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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is my story. I recently acquired a 07 RG2570E VGD Prestige. I researched and researched, and tried out several Ibanez, Jackson, ESP guitars and decided this green monster was for me. I had the shop order one untouched, because most of the floor guitars there are poorly treated.

Well it turns out the one at the guitar store plays better than the one I ended up with, and to my knowledge they do not set up their floor demos. I'm from a really small community with a fairly limited selection of guitar techs. I wasn't 100% confident taking it to either one and with some experience tinkering with my old Fender I decided I'd try the DIY thing. I've read the obvious resources available online so I *was* fairly confident.

Out of the box I experienced quite a bit of buzzing on the low E string. I tune DADGBE so really I should call it the D but whatever. The A, high D, and even the unwounds choke a bit too, albeit more difficult to hear. The sustain loss on the unwounds is minimal. None of this buzzing is so horrible that I fret out any notes. I can bend any wound well within my needs. Bent pinch harmonics come out sounding a little bit rough though. This would all be completely understandable if the guitar felt like it had super-low action, too bad because it doesn't.

I keep telling myself maybe I'm being picky.. but this isn't a $450 guitar either so I want the best of it. Anyway enough boring explanation.

I decided maybe the neck needs a hair more of relief. I started slowly asjusting the truss 1/4 to 1/2 turn at a time, retuning to pitch, and trying it out. This was deemed a failed venture when I had completely loosened the rod to natural relief, resulting in action similar to my horrible $200 Yamaha accoustic. The disturbing part is I still had some buzz on the wounds, I don't remember checking the treble side with the neck in natural relief. I ended up gradually tightening the truss probably slightly tighter than it came from factory, the buzz sure as hell wasn't getting any worse so I figured I may as well have my low action. I'm afraid I may have ventured into back-bow but its fine for now.

I've read Rich's guides about Neck shims, nut shims, etc etc. Essentially there are a whole lot of variables involved in how this thing is going to play. I'll admit I'm new to Ibanez but I *have* done my homework.

I took a couple shots of telling parts of the guitar in it's current setup. Don't let the neck picture throw you off, remember what I said about playability in full relief.

Lastly I have not made any action adjustments on the Trem itself. I understand there are set screws inside the studs, but my 1.5 and 2mm allens do not seem to fit in there at all. I feel like I'm missing something for sure.

I don't mean to sound discouraged with my purchase. I absolutely love the guitar. What bothers me is I picked up a $650 MIJ Hardtail Jackson at the shop today and was very surprised with how well it played. (Better than my 2570).

Here are the pictures. Some of these may not be helpful whatsoever, but it's worth a shot.

http://picasaweb.google.com/see.power/RG2570EVGD

Thanks in advance for any insight!
 

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Good god sir. Listen, my advice to you is to practice your mechanical skills on a guitar. Even if it's cheap. Practice setting up in different tunings, adjusting tremolos, messing with Double locking floyd types (lot's of fun the first few times lol) learning to identify when a neck needs tension or relied. I may not be as good as rich, but i can get a 200$ and get it to play better probably all the axes in that story (mild exaggeration). I think every serious guitar player should know how to fix simple things and setup. Kind of like if you cut yourself, you'll have the instinct to disinfect it and apply a bandage to help mend the wound.

So stop worry about all these other low quality builds at the shop that play better than yours. Anything not set up properly will play like horse **** lol.

So i give you two options.

The first one is the one i recommend foremost. Find a good luthier to set it up for you. This will give you a good 3 - 6 months before you have to rack your
head in about setting it up and therefore a lot of time to practice your skills. Also, given you just got it, you'd probably like to play a lot more then spend time screwing and un screwing bolts.

The next option is to take a breather, describe some more things to us and we'll try to take you through the set-up.

So anyways, one thing i do want to know is if it was set-up by the factory. From what i was told anything made in the fujigen factory usually comes tuned in E and inspected. So obviously if you are unaware of how locked bridges work ( i am not claiming, i am just assuming this - please correct me if i am wrong), than you went and dropped your E to a D, which without careful adjustments to the tremolo would obviously play a large part in messing up your action.

I can see you know a bit of what to do here, but for your action, most of the lowering can be achieved with the pivots on the bridge. After that, if you still experience some fret buzz from frets 1-7 , than often it's because you need to adjust the bow in the neck. If that doesn't do it, considering removing the strings and applying a shim in the neck to match the angle better. This should give a lot more flexibility.

I hope this helped a little, but like i said - if you get tired of not playing, just take it to a qualified luthier,
 

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If adjusting the trem studs and adjusting the neck didn't do it (assuming the trem is centered with the Drop D tuning), I'd put a thin shim under the lock nut. If I had more fret leveling experience that would be my next option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks for your input Fender. Firstly I hope the length of my post didn't make it sound like a tragedy, because it isn't, I just have a habit of being very very thorough in explanations.

I didn't really think to mention that I do have some experience setting up guitars and completely understand how the Edge trem works, even down to the specifics on the edge pro VS the earlier models. I restring without problems and just put a new set of DR's on today. When I originally dropped the tuning to DADGBE I did have to do some fine compensation in the claw screws, as would be expected. I have read Ibanezrules in its entirety. I have fooled around with the guitar enough to get a "hands on" feel for how it works. Some would say everyone playing an Ibanez with a Edge Trem should do this.

