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Is it just me, or are Ibanez guitars garbage? Modular Synthesizers
Old 28th February 2014
  #1
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Is it just me, or are Ibanez guitars garbage?

I own a 2006 Ibanez Prestige RG 1570 which I bought off Ebay a few years ago. It was a solid buy, my first guitar and it served me well... for a short period of time. Ever since then, it has been a hellish ride where the floating bridge can never manage to stay in tune at any point in time. I've had it taken in on multiple occasions. It either changed nothing, or the moment it left the guitar store a string broke and it returned to its constant inability to stay in tune.

I have watched several tutorials to make an attempt to get the untuneable bridge into any sort of working shape to no avail, and even when it is in tune it sounds mediocre in comparison to other guitars anyway. This blows my mind considering it had a a great set of DiMarzio pickups after installed. I did music with my Uncle (who owns a small branch of music studios) for 6 months, and he constantly teased at how garbage my guitar and Ibanez guitars in general are. Ironically, he said it was one of the better ones he's heard in his time.

Whenever I break a string or ANYTHING happens to it after I take it into the store, it falls apart and it's unusable until I'm willing to dish out more money to get it working again. I don't want to sell this hell-spawn to anyone on the planet, yet that also means I'm stuck with it. Even now, I sit in disgust as I try to tune this piece of junk so I can play live music (I'm a left-handed guitar player, so it's hard to borrow one), but it won't even get CLOSE without the bridge popping out.

So which is it, is Ibanez a company I should avoid like the plague, or did I somehow get one of their worse guitars?
Old 28th February 2014
  #2
1) Your problem appears to be floating bridge related more than anything. You're guitar is a lemon - get rid of it and don't spend any more money on it.

2) Ibanez has a pretty vast array of guitars so I wouldn't paint the whole company with the same brush. Their jazz signature series guitars seem decent ( Benson, Scofield, Metheny etc.) That being said, I owned an Ibanez JS100 as my first guitar, and it had major deficiencies. It was a $900.00 guitar and the tuners were terrible and the guitar had major intonation problems ( in spite of frequent trips to a tech). I can't even sell the guitar at this point, it's completely unusable. I have played many RG guitars and I think they're simply a poor design. Ibanez made its mark with super-strats ( i.e. the Evolution, RGs etc.) but at the end of the day, a basic Strat is a more reliable and professional sounding instrument. Strum an RG acoustically and it sounds like a toy compared to a basic Strat, and that's a major problem from a tone standpoint. I went from my Ibanez to a Musicman Silhouette Special and the difference in tone and quality was astounding - it's a real quality instrument with real quality parts.
Old 28th February 2014
  #3
Lives for gear
 

I've got a 1982 Ibby Roadstar (strat style) That absolutely rocks..it's got upgraded pickups and that helps, but it has THE nicest neck..nothing but fast and sweet. Very high quality. It also hase a particular resonance that transfers when you plug it in. Nice guitar..no experience with newer ones but if they follow the same trend as a lot of newer guitars have followed....
Old 28th February 2014
  #4
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

I've got 2 old Ibanez basses, a Challenger and a Blazer, and a 70's dreadnought. Definitely not garbage.
Old 28th February 2014
  #5
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jimbridgman's Avatar
You have a lemon!

I have 2 RG750s, that rock. I got one new in '88 and and it had paf pros in it that I put an emg 89 in the bridge and a duncan active in the neck with all the electronics being switched out over years... I love it! Never had issues with intonation or staying in tune. The second I got used in 2005 and its all stock with og paf pros in it and stock electronics. They both play and sound awesome, no intonation or tune issues with the second one, both wizard I necks with sharktooth inlays, both black with black pickguard.

Have a js1000 from 2004 and it is just ok, nothing to write home about, got it new fully stock, no intonation or tuning issues.

I also have an rg bass from '95 and it is equally just as great as my rg750's.

Jim
Old 28th February 2014
  #6
Here for the gear
 

I'm going to suppose when you say I have a lemon it basically means I have a bad egg... that's a shame. Is there anyway I could put in the time to make this sellable, or would I be ripping someone off by just trying? Not sure what to do at this point, as I don't exactly have $1,000 lying around as a solid investment into a guitar.
Old 28th February 2014
  #7
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Jay-'s Avatar
I had two japan Ibanez RF 470's. I also failed over and over to get them to get the trem working well.
I sold them both for around $200 each. I really want them back but the buyer was expert at tuning the complex trems.

They sounded like a telecaster with the stock pickups, but really really heavy compared to my Strat.
I was recoding for a guy once on his RG and the trem completely exploded and we spent half an hour finding the parts.
Also holey hell look how many parts on the neck, Allen bolts, wrenches, nuts clips,
If its not fun any more trade it?

