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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've spent the last 10 years playing a PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 and before that it was a Jackson Soloist with the same Floyd 1000 bridge. I'm now looking for a new guitar and this time I'm ideally looking for a bolt-on neck for a brighter tone but that still has excellent upper fret access. I'd like a guitar in either alder or mahogany. At the moment, my two frontrunners are the Jackson Pro Dinky and the Charvel Pro Mod DK24 HH FR but the JIVA 10 has also really caught my eye. I've always had a soft spot for the 'S' series and this particular one looks fantastic.

There are obvious issues in that it's somewhat more expensive than the others, despite being made in Indonesia and I will certainly have to change the pickups to suit me but neither of these are deal breakers. The real concern is the bridge!

I've used a Floyd 1000 for so many years that I have 100% faith that it is totally reliable and extremely durable but I'm less sure about the Ibanez units. I know that some of the Edge bridges are as good as a Floyd 1000 and some are possibly even better but I also know that some of the Ibanez bridges are nowhere near as good as a Floyd. Could you please tell me which Ibanez locking trems are as good as a Floyd 1000 or better and which are not of that standard? I am naturally particularly interested in the Edge-Zero II as that's on the JIVA10 but I may consider other models so it would be useful to know how all the options compare to the Floyd.
 

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Your best top 3 are the original edge, the lo-pro edge and the edge pro. Personally I'd stay away from the other ibanez trems. I have guitars with the lo-pro edge and the original edge, I've never owned or played an edge pro, but guys with experience on here have nothing but good things to say about the bridge.

And just an fyi, the indo ibanez guitars are very hit or miss for having nice fret work. Plus the necks move over a year because they are known to shrink due to the wood not being completely cured before they start building the neck. An ibanez dealer on here (Rich) has told me about that. I used to own a indo JS signature and had to get the neck gone over...They are nice looking, and have edge equipted models... But personally I would stay away from the indo guitars. Buy a used japanese model or something, there is a huge difference. Unless you can go to a local store and physically play/feel the guitar... Then maybe.
 

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+1 for edge and lo pro models. Those are definitely superior to the FR 1000; not "equal to" lol. Edge pros have their own unique problems, but not super bad. I personally cant stand them but Im not gonna say its a "bad" tremolo either.

Indonesian guitars can be just fine though... but yeah, I definitely fall into the "I gotta play it before I buy it" category.


As for the JIVA; yeah it looks cool, but my god youre paying a LOT for that name on the headstock. The "JIVA neck" is pretty much identical to the wizard iii; it just has a purpleheart stripe, and an ebony fretboard instead. For reference , the s670 is a functionally identical guitar for 599$; the JIVA10 is 1499$.... thats kinda ridiculous to me lol. You can find used prestige sabers all day for 600-1000$.
 

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The EZ, EZ2, and ZR variants all got a bad rap out of the gate, just like the Edge Pro did, but for different reasons. The radius of the EP's were all over the place and never had locking studs, but are somehow revered now, still no locking studs.

The EZ's have the hardest knife edges to that point, now used in current production ED and LP's, but early production had spotty metallurgy. Since they did away with the steel saddle lockdown plate on the underside of the trem the threads would strip when you'd set intonation, but that seems to have long ago been addressed because you never hear about it anymore and they're still using the EZ's on their highest end guitars. They have locking studs and positive torque control over arm tension, which everybody complains about with the ED and LP even though they'll say they are the best trems [they are, in quality]. The EZ/ZR'z are made in China instead of Japan but the end result is they are extremely stable trems, many better than ED and LP's and definitely better than EP's without locking studs, when setup free floating, as it is in the JIVA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree that the JIVA10 seems very expensive for what it offers so I can't see me going that route. In terms of a new guitar, I unfortunately have very few alternatives in the Ibanez range if I want something in mahogany or alder and a trem as solid as a Floyd 1000.

The RGA42 looks OK but the spec just says 'double locking trem' so I assume that's rubbish.
The RG450, RG470, RG420 are made of Meranti (or don't specify body wood) and have the same trem as the RGA42. Any other RG is too expensive.

I really do like the 'S' series but the S670, while looking great, uses Meranti and as far as I can tell, that's a very poor tonal wood for a guitar. Perhaps I need to research Meranti a bit more because there's no doubting that if the S670 was in mahogany, I agree it would be a great option. I generally prefer trying to find well specified guitars that are cheaper largely due to awful pickups as I usually change pickups anyway. There's always the S570 but I'm very unsure about Ash. I think it's safe to say that with the Standard range, it's the body woods that concern me most. The S1070 is beautiful but very expensive and the Axion range doesn't have the locking trem.

