What happened to the MIJ non-prestige models? - Jemsite
All Other Guitars (including Prestige) Discussion about other Ibanez Guitars not covered in the above topics. Includes J-Custom, USA-Custom, Prestige subforum.

 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
 
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What happened to the MIJ non-prestige models?

Putting aside the lowest of the low end, lets assume the first "real" Ibanez is the RG3XX series. Then you have RG4XX and then...Prestige! While the price difference between the upper end MIK/MII and the lower end Prestige isn't all that great, the way they are marketed suggests that the improvement in quality is huge for that extra $100-$200.

Maybe its silly care since you could always just pay the extra cash for a 1550 if you want a MIJ, but where did the mid-range MIJ ones go? TBH, after playing an upper-end MIK and an older MIJ Ibanez (non-prestige), nothing jumped out at me as being particularly higher quality about the MIJ, besides the MIJ not having an Edge III. It seems like Ibanez took their "regular" guitars that were previously MIJ and just started making them in Korea and Indonesia. The problem with that is it makes their "Prestige" line seem, well, less prestigious! (Did regular MIJ models ever coexist with Prestige models?)

On top of this, it seems even more strange when you look at Jackson, who produces all their mid-ranged models in Japan! I've played a few and again, they seem to be about on par with the MIK Ibanez and older MIJs. Good quality for the money, but nothing spectacular.

It really shouldn't matter where a guitar is made...but try to tell that to guitarists. We seem to care deeply about this. What's so different about Ibanez that prevents them from making mid-range models in Japan as well as the high-end ones vs. Jackson? Is the factory making current Prestige models the same that made the older MIJs?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 08:16 AM
 
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Re: What happened to the MIJ non-prestige models?

You're missing the point, the MIJ Ibanezzes are priced to what will sell, the market dictates their prices. Don't like it, shop elsewhere.

Anything with an Ibanez logo is a "real" Ibanez, MIC, MII, whatever, but anything MIJ is Fujigen - for most here the only way to go which is why stuff like the 550 exists.

The fact that you can get an RG550, basically a simplified Jem, for $1k *is value for money*, considering the real thing is $3k. I've never considered anything MII, MIK or MIC value for money, cause I don't see the value. Everything that makes an MIJ Ibby great is missing, but to each their own and there is a market for that stuff.

BTW Slapping a Prestige logo on any Fujigen build Guitar is just a marketing trick, originally it referred to specific steps taken at the end of the neck build. It's a logo without much meaning, like the Custom Made inscription on the early S, or Team-J-Craft or even Masterfully crafted for unparalleled sound, maximum playability and exquisite beauty...that's just embarassing. All of those logos exist solely for the purpose of making the customer feel special, think Lexus or Scion which in the end are basically Toyotas. Nothing more, nothing less. Some people fall for those tricks, some can't be bothered.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 08:27 AM
 
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Re: What happened to the MIJ non-prestige models?

What eviltwin says is on the money.

Ibanez essentially took the step of moving production to other countries in order to save money. In essence what we end up with is a product that costs less money for Ibanez to make, in theory making them more profit, but consequently is of a lesser quality. To be fair the non-MIJ Ibanez RGs are still of decent quality in my experience but I still prefer MIJ, the difference is particularly noticeable to me.

That's not a criticism of Ibanez by the way, it's merely how things are.

'87
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 09:00 AM
 
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Re: What happened to the MIJ non-prestige models?

And yes, the regular MIJs coexisted with the early Prestige guitars. And even if the Prestige logo only implied a much better neck treatment, the guitars themselves were miles ahead the regular MIJs, and much closer to J Custom in quality (2020x, 3120, 2027x). What great guitars... If theres a guitar i regret having let go its the 3120...

When they introduced the Edge Pro and slapped a "1" in front of model numbers, they just started using the Prestige logo on the regular MIJs...
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: What happened to the MIJ non-prestige models?

My question was mostly retorical. Sorry, I wasn't missing any point. I was looking for some opinions and I got was I was looking for.

