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There is a bit... but for me I think it is more of a 'what you are used to' comfort thing. Jems/RG have a huge cutaway for good access. Mr Vai always seemed to play quite quick in the 80's and early 90's so I wouldn't think that the old joint would slow you down!! You will find the AANJ on all new Jems and RGs now. the change was about '93-'94.
 

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newbieguitarmaker said:
does aanj get the crack around the neck joint area too?
yes, it can happen, but it is pretty uncommon, especially compared to the older style. personally i find the AANJ much much more comfortable.

Also i believe there is ZERO difference between the JEM and RG AANJs. The only models that have a different AANJ are the RG J-Customs which are shaped better.
 

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ibanez.shredder said:
Also i believe there is ZERO difference between the JEM and RG AANJs. The only models that have a different AANJ are the RG J-Customs which are shaped better.
That is my perception as well. "Better" meaning subjectively, more comfortable. There's less wood, so... in terms of durability, or some other aspect that depends on there being some wood there, the J-custom aanj might not be "better," (or, maybe it's just fine. I'm no luthier, that's for sure.) I just remember a comment in which Rich Harris refered to this difference in the aanj on the J-Customs as a "feature", with the word in quotes like that -- the quotes sort of implied to me that he didn't consider it to be a good feature. "Scorn quotes" I think they're called. But I shouldn't put words in his mouth. It's possible he didn't mean it that way.
 

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Ferrous Lepidoptera said:
That is my perception as well. "Better" meaning subjectively, more comfortable. There's less wood, so... in terms of durability, the J-custom aanj might not be "better," (or, maybe it's just fine. I'm no luthier, that's for sure.)
Theres no real difference in the amount of wood in the joint, and there are no drawbacks to it only advantages so therefore its better. Its more comfortable, allows better control, allows better fret access and lowers fatigue. Im sure there are more reasons as well. But i suppose a better word is ''Improved AANJ''.



Standard AANJ



J-Custom AANJ
 
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