Signature Prestige vs Premium - Page 3 - Jemsite
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post #31 of 71 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 03:29 PM
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Re: Signature Prestige vs Premium

Terrible analogy as Epiphone is not Gibson. Now if Gibson created a "Les Paul Premium" built in Japan or Indo instead of the "Les Paul Studio" you'd be on to something.
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post #32 of 71 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 03:34 PM
 
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Re: Signature Prestige vs Premium

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Originally Posted by Rich View Post
The US companies aren't selling out, they're adapting. If you can't build an Epiphone in the US to sell at the $799 price point it has to, you have to build it where you can. Same for every builder.
Let me define SELLOUT as I see it. It is a questionable word choice for what I meant. SELLOUT is taking an iconic American brand and telling the public (through marketing of course) that they need to build a line of guitars in the orient to "compete" with cheap orient production guitars like Ibby, ESP, etc. They won't phrase it that way but that's it.

What that says to me is that Asian guitars are cheap in terms of price AND cheaply made...almost comes across like "if you want cheap we will give you cheap so we can stay in business". There has never been anything overtly cheap about a Japanese made guitar...or knife, or what have you.

The reality is that Asian guitars, especially the top tier stuff, is MILES above what most guitar makers can make in any country and few folks will admit that. There are exceptions, no doubt. But to do it on the scale that they do is quite impressive compared to guy that makes 20 nice guitars a year. Those 20 will not play or sound any better to 99% of the folks on this planet that buy a Japanese guitar.

Like you said, it is to stay in business. I get it. The irony is that it has taken years for these American overseas builds to have any consistent quality to them. At first they were just to be cheap and capitalize on the G or F shaped bodies...(I don't mean the Jap fenders...those were actually on par with American IMHO). Those shapes sell. But quite frankly brands like Agile took a bite out of the pie and have the big boys scrambling.

Why not stick your nads out there and say "WE ARE GIBSON. WE INVENTED ROCK. We make the finest guitars in the world and they are American made, period."

That would never fly because they are riding their own glory day coattails when the competition was two main companies. They haven't had an original thought in 40years and need to stay in business by moving production elsewhere for the bulk of what sells...and they still rehash the same old designs with PAF pickup clones.

Now we compete with the orient in their own game instead of leading from the front. Times are a changing for sure, and the younger generations don't look at the VALUE of a quality made thing like I do. Face it, you need 1-3 guitars to cover all the bases. One great guitar will last a lifetime, just like one great knife of fine steel you can resharpen. But disposable attitude is just that, everything is disposable (except income-- unless it's from someone else!) and guitars are not an exception.

So the SELLOUT I mention is unavoidable and needed. If we all bought just one good guitar, the business comes to a grinding halt. It just galls me, the premise under which they advertise; trying to remain stoic American icons while transacting in yen an yuan 95% of the time...and acting like America has no equal. In terms of many things, especially freedom, America will NEVER have an equal But we sure as hell do when it comes to guitars.
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post #33 of 71 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 03:34 PM
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Re: Signature Prestige vs Premium

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Terrible analogy as Epiphone is not Gibson. Now if Gibson created a "Les Paul Premium" built in Japan or Indo instead of the "Les Paul Studio" you'd be on to something.
Gibson does build Les Pauls in Asia, as Epiphones, and they're not even Premiums.....

Epiphone Les Paul Guitars
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post #34 of 71 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 03:40 PM
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Re: Signature Prestige vs Premium

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Let me define SELLOUT as I see it. It is a questionable word choice for what I meant. SELLOUT is taking an iconic American brand and telling the public (through marketing of course) that they need to build a line of guitars in the orient to "compete" with cheap orient production guitars like Ibby, ESP, etc. They won't phrase it that way but that's it.

.
They're not in Asia to compete with ESP, they're in Asia to get the price point down to where the majority of the market has shifted, into entry and student models. These cannot be built in the US and come in at the price point to compete in that market, where everybody is competing. Not against Asian compaines, but against everybody. If you want to sell inexpensive guitars you have to build them where costs are cheap.
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post #35 of 71 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 01:46 PM
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Re: Signature Prestige vs Premium

The price gap between any signature premium and regular production is similar (may be even less), as a percentage, to what happens between MIJ signatures vs MIJ regular production. But if your are paying 1200/1600 USD for a signature premium, vs 800/1400.

The gap is closer actually a lot closer in the Premiums, because the top of the line Premiums come packed with featrues whereas the top of the line Prestige, is basically what was regarded as the medium level of the line a few years ago. Anything resembling what used to be top of the line Prestige, is now J Custom.

THat said, you may be "overpaying" by 40%/50% on both, but in the premium you are only paying 500/600 USD to have the artist model and features (vine, monkey grip, lion claw, or basically the same specs in a JBM, with the exception of the bridge in most cases, but the Edge Zero is a great birdge that permoms the same as anything features ina MIJ guitar). In the MIJ signature, you are going to overpay but something between 1K or 2k.

If you think of it that way, it acutally makes a lot of sense to buy a signature Premium.

