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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I recently had an RG657MSK and just could not bond with the neck and it broke my heart because I had it loaded with a BK Holydiver/Duncan classic Stack+/Breed neck and besides being absolutely gorgeous it sounded amazing in all 5 positions.
I just could not play this thing standing up it killed my wrist after about 30 minutes of playing, I just could not gel
with the super wizard HP neck profile (at least on this particular guitar).

So I ended up grabbing 1550M (Phantom Blue) from someone I knew that was selling one and although the wiki says it's only 1mm thicker
than the HP but it has a completely different back shape, much bigger shoulders, so I instantly found myself much more comfortable playing this guitar.
I am an old school thumb over player living on Charvels and USA Jacksons for the last 20 years, but I've always owned a few Rg7's and I love those necks.
So a question to all of you that have owned many of the RG models .
Are the HP necks shaped any differently if they do not have binding on them? I would love to grab an RG655 and turn it into a H/S/S, basically a prestige Rg560
but if the neck is the same as the one that was on the Rg657MSK I won't even bother.
Do the Rg550 Genesis necks have more shoulder to them than the Super Wizard HP ( I know the Wiki says "Super Wizard for the 550's)
is it the same neck as the Super Wizard HP? is there an RG neck that falls somewhere between the Wizard Prestige on the 1550M and the Super Wizard HP?
thanks for any insight anyone can offer into this
Nick
 

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I feel like I lost track of the necks after 2013. Most everything shifted to the thinner Wizard profiles, which even in their normal range of variation are pretty damn thin, like 17-18mm at the 1st. The Ultra shape was the noticeably thicker Ibanez neck that a lot of us really loved, said to be somewhere in the 19-19.5mm to 21-21.5mm range, with noticeably thicker shoulders but still fast playing. Ibanez put those necks on a lot of guitars in the 90s, like the 540R's, UCEW1's, and JPM100's (ok, JPM is said to have the Viper neck, but idk, in my hands it felt the same as the Ultra on my 540R).

Anyway, for sure, there is a difference between the bound and unbound necks. They typically round the edge of the fretboard on the unbound necks, but they don't do it nearly at all on the bound necks, this gives a HARD edge to them, an edge that can be uncomfortable. I actually found this to be the case with the JPM100, UCEW1, and it was absolutely the worst on the USRG30's, wow those USRG30's felt like the binding edge was almost knife-like, made thumb over chords super uncomfortable...but then, it looked so cool, so it was worth it, right? :D

In conclusion, it's not always the case, but I find I like the looks of bound necks and the feel of unbound, you can't really win I guess :D As far as the thickness of the recent necks, tough call, hopefully someone will come by that has more experience with more modern Ibanez models. To me, all the recent ones feel 99.9% the same as the Prestige Wizard that began with the RG3120. My recent MRG17, RG8570CST, and RG652QS (Rich Harris limited run), which are all within the last 1-5 years all feel like that same old "thin" Wizard shape to me. Coincidentally they are all bound though, so maybe that's why they feel so similar.

The AZ's definitely have a thicker neck with bigger shoulders, though honestly, it's quite big, almost too big for my hands, but definitely closer to that old Ultra than the Wizard is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
interesting, what year is your 655 and what is the fret board?
if the RG657msk I had , actually had some shoulders it would've been an almost perfect neck for me.
The 1550M I have is listed as only 1mm thicker but looks and feels much more than that
because of the shoulders in the cut of the neck profile. I may try to snag an RG655 and see if I can find one with that type of neck shape on it.
 

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interesting, what year is your 655 and what is the fret board?
if the RG657msk I had , actually had some shoulders it would've been an almost perfect neck for me.
The 1550M I have is listed as only 1mm thicker but looks and feels much more than that
because of the shoulders in the cut of the neck profile. I may try to snag an RG655 and see if I can find one with that type of neck shape on it.
It's a 2016 and rosewood fretboard.

I do prefer the "shouldery" feel of my 5120M more.
 