Its not the guitar thats a lemon its the design of that horrible tremolo "Thingy"
but its a very popular guitar, just tell the buyer you really dont know how to properly maintain a floating tremolo and are unsure how its workings are.
Old 28th February 2014
  #8
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Santiago's Avatar
 

Japanese old ones are great. I have a very nice 80s MIJ Blazer and a Roadstar II 924CS bass from 1983 that I love. Rock solid and great sounding.
Old 28th February 2014
  #9
Alot of companys miss the mark from time to time. I feel like ibanez when you find the right one, is great.

Its one of those guitars you go to a big box store and play every one on the wall to find the right one.

A friend of mine had a japan jazz looking bass. They will probably bury him with it.
Old 1st March 2014
  #10
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FFTT's Avatar
 

My 2005 AF105NT is a great guitar and it has a floating bridge.

I'll bet there's a rough spot somewhere eating into the strings and breaking them. Maybe at the tail piece?

Do the strings break in about the same place?

Once I had mine set up, I just used a pencil to mark the bridge position.
Old 1st March 2014
  #11
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jimbridgman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Googlesgod View Post
I'm going to suppose when you say I have a lemon it basically means I have a bad egg... that's a shame. Is there anyway I could put in the time to make this sellable, or would I be ripping someone off by just trying? Not sure what to do at this point, as I don't exactly have $1,000 lying around as a solid investment into a guitar.
What I mean is that one guitar has an issue of some sort, and not to judge all Ibanez guitars in the same vein.

I would see if you can get someone to do a professional setup on it and see if that helps enough for you to be able to either play it or sell it. A professional setup should not be very expensive and usually if there is a real issue, they can tell you what to do to fix it, and how much it will cost. That can tell you if it is worth fixing it or scrapping it.

The real question is does the feel of the guitar outweigh the issues with everything else. If so that may give you an answer.

I am guessing right off the bat, that your floating trem is not setup properly, and that is causing a lot of issues. The electronics are easy to replace and usually you can replace the pickups and all the electronics for no more than a couple hundred USD.

If your floyd bridge has an issue it may need replacing and that could be a couple hundred right there. I will say that Ibanez is a PIA with trems because it is hard to put a real floyd in there since the posts are in an odd place for the real deal, so you are stuck with another edge Ibanez trem.

Jim
Old 1st March 2014
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Googlesgod View Post
I own a 2006 Ibanez Prestige RG 1570 which I bought off Ebay a few years ago. It was a solid buy, my first guitar and it served me well... for a short period of time. Ever since then, it has been a hellish ride where the floating bridge can never manage to stay in tune at any point in time. I've had it taken in on multiple occasions. It either changed nothing, or the moment it left the guitar store a string broke and it returned to its constant inability to stay in tune.

I have watched several tutorials to make an attempt to get the untuneable bridge into any sort of working shape to no avail, and even when it is in tune it sounds mediocre in comparison to other guitars anyway. This blows my mind considering it had a a great set of DiMarzio pickups after installed. I did music with my Uncle (who owns a small branch of music studios) for 6 months, and he constantly teased at how garbage my guitar and Ibanez guitars in general are. Ironically, he said it was one of the better ones he's heard in his time.

Whenever I break a string or ANYTHING happens to it after I take it into the store, it falls apart and it's unusable until I'm willing to dish out more money to get it working again. I don't want to sell this hell-spawn to anyone on the planet, yet that also means I'm stuck with it. Even now, I sit in disgust as I try to tune this piece of junk so I can play live music (I'm a left-handed guitar player, so it's hard to borrow one), but it won't even get CLOSE without the bridge popping out.

So which is it, is Ibanez a company I should avoid like the plague, or did I somehow get one of their worse guitars?
No. Ibanez is a good company and they build solid guitars.

Your problem is the bridge. Unless you know how to set up the floating bridge properly they are absolute hell to deal with. Have you changed string sets since you first got the guitar? If you did and did not have the bridge set up for the new set the guitar will not stay in tune.

My advice is to sell the guitar to someone who understands floating bridges and get something simpler.
Old 1st March 2014
  #13
Those Ibanez trems are a bit tricky to set up, some models have a little screw inside the trem posts, if you make height adjustments without loosening the post screw you can break it and then your trem will become unstable.
A loose locking nut (the screws that hold the nut in place in the neck not the usual screws that pressure the strings) will cause tuning problems.
You could also have bad trem posts / trem post anchors or a bad spring claw.
Flat knife edges will also cause tuning problems.
Old 1st March 2014
  #14
I've got an S-series (from about...1997?) - despite not really being an "Ibanez" type player (any more!), it's been my main guitar since then.

I just find it really versatile, and I do like the odd bit of whammy action. Amazing neck, super-light, and versatile.