Ok folks, you have:

Quote:
Originally Posted by eviltwin View Post

BTW Slapping a Prestige logo on any Fujigen build Guitar is just a marketing trick, originally it referred to specific steps taken at the end of the neck build. It's a logo without much meaning, like the Custom Made inscription on the early S, or Team-J-Craft or even Masterfully crafted for unparalleled sound, maximum playability and exquisite beauty...that's just embarassing. All of those logos exist solely for the purpose of making the customer feel special, think Lexus or Scion which in the end are basically Toyotas. Nothing more, nothing less. Some people fall for those tricks, some can't be bothered.
VS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marianozz View Post
And yes, the regular MIJs coexisted with the early Prestige guitars. And even if the Prestige logo only implied a much better neck treatment, the guitars themselves were miles ahead the regular MIJs, and much closer to J Custom in quality (2020x, 3120, 2027x). What great guitars... If theres a guitar i regret having let go its the 3120...

When they introduced the Edge Pro and slapped a "1" in front of model numbers, they just started using the Prestige logo on the regular MIJs...
So...which is it? I have seen complaints on these boards about the quality of "Prestige", people going so far as to suggest that the term "Prestige" used to mean something special. As it is now, Prestige just means "MIJ" to me. So, by way of analogy, a "Prestige Fender" would mean made in the USA. A regular one, MIM. Some seem to suggest that "Prestige" does/used to mean closer to custom shop.

I want to know if there's a definite answer to this one.

I think I'll start a poll on this one.

Last edited by RedTiger; 11-11-2009 at 10:43 AM.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 12:24 PM
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Re: What happened to the MIJ non-prestige models?

are all "prestige" guitars made in japan?
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 12:45 PM
 
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Re: What happened to the MIJ non-prestige models?

The 15xx series guitars used to be the moderately-priced MIJ guitars. I got my RG1570 for $750 right before the exchange rate went to hell. The US dollar went way low and the Yen went high; thus you're paying $250 more for the same guitar! It sucks big time, yes, but I'm sure someone like Joe Hoshino is pulling his hair out over it too. Or any other company that builds in Japan for that matter!
In terms of quality I think Prestige guitars are still better overall than the old MIJ versions. That's my opinion. Some might disagree. Do Prestige guitars have QC issues? Sure, but so did pre-Prestige MIJ guitars.
I'm hoping the plan is to make Prestige a hair below J-Custom and bring the non-Prestige line up to par with pre-Prestige MIJ guitars. I really like MII Ibanez's but that's also my opinion.
And I'm still holding out hope for a Made in America RG. Lots of bad history to get over, but I think it can be done. Again, my opinions.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: What happened to the MIJ non-prestige models?

The Poll is over here if anyone wants to weigh in.

http://www.jemsite.com/forums/f14/ib...tml#post962896

Why would you want a Made in the USA RG? Do you feel that it would cost less? I have a feeling it would be more expensive if they were made in the US despite any lack of exchange rate or tariffs. I could see all sorts of things jacking up the price, everything from Ibanez realizing that they could get away with it as well as the fact that US Ibanez workers will demand to be as well paid as their Fender and Gibson counterparts.

I like the MIJ aspect, simply because I think its an equal-quality alternative to being made in the USA. I recentley bought a Kramer Focus 1000 for $230 with a gold original Floyd, gold schallers tuners. It has THE best neck and fretboard I've ever played, hands down. I went home for some research and was tickled pink when I found out the Focus line was MIJ and a product of ESP and bought it the next day. I took it apart and went over it with a fine tooth comb since I have 30 days to return it to the pawn shop. After I was satisfied that I had a true alder body Focus and not a plywood Striker, I took it to my tech for setup and cleaning. A great guitar became an excellent one. I dare anyone to compare any late 80s MIA Baretta or Strat to this MIJ guitar.

MIJ has not meant "cheap" for a very long time now. We've had 20+ years of Japanese products that the public largely perceives as being superior to US-made. Even the conservative guitar player community admits that they are good. Now its all switched to Indonesia and Korea. Will this happen all over again in 20 years when we find out that there are Korean and Indonesian factories that can make a great guitar?

