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Opinions on new guitar?


JT2008

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Thanks for the input all very helpful. A couple follow up questions as I have changed my criteria a bit:

 

(1.) I have played a bunch of Ibanez models (JS 1000/1200, RG 1570, JEM). For the money the 1570 seems like a great guitar, especially the thin neck which I like. The only thing not hot on for the 1570 is the pickups (I think they are stock Ibanez Hums IB8 and IB7??). They seemed a little weak. Anybody have any experience with them?

 

(2) I am coming around to being open to a neck-thru, but most of the neck thrus I have come across seem to have the back of the neck painted the same color as the guitar. The Ibanez I have been playing for 20 years has an unpainted back of neck. Does a painted back of neck affect the feel and speed of the neck i.e., is it less fast than an unpainted neck?

 

(3) I never had a good impression of BC Rich but just came across a BC Rich model that seems to be getting rave reviews everywhere I look the ASM Pro (see http://tinyurl.com/asmpro ). It has original (not copy/license) Floyd, EMG 81/85. But it has a painted neck (see previous question) and I am unsure whether the neck is as fast/thin as an Ibanez RG 1570. I am going to try to find a store stocking the ASM Pro so I can play it but any opinions would be appreciated.

 

(4) If I do start to now look at neck-thrus and painted necks then I will probably take another look at ESPs. For $1,500 or so any models you would reco?

 

(5) Finally, for a budget of up to $1,500, would you pick the ASM Pro, Ibanez RG1570 or an ESP? Or another? Key to me is neck speed, good pickups and ideally neck and bride Hums, no centre PU at all.

 

Sorry for long post and thanks a mill for thoughts

 

ORIGINAL POST:

Greetings,

 

I currently play an Ibanez EX Series circa 1990 (a $500 guitar at the time). I am considering upgrading to a guitar in the $1,200 - 1,500 range. Here are the things that I am looking for:

1. Neck - thin, fast, bolt-on, not a painted neck

2. Pickups - would prefer Hum on bridge and neck, with no middle pickup at all

3. Ideally would like to stick with 22 frets (vs. 24) but will make the move to 24 if no choice

4. Rosewood fingerboard - not maple (too bright)

 

A few questions for the forum:

 

Q1. I have looked at the entire lines for Ibanez, ESP and Charvel. ESP and Charvel seem to be out based on above criteria (Charvel only seems to do maple fingerboard and ESP necks seems to be mainly neck-thru and painted). Of the Ibanez line, the RG1570 seems to be closest (except it has a middle pickup and 24 frets both of which I am not happy about but could live with if no choice). The Ibanez JS 1000 seems to be out of my price range and I have read that the neck is not as fast as the Prestige/Wizard necks the JS 1000 is more like a Strat neck. My question for the forum on this point is are there other manufacturers you know who would meet above criteria? Also am I missing something in the Ibanez family?

 

Q2. I have been playing electrics with 22 frets for over twenty years (it is what I learned on). I am nervous about making the move to 24 frets if I have to will the neck be longer, will my left hand and right hand arm position be thrown off/have to retrain, muscle memory, etc. Any comments from the forum on this?

 

Q3. Some Ibanez models I have seen state they use medium frets while others say jumbo. What is the difference and which do you think is better for my style (metal, hard rock, shred , Satch, Vai, etc.)

 

All comments appreciated

 

Thanks

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1) The pickups are a V7 on the neck, a S1 single coil in the middle, and a V8 in the bridge. They're somewhat classic sounding, but with higher output, which is great for high gain. The pickups clean up well in medium gain settings, which I like.

 

2) A painted neck might be slightly stickier when your hand gets sweaty, but it shouldn't radically affect your speedy runs. Just wipe it down between songs if you need to.

 

3) My only concern with this guitar is with the toggle switch placement. I'd prefer mine away from the volume and tone knobs (as on the 1570). The neck on this one is a tad beefier, but nothing that should impede your fastest licks. Sustains nicely too, thanks to the active EMG's and neck thru design.

 

4) You probably could score a Kirk Hammett neck thru sig for less than $1,500, if it's the LTD version.

 

5) If you can play any of these locally, I'd leave it up to you. Really. :) I'd worry more about getting any particular axe set up properly, once it's home with me.

 

Go with a 24 fret model. You'll love it for the extended range, plus it's great for tapped runs. It won't take much time to adjust to it if you put in the effort. I have no problems playing guitars with fewer frets than 24. My Ibanez guitars are a 6 string RG560 from 1990, and a 7 string RG7321 from 2005. I also play with a Strat, a Les Paul and an Ovation acoustic.

