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#2496173 - 05/24/13 06:12 PM Ibanez necks/frets
cool9 Offline
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How come vast majority of Ibanez electric models are only made with jumbo frets? If you're looking for a fast neck with medium frets they have nothing to choose from (except maybe Satriani model). Jumbo frets are horrible for rock guitar.


Edited by cool9 (05/24/13 06:14 PM)
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#2496176 - 05/24/13 06:20 PM Re: Ibanez necks/frets [Re: cool9]
Griffinator Global Moderator Offline
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I totally disagree regarding jumbo frets for rock guitar. I play almost exclusively in rock bands (occasionally a prog metal outfit) and have never had trouble with the jumbo frets on my S470...
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#2496236 - 05/25/13 12:28 AM Re: Ibanez necks/frets [Re: Griffinator]
harvey Offline
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My Ibanez SA32 has medium frets whilst my Warmoth strat style neck has jumbo frets. I think the smallest frets I've played were on a Gretsch duo jet. I thought they would annoy me but once I played them for a set I forgot they were little.

What don't you like about the jumbos for rock?
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#2496251 - 05/25/13 03:37 AM Re: Ibanez necks/frets [Re: harvey]
Caevan O'Shite Online   content
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One nice thing about jumbo frets even if you don't like 'em that big is that, they can be filed, shaped, dressed to pretty much whatever size and shape you might prefer... You can always make a fret shorter, narrower, rounder, or flatter, or even alter their radius relative to the fretboard, but you can't make 'em taller or wider!

With planning, care and precision, you can make 'em narrower and narrower through the upper registers for more space between the frets up high; and/or progressively flatter in fretboard-radius (r) as you progress up the neck, approximating a compound-r or conical-r for easier chording/barring in the lower registers, and buzz-free bending in the upper... I know these things have been done by savvy luthiers. I believe, if memory serves, that René Martinez might have done the latter on some of SRV's Strats.
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#2496302 - 05/25/13 08:30 AM Re: Ibanez necks/frets [Re: cool9]
Larryz Offline
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Originally Posted By: cool9
How come vast majority of Ibanez electric models are only made with jumbo frets? If you're looking for a fast neck with medium frets they have nothing to choose from (except maybe Satriani model). Jumbo frets are horrible for rock guitar.


It's what ever you like the best that counts. I've never played on one, but I'm guessing Ibanez must have a pretty good market out there for all of those jumbo's...

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#2496386 - 05/25/13 12:55 PM Re: Ibanez necks/frets [Re: cool9]
desertbluesman Offline
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Originally Posted By: cool9
Jumbo frets are horrible for rock guitar.


Nope, I disagree, jumbo frets are the that ones I prefer. Besides with every Ibanez guitar I have ever owned I have had to have the frets filed level, or file them level myself. For that you need lots of fret height. I like jumbo frets so my fingers don't touch the fretboard when using my fingers for vibrato.
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#2496429 - 05/25/13 04:50 PM Re: Ibanez necks/frets [Re: desertbluesman]
cool9 Offline
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Loc: Philadelphia
It's really tough sliding chords and notes very quickly on jumbo frets. I can not stand them. I had a Strat Hwy One, beautiful neck but the jumbo frets were a pain. And taking jumbo frets and reworking them is too much to ask. It's just easier to buy a neck with medium frets.

The EVH Wolfgang has the smallest frets I have ever felt (or can't feel) because you can barely feel them. (They feel as thin as a paper clip). And they don't seem advantageous for bending strings. (The big neck thickness and shape is a whole other issue.)

I've played classical guitar and jumbo frets on a classical would make playing completely impossible.
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#2496453 - 05/25/13 07:13 PM Re: Ibanez necks/frets [Re: cool9]
p90jr Offline
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I thought jumbo frets were a rock/blues rock thing? Heavy string bending?

I've come to prefer them a bit, but don't notice when I'm playing my guitars that have medium to light frets. But that's kind of gone into subconsciously picking certain guitars for certain gigs.

