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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Title says 90% or more…I’ve been looking at a few “Custom Made” S540 models, a S8820, JCS12, and I’ve even looked at some used RG8520s as well.

Everyone goes on and on about how great the older MIJ guitars (specifically RGs) are compared to the newer prestiges but not as much is mentioned about S bodies because they are a much smaller market. I’ve read the Prestige Vs JC threads and other than finishes and possibly a ball end preference it seems many feel a modern day JC isn’t crazy better than a prestige.

Soooo….I just wanted to take the temperature of that sentiment against the H&S/Custom Made S models compared to the new JC, both Fuji and Sugi are fair game for the comparison.

Being an Arkansas dweller my frame of reference is my S5570, my old S2620, an oddball SF470, a S5470 from GC, and a few 5120s.

Thanks in advance!

Luke
 

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Personally, I think Prestige RGs are superior to the earlier MIJ RGs, due to the innovations that have been incorporated over the years, but which someone will prefer is definitely subjective.

AANJ neck joint (better access than tilt-joint, plus seemingly less risk of neck pocket cracks).
Multi-piece neck without headstock joint.
Prestige fret end treatment (pre-Prestige lacked this).
Better KTS titanium truss rods.
I prefer Lo-Pro Edge & Edge Zero to original Edge (aesthetics & ergonomics).
Better stock pickups (negligible difference really, as I rarely buy a guitar intending to keep the stock pickups).
More choice of woods (more types + more combinations available).
Etc...
 

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Modern JCS/JCRG models are noticeably different especially the 2015 and onwards models. Quiet a few of them are limited run real sugi/fujigen custom shop model as oppose to like your quote "custom" production model J.Cs (any RG8xxx series). These new J.custom are often advertise and categorized under the moniker "With a difference j.custom" and often each model are limited to less than 10. The newer 2019-2022 real custom J.Cs are mainly available as Japanese domestic market music shop exclusives. These being the ishibashi, kurosawa, ikebe, shimamura etc. With each shop getting their own unique custom limited run models, of which some are less than 2 or just one offs(mainly the sugi ones, supervised by Sugimoto himself). Examples are sugi custom shop one off IJCRG20C02, IJCRG20C06 with the I standing for ishibashi. These real custom models often value in 5 figures and some rivals ESP exhibition models in terms of quality and design. As for the modern custom S models, they only come as Japanese music store limited run exclusives and uses S j.custom Asymmetric ULTRA neck:
JCS21U-GAM Ishibashi Webshop
JCS21U-GRE/JCS21U-MBK Ishibashi O'Cha no Mizu Honten
JCS21U-TTE G'Club Shibuya
And they are listed in the shop as limited run dealer custom order S models(with the price to match) as oppose to the production run j.custom that most overseas countries get.
The above S models are Fujigen customs, there's actually another batch of Sugi custom ultimate sabers, 5 one offs which is a whole tier higher.
So long story short, no the real modern custom JCRG and JCS is not the same tier as old MIJs.
However the oversea market usually don't get the modern JCRG and JCS, most don't even know they exist, so this has led some to believe the "modern" J.Cs are stagnant the same as old MIJs. (And if you believe your RG8xxxs are custom, I have some bad news for you).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Modern JCS/JCRG models are noticeably different especially the 2015 and onwards models. Quiet a few of them are limited run real sugi/fujigen custom shop model as oppose to like your quote "custom" production model J.Cs (any RG8xxx series). These new J.custom are often advertise and categorized under the moniker "With a difference j.custom" and often each model are limited to less than 10. The newer 2019-2022 real custom J.Cs are only available as Japanese domestic market music shop exclusives. These being the ishibashi, kurosawa, ikebe, shimamura etc. With each shop getting their own unique custom limited run models, of which some are less than 2 or just one offs(mainly the sugi ones, supervised by Sugimoto himself). Examples are sugi custom shop one off IJCRG20C02, IJCRG20C06 with the I standing for ishibashi. These real custom models often value in 5 figures and some rivals ESP exhibition models in terms of quality and design. As for the modern custom S models, they only come as Japanese music store limited run exclusives and uses S j.custom Asymmetric ULTRA neck:
JCS21U-GAM Ishibashi Webshop
JCS21U-GRE/JCS21U-MBK Ishibashi O'Cha no Mizu Honten
JCS21U-TTE G'Club Shibuya
And they are listed in the shop as limited run dealer custom order S models(with the price to match) as oppose to the production run j.custom that most overseas countries get.
The above S models are Fujigen customs, there's actually another batch of Sugi custom ultimate sabers, 5 one offs which is a whole tier higher.
So long story short, no the real modern custom JCRG and JCS is not the same tier as old MIJs.
However the oversea market usually don't get the modern JCRG and JCS, most don't even know they exist, so this has led some to believe the "modern" J.Cs are stagnant the same as old MIJs. (And if you believe your RG8xxxs are custom, I have some bad news for you).
Phenomenal answer! Thank you so much!!

