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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I'm thinking about buying an RG3550mz, and I'd like to ask a few questions if no one minds.

First, I hear a lot of people talking about getting a brand new guitar setup as if the factory didn't do anything right or your guitar wouldn't play as well if you were to tune and play it right out of the box.

If I were to buy a new prestige, and just played it from the factory, would the intonation be good and would it keep a tune?

Also, I've been hearing a lot about these setup tips at
ibanezrules.com/tech/setup/index.htm and some of it seems like player preference. Some of it is legitimate setup tips like the truss rod adjustment, intonation, and trem angle. However, some things like nut, action, and pickup height are IMO player preferences. I'm no expert technician, and I appreciate any help I can get, but I would like some advice as to the most pressing issues that a new guitar would need addressed and anything else I might need to know.

Thanks for the help.
 

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Things happen during shipping. Changes in temp during shipping will affect the factory setup too. In addition, the factory setup is merely a basis for you to get it set up to your specifications. Unless of course you're getting it from LACS. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lol, well I'll give you that one. I hadn't thought about humidity fluctuation, but I still don't see why this would justify seeing a full-fledged tech.

Besides, you didn't exactly tell me what I should be looking to fix on a new guitar, if anything.
 

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There are still quality control issues, with most companies actually. Bad nut height, sharp frets, loose machine heads, all the way down to finish imperfections (obviously not a setup issue). The less you pay, it seems the less QC goes into the product. It's just what happens in a factory setting, humans build these and we're not perfect, the more time they put into it the more you'll pay. Seems like as companies grow and start concentrating more on quantity over quality, things get worse. You can still get a virtually perfect setup out of the box, but it's hit or miss in many cases.

With the amount of threads lately, talking about techs who don't even know what they're doing, I'm more inclined to tell someone to read Rich's site and do it themselves if they're not going to make the extra effort to drill the tech and make sure they actually know what they're talking about, if not then it's really easy for them to make things worse and drive the customer mad or even scare them away from the guitar, altogether. At the very least, read the site to understand what it is you want and expect from the tech, it would be easier to figure out if they're even worth their salt and deserve your money.
 

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Choose the dealer wisely and you don't have to worry, choose poorly and there's not enough space in this post to list everything that nobody else is paying any attention to ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There are still quality control issues, with most companies actually. Bad nut height, sharp frets, loose machine heads, all the way down to finish imperfections (obviously not a setup issue). The less you pay, it seems the less QC goes into the product. It's just what happens in a factory setting, humans build these and we're not perfect, the more time they put into it the more you'll pay. Seems like as companies grow and start concentrating more on quantity over quality, things get worse. You can still get a virtually perfect setup out of the box, but it's hit or miss in many cases.

With the amount of threads lately, talking about techs who don't even know what they're doing, I'm more inclined to tell someone to read Rich's site and do it themselves if they're not going to make the extra effort to drill the tech and make sure they actually know what they're talking about, if not then it's really easy for them to make things worse and drive the customer mad or even scare them away from the guitar, altogether. At the very least, read the site to understand what it is you want and expect from the tech, it would be easier to figure out if they're even worth their salt and deserve your money.
I hear your point, that quite a few random things could happen to any guitar.
If only there was a little company that made an instrument that could compare to the caliber of an Ibanez.
Hopefully, if I do buy a new Ibanez, it'll be a hit.
I would hate to just leave it to chance, though.

I have been reading Rich's setup page, the specificity is
wonderful.

I could not agree more, most of the techs I've talked to
seem down right incompetent. That, or they just simply don't care.

Choose the dealer wisely and you don't have to worry, choose poorly and there's not enough space in this post to list everything that nobody else is paying any attention to
I'm sure I know which dealer you think I should pick, :D which doesn't sound like too bad of an idea. I've read more than a few testimonials about your superb craftsmanship. I was thinking about buying it from Musician's friend, I hope that doesn't fall into the "poor" decisions category.
 

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I buy from Musician's Friend all the time with free shipping and 10-15% off. Just give them a call when you order and they will give you additional discount. Great return policy also.
 

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Then you choose poorly. It's your choice and you have every right to buy wherever you want, but there probably isn't a worse choice you could make.
 

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On a cheep guitar, it won't matter where you get it.
If you're buying a guitar that is $1000 and up, buy from a good dealer.