There really isn't anything else in the range to interest me. What I really need is something between the 670 and the 1070 but it just isn't available.
 

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uses Meranti and as far as I can tell, that's a very poor tonal wood for a guitar.
...care to elaborate on that? Meranti and african mahogany are EXTREMELY similar woods in basically all regards. Both are just cheap, sustainable, and available substitutes for "real" mahogany. I personally feel anyone would have a REALLY hard time telling the difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'd never even heard of Mertanti before so I tried a few websites that dealt with different tone woods for guitars and those that mentioned Meranti said it was a poor quality alternative to mahogany and they seemed to be pitching it on a par with Agathis so I naturally concluded that it was best avoided. Having said that, I freely admit that research is hardly conclusive so i have an open mind on the matter and it also seems reasonable to consider the fact that on a body that slim and small, how much impact would the tone wood have anyway? It's not like we're talking about Les Paul amounts of mahogany!
 

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"Meranti" goes by an ENORMOUS amount of "trade names". Neither "meranti" nor "african mahogany" are "actual mahogany".

Be cautious letting some articles make up your mind for you. Those same types of articles will call basswood "cheap and awful"; yet some of the most exclusive and expensive high end guitars run on the tried and true basswod + maple combo.

Removing the "tone" part; meranti and african mahogany are just REALLY similar woods over all. They are basically the same density, they have the same working characteristics, basically the same weight, and they can be finished to look extremely similar. And frankly, a wood being cheap and available doesnt inherently make it a "Bad wood". Im not super keen on the "tone wood" debate myself; if I need a "little more sizzle"... I turn my high knob up from 6 to 7; if I need some more "oomph" and "low end thump"? I turn the gain up a little and maybe touch my depth knob. Its not that woods dont have an impact, I just think any impact can be totally negated with some playing around with some knobs. Like; you can slap some Evo's into a les paul, and I can utterly promise you its gonna sound like a guitar with evos in it lol. A woods "quality" isnt necessarily tied to its price tag.

All that said, I want it real clear; Im NOT telling you "youre wrong". Im more saying forming an opinion from a clearly biased article you read is probably doing yourself a disservice. Most of this tone wood stuff is bias ignorance under the visage of "Traditionalism". And also think of it like this... which guitars use cheap woods? The *cheap* ones. These "cheap" guitars are coming with horrible setups, horrendous fretwork, questionable fit and finish quality, pickups that are probably absolute garbage, amongst other issues... so then these people play these cheap guitars, then see they are made of "agathis" or "meranti" and equate them to "bad woods".

If youd dont mind used guitars, find an S540 or 540S . Ticks all the boxes, and you should be able to find one for 6-800$ no problem.
 

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Woods do offer changes in tone but they are more subtle. It's more of a change in the sound of a vowel... for example If your singing an "ah" sound or and "awe" sound. It's clearly different but similar. That's how I hear it anyways.

I would suggest you pick up and play what ever you are considering buying. The Sabre bodies are pretty thin, feel wise you may not be a fan. Though they sit close to you and that is definitely comfortable. Similar to the radius body, the angle your picking arm goes over the body is clean and smooth feeling. There's no sharp edge or chunky body to cut into your forearm. And a 540s is definitely a nice guitar for a low price tag. My two favorite guitars are 30+ year old japanese ibanez guitars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
All good advice. I find internet articles to be a good starting point when you know nothing about a subject but I do like to check with forums like this and my own experience. Sometimes articles are verified, sometimes they aren't. I'd read that Agathis was a horrible wood for a guitar and when I tried one, I agreed. I'd read decent things about Poplar as a guitar wood but frankly I was very unimpressed when I tried one myself. I wouldn't say the article I read on Meranti definitely put me off, but it did give me some cause for concern. I will certainly try one myself before I do anything. I tried a Charvel Pro Mod So Cal last weekend because I really fancied one in white but playing it was a horrible experience. I'm going back to that shop this weekend to see if they have a Charvel DK24 in to try and I believe they have a decent range of Ibanez guitars in there too so I'll see if I can try an 'S' series.

My only other issue with Ibanez guitars has been the bridges. It looks like in my price range, the Edge-Zero II is the most likely bridge. The design itself doesn't bother me, it's all about its performance in key areas.