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It's not the thickness or width of the neck wtf...it's the radius that matter. I find no problem switching from baseball bat neck to super thin RG655 but hate the feel of curvy 9.5 inch fretboard like the one on Mexico Strat, let alone vintage Fender 7.25; I am not Ritchie Blackmore...lol..

But remember kids, it's an advantage if you have big hand and hit the weights regularly.
 

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The RG1550M has the 'Wizard Prestige' neck profile. Any RG1550 / 1570 / 2550 from 2005 onwards has this and they're widely available on the used market. The RGA121 & RGA321 also have this neck profile.

'Wizard Prestige' is thicker, wider and has bigger shoulders, compared to the original Wizard (like is found on the classic RG550s). It is also thicker and has bigger shoulders (but is not wider) compared to the the Super Wizard / Super Wizard HP (like is found on Genesis RG models and current/recent Prestige RGs).

'Super Wizard' and 'Super Wizard HP' are both the "Super Wizard" profile. The only difference is that the HP version is reinforced with titanium rods. This profile is thinner and has smaller shoulders than the Wizard Prestige.

The Super Wizard necks on my RG655 & 652FX (& 8520) feel like the exact same profile to me, so I imagine the RG657 would be the same as them too. When I switch from one of these to a Wizard Prestige, I'm very aware of the shoulders on the Wizard Prestige neck. My Wizard II necks are the thickest Ibanez profile I own, but the shoulders are smaller than on a Wizard Prestige (they're less of a flat-D shape).

I've never tried an 'Ultra Wizard', but that may also be worth a try. It's definitely thicker than the Wizard Prestige, but I'm unsure how the carve / shoulders compare.

For context, I own the following Ibanez models:
RG2550Z - 2008 (Wizard Prestige)
RG2550Z - 2009 (Wizard Prestige)
RG652FX - 2017 (Super Wizard HP)
RG655 - 2016 (Super Wizard HP)
RG8520 - 2018 (Super Wizard)
RGA321F - 2008 (Wizard Prestige)
S2170SE - 2007 (Wizard II Prestige)
XPT700 - 2007 (Wizard II)
 

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The RG1550M has the 'Wizard Prestige' neck profile. Any RG1550 / 1570 / 2550 from 2005 onwards has this and they're widely available on the used market. The RGA121 & RGA321 also have this neck profile.

'Wizard Prestige' is thicker, wider and has bigger shoulders, compared to the original Wizard (like is found on the classic RG550s). It is also thicker and has bigger shoulders (but is not wider) compared to the the Super Wizard / Super Wizard HP (like is found on Genesis RG models and current/recent Prestige RGs).

'Super Wizard' and 'Super Wizard HP' are both the "Super Wizard" profile. The only difference is that the HP version is reinforced with titanium rods. This profile is thinner and has smaller shoulders than the Wizard Prestige.

The Super Wizard necks on my RG655 & 652FX (& 8520) feel like the exact same profile to me, so I imagine the RG657 would be the same as them too. When I switch from one of these to a Wizard Prestige, I'm very aware of the shoulders on the Wizard Prestige neck. My Wizard II necks are the thickest Ibanez profile I own, but the shoulders are smaller than on a Wizard Prestige (they're less of a flat-D shape).

I've never tried an 'Ultra Wizard', but that may also be worth a try. It's definitely thicker than the Wizard Prestige, but I'm unsure how the carve / shoulders compare.