I bought a jem70SVFG and I'm considering an Indo JBM. I would also consider an indo Premium Jem BFP. I most definately rather own those 3 than a 7VWH. In a heartbeat. That would be a VERY easy decision in fact.

Even though I know it would hurt the value of MIJ swirls (of which I still own a couple), I'd love to see a reissue of indo made UVs and Jems, or even Indo custom graphics. That's never going to happend, but it would be intesting. Also looking forward to a Premium with the J Custom vine inlay. Something equally inlikely.

Thing is, though I do spend over 3/4k in some guitars, there's no way I'm shelling that kind of money for a flat top, bolt on, superstrat. Not saying it's not worth it, or being critical of someone who does (I did, for many years).

IMHO, signature Premiums make a lot of sense. They are good quality guitars, with most (or all) of the features you'd come to expect in the signature model. They play well, they look great. Keep em comming.
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post #36 of 71 (permalink) Old 05-21-2017, 08:58 AM
 
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Re: Signature Prestige vs Premium

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Originally Posted by rarebird View Post
Let me define SELLOUT as I see it. It is a questionable word choice for what I meant. SELLOUT is taking an iconic American brand and telling the public (through marketing of course) that they need to build a line of guitars in the orient to "compete" with cheap orient production guitars like Ibby, ESP, etc. They won't phrase it that way but that's it.

What that says to me is that Asian guitars are cheap in terms of price AND cheaply made...almost comes across like "if you want cheap we will give you cheap so we can stay in business". There has never been anything overtly cheap about a Japanese made guitar...or knife, or what have you.

The reality is that Asian guitars, especially the top tier stuff, is MILES above what most guitar makers can make in any country and few folks will admit that. There are exceptions, no doubt. But to do it on the scale that they do is quite impressive compared to guy that makes 20 nice guitars a year. Those 20 will not play or sound any better to 99% of the folks on this planet that buy a Japanese guitar.
Selling out to me is Metallica. Going from a paragon of the thrash metal movement to a commercial pile of garbage, which persists to this day, THAT'S a sellout.

Except that ESP has done GREAT with the Edwards (made in China, finished in Japan) and LTD (made in Korea). If Ibanez could turn the premium line into something like the LTDs in Korea, that would be great but I don't see that happening all too soon.
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post #37 of 71 (permalink) Old 05-21-2017, 09:03 AM
 
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Re: Signature Prestige vs Premium

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Everybody is expanding, but the US bigs have been overseas for a decade and many more [ie.Japanese Fender] so they're all doing the same thing. The more the US bigs import from Asia, the more widely accepted Asian [and Ibanez] become in the minds of the patriotic MIUSA crowd.
Then you have people like Jeff Kiesel, who constantly bash "Asian-made" guitars and tout the whole "MURIKA!" thing. It doesn't help that Kiesel is going through some sort of Renaissance and getting a bigger name, all the while bashing companies like Ibanez and ESP, saying "Asian-made" is not up to MIUSA quality, which is absolute BS.
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post #38 of 71 (permalink) Old 05-21-2017, 09:51 AM
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Re: Signature Prestige vs Premium

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Selling out to me is Metallica. Going from a paragon of the thrash metal movement to a commercial pile of garbage, which persists to this day, THAT'S a sellout.
Was Zeppelin a sell out (or vastly before your time) as their music greatly expanded. Not a perfect analogy because those were 4 of the finest rock musicians ever to record albums & tour as a real band. Having seen many "metal blade" era bands in NY clubs I can tell you Metallica was never thrash metal. Sorry to burst that idea but it's really true.

Quote:
reality is that Asian guitars, especially the top tier stuff, is MILES above what most guitar makers can make in any country and few folks will admit that. There are exceptions, no doubt. But to do it on the scale that they do is quite impressive compared to guy that makes 20 nice guitars a year. Those 20 will not play or sound any better to 99% of the folks on this planet that buy a Japanese guitar.
This quote is simply laughable. Asian guitars (holy generality batman) is MILES above (how many miles?). This is Ibanez adoration by zealots who simultaneously romanticize Japanese stuff for whatever reason. Please be objective.
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post #39 of 71 (permalink) Old 05-21-2017, 10:11 AM
 
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Re: Signature Prestige vs Premium

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Was Zeppelin a sell out (or vastly before your time) as their music greatly expanded. Not a perfect analogy because those were 4 of the finest rock musicians ever to record albums & tour as a real band. Having seen many "metal blade" era bands in NY clubs I can tell you Metallica was never thrash metal. Sorry to burst that idea but it's really true.


This quote is simply laughable. Asian guitars (holy generality batman) is MILES above (how many miles?). This is Ibanez adoration by zealots who simultaneously romanticize Japanese stuff for whatever reason. Please be objective.
My mother listened to Zeppelin, but I was never really into them. I was too busy with Iron maiden and Motley Crue (when both bands actually had decent music).

I was never a massive Metallica fan anyway, had a couple albums and that was it. I didnt lose my sanity with the black album, like most people did, because I had been listening to Crue for so long ballads didn't bother me. Load did it for me, and I never looked back again.