I know the Floyd 1000 will last forever so is the Edge-Zero II that durable?
I know the Floyd 1000 is easy for me to set up and stay there so will the Edge-Zero II be that reliable?
I know that I can give the Floyd 1000 dogs abuse, even holding the entire guitar by the whammy bar and shaking it, and it will always return to tune and the set up will stay in place so will the Edge-Zero II do the same?

So far I've had mixed feedback as some people don't rate it highly and others reckon it's at least as good as a Floyd 1000. This is something I can't decide for myself in a shop because it will require longer term ownership so I have no choice but to seek advice. I haven't had an Ibanez guitar in a long time. I can't remember the bridge that was on it but the guitar was an Ibanez RGT42 and I found the bridge to be far more fragile in every way than a Floyd 1000, which is why I have never left a Floyd 1000 since. Don't get me wrong, the RGT42 was a nice guitar but the bridge put me off so much that I left thinking that unless I spent a fortune on an Ibanez, the trem would be rubbish. Perhaps that's unfair but let's face it, when you find something that really works, you're naturally wary of changing such an important component. I don't want my desire to have an 'S' series drive me to accepting a bridge that is in any way inferior to what I'm used to. I'd rather choose a different guitar that I don't like quite as much in other ways but has a bridge I know I can rely on.
 

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but the end result is they are extremely stable trems, many better than ED and LP's and definitely better than EP's without locking studs, when setup free floating, as it is in the JIVA.
The RGT42 probably had the Edge3 which has very soft knife edges and terrible bushing system.
 

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Well as stated before. If you play an S series and like it... But want an edge, buy a 540s on eBay or reverb. The edge zero II definitely isn't as nice as the edge. I've had the 1000, a schaller, and an original floyd. My first ibanez had the edge... And it is just fantastic. I like it more than the original floyd styles.
 

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It functions as good if not better than an edge, and feels like a lo pro. I have my own issues with it, I hate the way the fine tuners feel and there's not enough knurl on them, but it will outlast a 10 year old edge by 100 years. The knife edges are indestructible and the studs are also harder that edge studs, and have a 3mm drive so the heads don't break off like edge studs do. Don't let the made in china rap fool you. The biggest complaint about it is it has it's own stud spacing you can't swap any other trem into without surgery.
 

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Maybe I am mistaken... but doesn't it have that zeroing tension setup? Or is that only the original edge zero? That zeroing system feels weird.
 

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ZPS - on most models. On most signature models they dumped it. No JEM/UV/JIVA/EGEN [does an EGEN8 have one?] anyway, "artists" use the regular 3 spring setup like any Floyd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I must say that the Edge-Zero II is starting to sound like an extremely viable alternative to the Floyd 100 if it's that strong and reliable. I don't generally buy used guitars, partly because I'm so obsessed about them staying in mint condition and partly because it's just too difficult to find what you want in the right condition and then travel to see it. If one came up, I'd certainly consider it but I wouldn't go out of my way to find one so I tend to work on the assumption I'll be getting a new one.

I've been looking at the S670 and S1070 in a bit more detail. The S1070 clearly has a lot going for it and it looks incredible but whether it's worth around twice the price is a different matter. It's an awful lot more money. I can't find anywhere selling the S670 in the UK at the moment so I'm unsure about price but I wouldn't expect it to be expensive. I suspect it will be a really good price compared to the Charvel DK24, though the Charvel is built in Fender's excellent Mexican factory and has better stock pickups. It's even tougher against the Jackson Pro Dinky, which has better stock pickups and is also from Fender's Mexican factory and it's cheaper than the Charvel, so the S670 would have to probably be around £500 to be competitive. I just love the S1070 but the price seems to be around the £1,250 mark and at that it feels too expensive given that the DK24 is £899 and the Pro Dinky is only £699. Nevertheless, I am going to try them all to get a better feel for what's on offer.

What's the difference between an Edge-Zero II and the same trem with the ZPS system? It seems to be some sort of device for tuning stability but does that make the trem feel or act any differently?

If I didn't like the ZPS system, can I easily remove it and just use conventional springs?
 

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The ZPS is 2 extra springs holding the block so bent double stops remain closer to tune, they do not remain in tune. So in a dive you're diving against 4 springs and in a pull up you only have 2 so vibrato around neutral is affected, stiff down free up. It can be removed but you're still stuck with the 2 spring system and with 7 string springs 11's are pushing it's limits. Unlike a non ZPS EZ2 which is setup like a floyd with claw and ability to use 5 springs if desired.
 

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Also I think that the ZR, even without ZPS, is a far superior design regarding bends. If it does not flat the other strings a lot when bending one, it is clearly because the saddles are really close to the pivot line.
 
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