For context, I own the following Ibanez models:
RG2550Z - 2008 (Wizard Prestige)
RG2550Z - 2009 (Wizard Prestige)
RG652FX - 2017 (Super Wizard HP)
RG655 - 2016 (Super Wizard HP)
RG8520 - 2018 (Super Wizard)
RGA321F - 2008 (Wizard Prestige)
S2170SE - 2007 (Wizard II Prestige)
XPT700 - 2007 (Wizard II)
Technically it was just "Ultra" but yeah, 2mm thicker all around, super comfy, same type of U-shaped profile as the Wizard. The profile is maybe a little rounder near the first few frets, but that's just a consequence of having more material and graduating that thickness out, radius is the same. Wizard 4 and the JPM100 necks were also nearly identical to the Ultra, it's a very well-loved neck type. Sadly, they don't put it on really anything anymore :(
 

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Technically it was just "Ultra" but yeah, 2mm thicker all around, super comfy, same type of U-shaped profile as the Wizard. The profile is maybe a little rounder near the first few frets, but that's just a consequence of having more material and graduating that thickness out, radius is the same. Wizard 4 and the JPM100 necks were also nearly identical to the Ultra, it's a very well-loved neck type. Sadly, they don't put it on really anything anymore :(
Wizard 4???

How does the Ultra compare to Wizard II?
 

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Wizard 4???

How does the Ultra compare to Wizard II?
Wizard II really sits in between both the Ultra and Wizard, it's an under-appreciated neck profile for sure. The thing that throws people off about the Wizard II is the back finishing definitely has a cheap feel, it's almost like an off-the-shelf semi-gloss polyurethane, whereas the Prestige Wizards have that velvet-touch thing going on which feels 1000x nicer 👌

Wizard 2, historically, differs the most in that the radius has mainly been 400mm (15.75"), whereas the Wizards have always been 430mm. Thickness-wise, Wizard II is said to be 19-21mm, Wizard 4 is 19.5-21.5mm, and Wizard is said to be 17-19mm. The big change for the Wizard 4 is that it has a 42mm nut, you can definitely feel that it's narrower too. Neck profiles have natural variances to them, on average, Wizard is the thinnest, Wizard II is a bit thicker and the radius not quite as flat, Ultra is BARELY thicker still but flat, and Wizard 4 is just an Ultra with a 42mm nut width...sorry, that's my unscientific appraisal of them all, hope that helps 😁

Edit: older Ultra necks, pre-2000, have 42mm nuts, so really, they are a Wizard 4 with another name. Post-2000, Ultra's were all 43mm wide at the nut, the newer Ultra's feel the biggest out of all the RG necks, the only thing bigger are the AZ necks.

To make things even more muddy, the j.custom profile, on the earliest j.customs (late 90s) were all 43mm Ultra's 👌
 

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Wizard II really sits in between both the Ultra and Wizard, it's an under-appreciated neck profile for sure. The thing that throws people off about the Wizard II is the back finishing definitely has a cheap feel, it's almost like an off-the-shelf semi-gloss polyurethane, whereas the Prestige Wizards have that velvet-touch thing going on which feels 1000x nicer 👌

Wizard 2, historically, differs the most in that the radius has mainly been 400mm (15.75"), whereas the Wizards have always been 430mm. Thickness-wise, Wizard II is said to be 19-21mm, Wizard 4 is 19.5-21.5mm, and Wizard is said to be 17-19mm. The big change for the Wizard 4 is that it has a 42mm nut, you can definitely feel that it's narrower too. Neck profiles have natural variances to them, on average, Wizard is the thinnest, Wizard II is a bit thicker and the radius not quite as flat, Ultra is BARELY thicker still but flat, and Wizard 4 is just an Ultra with a 42mm nut width...sorry, that's my unscientific appraisal of them all, hope that helps 😁

Edit: older Ultra necks, pre-2000, have 42mm nuts, so really, they are a Wizard 4 with another name. Post-2000, Ultra's were all 43mm wide at the nut, the newer Ultra's feel the biggest out of all the RG necks, the only thing bigger are the AZ necks.