Just some input into the romaticization of Japanese things (being that I moved to Japan 11 years ago). When I was a kid in the 80s, made in Japan meant high quality. I remember all the MIJ things around the house and how well they were built. That's still a part of me, as I still look at MIJ things and consider them to be of excellent construction. Does that mean that I think MIUSA is terrible? Heck no, I have 1 carvin and 1 kiesel guitar. Does that mean Made in China is all garbage? No, as my Tubemeister 36 is a GREAT amp for the price. Is there seemingly more garbage coming from China than other places in the world? Yeah, but that doesn't make all Chinese things bad. Do I miss my Indonesian RG350EXZ? I loved the neck on it, so yes, I do miss it. That doesn't mean that I don't still believe MIJ to be top of the line craftsmanship. Not only guitars either, being that I have access to a lot of different MIJ things here, I've seen how well unknown MIJ craftsmen take pride in their work and just how high quality MIJ things really are. You COULD say that moving to Japan actually reinforced my long-held beliefs in MIJ being high quality, but maybe I'm a special case.
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post #40 of 71 (permalink) Old 05-21-2017, 10:44 AM
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Re: Signature Prestige vs Premium

You should dig into LZ, start with the first LP it would cast great doubt that Motley Crue has any good, sustainable music. Sure Too Fast was catch at the time but sellout was all those LA bands designed for MTV.

I transcribed - best I could - the first few Metallica album rhythm guitars back in the day and it gave a greater musical appreciation (cliff dying was almost improbable to overcome and they did).

I don't believe my Mazda CX-9 is any better, durable, etc. than a Ford or Hyundai for my intended use. It had the right price, features, looks though.
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post #41 of 71 (permalink) Old 05-21-2017, 10:54 AM
 
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Re: Signature Prestige vs Premium

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You should dig into LZ, start with the first LP it would cast great doubt that Motley Crue has any good, sustainable music. Sure Too Fast was catch at the time but sellout was all those LA bands designed for MTV.

I transcribed - best I could - the first few Metallica album rhythm guitars back in the day and it gave a greater musical appreciation (cliff dying was almost improbable to overcome and they did).

I don't believe my Mazda CX-9 is any better, durable, etc. than a Ford or Hyundai for my intended use. It had the right price, features, looks though.
Well, My views on Motley have changed a LOT since I was kid. I rarely listen to them, as I have chosen to plant my flag at the base of Mt. Power Metal. Jani Liimatainen and Timo Tolkki, as songwriters, are 2 of the best songwriters people tend to ignore because they are from Finland. At least here in Japan they have a good following and are respected.

That Mazda was probably half built in Vietnam or somewhere anyway, or maybe built in the USA as most Japanese car makers have factories there. The name is Japanese, the craftsmanship is probably USA or Mexico.

And speaking of Mexico, I would buy a MIM Charvel ANY day. Mexicans are great guitar builders with a rich history in making classical guitars. I'd trust a Mexican over an Indonesian for a quality guitar any day of the week. Just wanted to point that out
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post #42 of 71 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Signature Prestige vs Premium

I've tried a few Mexican Fenders and like any company that makes instruments, they were pretty consistent but I am sure with a big enough sampling, there would be some bad ones in the batch. Of the Epiphone & Gibson guitar I tried, those were all over the place as far as consistency is concerned. It wasn't a good vs bad but more like bad vs wtf vs huh... As much as I would like to own a Les Paul, I have given up on them and probably will search for the right Ibanez SZ520 / SZ720.

Now here is something interesting, I was listening to a podcast and they said something along the lines of "I'm old enough to remember when Jacksons were better than Charvels and today it is the complete opposite".
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post #43 of 71 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 11:41 AM
 
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Re: Signature Prestige vs Premium

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I've tried a few Mexican Fenders and like any company that makes instruments, they were pretty consistent but I am sure with a big enough sampling, there would be some bad ones in the batch. Of the Epiphone & Gibson guitar I tried, those were all over the place as far as consistency is concerned. It wasn't a good vs bad but more like bad vs wtf vs huh... As much as I would like to own a Les Paul, I have given up on them and probably will search for the right Ibanez SZ520 / SZ720.

Now here is something interesting, I was listening to a podcast and they said something along the lines of "I'm old enough to remember when Jacksons were better than Charvels and today it is the complete opposite".
I know a pro musician who, when he writes music for his band, he uses a Korean made SZ model. He says it just sounds so great that he has to use it on the albums. He plays prestiges live mostly, but that should say everything about those SZs.
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post #44 of 71 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Signature Prestige vs Premium

Marty Friedman had one of those as a Signature model after he left Megadeth. They pop up from time to time around my part of the world for about 300- / 400- (Korean, not Japanese).
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post #45 of 71 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 12:09 PM
 
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Re: Signature Prestige vs Premium

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Marty Friedman had one of those as a Signature model after he left Megadeth. They pop up from time to time around my part of the world for about 300- / 400- (Korean, not Japanese).
And they were only released in Japan in a limited number IIRC. I've seen them pop up a couple times but I'd never buy one. I have Marty's original signature model, a Carvin (mine's Kiesel) V220C. Better than every signature after it.
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