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Yikes!!! That definitely isn't acceptable.
That definitely isn't acceptable, but every company can let sub-par ones slip through the cracks. It's not really shame on Ibanez, but on companies in general. You could have requested a replacement, and gotten something like one of 3Bolt79's two perfectly acceptable guitars, and been happy as pie again.
I fell into all the hype from youtube saying it was amazing.

Good advice! I have my eyes set on either a standard RG or get my hands on a Prestige model again. I miss the stability of the 5 piece neck.
 

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My friend was over last night to have me set up her ne Epi Sheraton II. While she was here,she played both AZ’s, the Vermillion and Ivory, and then asked if she could by one off me. I told Her no, but if she gets one, I will set it up For her. @Kenmattson , neither of mine had tool marks, or paint chips. A couple of tuners on thread one weren’t perfectly straigh, but that is the extent of what was wrong with it. The Ivory one one was perfect.

I did do some fret work on both of them, which I also had to do on my eight other Ibanez guitars, including the Premium Jem. I am gonna try one with the trem next. I gave the red SSS AZES31 to my son. He will be amazed. It plays better than his Fender American SpecialStrat.

It plays better than both Of my 70’s strats, as well as my premium Jem. It’s too bad you didn’t get a replacement. If you lived near me, I could have helped you with the set up. The fingerboard could have been fixed. The paint chip probably not though.

Who did you buy it from?
 

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Well I ordered an AZES 40 in blue. We shall see what the quality control is on that one.m it was 50 bucks more than the hardtail. I got the last one at AMS/Zzounds. I am looking foreword to having a guitar to work on/fiddle with. I will see how it is and report back here when I arrives next week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
^^ He got if from Amazon.

That is a bummer, sounds like you got unlucky with a dud. Nothing worse than looking forward to a new axe and it comes blemished and unplayable; and these are bound to generate interest because people do want a budget AZ they can mod.

Stuff like the finishing goofs and tooling marks are avoidable, though with budget friendly MIC guitars, we can't expect them to be perfect. There's also some risk in buying without seeing/playing, and I say this as someone who's bought several guitars online!

The bigger problem seems to be the neck from what you say, sounds like bad wood; short of stringing it with 13s and tuning it higher than standard to see if that does anything, not much else one can do, so a return is probably your only option. This might've even happened after it was finished. When the guitars are completed and checked, they could be fine, but en route from the factory to dealers around the world, they develop fret sprout or the necks warp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Yeah, seems that way. The impression I'm getting of guitars in the $50-500 bracket is that they seem to have better hardware and pickups nowadays but wood appears to be an issue.

In any case, I'm interested in hearing about what the HSS version is like when it arrives. It has a trem, so it'll be interesting to hear whether it can be set up to work well.
 

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Well, I talked to my son the other night. We were asking for clues about Christmas gifts. He said he was going to get me some shoes, and if I liked High Tops, slippers, or skater shoes (Vans). So I told him Vans. Apparently they Have something to do with Black Sabbath.

So I asked him, Hardtail, or Whammy. He said whammy. So I ordered anther Ibanez AZ with the trem and humbucker. I got the last one, and they are back ordered, and not expected until April. It was $349.00.

So I will keep the two AZES31’s, and see about getting an AZES40 for myself next year when they come back in. If the GAS get’s too bad, I can find one on Reverb. I already have a brand New gig bag for it. But if he is going to have it shipped over seas, courtesy of Uncle Sam, I have a TKL case that will fit it.
 

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I looked online at all the major players, and nobody seems to have any. They want you to pre-order. Sam Ash has at least one blue one and one green one. They are the only one that seems to have any.
 

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Well, I did find one AZES40 at Zzounds. I ordered it. Then, late last night, I ordered a GRX70Q. They both have the same bridge. So, I will have another couple of weeks of working on guitars. I just ordered a radiused sanding block from stew Mac. It should be here in a week or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Henning from Germany takes a closer look at them. Sounds are from about 20:00 in. The red one does look sweet. Guess this pair didn't have problems with the frets, though the HSS has tuning issues (those string trees, I suspect)
 

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Henning from Germany takes a closer look at them. Sounds are from about 20:00 in. The red one does look sweet. Guess this pair didn't have problems with the frets, though the HSS has tuning issues (those string trees, I suspect)
I watched the video, and I will add that a properly cut nut needs no lubrication. When my AZES40 gets here, I will put roller string trees on it, if I can’t get it to work with the factory ones. I worked a Kramer Baretta Special over and got the trem to float. It stayed in tune after nut work. And the strings don’t go straight to the tuners. They were angled coming out of the nut.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Mm, the slots could be too pinched also. Those butterfly string trees always give me the heebie-jeebies, can almost feel the string scraping across them 😬. I get that they use them because they're the cheapest, but still, ugh. Of course, if they put roller or graphite ones, it would be reflected in the price of the guitar.