I had the bridge set up once professionally, and I've been able to deal with it myself since then.

I put these:

saddle singers

over the saddles though after I had breakage problems early on.
Old 1st March 2014
  #15
Hipshot Tremsetter

+1 for older Japanese made Ibanez's. I would stay away from the newer Indonesian, or Korean made guitars. Floating trem's can be a real pain if you don't know how to get them to play nice.
I installed a hipshot tremsetter, and now my guitar holds it's tune. Now if you are constantly doing Dime squeals it my go flat on occasion. Check out this tread and see my setup. Setting up my Ibanez guitar

Old 1st March 2014
  #16
Gear Nut
 

Setting up a floating trem is a lot of trial and error. It just takes time to get it right. If you have an Edge tremolo, they are notorious for getting dull spots on the knife edge and fulcrum. Once they do, they will never return to zero. Wherever you're taking you're guitar to I'd stop as they don't know how to remedy the situation. Ibanez Rules has a ton of people that can help with your problem. Chances are, it's a fine guitar that just needs a little care.
Old 1st March 2014
  #17
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbridgman View Post
You have a lemon!
There ya go. Ibanez makes tons of great guitars.
Old 1st March 2014
  #18
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eve69's Avatar
 

Geeze. I am poor old fart and all my guitars are cheap pieces of merde. But I have learned how to adjust each part of them. I have an Epistrat with a broken neck, a Squier Bullet with Strat Standard maple neck, Epiphone LPS, and they all have pretty fine intonation. I don't accept that any guitar is a'lemon.'
Old 1st March 2014
  #19
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guitarmax_99's Avatar
 

My two Ibanez guitars are nice enough. I've never had an issue with quality or dependability myself.

Like many here have already said, it looks like you got a lemon. Reading your description makes me wonder if there tremolo has been damaged in some way so as to make it inherently problematic? It sounds like the bridge intonation keeps slipping out of place. I'm also curious about the neck - specifically truss rod relief and whether there is a slight "twist" in it. These things can affect intonation.
Old 1st March 2014
  #20
Sadly, my ovation has a slight twist that makes the g buzz. I have to setup a little higher then normal.

I just deal because i love that bass.

Lets hope that didnt happen!
Old 1st March 2014
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Googlesgod View Post

So which is it, is Ibanez a company I should avoid like the plague, or did I somehow get one of their worse guitars?
the latter. as an owner and user of some Ibanez models (ranging from an RG550 to a Paul Gilbert and playing some Vai-models) I can tell you, that tehre was never ever even the slightest issue with the floating bridge/tremolo-system, and I make use of tremolo systems much and very hard.

in my experience Ibanez is one of the most reliable guitar manufaturers ever. that you cant say about Fender or Gibson - at least not for the last 30 years. if I were to tell, I would say, that these famous american brands overall are most of the times the ones that are garbage.
Old 1st March 2014
  #22
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guitarmax_99's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Googlesgod View Post
So which is it, is Ibanez a company I should avoid like the plague, or did I somehow get one of their worse guitars?
I used to have a '79 Fender Hardtail. Made in America, blah blah blah. It's neck was bolted on with only three bolts which were arranged in a triangular fashion. The Neck didn't sit well in the neck joint and could be jostled around, thus messing with intonation and tuning. Quite frankly, it sucked. I don't know why they cheaped out and didn't put the extra bolt in there - maybe they were cutting costs during that period.

So does Fender make crappy guitars, or did I simply have a guitar that was one of their duds? I know if I started a thread asking if Fender made crappy guitars I'd probably get seriously flamed.

IMHO, I think guitar companies have their "eras" when they are turning out great instruments, and their periods when that is not the case. In the late 1970's (after Fender was purchased by CBS) their quality went downhill for a while. Many people don't remember this, as is evidenced by the prices of Fender guitars from that time period. I do think that when Ibanez guitars were made in Japan. they were really well built. I'm not sure about the consistency and quality of their stuff in more recent years. These days, I'm very suspicious of all guitars coming out of China and Korea. This is not to say that ALL guitars (or brands) that are made over there are of low quality, BUT I hear tales of warped necks, shoddy fretwork, low quality fret wire, improperly aged wood and other sins. I've seen examples of all of these too. For example, my Blueridge sounded/played great, but had issues with a high fret at the 11th fret. By the time it was five years old it needed a full fret job (a $350 expense). By contrast, my Larrivee lasted twenty years before it needed new frets (and I honestly could have gotten more out of them if I had chosen to).

