What's so Prestige about it anyway? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2009, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
 
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What's so Prestige about it anyway?

I've been looking at Ibanez Prestige S series guitars, and I'm trying to figure out why they cost over 1000.

I have an Ibanez S540 (S540QSTK, to be precise) which has:

Quilted sapele/mahogany back
Wizard neck
Jumbo frets
Lo pro edge tremolo

It had QM pickups but I replaced them with Bare Knuckles.

My guitar has cost me about 500 in total (200 in pickups!) and I'm wondering where the other 500 comes from. I'm pretty sure the Prestige pickups aren't as good as the BKPs.

Any ideas?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2009, 09:45 AM
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Re: What's so Prestige about it anyway?

Well you did well to get a brand new, factory fresh S540 for 300

Those guitars were pitched at the same level and target point in the market place as he S Prestige are nowadays.

So to answer your question, the extra 500 comes from it being a new guitar.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2009, 10:07 AM
 
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Re: What's so Prestige about it anyway?

I agree with Jono that you cant compare used prices with new...

Still, i agree with the OP in saying that a japanese 540 from back then costed less than a Prestige S now, and still is a hell of a lot better axe than these korean things with iffy trems and poor workmanship...
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2009, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: What's so Prestige about it anyway?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jono View Post
Well you did well to get a brand new, factory fresh S540 for 300

Those guitars were pitched at the same level and target point in the market place as he S Prestige are nowadays.

So to answer your question, the extra 500 comes from it being a new guitar.
Good point. I didn't buy it new, but even new it wasn't over 1,000. And mine was made in Japan :P
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2009, 11:04 AM
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Re: What's so Prestige about it anyway?

It's been a few years since it was new, probably getting on for 10 or so, and there's this little thing called inflation

Regardless of what it cost, you've got a great guitar there. And i'd definately go for an S540 over the current batch of S series guitars.

Now then...

This thread runs the risk of being pointless without pics
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2009, 11:24 AM
 
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Re: What's so Prestige about it anyway?

what was the new price of a jem in 1987?and the price now?ofcourse its different!
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2009, 02:13 PM
 
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Re: What's so Prestige about it anyway?

Well........
My Korean s2170fb with emg's is a better built, better playing guitar than my '89 s540, the zr is not as great for divebombs but it is smoother surface wise and not too much whammying these days regardless.

I'm not a fan of the 24 fret japanese s series of late.

Not that the old ones are bad, I just think the newer one's deserve some credit.

The prices of new guitars today are gonna be higher in relation to the early nineties in many cases, but the price of a tele in 52' was the equivalent of $1850 or so.......

They are nicer than the new s3XX series regardless
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2009, 03:47 PM
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Re: What's so Prestige about it anyway?

i had a rg2550z and there was nothing prestige about it.its either jem series or j-custom for me.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2009, 09:38 PM
 
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Re: What's so Prestige about it anyway?

When the prestige line came out in 1998 it actually was a step above their normal japanese line.Better body woods,tops,a better feeling neck finish,better fretwork and in some cases real dimarzio pickups(ex. rg3120).I think the term prestige peaked with the neckthru rgt3020 and has meant not much since.It just became another marketing strategy.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2009, 05:26 AM
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Re: What's so Prestige about it anyway?

Quote:
Originally Posted by musicdr View Post
When the prestige line came out in 1998 it actually was a step above their normal japanese line.Better body woods,tops,a better feeling neck finish,better fretwork and in some cases real dimarzio pickups(ex. rg3120).I think the term prestige peaked with the neckthru rgt3020 and has meant not much since.It just became another marketing strategy.
I agree with you (although the RG3120 was the one for me as I prefer bolt ons ) Prestige really meant something when it came out.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-01-2009, 09:30 PM
 
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Re: What's so Prestige about it anyway?

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Originally Posted by musicdr View Post
I think the term prestige peaked with the neckthru rgt3020 and has meant not much since.It just became another marketing strategy.
Now mind you, I'm new to Ibanez guitars, and therefore Prestige also, but I thought the whole Prestige thing was just that -- marketing. So, in other words, Ibanez used to make all their guitars in Japan via FujiGen -- and by all accounts they were great! But, as usual, time goes on and there isn't a mass-producer of guitars on the planet that doesn't try to cut corners, lower the quality, outsource for cheaper labor, and thereby increase sales volumes. So they move most of their production to Korea and Indonesia, ditch the tick mark and "S/RG Series" from the headstock on the MIJs and then re-brand their good, FujiGen guitars as "Prestige".

Maybe its because I wasn't playing them back in the 80s and 90s that I don't have much of a reference point. When I bought my Prestige, I figured I was getting something along the lines of a MIA Stratocaster. I never thought of Ibanez as trying to place their products in the same category that a mass-producer like Gibson and PRS try to place theirs. Ibanez always seemed closer to Fender's ideal anyway, basically being a bolted together (awesome) plank of wood with a thick poly finish rather than the fancier Gibson/PRS stuff.

Basically, I wasn't expecting $2000 - $4000 quality from a $1000 guitar. The guitar I bought was certainly worth $1000.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-02-2009, 03:20 AM
 
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Re: What's so Prestige about it anyway?

As I posted on another thread:

"I own a S320 weathered black Indonesia made.
I tried 3 of this same model at the shop: one had some serious fret buzz even if the action was medium-high, the second had 2 of the 5 switch pickups positions not working at all...and the third it's mine
Pros: very light, decent starting INF1&2 pups for the price (changed them now with JB+Jazz), I lowered the string action to a good height, excellent tuning stability, nicely screened circuits.
Cons: as you know the trem arm socket is made out of cheap metals and usually snaps after 6 months or so of really using it (if you only wiggle it a little and not divebombing all the time it will last...it's not that cheap ), fret quality is very bad...I don't know what they're made of but they wear off pretty soon, and the frets are not polished (after bending a few times they will be ))), but in a worn way that might induce fret buzzing). As I said earlier you gotta try more of them to find a decent one.

Could someone now please answer me this question: Does this same model but made in Korea has better fret quality? (i've heard that the same frets are used in Japan and Korea...unlucky me ) Any other specific differences between Korea and Indonesia?"
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-02-2009, 06:18 AM
 
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Re: What's so Prestige about it anyway?

I don't know if it's the same frets but Korean and Indonesian quality seems to be equal.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-02-2009, 02:03 PM
 
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Re: What's so Prestige about it anyway?

Don't think so. PRS, Fender (and Mexico), Gibson are making their budget guitars in Korea. In Indonesia and China the labor is surely cheaper, but for the reason of keeping some quality level they stick to Korea. In the past Korea was what Japan is now.

Last edited by Treishtrei; 10-02-2009 at 02:04 PM. Reason: append
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