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Much of this post is actually a reply I sent in another forum (albeit edited to try to be more constructive). Here are my thoughts on the current status of Ibanez guitars:

As we all know, Ibanez has released a LOT of new RGs at NAMM this past winter...

Pros:
-RGs with an arch (RGA series), RGs with beveled horns (RGD series) look SICK!
-More and more of their guitars are being made with mahogany bodies, which is so great from a craftsmanship point of view
-They added trems to the RGA (archtop RGs) series and made them more like traditional RGs; which, in my opinion, makes them much more relevant in the market
-All of this shows that Ibanez is making guitars that people want and that they are forward thinking

Cons:
-they are still making the same mistakes (they NEVER totally nail it and make a guitar that is burning on ALL cylinders):
-Aside from a select handful, the Prestige series guitars all have either boring or HIDEOUS paint finishes (and I mean GROTESQUE).
-All the nice looking paint finishes are put on the bottom-of-the-line Indonesian models w/ mediocre stock pickups, basswood body, POWDER cosmo (which rubs off), and the sub-par Edge III bridge.
-The new RGA series (RGs with an archtop, ala PRS) ONLY comes with active pickups. Why? Please make a couple of models with more traditional DiMarzios
-The new RGD series (RGs with bevels along the top and horns, ala JP's EBMMs) has a long scale neck made specifically for drop tuning and has only ONE KNOB. I understand the whole point of this guitar was to make it long scale- but its the new body shape that makes this guitar shine. Please make some standard scale models with this body shape, complete with TONE KNOB.

Edge III Bridge:

I didn't want to post this at the beginning and be written off as negative, so here is my biggest criticism. This bridge has some serious shortcomings. If I was to describe the Edge III in one word, that word would be bad. It simply does not stay in tune. Since the day I bought my guitar, the trem does not stay in tune - it never returns to full neutral...it always returns sharp or flat, and even then the strings go out of tune with eachother.

I since replaced the studs and nut pads and spent $75 on a SERIOUS set up. That did help, but the tremolo still does not return to full neutral. In other words, I am always at least slightly out of tune. This is simply UNACCEPTABLE. That might be THE most important thing for a musician to do - ALWAYS be in tune. And if my sources are correct, the body routing for a guitar equipped with an Edge III is NOT capable of retrofitting an Edge Pro. So even if I wanted to make it a better guitar, I can't.

I understand that it is what it is- the lower end bridge for the cheaper Ibanez guitar, but still - Ibanez can and should do better. Playing out of tune should never be an option. Why should someone have to spend double the money simply to have the 'luxury' of playing in tune (which should be not a luxury at all)?

Anyways, to close, Ibanez is making great progress in many areas, but there is much room for improvement.
 

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If I'm unhappy about anything with Ibanez, it's that a person cannot get a JCustom exported from Japan anymore (Edge Zero bridge on them notwithstanding). They're the non-signature top of the line they offer. This leave Prestige for the rest of the world and as has been discussed before, Prestige isn't Prestige anymore. Mid-level guitars are Ibanez's lowest concern these days which is sad because mid-level guitars is what Ibanez built it's reputation in the 80's-90's.

I'd like it if they had more re-issues that aren't geared towards bankrupting people. Yes, I bought a Fireman and I love it to death. Anything long time players would want they're never going to re-issue . I wouldn't want to pay 3-5 grand for a reissue Maxxas or a 540PII. I bought an original PGM100 for $1200 because I didn't want a $2000 reissue.

I can't say I like much new about Ibanez. Last new guitar I bought was the PGM401 which is great after Rich did the setup on it. There's been nothing new enticing enough in the least to me.
 

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Very good post and I couldn't agree more. I agree especially regarding all cool paint jobs on being avavilble on the lower-end models. The same goes for traditional shark teeth inlays. And you forgot to bash Edge Zero! ;)
 

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This leave Prestige for the rest of the world and as has been discussed before, Prestige isn't Prestige anymore. Mid-level guitars are Ibanez's lowest concern these days which is sad because mid-level guitars is what Ibanez built it's reputation in the 80's-90's.
It should be noted than when I posted the "Prestige is not Prestige" thread, it was because of the RG1550's I had just received that had zero Prestige finishing at all. No fret end, no fretboard edge, nothing, sharp frets, sharp board edge. The other part of "Prestige" is "fit" and they're doing just fine, when the neck pocket is aligned correct. Currently you have fret end and board edge finiahing, it is there, not absent. No it is not as good as the best work they did in the early to mid aughts, but it is still finished and "Prestige" quality.
 

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Powder Cosmo has to be the biggest running joke in all manufacturing; period! I go MENTAL when I see it on an Ibanez, particularly something that's supposed to be high-end. They would better serve the customer with a black or plain-old chrome finish. Given the fact that it can rub off in the time it hangs on a hook in a guitar store makes me wonder why retailers even buy these guitars, no matter how good the actual guitar is itself. Powder Cosmo is SO BAD, Hoshino should print this post up in their plants, a la Domino's Pizza, to remind them they should never make a guitar with such a bad ingredient ever again!
How's that for a rant! ;)
 

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That's a rant I can agree with, except the same rant could be made about any finish other than Black and Chrome. Everything else is very susceptible to wear and allowing sweat to get through/under the finish. Limiting hardware finishes to black and chrome would become rather boring quick. ;)
 

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I read something on Jemsite once regarding gold hardware eventually tarnishing or rubbing away or something along those lines. I read that the poster painted the main parts of the bridge (ie, saddles, bridge body etc.) with a thin coat of clear nail varnish, and this avoided any corrosion or tarnishing.

