Who cares about the fret ends? - Jemsite
All Other Guitars (including Prestige) Discussion about other Ibanez Guitars not covered in the above topics. Includes J-Custom, USA-Custom, Prestige subforum.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 365
Smile Who cares about the fret ends?

Every Prestige I've played, there have been two things that really set them apart from a lesser Ibanez: connectedness and resonance. By connectedness I mean they feel more solid/tight/stable. I'm guessing this is because there is a higher level of precision used in the build process. The other thing I notice is that Prestiges seem to resonate better, like they are made from better pieces of wood. I think the connectedness also plays a huge part in the resonance. To me, these are the key factors in why a Prestige is 'better'.

Anyway, my point is, everybody raves about Prestige necks, specifically the fret ends, to the point where it seems like that's all anyone cares about. Are you really dragging your hand along the ends of the frets all day? I honestly can't feel that much of a difference between a bottom of the line Ibanez neck, RG neck, Prestige neck, JEM neck, and showcase neck, even though you can clearly see that the fret ends are finished better the higher up you go. As long as the neck is straight, relief is correct, truss rod is adjusted, the back isn't painted, it's reasonably thin, and the frets are level, who cares how perfectly polished and rounded the fret ends are?

Am I missing something here? Is anyone else with me in thinking that the structural integrity of a Prestige is far more noticable than the fret ends?
van01010100 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 09:06 PM
Vendor
 
Rich's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 25,566
Re: Who cares about the fret ends?

Yea, you're completely missing what the term "Prestige" was meant to stand for. Closer tolerances, and the 6 extra steps of hand finishing that made it feel like a comfortable old played in neck, in huge part of which is, fret end and board edge finishing.
Rich is online  
post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 365
Re: Who cares about the fret ends?

But when I play I barely touch the edges of the neck, unless I'm playing bass notes with my thumb or in other rare circumstances. The back surface of a neck is way more important to me in terms of comfort and speed. Which brought me to wonder why so much time would be spent on the fret ends. I guess I just have an unusual playing style...?

Yet I still notice a definite difference on a Prestige, mainly the points I mentioned, the 'closer tolerances' make way more of a difference to me.
van01010100 is offline  
post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 09:41 PM
Vendor
 
Rich's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 25,566
Re: Who cares about the fret ends?

And I feel every single unfinished and poorly finished nib.

Standard Indo is as close tolerance and Prestige these days. Which only leaves the differences of the neck finishing, hardware, and how many pieces they use to build the bodies.
Rich is online  
post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 12:18 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NYC, NY
Posts: 435
Reviews: 15
Re: Who cares about the fret ends?

I feel them also. I bought an Ibanez nylon string guitar that I loved, but the fret ends were slightly off. After a few days, I brought it back to guitar center and told them that they have to fix it. At first, they said they don't offer free tech work for cheap guitars. I said $400 is considered a cheap guitar? And they replied "yes." I then told them that they can consider this a return if that's the case. All of a sudden their tone changed and the work was done for free.

Now it's an incredible guitar that I really love playing. The fret ends make a big difference. It now has a finished feel to it.

I guess it's like having a girlfriend with an accent. At first, you think it's cute. After a few weeks, you hate that accent because the newness of the relationship has worn off. Same thing with guitars. If something bothers you at first, but you overlook it, it will compound to the point that you hate the guitar. Don't settle for mediocrity.

Check out almost every Mexican Strat. It's like they don't even try to get it right.
lespauled is offline  
post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 12:30 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,641
Re: Who cares about the fret ends?

Chalk another one up here for people who feel the difference between good and bad fret ends.
GuitarBizarre is offline  
post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 12:44 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Italia
Posts: 4,725
Re: Who cares about the fret ends?

fret-ends craftwork tells a lot about the whole guitar quality level. they're not meant to be considered just a detail per se. usually, if the fret-ends are well done, the whole guitar is, too. of course there are many good guitars with bad fret-ends, though.

i do care a lot about them, and always round'em up on the guitars i work on, even if not requested. same thing with the nut.
nuno is offline  
post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 365
Re: Who cares about the fret ends?