Do some research before you take your next plunge. It's one thing to research brands, but also research their respective eras and find out when that company was doing their best work. Lastly, I'd personally hold off on buying a guitar from eBay myself. I would want to hold it and play it before I bought it. If you learn what to look for (quality-wise), and examine instruments with a critical eye before you buy them, you can save yourself a lot of aggravation in the future.

my two cents.
Old 1st March 2014
  #23
I dig Ibanez guitars, I like all of them above the 500$ price range for real. Starter ones and stuff aren't anything I like playing esp if it has a rosewood neck yada.
Old 1st March 2014
  #24
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I've had two lemon American Strats, still got one. It's a beauty CAR early 90's that just don't cut it. Many Excellent condition 50's Fenders are that way for a reason.

Heritage was famous for spotty quality (better these days). Had a really nasty 575 myself. Beautiful, but no good in the hands.

I've had a handful of crappy Gibsons. They used to mark them "second." Not all seconds were bad; some just blemished, but some seconds were plain nasty. In the 70's, I bought an original 50's Goldtop "second" that had a bad neck set angle. Strings were 1/2 an inch off the bridge pup. Now, Gibson bandsaws them, for good reason! I make guitars, and a few I've made just didn't work out for a variety of nebulous reasons that you just can't clearly define.

Sometimes a guitar won't show it's crap colors until you play it for a while. Then you realize something just ain't right, but it's yours now. You set up, and it doesn't help. You dress frets, and it doesn't help. Every company makes bad ones. What's a poor boy to do?
Old 1st March 2014
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Googlesgod View Post
So which is it, is Ibanez a company I should avoid like the plague, or did I somehow get one of their worse guitars?
You got one of their worse guitars, some bridge issue with it.

Although I'm a bigger fan of their older guitars.

As others have said, the Roadstar 2 series from around 82-84 are fantastic instruments. I believe this was the Roadstar Fujigen era. Especially two of the RS 2 models are my favourite guitars, period. I pick the flagship model with the super 58 pickups over American Strats and Gibsons for recording. Super versatile (this was before Ibanez went all shredder on us) and never any issues.
Old 1st March 2014
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

Love my Ibby's

Old 1st March 2014
  #27
Disappearing pyramid inlays.
Old 1st March 2014
  #28
I've owned 3 Ibanez's 2 I still have, my first was the Steve Lukather model, which was a nice guitar that I regret selling but I need the money back in the 80's. Then around 87 I picked up a PL2550, it was Ibanez's take on a Jackson soloist, except it was 22 frets, ebony finger board neck through the body, two single coils and a hum bucker with coil tap, and with their floyd rose. The pickups were decent, the guitar has an additional switching system that let's you get pickup combinations you could only get with a blender pot, like neck and bridge or all three. That guitar basically became my gigging guitar, it covers lot's of bases and is a solid instrument. A few years back on a gig, the singer knocked it over on a gig and the headstock cracked, I got it fixed but it then occurred to me that I couldn't easily find a guitar like this one with out spending a lot of money. After looking around for a few years I finally found one, which as luck would have it hasn't had the living s#$t beaten out of it like mine. I changed the pickups on mine to fralins , the new one came with a duncan jb in the bridge and still has the stock single coils, at some point I'll put fralins, but I'm in no hurry. So both of these guitars are 28 years old and still are happening.
Old 2nd March 2014
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robare99 View Post
Love my Ibby's

That is quite the collection.

... and I thought I had too many guitars...
Old 2nd March 2014
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarmax_99 View Post
I used to have a '79 Fender Hardtail. Made in America, blah blah blah. It's neck was bolted on with only three bolts which were arranged in a triangular fashion. The Neck didn't sit well in the neck joint and could be jostled around, thus messing with intonation and tuning. Quite frankly, it sucked. I don't know why they cheaped out and didn't put the extra bolt in there - maybe they were cutting costs during that period.

So does Fender make crappy guitars, or did I simply have a guitar that was one of their duds? I know if I started a thread asking if Fender made crappy guitars I'd probably get seriously flamed.
That's the infamous Fender 3 bolt neck with adjustable tilting mechanism. It was a "bright idea" that never worked properly (supposedly you could loosen one bolt and adjust the neck tilt with an Allen wrench through the little hole in the plate, then retighten the bolt and not have to take the neck off the guitar to add or remove shims. That's why they did it.) The thing always made for a loose neck fit that was easily knocked sideways off center and also killed sustain and sucked tone with the lack of firm mechanical coupling from neck to body.

That era of Fenders also had the worst necks ever (some of the wood they used was so green that the necks warped and twisted within the first 3 or so years and could not be straightened with a truss rod adjustment) and had pretty poor pickups as well.

I find it utterly hilarious that some fools are now paying vintage prices for that junk from unscrupulous vendors taking advantage of the "vintage" guitar craze. Sometimes an old crappy guitar is just an old crappy guitar.

Any Fender and most Squiers made after CBS sold the company are MUCH better instruments than the vast majority of tilt-neck 3 bolt Fenders.
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