So the S8820 https://ibanez.fandom.com/wiki/S8820B made by Fuji is more inline with a Prestige with fancy paint and wood.

...and the JCS12 https://ibanez.fandom.com/wiki/JCS12QM?so=search built by Sugi is a real deal JS limited to a set # of pieces.

I have found a pair of JCS12's on reverb, but the hardware is cosmo rather than gold, and the pickups were black. I'm guessing this was just a run for a different dealership?

Thanks for the help!

Luke
 

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Phenomenal answer! Thank you so much!!

So the S8820 https://ibanez.fandom.com/wiki/S8820B made by Fuji is more inline with a Prestige with fancy paint and wood.

...and the JCS12 https://ibanez.fandom.com/wiki/JCS12QM?so=search built by Sugi is a real deal JS limited to a set # of pieces.

I have found a pair of JCS12's on reverb, but the hardware is cosmo rather than gold, and the pickups were black. I'm guessing this was just a run for a different dealership?

Thanks for the help!

Luke
Something to be aware of, not all Sugis are limited runs or custom shop. If it is, usually the dealer will specify or on a website.
And the dealer exclusive J.Cs are something done recently(this is what I meant by most overseas market don't get the modern J.Cs), the JCS12 is already 10 years old and not a part of the newer era of JDM J.Cs. The JCRGs/JCS are usually categorized under 3 categories, normal, dealer order, and gakki(music) fair special. The normal models are not limited runs but only production years which is what JCS12 is. The dealer order are as more of a limited run. Whilst the gakki fair special are more of introduction/example models. How limited they are usually varies, but usually you can tell how limited they are by the how wild looking they are(newer rainbow burl,resin fill, etc).

However, the good news for you is, JCS12 still categorized under a earlier era of "With a Difference J.Custom"
Source:JCS12FM-TTS | JCS12 | J.custom | FEATURE PRODUCTS | Ibanez guitars - アイバニーズ
The above site documents some of the earlier JCS/JCRGs(does not include the new era) with the JCS12 being one of the earliest and it shows in the hardware and design.
Because how early it is in terms of modern JCRG and JCS, they are rather tame in design as oppose to the later ones, and it shows in the price.
The early 2010s list for JCS/JCRG on the website is around 500,000-600,000 yen. Whilst the later and new era releases are much wilder in design and price (本体価格 ¥OPEN )
Japanese shops will usually sell these at a lower than list price if you are able to access one, there is a post on this forum:
But the JCS12s should all come with gold hardware and cream pickups, if they are not, then they have been changed(don't let them bs you).

Personally speaking, I would go with the newer S8820, even though it's by fujigen, you can tell tell by the design and hardware, its a better model.
The early JCS and JCRGs are often sold at bloated prices, because the sellers like to emphasize how rare they are even when some of them are not(only a few are). Imo, If you want to get a JCS or JCRG I recommend trying to get a hold of the modern ones even if you have to burn your wallet and wait for a new release.
A good alternative example would be newly released MRG17 which is not a JCS or JCRG, but a dealer exclusive custom order J.C RG for Kurosawa o'cha no mizu ekimae, limited to just 6.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Something to be aware of, not all Sugis are limited runs or custom shop. If it is, usually the dealer will specify or on a website.
And the dealer exclusive J.Cs are something done recently(this is what I meant by most overseas market don't get the modern J.Cs), the JCS12 is already 10 years old and not a part of the newer era of JDM J.Cs. The JCRGs/JCS are usually categorized under 3 categories, normal, dealer order, and gakki(music) fair special. The normal models are not limited runs but only production years which is what JCS12 is. The dealer order are as more of a limited run. Whilst the gakki fair special are more of introduction/example models. How limited they are usually varies, but usually you can tell how limited they are by the how wild looking they are(newer rainbow burl,resin fill, etc).