To make things even more muddy, the j.custom profile, on the earliest j.customs (late 90s) were all 43mm Ultra's 👌
I know exactly what you mean about the neck finish. My J.Custom RG8520 is even more velvety than my Prestiges. 😁
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So the Wizard Prestige profile seems to be a winner for me. I went looking for what other models use it and this morning stumbled across this beauty
2016 Ibanez RG2770QZA-WPB, this was a Japan only model? that has the Wizard Prestige HP. Negotiated a price I found amenable and it's on it's way
I was and still am in love with the looks of the RG657MSK that I had to move due to the super Wizard HP neck on there. I am a sucker for this type of look so when I saw It I knew I had to go for it.
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I have an RGA8420 in WPB, very cool color, a little bit like vintage violin, but with a little less orange/red in the mix. I still find the Ultra to be my favorite Ibanez profile, but the Wizard also works for me. I find that thinner necks, while not as comfy as the thicker Ultra profile, are easier to adapt to quickly vs. an even thicker neck. I had an AZ2402FF with the much thicker, elliptical shaped neck, and it was borderline uncomfortable and hard to get used to. I did eventually get used to it, but it is NOT a neck I could easily switch between say a Wizard, whereas the Ultra and Wizard are close enough that I can switch between them easily with no effect on my playing style or technique.
 

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I know exactly what you mean about the neck finish. My J.Custom RG8520 is even more velvety than my Prestiges. 😁
Which year 8520 do you have? the 2000-2002 models had the Wizard 4 shape (though J-Custom finishing), after 2003, starting with the Edge Pro equipped model, they all went back to a 43mm nut and got a bit thinner, basically getting back into the Wizard ballpark.
 

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Which year 8520 do you have? the 2000-2002 models had the Wizard 4 shape (though J-Custom finishing), after 2003, starting with the Edge Pro equipped model, they all went back to a 43mm nut and got a bit thinner, basically getting back into the Wizard ballpark.
2018. It's most definitely a Super Wizard profile (17-19mm), not Wizard Prestige (18-20mm) or original Wizard (17-20mm). It has a Lo-Pro bridge.

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Does anyone find much difference with the width?

I love my RG620QM neck (43mm Ultra I believe) which is 56mm at the 24th but everything newer seems to be 58mm.

I had an RG2570E for a while (Wizard Prestige) and couldn't get on with it at all. Just like OP mentioned with his RG657MSK, I just couldn't bond with it and I'm sure it was as much about the width as the thickness/profile.

Is there anything newer that has a neck like the Ultra? I did try a few PRS SE guitars recently and their "Wide Thin" profile felt great.
 

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Does anyone find much difference with the width?

I love my RG620QM neck (43mm Ultra I believe) which is 56mm at the 24th but everything newer seems to be 58mm.

I had an RG2570E for a while (Wizard Prestige) and couldn't get on with it at all. Just like OP mentioned with his RG657MSK, I just couldn't bond with it and I'm sure it was as much about the width as the thickness/profile.

Is there anything newer that has a neck like the Ultra? I did try a few PRS SE guitars recently and their "Wide Thin" profile felt great.
The Ultra and Wizard 4 were unique for sure, the 42mm/56mm width was VERY noticeable, compared to the newer, 43mm Ultra and Wizard. I actually very much prefer the 42mm, though can still get along with the 43mm version. In fact there are times where I prefer the "roominess" of the 43mm version, but the overall thickness and back shaping being nearly equal makes them both a very comfy neck. I too find the Wizard, all variations, a tad too thin. Contrast that to the AZ necks, which are even fatter than the Ultra's, I think I would actually rather have the "too thin" Wizard vs. the "too thick" AZ. The AZ can take a bit to get used to for sure, and, is a bit jarring when switching guitars. Though technically, at this point, the AZ necks are arguably the closest thing to that old 42mm Ultra standard, well, ok, the JS neck, to me, feels the closest but per the actual specs the AZ should be, FWIW.
 

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The Ultra and Wizard 4 were unique for sure, the 42mm/56mm width was VERY noticeable, compared to the newer, 43mm Ultra and Wizard.
I felt like the 56mm vs 58mm at the heel made a big difference. 43mm at the nut and 56mm at the heel seems most comfortable for me, I have a feeling 42mm at the nut may feel a little too narrow like a strat or something?
It's amazing how 1mm can make such a difference!
 
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