 

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(2) I am coming around to being open to a neck-thru, but most of the neck thrus I have come across seem to have the back of the neck painted the same color as the guitar. The Ibanez I have been playing for 20 years has an unpainted back of neck. Does a painted back of neck affect the feel and speed of the neck i.e., is it less fast than an unpainted neck?

 

Well, while I really, really like the feel of a nice oiled/waxed "raw"/"unfinished" maple neck, I can hang with a finished neck, as well. And if the finish feels "sticky"- I don't mean tacky, gooey finish but finish that's so smooth, glossy and glassy that your skin sticks in a traction and friction type way- you can always lightly rough 'n' scuff the back of the neck by rubbing it down length-wise with a cotton cloth and some talcum powder to start, making it mo9re like a "satin" finish, which is slightly rougher to the touch, resulting in a smoother feel (odd as that may seem at first thought). Very fine-grade steel-wool and sandpaper can be used if needed.

 

Q2. I have been playing electrics with 22 frets for over twenty years (it is what I learned on). I am nervous about making the move to 24 frets if I have to will the neck be longer, will my left hand and right hand arm position be thrown off/have to retrain, muscle memory, etc. Any comments from the forum on this?

 

The "extra" two frets are simply added on at the end of the fretboard (which is essentially extended to accommodate them), and the location of the neck and/or middle pickups adjusted accordingly in the design. (This alters the overall tone of the neck-pickup somewhat, but that can be a good thing for some; it actually makes really high notes- like up at the 14th-fret and higher- even fatter and rounder.)

 

The neck won't be made any longer or moved outward or anything; the distance from the nut to the 12th-fret, and from there to the 22nd-fret, etc. all remains constant and is determined by scale-length, not the number of frets.

 

The position of the neck and fretboard relative to the body and your arm and body will vary with the overall design of each given brand and model of guitar. Scale-length may be different (25.5"? 24.75"? etc.), and could be as much or even more of a difference for you to get used to if it is different.

 

Q3. Some Ibanez models I have seen state they use medium frets while others say jumbo. What is the difference and which do you think is better for my style (metal, hard rock, shred , Satch, Vai, etc.)

 

Well, generally jumbo frets are bigger than medium, but there are different combinations of width and height out there, all of which get altered somewhat when the frets are leveled, shaped and polished up. It's basically going from big to bigger. Big frets feel nice to most players, but really tall and/or wide (especially wide) frets can sometimes make intonation a little less spot-on up in the high registers. And up there, where he frets are really close to one another, the jumbos may make things too crowded for some players. It;s realy all down to personal preference, and best decided on by trying out a bunch of guitars with small, medium, and jumbo fretwire on 'em.

 

If in doubt, go medium, but you'd probably like the jumbos.

 

Say, have you considered putting together your own guitar with a Warmoth neck and body? I can HIGHLY recommend the Warmoth "Modern Construction" necks with their "Compound Radius" (fretboard curvature- goes from 10"r at the 1st-fret to 16"r at the 22nd-fret, getting progressively "flatter") fretboards (look that all up). You could do it up with a tung-oil and Butcher's Wax "finish", and the Compound Radius rules!!

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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in my own personal opinion sounds that what your looking for is a LES PAUL (gibson) in the ibanez family :o

 

why dont you look into godin or gibson? they have some reaaaaally nice babes.. i mean, guitars... that might suit what you are looking for....

 

jumbo frets mean basically that the frets are wider appart, the scale of the neck will be longer in that case. Its simply just scale, works the other way around too... think kid and adult guitars, depends what you like best,

 

and i agree on going for a 24 fretter, neck length wont affect your speed at all, if u dont use those extra frets you will never notice them. as they say, better to have them and not need them than need them and not have them!

 

regards,

 

I Am But A Solution In Search Of A Problem.
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None of the guitars you mention are made in Scotland, and we all know, if it ain't Scottish,

 

IT'S CRAP!!!

 

 

I attended a Steve Morse clinic in which he said 24 fret necks were kinda silly. His reasoning was that he didn't see any real substantive use for two more frets, so they couldn't be worth much to players less accomplished than he. He's about as accomplished as anyone needs to be to have a valid viewpoint on most things electric guitar, so I guess he has a point. Besides, how often are you really gonna need to go up a full two octaves?

 

There is a common misunderstanding regarding the "speed of a neck", thinking that the thinner the neck, the faster it is.

 

Horse hockey.