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#2496459 - 05/25/13 08:12 PM Re: Ibanez necks/frets [Re: cool9]
skipclone 1 Offline
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If I get your meaning I think I know what you`re talking about-that your fingers bang into the frets as you`re moving around the neck. I have run into that with some guitars but not always Ibanez-it may be the shape rather than size of the frets that`s the problem.
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#2496464 - 05/25/13 08:23 PM Re: Ibanez necks/frets [Re: cool9]
russclan Offline
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Originally Posted By: cool9
It's really tough sliding chords and notes very quickly on jumbo frets.


Agree. They feel like speed bumps on a road.

Originally Posted By: cool9
The EVH Wolfgang has the smallest frets I have ever felt (or can't feel) because you can barely feel them. (They feel as thin as a paper clip). And they don't seem advantageous for bending strings. (The big neck thickness and shape is a whole other issue.)


I have a Wolfgang Special, and I absolutely love the neck...plays like butter. Bending isn't an issue for me at all.

This is one of those subjective things - to each his own. If you think about it though, the bigger the frets, the higher the strings are from the fretboard. And if you have a baseball bat for a neck as well, then that's a longer reach still, from the back of the neck. I don't have small hands, but I prefer a thin neck and small frets...and no finish (or very thin satin) at all - I want to feel the wood (insert joke here). With a thick neck and large frets, it just feels like I have to fight the guitar.

I think it's crazy to purposely install huge frets only to file them down - kinda like making three rights to turn left. If you've got an otherwise nice axe but it needs work to make it playable, then fine, but otherwise, get it made right the first time. Assuming a straight neck and no truss or other construction issues, then new frets should only need to be "kissed" by the file, if at all. If you've got to remove a lot of metal, it's likely that something else is wrong.
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#2496471 - 05/25/13 08:53 PM Re: Ibanez necks/frets [Re: cool9]
Caevan O'Shite Online   content
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Originally Posted By: cool9
It's really tough sliding chords and notes very quickly on jumbo frets. I can not stand them. I had a Strat Hwy One, beautiful neck but the jumbo frets were a pain. And taking jumbo frets and reworking them is too much to ask. It's just easier to buy a neck with medium frets.


I mean this sincerely and in a friendly manner- lighten up on your grip and touch, your fingers should skatingly glide along the strings and over the frets regardless of the size and shape of the frets (so long as the fretwork is of good quality, accurate and precise, and the set-up, the action and relief and intonation, is all good). Lighten your touch and your chops WILL improve all-around.
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#2496533 - 05/26/13 09:48 AM Re: Ibanez necks/frets [Re: p90jr]
desertbluesman Offline
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Originally Posted By: p90jr
I thought jumbo frets were a rock/blues rock thing? Heavy string bending?


Yep and finger vibrato. Different strokes for different styles I guess
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#2496534 - 05/26/13 09:51 AM Re: Ibanez necks/frets [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
desertbluesman Offline
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Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite
I mean this sincerely and in a friendly manner- lighten up on your grip and touch, your fingers should skatingly glide along the strings and over the frets regardless of the size and shape of the frets (so long as the fretwork is of good quality, accurate and precise, and the set-up, the action and relief and intonation, is all good). Lighten your touch and your chops WILL improve all-around.


Exactly!! At 70 years old I am working on that very technique, a lighter and more precise finger location/touch. Bad fingering habits take a long time to overcome, and my bad habits go back to 1964 & onward. I guess it is never too late to learn more about guitar.
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#2496613 - 05/26/13 03:18 PM Re: Ibanez necks/frets [Re: desertbluesman]
cool9 Offline
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Try sliding these bar chords (in the verse) on jumbo frets.
Dio/Iommi, "Rock n Roll Angel" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiuhAQt-pWU)

Or even simpler, repetitive chord sliding like "Cheap Sunglasses" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mxkPyQuPBM)

Or playing lots of fast bar chords like "Highway Star" really tires your wrist out from the force sliding over the frets. Planting your fingers, going to another chord, planting your fingers, etc. becomes a lot of work. ("Machine Head", http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BYmhamWgHo)

If you lighten up the force in your fingers and hand you risk fret buzzing. To avoid fret buzzing and excess stress in your hand you really have to hone in on the force you're using on the frets all of the time. With medium frets you don't need as much force.

