAX to spend... should I get and RG350DX or a Schecter Damien 6??"

$500 will only buy one of these guitars plus the tax......no upgrades. Our argument is that you can easily buy a used RG5xx for $300 all day long....... I paid $275 for both my RG570DX and my RG450LTD. With the money left over one can buy a new set of pickups and maybe even a new strap to keep his guitar safe....lol.

You worry about buying another persons problems, but with the help we offer most catastrophes are avoided. In fact, more often than not, we suggest they look at guitars that are being sold by our own members.......... typically we are all very acquainted with these guitars and we know what problems they do or don't have.

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 09:55 PM
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Re: Showing low end Ibanez some love.

Look harder! There are two 520s on GC right now for 299?99 each and I just got that pristine 2001 570 with HC for 375.00
I see them all the time. One of my 570 PNs was only 200.00

Quote:
Originally Posted by drone46 View Post
I see your point, but I am not really comparing a used 550 to a NEW GIO starter pack. I am more comparing a used 550 to a used 120 or 320 or even many GIO's. I could be wrong, but I dont remember seeing an RG5## model for less than $400 around here and those are the models that everybody says bypass that sub $100 RG320DX and get a RG5##. Which, if you can afford the $400, I agree. im just saying if you cant afford $400, or if you simply dont WANT to spend that much, try out that cheap used RG120 or whatever. They are some of the best low end guitars made. If it feels good to you, go for it.


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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 10:13 PM
 
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Re: Showing low end Ibanez some love.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Displaced Hokie View Post
The thing is, you are not going to find a "ready to go" RG550 in that price range. Any of us with experience can buy a used one and get it right, but so may ebay RG's are in rough shape, need a setup, etc. Both of my "new cheapies" I bought were set up great and played fine - one bought from a small music store and the other from Guitar Center. You also have to consider that many are gifts or purchased by kids/teens - they want something new, not used.

Corpraider69 does have a solid point though - my hated the trem on my EX. Touch it and it went out. And in my case, it DID make me not want to play the dang thing at times as I always wanted to use the arm but couldn't. But also, that flat fretboard wasn't the easiest thing to chord on either. But overall, I did like the guitar and brand. That was part of the reason for me getting the GIO as it had the more traditional radius board and 24 3/4 scale - and fixed bridge. It played great. But the thing is that I still stayed in the Ibanez family.

It's so funny, as I work in the outdoor power industry (lawn mowers), and on the forums I'm involved with for that stuff we have THE EXACT SAME conversation. Should I buy a new low-end lawn tractor or a used high-end one? There are arguments both ways...as again some folks want new, with a warranty, and without someone elses problems....others can see the value in an older higher quality unit.

I think all anyone is saying that the entry models are not that bad if comparing apples to apples. Brand snobbery really gets on my nerves. If I buy a Ford Ranger and you have a Ford F150 do I have a "real" Ford truck? Etc.
BS

I paid $350 out the door for my 91 RG570 and it came with a locking Ibanez Pro case. And there wasnt a single cosmetic flaw and the set up was perfect. The neck had no bow to it, and the trem was as low as it could go with zero acoustic fret buzz.

You can get a near perfect late 80s/early 90s 570, 450 or 470 for $200-$300 pretty easily. You gotta look around local used channels (GC, local music chains or Craigslist). Most of the time the people have zero clue what they have, and any of those 3 guitars will get you MIJ, Wizard neck and Edge trem.

Point being, it isnt all about the 550 (really the 570 is identical to the 550 with 1 exception. the 550 is top routed and the 570 is rear routed)
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 11:18 PM
 
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Re: Showing low end Ibanez some love.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RI_RGplayer View Post
BS

I paid $350 out the door for my 91 RG570 and it came with a locking Ibanez Pro case. And there wasnt a single cosmetic flaw and the set up was perfect. The neck had no bow to it, and the trem was as low as it could go with zero acoustic fret buzz.

You can get a near perfect late 80s/early 90s 570, 450 or 470 for $200-$300 pretty easily. You gotta look around local used channels (GC, local music chains or Craigslist). Most of the time the people have zero clue what they have, and any of those 3 guitars will get you MIJ, Wizard neck and Edge trem.

Point being, it isnt all about the 550 (really the 570 is identical to the 550 with 1 exception. the 550 is top routed and the 570 is rear routed)
Well put my friend...... Just look at AlaskaBats new NGD on his 570....... nearly mint condition other than a tiny little chip ON THE BACK OF THE BODY.... and he paid far less than a new RG350 costs!!! In fact, I think the RG220 sells for $299 which is $24 MORE than I paid for my 570....... I also had to pass on that RG750 that was selling for $225....... the guy that bought it has it on the bay now for more than double that price......AND ITS STILL A GOOD DEAL....LMAO!!!!!
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 11:38 PM
 
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Re: Showing low end Ibanez some love.