Would the same work on powder cosmo hardware?
 

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Edge III Bridge:
It simply does not stay in tune. Since the day I bought my guitar, the trem does not stay in tune - it never returns to full neutral...it always returns sharp or flat, and even then the strings go out of tune with eachother.
Couldn't agree more. The edge III is a decent bridge BUT it never returns to full neutral. I've made several set ups to solve this problem, but never been succesfull. I stopped doing crazy wahmy stuff because of that, now I only use it as a tremolo bridge, like those found on strats :p
 

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i've had problems with the Edge-III on pull-ups only. divebombs won't alter the tuning. the main thing is to restore the stud grooves and clean them from wearing. the best trick is to replace them with harder ones. but the worst Edge-III problem is the arm doing play after a couple divebombs... that's frustrating.
 

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Cons:

- Serious drop in RGT models this year. Why?

- Lack of GREEN in their color palette. Why???

- They killed the SZ a couple years ago, and replaced it with the SZR which many felt was inferior, and now that line is gone altogether.

- Most Vai & Satch limiteds coming out nowadays are $6000 guitars... WTH!?


And more of a question: Is there really such a low demand for fixed bridge guitars? I would add lack of hardtails to the cons list, but is Ibanez just responding to market demand?
 

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Is there really such a low demand for fixed bridge guitars? I would add lack of hardtails to the cons list, but is Ibanez just responding to market demand?
a big +1 to this ... GASing for a fixed bridge (specifically RGs) has made me turn my attention to other guitar brands ...
 

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They gave you a Prestige RG fixed bridge, the 1451. Not 1 person has even asked about it.

So there's what reason they should make fixed bridge RG's when NOBODY is buying them?
 

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They gave you a Prestige RG fixed bridge, the 1451. Not 1 person has even asked about it.

So there's what reason they should make fixed bridge RG's when NOBODY is buying them?
That's why I added the "is Ibanez just responding to market demand?" to the end of my post. I guess you are basically answering that question.

I know they added the RG1451 this year. But how long has that gap existed prior? Based on your observation so far this year, I guess that is why there hasn't been a fixed RG most of the time. Is it safe to assume they are testing the waters right now?

For myself, I would love to have a Prestige RG fixed, but I had a lot of trouble with the wife and actually trying to get another guitar this year. I settled for a non-prestiege RGT42FXQM-MSB which I bought recently on clearance from a US shop. A now discontinued model (relating to my neck-thru and fixed-bridge laments earlier) which had the added bonus of being GREEN :D and a color/finish that was never available up here in Canada. It'll satisfy the GAS at least for now.

My question is why AREN'T more people buying fixed bridge guitars?
 

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They listen, you guys asked for a fixed bridge RG Prestige. They make one, nobody buys it. If that's testing the water, it's very cold.
 

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just some comments to the OP's list:

+RGAs are nothing new (have been around since 97)
+more mahogany is for mahogany fetishists. I'm not one.
Didn't like the K7 in mahog (too heavy) don't like the fact that JC are now standard mahog+maple.
S was always mahogany, no JS mahog anymore, no SZ anymore. So I wouldn't say that there is more mahogany either.
+RGA trem =win. Offering those standard with LoZ pups is not that great, as their size makes swapping difficult.

-complaints about colours? not again...BTW red and blue RG3570 didn't sell well. How about a DSY 3550?
-the RGD's extended scales aren't solely for dropped tunings. Don't they come factory tuned to D?

in addition to Inzane
-no RGT (just indo)
-no green
-no SZ
-new JS is cool, new FP sucks. MCRE is what it is, a limited reissue.

as for fixed bridge prestiges, there's nothing wrong with the RGA or FR.

@Axehappy, I'm sure there was an S neck through...JC S21. There's one in the classifieds.
I'm crossing my fingers those were testing the waters for a proper production run. :)
 

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The 1451 not selling really surprise me !!!! I think it's a really cool guitar and certainly one I'd buy if I had the money, having enough trem guitars allready and given the EAFX disappointment. The 1451 in white with some breeds = yummy :)
 

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JS1600 - mahogany

I'm not sure if the 1451 is dead everywhere. Somebody somewhere has got to be selling one, I can only state from personal experience that since they were introduced a single person asked about them, but it was the limited 1421 he asked about and the 51 just came up in the conversation.
 

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one step at a time, guys. Ibanez is a big brand selling big numbers, not a custom made guitars shop. they could never satisfy every single guitarist in this world.
as for me, i'm happy with the new stuff: a fixed bridge RG Prestige, the GRGR series, "some" maple boards, the RGD, the AMF, an H/S white JS and the Edge trem back home: i couldn't ask for more.
 
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