Yeah, relieving those corners where the string comes out towards the tuners helps a lot.
 

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Well, My AZES40 just arrived an hour ago. Gonna let it warm up overnight. I will start working on it tomorrow and try to get it done before Monday, as I am having surgery on Monday.
 

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Well, the new AZES40 was playable out of the box. I couldn’t find any flaws as far as cosmetics go. The fasteners were all a little less snug than they should have been. So I tightened all screws an nuts. The frets were mostly level and there was no fret sprout.

I did a level and crown, just as a matter of course, as part of the set up. Then hand polished the frets with various grades of sand paper wrapped around my finger. All the nut’s slots were too high from the factory, and that is what you want, so that there is room to file them to perfection.

This guitar is the best playing, best sounding of my 3 AZES guitars. The only thing I don’t like about the AZES 40 is that the bar is threaded in, and if you want the bridge to float you would have to shim the neck. That is why I left it decked. It stays in tune well after doctoring the nut’s slots.

The humbucker Is really good sounding with high gain and even clean.

These AZES guitars are my new favorites. I want to get a black 40 as well. You get so much value for the dollar with these guitars that it’s almost unbelievable. I hope that they will add some other colors to the line for 2022.
 

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Well, the new AZES40 was playable out of the box. I couldn’t find any flaws as far as cosmetics go. The fasteners were all a little less snug than they should have been. So I tightened all screws an nuts. The frets were mostly level and there was no fret sprout.

I did a level and crown, just as a matter of course, as part of the set up. Then hand polished the frets with various grades of sand paper wrapped around my finger. All the nut’s slots were too high from the factory, and that is what you want, so that there is room to file them to perfection.

This guitar is the best playing, best sounding of my 3 AZES guitars. The only thing I don’t like about the AZES 40 is that the bar is threaded in, and if you want the bridge to float you would have to shim the neck. That is why I left it decked. It stays in tune well after doctoring the nut’s slots.

The humbucker Is really good sounding with high gain and even clean.

These AZES guitars are my new favorites. I want to get a black 40 as well. You get so much value for the dollar with these guitars that it’s almost unbelievable. I hope that they will add some other colors to the line for 2022.
Awesome, I'm seriously hoping they add some maple fretboards in there too. These AZE's are something I'm definitely GASing for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Maple boards would be good to see, and some livelier colours for the HSS, as we've said before.

Hm, so even with the butterfly string trees and non-locking pegs, tuning stability when using the trem is ok? Regarding the bar, yeah, I've seen other people comment on a similar same thing - it's either completely loose or fixed because of the way the thread is. Well, if the guitar is good overall, maybe it's worth slapping a Wilkinson WVP6 on it 🤔.
 

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Maple boards would be good to see, and some livelier colours for the HSS, as we've said before.

Hm, so even with the butterfly string trees and non-locking pegs, tuning stability when using the trem is ok? Regarding the bar, yeah, I've seen other people comment on a similar same thing - it's either completely loose or fixed because of the way the thread is. Well, if the guitar is good overall, maybe it's worth slapping a Wilkinson WVP6 on it 🤔.
‘I wonder if I added a little plumbers tape to the bar’s threads, if it would be a little snugger. It’s either too sloppy, or too stiff where it is all the way tight. This guitar plays as well as a new Fender American Professional, but has more tones available. The only short coming is the the quality of the bridge. It appears to have a pot metal block. Zinc maybe? But it gets the job done.

The tuners seem fine as well. The pickups sound great clean, and especially good though my Mesa/Boogie with high gain. Good treble output but not harsh or shrill. Mids are great and the bass is especially tight, not flubby,

My daughter has claimed it. The Jem Jr I got her was too complicated for her, and at least on this AZ she will be able to change the strings herself. It is a much simpler guitar. So, I have the Jem Jr back, and the middle hole for the lock clamp is stripped. A new nut is on the way, and I will have to replace the volume pot, as it is really difficult to turn the knob.
 
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