Ibanez JEM Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone!

Just curious if anybody out there has had both a fixed and Trem with same wood and pickups. I guess most common would be a basswood body with the TZ/AN combo. What was the tone difference like? Would like to get a fixed bridge Ibby but may go for one of the AZ’s and just block it. Anyway, can anyone attest to the change in tone between the fixed vs trem bridge RGs?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,482 Posts
I honestly wouldn't over think this.... if you want a hardtail buy a hardtail. Blocking the trem makes sense mostly if you own a double-locker (or several) and wished you had a hardtail. To PURCHASE a guitar knowing you'll block the trem is probably not going to a fulfilling solution.

Also since an RG is very different from an AZ so maybe you should keep expanding your search after determining what you really want? Including other brands/models?

One more wrinkle to consider is the basswood bodies typical of Ibanez RG axes are not meant to be a tonewood but as a light/cheap/decent wood for superstrat guitars used with GAIN, loads of effects, high output pickups & THICK clearcoats (all of which overrule any wood tone characteristics).

Anyways to almost answer your question... I have owned from it's original release the MIJ RG421 with stock PUs. Comparing to any basswood JEM/RG the fixed bridge and proper nut gives you slightly more resonance than a blocked trem model. But because the RG421 is slathered in clear poly and is basswood it's what i'd term a "dead tone body" compared to real hardtails. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,414 Posts
I've been slowly migrating to fixed bridge RG's and I got three trem guitars left. The one thing I wish fixed bridge RG's would have and where blocking a trem makes sense to me is to have the fine tuners on the right hand. I'm used to fine tuning on the fly and not having them there even now is weird.
That aside you get a little more sustain depending on the quality of RG. But I'd agree with Glen that more of the work is done by the pickups and the amp.
For a while I've wanted to get a non-locking bridge too like an AZ or the Marco Sfogli. I guess in a down-only mode a blocked trem makes sense too.
Like he said too, though, the AZ and RG are different animals as well. The AZ sounds okay but I think I'd like it more if it had Dimarzios. The Hyperions sound a bit too mid range for me. Or maybe that's just the videos I've seen of them.
To answer your question my RG570 and RG3EXQM1 both have the Tone Zone bridge and a PAF Pro neck. The RG3 has a tiny bit more sustain but the RG570 is easier to play. The fixed bridge also has 10's and the RG570 9's so there's a tiny difference there too. I'm starting to feel more comfortable I think with 10's and 9's feel a bit too slinky for me sometimes.
My RG921 has 36th Anniversaries on it. A bit different from the TZ/PAF PRO combo but they sound AMAZING!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I played an Iron Label fixed bridge RG with EMGs and it sustained forever. The EMGs sounded very digital, but the guitar was nice. I should’ve bought it. I figure the EMGs had a bit to do with the sustain though. None of my Edge guitars sustain much at all. Thought maybe the fixed bridge was a major part of that.

I have a basswood 540R and a basswood RG6UCS. The much older 540R rings out very nicely and is my best sounding guitar unplugged. The new RG6UCS doesn’t sound terrible unplugged, but not nearly as good as the 540R. I think basswood works well as a tonewood. Generally pretty balanced and smooth. My mahogany S1220 is also loud unplugged, but sounds like mahogany does.

I believe the locking nut and trem being metal to metal on both ends gives them all an added brightness compared to a regular nut. This gives a bit of a strange affect with the S having the low, low-mid mahogany characteristics and then a spike of brightness at the very top end.

The guitars all seem to take on a bit of their unplugged characteristics when plugged in.

Thinking about that RG521, but would like a fatter neck to add more meat. Spotted some 7 string fixed bridges used, but not too sure about a 7 string. Nice fat neck though.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,392 Posts
I played an Iron Label fixed bridge RG with EMGs and it sustained forever. The EMGs sounded very digital, but the guitar was nice. I should've bought it. I figure the EMGs had a bit to do with the sustain though. None of my Edge guitars sustain much at all. Thought maybe the fixed bridge was a major part of that.

I have a basswood 540R and a basswood RG6UCS. The much older 540R rings out very nicely and is my best sounding guitar unplugged. The new RG6UCS doesn't sound terrible unplugged, but not nearly as good as the 540R. I think basswood works well as a tonewood. Generally pretty balanced and smooth. My mahogany S1220 is also loud unplugged, but sounds like mahogany does.

I believe the locking nut and trem being metal to metal on both ends gives them all an added brightness compared to a regular nut. This gives a bit of a strange affect with the S having the low, low-mid mahogany characteristics and then a spike of brightness at the very top end.

The guitars all seem to take on a bit of their unplugged characteristics when plugged in.

Thinking about that RG521, but would like a fatter neck to add more meat. Spotted some 7 string fixed bridges used, but not too sure about a 7 string. Nice fat neck though.
If you want a tremolo, you have to give up the fixed bridge, and vice versa. That includes any tonal differences. It is the nature of the beast and not something I would worry about. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
well, you don't need to block the trem. Just get a block inside and get the whammy bar to dive only (ala Edward Van Halen)

Another option is to use a trem setter (that will allow you to tune the low E to D if that's what you are looking for).

Ultimately it's about what you need to do and how many guitars you have.

Hope it helps
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,367 Posts
I don't have two of the same model with fixed and tremolo bridges to do the comparison, but do notice the better sustain of the two fixed bridge guitars I own... a '76 Les Paul and an Ibanez SZ320. The set-neck and string-thru-body of the SZ gives it amazing sustain. That guitar sounds so nice to play unplugged... If the house is quiet I'll play it unplugged in the kitchen w/hard floors and counters/appliances for the sound to bounce off.

Not sure if it's the wood type, but my old '89 540s does seem to sustain more than my JS or RG520w/similar trems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good info, thanks everyone.

Does anyone have an Edge guitar that sustains very well? If so how level is your trem with the body? I tend to have mine just a tiny bit higher than level, but I honestly haven’t noticed any difference in sustain or tone with it dead level either.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top