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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
 
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Tone characteristics of Jumbo Frets?

Hi all- I'm very new to this world of super-strat guitars with my recent acquisition of an RG520QS. I did have, for a short time, an LTD MH100QM, and it had a similar issue to what I'm going to discuss, so I'm wondering if it has something to do with high(er) output pickups or, methinks more likely, the (extra) jumbo frets.

The overdriven and distorted sounds I'm getting from the RG are of course sick. I love the blooming harmonics especially. The downside is that I can't get a decent clean tone to save my life. I have always thought that bands using Ibanez guitars for clean passages have sounded thin, un-guitar-like, and frankly weak. I'm not just talking about lacking low end- I can always adjust the frequency curve via the amp. I'm just saying the quality of the tone is not what I want to hear.

To get specific, I really dislike the ultra-high frequency sounds I'm getting associated with slides, hammer-ons, and sometimes bends as well. I had this problem- though MUCH worse- with the LTD, which had the active, ultra-mega-super hot SD Blackouts on it. Both guitars have extra jumbo frets (I think- they must be extra, because I don't think they could be any bigger). The other, similar problem is the way the tone just dies when I bend on the unwound strings, especially at or above the 12th fret.

I guess my question is, does anyone know what I'm talking about? Does this high-frequency sound just go with the territory of big frets? I'm not sure which pickups are on this guitar, but they are Dimarzios- perhaps Tone Zone and/or Humbucker from Hell.

I'm beginning to wonder if I'm the kind of guy who has fallen for the feel and design of Ibanez, but simply craves the tone of a more traditional guitar- namely, LP, SG or Strat.

Your feedback is craved.


-the Gaucho
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 06:50 PM
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Re: Tone characteristics of Jumbo Frets?

I would look more toward the pickups than the fret wire. I am sure the fret wire does affect tone but the pickups probably have more of an affect. Any chance you could upload a sound file of the noise you are talking about?
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Tone characteristics of Jumbo Frets?

Unfortunately I've no recording technology currently. I think it's not particular to my guitar, it's just something that bothers me in particular. I hear it even in worshipped Ibanez players including Vai- I just don't like the general Ibanez clean sound (think Tender Surrender). To me it just sounds like a lousy Strat clone sound. I know this is anathema to some, but that's where I stand.

I'll try and get a clip up when I'm able to talk about my axe in particular. Thanks all.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 10:11 PM
 
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Re: Tone characteristics of Jumbo Frets?

Steve Vai doesn't use jumbo frets i believe? But the sound you maybe referring to would be more of a string action issue to me. Sounds like you fret down strings really hard and have a low action causing the strings to clang on other frets. And maybe ur pickups are too close to the strings and are picking up this kind of noise.

But you should be able to get a thin clean and a fat clean (not as fat as a Les Paul but close) with the ibanez's (especially the ones with a single coil in the middle). I guess i may be missing your point cause i love that thin twangy clean from fenders and position 4 on my ibanez S470.

But yeah, sounds to me ur fretting rather hard and should try a lighter touch for these jumbo frets.

Toodles, Julz.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Tone characteristics of Jumbo Frets?

Thanks for the reply and the good thoughts. My pickups are already quite far from the strings. Reading a book on electric guitar setups I got the idea to back the pickups away because the author suggested that might give a bit more "air" to the sound and give more of the impression of my individual touch, as opposed to the pickup driving the sound so much. Also would combat any sustain-sucking that the pickups may be doing. However I'll gladly give it a shot and back the pickups off even more.

The action on the guitar is, to me, quite low, but I use pretty stiff action on my 70's Ibanez Les Paul copy and formerly on my SG- so I don't think the action is excessively low. I do think the relatively low action has something to do with the tone-suckage (as in tone-sucking) issue I was talking about. My experience is that the higher the action, the "better" the tone. Better to my ears anyway. Fuller, rounder, etc.

I really like Fender cleans too- nice crisp 25.5" clean is a great sound. I just don't get that great clean from my Ibanez- Yet!

-the Gaucho
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 09:40 AM
 
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Re: Tone characteristics of Jumbo Frets?

What kind of strings you using. If you play 8's or 9's it will sound thin and anemic.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Tone characteristics of Jumbo Frets?

It came with 9's, I changed them to Ernie Ball 10's and that does help fatten the tone overall.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 02:57 PM
 
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Re: Tone characteristics of Jumbo Frets?

You may do well to give the JS series a shot. But its all subjective at the end of the day I suppose.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 04:20 PM
 
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Re: Tone characteristics of Jumbo Frets?

Here's my take: You have a bolt-on maple necked, floyd rose type trem, basswood bodied guitar with high output hard rock/metal pups. You want this to sound like a set mahogany neck, stop tail and T.O.M. bridge, mahog maple capped body with PAFs? I think you need to me more realistic in you expectations. If you want a Lester, then play a Lester. An Ibanez RG will not sound like a Les Paul, it may get close, but not close enough.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 04:44 PM
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Re: Tone characteristics of Jumbo Frets?

520qs is mahogany.
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harsh , high frequencies , high output pickups , jumbo frets

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