However, the good news for you is, JCS12 still categorized under a earlier era of "With a Difference J.Custom"
Source:JCS12FM-TTS | JCS12 | J.custom | FEATURE PRODUCTS | Ibanez guitars - アイバニーズ
The above site documents some of the earlier JCS/JCRGs(does not include the new era) with the JCS12 being one of the earliest and it shows in the hardware and design.
Because how early it is in terms of modern JCRG and JCS, they are rather tame in design as oppose to the later ones, and it shows in the price.
The early 2010s list for JCS/JCRG on the website is around 500,000-600,000 yen. Whilst the later and new era releases are much wilder in design and price (本体価格 ¥OPEN )
Japanese shops will usually sell these at a lower than list price if you are able to access one, there is a post on this forum:
But the JCS12s should all come with gold hardware and cream pickups, if they are not, then they have been changed(don't let them bs you).

Personally speaking, I would go with the newer S8820, even though it's by fujigen, you can tell tell by the design and hardware, its a better model.
The early JCS and JCRGs are often sold at bloated prices, because the sellers like to emphasize how rare they are even when some of them are not(only a few are). Imo, If you want to get a JCS or JCRG I recommend trying to get a hold of the modern ones even if you have to burn your wallet and wait for a new release.
A good alternative example would be newly released MRG17 which is not a JCS or JCRG, but a dealer exclusive custom order J.C RG for Kurosawa o'cha no mizu ekimae, limited to just 6.
Thank you for the outstanding reply!

Here is the one that is still available.

Here is one the same dealer had and sold.
It was on Reverb for the same money.

Now it IS Singapore, so that gives me pause, but everything seems to check out otherwise.

I take that back, no COA.

The prices seem stout obviously, oh and here is the 8820. Ibanez S8820B Spf Secondhand List No.RG1979 | eBay

But it's gone now too...

Man a lot happens when you are gone on a cruise!!
 

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Thank you for the outstanding reply!

Here is the one that is still available.

Here is one the same dealer had and sold.
It was on Reverb for the same money.

Now it IS Singapore, so that gives me pause, but everything seems to check out otherwise.

I take that back, no COA.

The prices seem stout obviously, oh and here is the 8820. Ibanez S8820B Spf Secondhand List No.RG1979 | eBay

But it's gone now too...

Man a lot happens when you are gone on a cruise!!
That reverb ad price is trying to sell for list price. However imo JCS12 isn't "one of those" JCS/JCRGs(ad still not sold after a year). And the list price for that is treading on new ESP JP ctm / ESP original region. Which I highly recommend over one of these old jcs/jcrg. The new ESP experimental series and even some spot model Snappers or Stream will run you the same price for a better deal guitar wise, granted an S is not the same as a Snapper. Your other alternative would be to consider one of the new extremely slick JCS21U which is at the moment is still available. Or just get a new prestige for much less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That reverb ad price is trying to sell for list price. However imo JCS12 isn't "one of those" JCS/JCRGs. And the list price for that is treading on new ESP JP ctm / ESP original region. Which I highly recommend over one of these old jcs/jcrg. The new ESP experimental series and even some spot model Snappers or Stream will run you the same price for a better deal guitar wise, granted an S is not the same as a Snapper. Your other alternative would be to consider one of the new extremely slick JCS21U which is at the moment is still available. Or just get a new prestige for much less.
Yeah, the reverb ad is ultra high IMO and I'd be more of a player at the 2500 range, but it seems 3 isn't out of the question because S bodies are so few and JCS are even more rare.

I've thought about looking for another prestige (in 22 fret) and just working the hell out of it like I did my 5570, but you always wonder what you're missing...and that one with the set neck blew my mind. If only I had some decent stores in the state. It's a shame I'm in love with S..leave it to me to love the underdog!
 