 

Pick up one of the various guitars that have been designed for and played by Eddie Van Halen and feel the neck. Not so thin, is it? You already said the neck on the Joe Satriani signature model Ibanez is not really thin. And, if you check out the Steve Vai sig Ibbies, they don't have really thin necks either. All of those guys make their living by playing fast, and are as fast as anyone out there. Shucks, Eric Johnson uses a pretty standard strat neck, too. So, obviously, thin neck = fast playing is not an accurate equation.

 

There are a lot of factors that impinge upon what is the most comfortable and easiest playing neck for every guitarist. Hand size, finger length, what you started out on, what you've gotten used to, what sort of finish, and I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot of other things as well, these things all play into the ability to get around on a neck with greatest ease, much more than size or shape.

 

I have long fingers, and I started out on a Harmony-made Sears Silvertone with a neck you could use for a fence post. Skinny little necks don't work for me, my fingering gets sloppy because my fingers end up on top of each other. I've played a few necks that were just TOO big, but not many. A Stevie Ray Strat feels pretty okay, a current Jeff Beck Strat is almost too big, and a Jerry Donahue Tele is too big. But I have found that thicker necks push my hands into the right shape for cleaner technique, and that makes it easier to play fast or slow.

 

Before you buy anything, go find a Satriani signature Ibbie and try all your fastest stuff on it. Then, come back with a report on how well it either did or didn't work for you...

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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Not to be harsh but I think you are suffering from paralysis by analysis. The only way you can know for sure if you will like a specific guitar is to go play it, particularly when it comes to the more subjective aspects that you seem to be focusing on.

Mudcat's music on Soundclick

 

"Work hard. Rock hard. Eat hard. Sleep hard. Grow big. Wear glasses if you need 'em."-The Webb Wilder Credo-

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Not to be harsh but I think you are suffering from paralysis by analysis. The only way you can know for sure if you will like a specific guitar is to go play it, particularly when it comes to the more subjective aspects that you seem to be focusing on.

 

I agree... I usually don't select a guitar, it picks me.

 

And a 70s vintage Les Paul Deluxe can be had for around $1500, or you could just get Warmoth parts and assemble your own (though many guitar repair guys will do this for you for $100 or so...) and get exactly what you want.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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None of the guitars you mention are made in Scotland, and we all know, if it ain't Scottish,

 

IT'S CRAP!!!

 

 

What's that all about, Picker?

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v213/geoffbyrne/image13.gif

 

G.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=738517&content=music

The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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None of the guitars you mention are made in Scotland, and we all know, if it ain't Scottish,

 

IT'S CRAP!!!

 

 

What's that all about, Picker?

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v213/geoffbyrne/image13.gif

 

G.

 

It's OK, I've been informed!!!

 

:D

 

G.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=738517&content=music

The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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None of the guitars you mention are made in Scotland, and we all know, if it ain't Scottish,

 

IT'S CRAP!!!

 

 

What's that all about, Picker?

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v213/geoffbyrne/image13.gif

 

G.

 

It's from Saturday Night Live. Mike Murphy had a recurring skit that revolved around a store that sold only Scottish items. Their motto was "If it ain't Scottish, IT'S CRAP!"

I thought it was funny it, so sometimes I use it. Pure theft on my part, but hey, who doesn't steal that sort of thing from time to time...

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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Q2. I have been playing electrics with 22 frets for over twenty years (it is what I learned on). I am nervous about making the move to 24 frets if I have to will the neck be longer, will my left hand and right hand arm position be thrown off/have to retrain, muscle memory, etc. Any comments from the forum on this?

 

I have an original Mockingbird with 24 frets. It can get quite cramped higher on the neck. And the sweet spot for the harmonics is usually out of whack with the position the pickup has to be to accommodate the extra frets. Try it in person and see.

A Jazz/Chord Melody Master-my former instructor www.robertconti.com

 

(FKA GuitarPlayerSoCal)

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None of the guitars you mention are made in Scotland, and we all know, if it ain't Scottish,

 

IT'S CRAP!!!

 

 

What's that all about, Picker?

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v213/geoffbyrne/image13.gif

 

G.

 

It's from Saturday Night Live. Mike Murphy had a recurring skit that revolved around a store that sold only Scottish items. Their motto was "If it ain't Scottish, IT'S CRAP!"

I thought it was funny it, so sometimes I use it. Pure theft on my part, but hey, who doesn't steal that sort of thing from time to time...

 

Yup, thanks for that qualification. I was also informed of that from another source.

 

Grumpy? Who? Me Sir? Nay Sir! Not I Sir! (after Shakespeare)

 

:D

 

G.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=738517&content=music

The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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