My biggest gripe with Ibanez's Mid / Lower end guitars is the fret work.
If a guitar has bad fret wrok from the factory, you can't get a good setup.

You may get lucky and get a good RG350, RG1XXV, RG2XXV, RG3XXV, etc.
If you don't, take it to a good guitar tech and get the frets finished up, add $100 to your total.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm still not 100% sure about what I'm going to do. I've been reading quite a few complaints about the 3550mz, mainly aesthetic complaints, which I'm not too worried about. Enough has been said to sway my opinion, though. In fact, I think I'm leaning towards the 3250.

Although the EZ critiques have me really worried. I realize you can just pull out the ZPS, but it still sounds like it's more of a Stratocaster trem to me, which kind of sucks. Granted some of the EZ judgements are from fairly superficial things, IMO. There are still a few genuine concerns. I was reading about pulling your strings sharper with the trem, and then supposedly they'll fall flat, or fret resonation, or saddle trepidation. I've also got to point out that I hate the fact that it supposedly has a "very limited scope for up-bends."

Not sure what I should do.
 

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It's good that you're trying to find out everything you can but either you're mixing much up or you're just reading bad info.

The ZPS contributes to tuning flux after pullup. Take it out, it's as stable as anything. And there is no more limitation of the trem range than anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It's statements like this that disqualify you from being believeable, aren't you the engineering student?. Have you ever actually looked at the ZPS [Zero Point System] and how it works? It keeps the bridge from pulling forward, like when you're tuning up, or bending a string, which is why it keeps a bent double stop more in "relative" tune, because it does not keep it in perfect tune. It does absolutely nothing to keep the bridge from moving in the other direction, like when you press down on the bridge in a palm mute [or change a string, break a string, misinformation that still seems to be prevalent]. It is also because of the ZPS that the bridge will return flat after a pull up and only go back in tune after a dive, a problem that has been present on every single EZ and ZR I've worked on, but mysteriously nobody else finds. This is why I recomend to my clients setting it up free floating with ZPS out, which most opt for.
I must have misread that one because you're actually referring to the trem with the ZPS in.

i had the same resonance/dead spot issue on 2 different rg2550z's and i was prepared to sell one to get rid of it. they haven't really designed it properly as the saddles and their parts seem to move slightly and resonate weirdly with certain pitches. i managed to accept the fault and it doesn't bother me that much anymore.
The uproar the Edge Zero has recieved is quite simply because it is inferior to previous trems, and by a significant margin. It's simple as that. We see people bitching for the Edge/Lo-Pro to make a return because those trems were superior. Be their build quality or design.

What also annoys me is how Ibanez gave the Edge Zero a unique stud spacing, making it impossible to install another trem besides that one. Which means, if you don't like the Edge Zero, you obviously can't enjoy your guitar. Does the Edge Zero make me play worse? Yes, due to the fact that I hate the feel of it (as do tons of others), so naturally I won't be playing as well with something that I do not like the feel of.
youtube.com/watch?v=6dZ2OBtqeM0
At about the 4:55, he takes the ZPS out and displays a few up bends. It definitely doesn't look like it can go back as far as the OFR or flutter as much (which might be an absurd comparison on my part).

As far as I could tell, I thought you were the number one critic for the EZ. I think you might be singing a different tune. Why the change of heart?
 

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I have no superior love of the EZ or ZR, but I also don't buy into what supposed experts [everybody with an opinion] say on internet message boards ;)

The EZ feels almost exactly like a Lo Pro with the ZPS out.

My complaints are the fine tuners are stiff to turn and have little knurl to help. I'm also no fan of the spring adjustment system, while it is "easy" to just turn a wheel you're also locked into a 2 spring setup with only 3 options for spring stiffness. With any normal claw system you have the option of 2 to 5 of whatever tension you can find in any configuration you want.

There is no limitation on pull up range, at 1.5mm action you can lay the strings right on the frets and more, which makes any more range useless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I didn't exactly buy into anything, nor did I call them experts. I am looking for anything to challenge conventional wisdom, and give me a bit more insight into something I might buy.

Yeah, the spring adjustment and not so great fine tuners seem like a bitch, but if that's all I had to complain about, I'd consider myself lucky.

Thanks, that's pretty much what I wanted to hear.
 
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