Last edited by RedTiger; 11-11-2009 at 01:32 PM.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 01:32 PM
 
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Re: What happened to the MIJ non-prestige models?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTiger View Post
It really shouldn't matter where a guitar is made...but try to tell that to guitarists. We seem to care deeply about this.
I don't think people care so much about where the guitar is made.

They just know that MIJ guitars are typically better than MIK guitar.... And MIK guitars are better than MII.

It is based on experience.

If the quality was the same across the board...people wouldn't care if purple people from mars made them. Heck, that may even be kinda cool.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: What happened to the MIJ non-prestige models?

Are we going to deny reality when someone actually brings it out in the open? Emperor's new clothes, much? :P

You can't tell me that if someone were to talk about their "awesome new Jem 555" or JS100 that many on here would automatically wonder "well, its the cheap copy, how good could it be?" I will freely admit that I do this myself once in a while. I'd like to be able to say that I could buy a Squire, or an Ephiphone, or an LTD if the guitar was a quality instrument, but I'd always be disappointed I just didn't get the Fender, Gibson, or ESP.

Guitarists, just like anyone, often care for the status of owning something special that is a cut above the rest, and a MIJ Ibanez is exactly that. Its just human nature. If I bought something like a JEM 10th or 20th anniversary, or a DNA, you better believe my NGD thread would have a bit of showing off behind it. I love it when people do that as long as its just because they're happy they got an exceptional guitar and not because of mean spirited elitism.

Last edited by RedTiger; 11-11-2009 at 06:30 PM.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 08:54 PM
 
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Re: What happened to the MIJ non-prestige models?

When i said "Prestige is awesome" I was merely talking about the models i mentioned (and there was an S or two, too), and thats about ten years ago.

Regular MIJs (the 500 series and up) were great guitars back then, the Prestiges were definetly better overall, on top of its superior neck treatment.

Today's 1000 series MIJs, to me, seem overall as good* as the 500 regulars back then, 2000 series are weird, slightly better than 1000, not as good as the old 700, and the 3000 seem on par with the old Prestiges. Thing is they cost triple or more what the 3120 was new (and thats more than just inflation).

* i say "overall" because i really do not like any new briges theyve put out since the 1000 line was born, but ill say thats personal and leave it at that.


Now, see here all i talk about is MIJ. I dont consider any Korean Ibanez guitar to be on par with the old "Prestige" logo, or the new one for that matter. Enough flaws have been pointed out here and elsewhere. Basic flaws like crap routing, bad fitting necks, poorly cut frets (something that contradicts the premise of the original Prestige brand)...
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 09:49 PM
 
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Re: What happened to the MIJ non-prestige models?

I heard a news that RG4XX ( non prestige) is now available again and it's MIJ !!!

However, no evidence on printed catalogue or on the web site, it's just the words from the local ibanez distributor. There is an expo next Nov 19, I will go there and see it myself the MIJ RG4XX.

Is it just me or what... when I go to Ibanez web site ( Indonesian and any south east asian country frame), go to the 'RG tremolo' , click it... and nothing there..
Is it Ibanez in process updating their web, or my computer just f*ck up?
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-12-2009, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: What happened to the MIJ non-prestige models?

Quote:
Originally Posted by psychoshredder View Post
I heard a news that RG4XX ( non prestige) is now available again and it's MIJ !!!

However, no evidence on printed catalogue or on the web site, it's just the words from the local ibanez distributor. There is an expo next Nov 19, I will go there and see it myself the MIJ RG4XX.

Is it just me or what... when I go to Ibanez web site ( Indonesian and any south east asian country frame), go to the 'RG tremolo' , click it... and nothing there..
Is it Ibanez in process updating their web, or my computer just f*ck up?
Wow, that should be interesting. I almost got one of those until I saw the lower end Prestiges were just $200 more and included a case.

I wonder if they'll get an Edge Zero bridge instead of the Edge III? Won't that be funny? The J Customs will have the same bridge as the RG4XX. I'm hoping if they make them in Japan, they'll stick with the Edge III so I can switch it out with a Floyd.
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