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Yeah, the reverb ad is ultra high IMO and I'd be more of a player at the 2500 range, but it seems 3 isn't out of the question because S bodies are so few and JCS are even more rare.
Yeah because prestige S models already more or less achieved what it set out to do. So there's nothing much to add if they were to release a J.C model. Your 5570 is an example S that include most of the modern features as one of the poster above me commented. The only thing missing is a better set of pick ups(which you can change) and the set neck which is only done by Sugi in 22 fret format which is a valid reason. But if the old JCS is list price, that defeats the purpose of getting a second hand old era JCS, and you might as well get a new JCS or ESP. If you really want a more "different" S type model apart from prestige in the 2.5k-3k range, perhaps have a look at the new Jiva and JS series models or derivatives, as they originated from S type guitars.


It's a shame I'm in love with S..leave it to me to love the underdog!
Underdog?
"If you only knew the power of the darkside...Luke"-
Musical instrument Guitar String instrument accessory String instrument Musical instrument accessory
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah because prestige S models already more or less achieved what it set out to do. So there's nothing much to add if they were to release a J.C model. Your 5570 is an example S that include most of the modern features as one of the poster above me commented. The only thing missing is a better set of pick ups(which you can change) and the set neck which is only done by Sugi in 22 fret format which is a valid reason. But if the old JCS is list price, that defeats the purpose of getting a second hand old era JCS, and you might as well get a new JCS or ESP. If you really want a more "different" S type model apart from prestige in the 2.5k-3k range, perhaps have a look at the new Jiva and JS series models or derivatives, as they originated from S type guitars.
So just to clarify the S Prestige already has the flame or quilt top and premium hardware/electronics so that's a big reason there are so few JCS...other than RG being much more popular. That's a really helpful statement to me. I've read the JC vs Prestige threads till I'm blue in the face trying to decide what are the REAL differences.

The set neck 22 fret was the "clencher" for me. I've absolutely worked over my 5570 I did a liquifire/red velvet/Steve's Special, Red Bishop trem arm, and the "new fangled" luminlays for the side dots. Then Rich gave me some additional pointers to make the fret ends and board as good as possible.



Underdog?
"If you only knew the power of the darkside...Luke"-
View attachment 20183
I just meant underdog as in "not as widely used"! lol That looks sweeeet. I've looked at the new JCS models on reverb and ebay. Very swanky! The red is an epoxy product, correct?

The Prestige 'Uppercut' S (S6UC?) Is very similar specs and aesthetics to the S8820, so perhaps another model worth keeping an eye out for on Reverb etc.
Thanks! I'll check it out!
 

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In terms of playability, the key advantages of J. Custom (from my experience with my RG8520) are the even move ergonomic AANJ variant and the even smoother satin neck finish. That's subtle improvements on elements that Ibanez Prestige already excels at though.

Prestige frets can be worked on to match J. Custom ball ends (I believe Rich's Platinum package includes this).

The rest comes down to aesthetics, limited runs etc imo.
 

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The set neck 22 fret was the "clencher" for me. I've absolutely worked over my 5570 I did a liquifire/red velvet/Steve's Special, Red Bishop trem arm, and the "new fangled" luminlays for the side dots. Then Rich gave me some additional pointers to make the fret ends and board as good as possible.
In that case, your only option is a JCS since only they have set neck. It's a price vs waiting game for the old JCS.


Thanks! I'll check it out!
Yeah this is good, but recent reverb price on these when they show up is more than the current S6570SK. Which is readily available and you can just swap out the pickup for the bare knuckles to get the same guitar. But your worked 5570 is already better...

I just meant underdog as in "not as widely used"! lol That looks sweeeet. I've looked at the new JCS models on reverb and ebay. Very swanky! The red is an epoxy product, correct?
one off saber, burl w/resin, a Sugi specialty on their newer flagship offerings such as their 10 new commissioned Strandberg J6 sky blue earth below:
 

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it amazes me when I read stuff like post #9
how do you guys know this stuff? (I dont doubt you..)
also no reply necessary it just incredible how much you guys know to me when I read it
 

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PRS Wood Library and Private Stock in a nut shell(imo no one does this better than them)
PRS look nice for what they are, but their specs are way off what I want in terms of feel and playability. J. Custom combines fancy PRS-esque finishes with the RG's winning formula for playability.
 
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