As far as Luthiers are concerned, I'll be frank. I know a lot of guitar players around town and practically nobody, at least that I know plays Ibanez. There are two reputable techs in town, (I live in a very small place). Lets call one Mr Stratocaster and the other one Mr. Hard tail LP. I just don't feel comfortable with someone of the mentality "oh yeah I worked on a few of those weird things". Tech time taking away from play time is not an issue, I've got a hardtail Yamaha AES 620, its just not as nice to play. This all said I may cave and give one of these local guys a shot at it.

I provided the pictures of the neck pocket with the angle visible in case there was any obvious need of shimming, and the nut as well. I realize pictures are half worthless for advice, but I knew that if something was horribly wrong someone might pick up on it.

Anyhow one thing that is really bugging me are the Trem studs. In order to adjust action there is a set screw that must be loosened. I'm pretty sure I have every allen wrench in existance, and nothing seems to fit that little set screw in there. Any ideas?


Edit: Fender: I don't know if it was set up from the factory. I have an inspection card stamped for Finish, Assembly, SDC, Electronics, and Neck Set. When I pulled it out of the case the first time it was somewhere near EADGBE standard.
 

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rgChris... your neck is back-bowing, tighten the truss rod quarter to half turn so it angles upwards from the neck joint so it straightens. Before you do that, i could tell that your action was average out of the box and before you started fiddling with. There's a shim underneath the locking nut. Removing that will lower the 1st - 5th fret strings...
Now to bridge adjustment... allen wrench for set screw is 1/16. Adjust height of bridge so it's barely unplayable... then begin lowering it until it feels comfortable. Always check for bridge angle for every time you adjust the bridge height, meaning constant retuning and fine-tuning :)
If bridge height is maxed out to hit rock bottom and action is still not low enough, you'll need a neck shim; the neck pocket angle looks like there's already a shim but I could be wrong.

Reg
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the recommendations Judasbane..

The only thing that throws me for a loop is this:

"rgChris... your neck is back-bowing, tighten the truss rod quarter to half turn so it angles upwards from the neck joint so it straightens"

Isn't tightening (clockwise, looking down guitar from headstock) creating backbow? Left is loosey, and the nut is easier to turn that way. That way seems to create relief, and eliminate the backbow. After recent tinkering in the last hour I've got the neck set with just a touch of relief, almost dead straight. I've adjusted the bridge (studs) to the best of my ability as well, but I'm not really achieving much better than factory. If anything I can get the action slightly lower but still pretty buzzy on the low D. For what it's worth I tried this in standard as well with the same result.

I've never removed a neck before, and I'm not about to start mucking about with shims on my own. If it comes to neck/nut shim tweaking I think I'm going to concede defeat and bring it to one of the Luthiers. On the bright side I got more practice quickly tuning an edge today than I think I have in the last 3 weeks.

Fun Fact: My high e snapped when I started this reply, not being played, just sitting in the stand.I rechecked the saddle and lock for burrs, replaced and retuned before I finished responding.
 

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Anyhow one thing that is really bugging me are the Trem studs. In order to adjust action there is a set screw that must be loosened. I'm pretty sure I have every allen wrench in existance, and nothing seems to fit that little set screw in there. Any ideas?
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I think it is a 1.5mm. Check ibanezrules.com in the tech section, it probably tells you. These are very coveted for Ibanez trems and have been a sore spot that they haven't been used in many years on new models, until this year. They help trem stability in a big way ;)

Locking studs are good :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hah now that I think of it, everything I've read online has told me my trem does not have locking studs, was this really changed just this year?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This evening I decided to have another go at setup, and through a combination of doing a better job and having slightly lower expectations, I've got it right.

Nothing I've read seems to come right out and say it, but silly-low action is going to involve a little buzzing here and there. I reread the action section on Ibanez Rules and some buzzing is mentioned. Playing light helps.

Basically I wasted some time trying to improve on whatever horrid condition I left it in last night, then I remembered what Reg said and started from scratch. I gave the neck a generous amount of relief and started with the bridge quite high, started lowering gradually, checking angle/tension, rinse repeat. The unwound treble side was a lot easier to hit the sweet spot on. I had to keep going back to it after bass side adjustments though (as expected). Once things were starting to look really good I started removing relief bit by bit, readjusting the bridge, retuning (oh the joy) and eventually I think I won!

Currently a 1.5mm pick will not fit through 24 without moving the string up, and its about the same the whole way down the board. Even better when I sight down the neck It doesn't look backbowed at all anymore, if anything I'm pretty sure I see a touch of relief. Fretting 1 and 24 and checking 7-9 confirmed this. My worries about neck shimming also disappeared when I realized I could move the bridge down with room to spare, and choke out the board.

Anyhow, thanks for all the input guys, all it took was a little persistence and a night of sleep to get rid of frustration.
 

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You did the right thing by spending the time to get comfortable setting it up yourself. Congrats on finally "dialing in" your own setup.

Now go play it!! ;)
 
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