Case in point... beautiful RG550DX right here on Jemsite..$350

http://www.jemsite.com/forums/f28/ft...ml#post1091677
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-04-2011, 10:23 AM
 
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Re: Showing low end Ibanez some love.

Yeah the 570 I saw had no scratches or chips in it. The guy was trying to sell it for 300 and trying to sell a MIM strat for 350 when the MIJ 570 is by far the better instrument. If I had the money I would have bought both and put new pickups and a new nut on the strat.
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-04-2011, 11:05 AM
 
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Re: Showing low end Ibanez some love.

I just saw a used rg760 in a local classified for 300. But it had flat frets, and the hadware was corroded, and the guy never knew how to set up the lo pro.
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-15-2012, 02:50 AM
 
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Re: Showing low end Ibanez some love.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Displaced Hokie View Post
My first post will be to chime in here. I totally agree with this. I've been an Ibanez fan all my life, starting in the late 1980's when I dreamed of having an RG...Since it was a hardtail, it avoided any trem issues, which are where I feel the low end guitars suffer most.

So in the end...the low end guitars are a gateway to Ibanez and should get some respect.
What I wanted with an Ibanez was a Strat-style guitar that had evolved to offer me the 24 frets that I need, a neck joint that allowed access to the higher frets, and a much flatter fretboard radius.

The 2008-2011 RG120 (GC and MF only, now discontinued) has an incredible Wizard II 3 piece neck, an agathis (not basswood) body and the "dreaded" non-locking FAT10 or FAT20 trem...which is perfect for me.

The reason I have "dreaded" in quotes is that in my view, they are simply wonderful trems, coming from my world, that is.

If you are a former or present Strat player like me, and are well experienced in setting up a non-locking 2 point trem such as these (which function essentially the same as a Strat trem), these guitars need only one thing: a GraphTech Tusq simulated bone, teflon impregnated nut to replace the cheap stock plastic nut.

Obviously pickups and tuners are replaceable but I get along ok with the INF 3 and INF 4 pups, though they will be swapped eventually. Tuners are perfectly acceptable in the short term, and as I said, are easily replaced.

Through trial and error with GraphTech we have found the PRECISE $15 nut that is a perfect drop-in replacement. The string slots, the nut height- EVERYTHING is a perfect drop-in. Zero work involved.

I use 4 claw springs and deck the trem, as I do on a Strat, making the trem a dive-only affair. If you tune using the Frudua tuning system, and replace that nut, you will find that the RG120 holds intonation as well if not better than a similarly set up decked "dive-only" Strat.

I have found my "perfect" guitar with the RG120 with the nut change, the decked (not blocked) dive-only trem and the use of the Frudua tuning system which changes people's view and experience forever when it comes to non-locking trems.

These 2004-2011 120's are Indonesian made and are incredible. The neck profile of these specific Wizard II necks is different- a bit more substantial, which I like. Ultra stable, with the 3 piece costruction, silky smooth. Immaculate fret work. I bought a bunch of them in January 2012 when GC was blowing them out at $120 brand new (in-store only).

These are the answer to my quest for a non-locking (think Ernie Ball/ Music Man/ Petrucci) Ibanez RG with a 2 point Strat-style trem and 24 jumbo frets that are truly accessible. I love the AANJ.

Speaking of the Ernie Ball/ Music Man guitars- I prefer these RG120's with the set up I describe, because of the amazing Wizard II neck. Nothing can touch this neck, IMO.
For those interested, here is the Frudua non-locking trem tuning approach. Note: he works with either a decked or floating trem; as stated, I go decked, all the way. Dives and subtle drop-only vibrato are all I need, and the bridge plate flush against guitar body gives me far better stability and sustain.

Who would have thought the RG120 would be the perfect guitar? 3 things required to make that happen:

1. MUST be post 2008 ( the earlier MIK 120's had 1 piece necks with scarf joint and different neck profile- NO.

2. MUST come from the world of Strat style trems, and have an understanding of how to properly set them up.

3. Which is found HERE- he is talking about a 6 screw Strat trem but it works even better on a 2 point such as what we find on the 120:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0Oyc6slYRc
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-15-2012, 09:24 AM
 
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Re: Showing low end Ibanez some love.

ex120 got me hooked. i modded the crap out of it; but after a string of wizard necks, never found it comfy again. it was the gateway drug into my sea of 30+ ibanez's.


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