Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Northern California
Re: Unhappy RG1570Z-JB Owner
I had a similar story but back in the early 80s, which many consider the heyday of Ibanez quality control! While Ibanez today is still considered one of the best, there are problems but nothing like what has happened in the past with Fender and Gibson.
Anyway, I had a red Ibanez Blazer 550 with sharp black pickguard and matching black pickups. It was the bomb but the neck was put in where the high e string was too close to the edge and would easily fall off the fretboard. I went to try and get it fixed but the luthier said that short of taking the neck off, filling the holes, and redrilling there was not much I could do.
So I was under warranty and sent the guitar back to the dealer and they arranged for a "fix" with Ibanez. Low and behold they sent me a brand new guitar, OK, but the high e string was again just as close to the edge. It appears that maybe that's how they drilled the holes on the neck and thought that was acceptable for that model. The new guitar, same Blazer 550 model, now had a white pickguard and white parts and the black was no longer available. Had I known that the issue with the high e string was probably common, I would have liked to have stayed with original Blazer. The Blazer with black pickguard was a short lived model and is more rare than the white pickguard Blazers that took over after it.
I don't know why Ibanez, who were best known for their out of factory setup, were not willing to work on the neck. Why couldn't they take the neck off, fill and redrill, and send back my instrument? Doesn't it cost them more to send me a total new, unopened guitar? And what did they do with the original guitar I sent them? I was shocked that they did this and when players who had issues with their Fenders and Gibsons would complain (it took two years for Fender to send me chrome cover for my '83 tele!), I would tell them about my Ibanez story and they were shocked. Back then, Fender and Gibson had the long history behind them and that's what they would emphasize and Ibanez was known as less expensive but generally better and more consistent.
Whatever the case may be, you will always get a few quality control issues that fall through the cracks since they are a large company, not an individual luthier. I am so sad to hear that the company/dealer gave you the runaround. Sometimes a niche opens up for the qa issues that happen with a big company and somebody like Heritage Guitars basically build the Gibson designs but make the extra effort to set them up right and the playability difference is amazing though the dimensions and parts are pretty similar. That extra human effort costs money and big companies simply can't afford to set them up like a luthier or smaller company like Heritage. I do like the services offered by Rich ^^^^ as Ibanez could never offer the level of service and setup that he does.