I've read that jazz players mainly use jumbo frets.


Edited by cool9 (05/26/13 03:21 PM)
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#2496615 - 05/26/13 03:53 PM Re: Ibanez necks/frets [Re: cool9]
harvey Offline
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Loc: Sydney, Australia
Interesting discussion...horses for courses et al

I vaguely remember a story about Iommi filing his frets post finger accident.

Is this true or have I made it up?!
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#2496649 - 05/26/13 08:28 PM Re: Ibanez necks/frets [Re: harvey]
harvey Offline
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Ok...kinda off topic. I had an Ibanez RG a while back. I loved the width of the neck and the jumbo frets, but because the neck was super flat I found it hard to bend. The way the profile sat in my hand was so different to my Warmoth (full and fairly trad neck profile) I had to radically change bending technique.
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#2496665 - 05/26/13 09:35 PM Re: Ibanez necks/frets [Re: cool9]
p90jr Offline
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Registered: 11/21/07
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Originally Posted By: cool9
Try sliding these bar chords (in the verse) on jumbo frets.
Dio/Iommi, "Rock n Roll Angel" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiuhAQt-pWU)

Or even simpler, repetitive chord sliding like "Cheap Sunglasses" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mxkPyQuPBM)

Or playing lots of fast bar chords like "Highway Star" really tires your wrist out from the force sliding over the frets. Planting your fingers, going to another chord, planting your fingers, etc. becomes a lot of work. ("Machine Head", http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BYmhamWgHo)

If you lighten up the force in your fingers and hand you risk fret buzzing. To avoid fret buzzing and excess stress in your hand you really have to hone in on the force you're using on the frets all of the time. With medium frets you don't need as much force.

I've read that jazz players mainly use jumbo frets.


Tony Iommi plays SGs (and Custom-made SG copies).

Billy Gibbons is a vintage guitar nut who was probably playing one of his '59 Les Pauls on that track...

Ritchie Blackmore played older Fender Strats (that were probably new way back then when he recorded that) and even used scalloped fingerboards if I'm remembering correctly... which would be "worse" than jumbo frets as far as "speed bumps."

My point being: none of the examples play Ibanez guitars... and were actually using older guitars designed not for rock music but jazz and country. Ibanez guitars are designed (with the exception of the hollowbodies) for the "shred" rock market segment, who probably use the Floyd Rose when they want to slide a chord... or in reality don't play stylistically like the examples given here.

I know a few Blackmore/Malmsteem nuts, and they play Fender strats. The Iommi-influenced guys I know play SGs, or maybe Les Pauls. The ZZ Top guys I know are all about Les Pauls...

I think you're just caught between market segments...

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#2496666 - 05/26/13 09:37 PM Re: Ibanez necks/frets [Re: p90jr]
p90jr Offline
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of course, things like this are why I insist to the wife that I really do need that many guitars laying around!

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#2496703 - 05/27/13 06:21 AM Re: Ibanez necks/frets [Re: p90jr]
Lokair Online   content
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Your not gonna change cool9s opinion he came here and stated fact with no option for change. So don't buy Ibanez or buy them have the frets removed and replaced , done.


Oh yea the Paul Gilbert model come with tight and narrow frets from Ibanez so there is your other answer.


That is all
Lok


Edited by Lokair (05/27/13 06:37 AM)
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#2496868 - 05/28/13 05:21 AM Re: Ibanez necks/frets [Re: Lokair]
Terrell Offline
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I prefer medium bass frets in SS. Thinner than jumbos but much taller and last forever!

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