Interesting.. so maybe I do have a different playing style then? When I started playing, I played mostly with the fronts of my fingers, where your fingerprints are. In the last few years I learned to play with the tips of my fingers, and I found myself subconsciously using the edge of the fretboard as a gauge to tell me if I'm slacking or not... i.e., if I start getting lazy or I'm not paying attention and my hand or fingers start to touch the edge of the fretboard, I notice it and correct myself.

I have long skinny fingers so that might have something to do with it too.

Or maybe I've just played so many guitars with horrible fret ends that I adjusted my playing style to avoid them
van01010100 is offline  
post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 03:03 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,740
Re: Who cares about the fret ends?

Quote:
Originally Posted by van01010100 View Post
. . . specifically the fret ends, to the point where it seems like that's all anyone cares about. . . .
It's not all I care about either, but as others have pointed out, a hallmark of the overall quality of the instrument, which I do care about.

Peace

Mike
Hikey Mikey is offline  
post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 05:12 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: North Carolina, USA
Posts: 407
Reviews: 3
Re: Who cares about the fret ends?

I had Rich do the platinum fret and neck service on my JS guitar, and it feels so much better then an off the shelf one at GC, its doesn't even feel like the same neck...
leathermonkey7 is offline  
post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 08:15 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Tewksbury, MA
Posts: 392
Re: Who cares about the fret ends?

Quote:
Originally Posted by leathermonkey7 View Post
I had Rich do the platinum fret and neck service on my JS guitar, and it feels so much better then an off the shelf one at GC, its doesn't even feel like the same neck...
I have two guitars from Rich with the Platinum treatment and feel the exact same way!
EvilEmuOfDoom is offline  
post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 09:09 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 78
Re: Who cares about the fret ends?

I'm in the same boat as most of you, it makes a big difference to me. My J Customs and Caparisons have amazing fretwork. The frets just blend right into the wood, nice and rounded and smooth. On the other hand, my Explorer's fret ends are TERRIBLE. When I use that guitar I can absolutely feel them sticking out and even poking my hands. If I gigged with it more I'd go get them worked on for sure.
AusTexCap is offline  
post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 07:37 AM
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Adelaide , Australia
Posts: 1,297
Re: Who cares about the fret ends?

It is essential for there to be top notch fretwork for me and most serious guitarists,my J customs are the biz.
corey j grieve is offline  
post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 09:53 AM
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 5,746
Re: Who cares about the fret ends?

Might depend a lot on your style of play. I use a lot of vibrato and have the edge of my index finger against the treble side of the neck a lot. A nicely rounded fretboard edge and nicely-finished frets make a huge difference there. On the bass side, I wrap my thumb over a lot to mute the E string when playing rhythm stuff, so the same goes for there. I've owned two different J-Customs and two different guitars with Rich Harris fretwork. Huge difference on all those guitars.
Takin' a Ride is offline  
post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 09:58 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 879
Re: Who cares about the fret ends?

Count me in the Eddie Van Halen school of too stupid to notice (while playing) most things that other guitarists complain about, including fretwork. Probably because I haven't had a vast amount of experience A/B'ing guitars specifically for these types of things. At the very least I don't want them sticking out the edges of the board and I don't want them to be so sharp they hurt, I don't expect much more though.

I do appreciate and understand that attention to detail on fret dressing is a matter of craftsmanship and skill, and it can be indicative of the quality of the guitar in other areas that I DO notice, however.

Last edited by RedTiger; 02-22-2011 at 10:09 AM.
RedTiger is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Jemsite forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address

IMPORTANT: You will be required to activate your account so please ensure that your email address is correct.

If you do not receive your activation check your spam folder before using the CONTACT US form (at the bottom right of each page).



Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ball/Rounded Fret Ends (J-Custom style) ? JTM45 Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods 10 02-11-2011 11:55 PM
odds and ends bammbamm Classified Ads: Guitars and Gear 0 10-05-2008 03:10 PM
im breakin my balls here and still no1 cares! --matt. Off-topic / Miscellaneous 19 05-23-2007 05:57 PM
J-custom Filler Removing From Fret Ends infoworx All Other Guitars (including Prestige) 1 08-08-2006 11:31 AM
Filing Rough Fret Ends? Chris From Singapore. Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods 10 10-13-2005 09:23 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome