#1
I have been playing for a little over a year now and am ready to upgrade from my crappy Squier. I have done A LOT of research and have narrowed it down to 2 axes but am having a lot of trouble deciding between the two. Both guitars are similar (both mahoghany bodies with bolt-on maple neck, rosewood fingerboard) with the exception of tremolo brand, pickups, weight and price. Any guidance or experience you guys could offer would be great. I've played both guitars and like them equally the same. While I do like the pickups a little better on the Schecter, I've heard bad things about LICENSED Floyd Rose tremelos (vs. ORIGINAL FRs). I play a lot of hard rock, metal and classic rock.

The 2 guitars are:

Ibanez S540EX
Thin profile mahoghany body; extremely lightweight
2 Infinity PASSIVE humbuckers (INF1 and INF2, Ibanez-made)
1 Volume knob/1 Tone knob/5-way switch
Ibanez ZR tremelo
22 frets
$600

Schecter C-1 FR
Mahoghany body; significantly heavier than the Ibanez
2 Duncan Designed HB-105 ACTIVE humbuckers (identical specs to Duncan Blackout pups)
2 Volume knobs/1 Tone knob/3-way switch
LICENSED Floyd Rose tremelo
24 frets
$500

Both guitars have received equally high marks on all guitar review websites that I have checked. Here are my issues on each and I don't know how to weigh them:

1.) Ibanez has crappy pups but a better tremelo (I've read great things about the Ibanez-made ZR tremelo). I've read that LICENSED Floyd Roses (like on the Schecter) do not hold tune and are nowhere near comparable to their ORIGINAL Floyd Rose counterparts.
2.) Ibanez is lighter weight and has AWESOME looks, but this may equate to decreased durability?

The differences in number of knobs, switch positions, frets and price are all minor issues at this point. Obviously the pickups vs. tremelo issue is the major thing I am concerned about, but any advice you guys have would be great.

Lastly, for those of you leaning towards the Ibanez PLEASE don't recommend that I simply upgrade the pickups...while that may happen at a much later date, I am looked to spend $500 - $600 on a complete guitar and can't afford better pickups now (or for awhile for that matter).

Forgot to mention that I play through a Line III Spider amp.

Thanks for your help!

Erik
#2
Well naturally I'd say get the schecter but thats because I play schecters. If you dont plan on upgrading your amp to a tube amp then go with the Ibanez. If your gonna upgrade to a high-ish gain tube amp, go with the schecter and the active pickups.

All in all I think these two guitars in your situation are pretty much equal. Its really the way the guitar feels when you play it.
#3
the necks is extremely diffrent, you really have to go to a store and try out a schecter neck and that ibanez neck

and in comfort the ibanez wins

and you wont need better pickups than those on the s520 as long as you have that line6
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#4
Well, my preference would be the Schecter (more sustain, clearer tone, more output, and more frets), and if you're worried about the tremolo (which is the only bad point about it), you could put the $100 you save towards buying a real Floyd Rose, which I'm pretty sure should fit the posts.
You should really go play each of them through the same model amp as you have and see which one fits your style and feels comfortable.
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#5
I have an Ibanez RG and a Schecter C1 XXX. Unplugged the Schecter's tone is much better than the Ibanez. Tone through the amp is also better through the Schecter. I do like the Ibanez neck more, and the overall feel of the Ibanez while playing. If I had to make a choice between the two though, I'd get the Schecter. There licensed tremolo's seem to be of good quality. If you're not happy with it you could always swap it out with an original floyd.
#6
Ibanez cos the trem is better.

The INF pups might put you off but tbh duncan designed pickups sound like arse as well. Nothing like a real pair of seymour duncans.

Go with the Ibby
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#7
Hey everyone thanks for the advice so far. As of right now there's 2 for the Ibanez, 2 for the Schecter and 1 for them being equal....hmmmph this will be a tough decision. I admit that I did like the way the nexk played on the Ibanez and the trem, but I also liked the actives on the Schecter (...they're not exactly EMGs, but I can't expect to get good active EMG's at this pricepoint - which I'm willing to accept). I guess I'll have to go back to the store to play them again.

As far as quality, workmanship and build goes, any advice on which is better? I have friends who have owned various Ibanez's who say that some are awesome and some are crap (although the S540 is supposed to be in the "awesome" category). I really don't know much about Schecters. Thoughts?

Thanks again, unfortunately I'm still undecided but will hopefully know enough soon to buy a guitar before the new year!

Erik
#8
I guess the main issue I am having is that I like the way the neck on the Ibanez plays (Wizard II neck - AWESOME) but like how the Schecter sounds better. Which is more important? Then you factor in the pickup (better on Schecter) vs. trem (better on Ibanez) issue and I'm really confused.
#9
also note that the actives on the schecter are modeled after Seymour Duncan Blackouts. AND sound waaay better than EMGs (even if they are "duncan designed: they sound amazing through a tube amp)
I have a C1-FR and the tremolo isnt as bad as ppl make it out to be. Ive never had it go out of tune after a good number of times of use. Yeah the neck thickness depends on your preference, some ppl like the schecter while others prefer the ibanez.

When it comes to build quality: Schecter is usually very damn good for its price. But so are ibanez in the same price range.

I think you need to go to your local shop and try the guitars out side by side to compare.
good luck.

*edit*: after buying the guitar that fits you , think about upgrading your amp to a real tube amp. It'll improve your tone by alot.
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Last edited by dark_asylum at Dec 22, 2008,
#11
Meh I'd still go with the Ibanez

way more versatile, looks nicer, better parts, better neck.
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#12
"better neck" depends on the person i believe.
the hardware between both are about the same. sure maybe the schecter's tremolo isnt the best, but the ibanez' pickups arent that great either. =)
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#13
Ibanez...easy because pickups can be changed easily. trems? not so much.


Quote by Jaekae

and you wont need better pickups than those on the s520 as long as you have that line6


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#14
Quote by dark_asylum
"better neck" depends on the person i believe.
the hardware between both are about the same. sure maybe the schecter's tremolo isnt the best, but the ibanez' pickups arent that great either. =)


Pickups are easier and cheaper to replace than a tremolo (at least where I am). Not only that but active pups aren't gonna make a blind bit of difference to him. A trem will.
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#15
People over hype Schecters on these boards way to much, just sold my hellraiser and more than happy to have parted with it

Bland EMG pickups

Neck too fat for my liking

Prefer a wooden Neck (not the cheap plastic feel)

Played ok....

I'd get the Ibanez any day, considering me and Jakae bother recommend the Ibanez and both have hellrasisers and high end PGM's....well you take what you want from my advise.

My PGM301 eats my schecter for breakfast

EDIT- if I was you I'd get a second hand Prestige over an S series or get a better amp...
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Last edited by sharpant at Dec 22, 2008,
#16
Quote by skulboep
I guess the main issue I am having is that I like the way the neck on the Ibanez plays (Wizard II neck - AWESOME) but like how the Schecter sounds better. Which is more important? Then you factor in the pickup (better on Schecter) vs. trem (better on Ibanez) issue and I'm really confused.


You've answered your own question

Get the Ibanez and then start saving for a new amp, the line 6 spider sounds awful.

If you really want a pickup change go for Dimarzio passives

Actives aren't very versatile
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Orange PPC212 2X12
#17
Quote by sharpant


Bland EMG pickups

Get the Ibanez and then start saving for a new amp, the line 6 spider sounds awful.

If you really want a pickup change go for Dimarzio passives

Actives aren't very versatile


I completely agree with these statements. The Hellraiser's neck probably felt like "plastic" since it was painted. The C1-FR comes unpainted and feels great.
EMGs are EMGs, not for every body i actually feel that the duncan designed actives on the C1-FR sound better, but thats just my opinion.

skulboep, you might want to consider buying a used guitar or even a blemished item sometimes you can get significant discounts for the most trivial things. My C1-Fr cost me $300 since it was blemished from GC (very light scratches around the volume knob).

Think of it this way: most likely your guitar is going to get beat up, might as well save some cash to either upgrade some parts on it and/or have some cash leftover to upgrade that amp of yours.
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#18
actually, here you go:
the ibanez S520EX for $521.99 (scratch & dent) with free shipping:
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product?sku=518873X

thats $80 towards a new set of pick-ups (buy used to save money check the classified section).
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#19
Ibanez. The Floyd is a lot better. The lightness of it while be great when standing up or gigging. And the Passive pups will sound better on your current amp than the ctive ones. I know, I play Actives on an SS Amp. =P They sound much better on a tube.
#21
Ibanez.

The INF pickups are quite decent, and can be used as they are (but I want to change mine, neck is a little muddy, bridge a bit harsh, but the single coil is really nice).

So, get the Ibby.
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#22
IMO, go wit the schecter. Ive had a better experiance with them than ibanez's.
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#23
OK I'm back with another update...

Went to Guitar Center today to play both guitars keeping all of your thoughts in mind. As of right now there are 5 votes for the Schecter and 11 for the Ibanez; 2 of you had either no opinion or made different recommendations all together (although duly noted!). Anyway I spent about 30 minutes on each guitar played through the Line 6 Spider III amp that I currently own and through a really nice tube Marshall. Here are my conclusions:

On the Line 6 Spider, the Schecter C1 FR sounds mildly better with Duncan Designed active pups and had better sustain, as predicted by its considerably thicker and heavier body. On the Marshall tube, it sounded considerably better. Although I had no intonation or tuning problems with the trem, I am still worried that it may become problematic in the future.

---however---

Ibanez S540 EX played mildly to moderately better due to its faster Wizard II neck. Riffs and solos were easier and more comfortable to play. I didn't like the sound as much and the guitar felt very "little" and almost delicate to me, as I'm a pretty big guy (although I'm wondering if part of this is psychological, as I entered this comparison biased against the Ibanez-made Infinity pups). The Ibanez ZR trem also showed no issues, but I was a little more confident using it.

The Ibanez is also $100 more expensive.

Also, some of you may think I'm an idiot, but I have a soft spot for NEW gear and while I might save a ton, I'm not a big fan of buying a "scratch and dent" guitar. Don't worry, a new amp will indeed be the next big purchase, but for right now all I'm looking for a new guitar.

So after today's test, the big issue that sticks out like a sore thumb is:

Which is more important?

Better sound (Schecter C1 FR) or better overall playability (Ibanez S540 EX)?

Thanks for your help and thoughts!!!

Erik
#25
I prefer the thin ibanez necks, not a big fan of the hellraiser chunky type necks.
I like alot of the pickups that schecters come with though :s
but a simple pickup change on a ibanez can change that!
#26
You should get used to the thicker neck in time. I went from an RG370 (Wizard II) to Schecter C7 Hellraiser. I have small - medium sized hands and although the thicker neck never bothered me, I actually prefer it now to the Ibanez thin neck by a long shot. The RG feels like a toy and will be out of here if I can sell it!

I switched the pickups on my Ibanez to Dimarzio SD, Blue Velvet, and PAF Pro in bridge/middle/neck by the way and still prefer the sound of the Schecter.
#27
Quote by skulboep

So after today's test, the big issue that sticks out like a sore thumb is:

Which is more important?

Better sound (Schecter C1 FR) or better overall playability (Ibanez S540 EX)?

Thanks for your help and thoughts!!!

Erik


Playability is THE most IMPORTANT factor with any mid-priced guitar IMO.
So, get the Ibanez.
The reason? You can upgrade pickups [for a cheap price] to get a sound as good as, or better then, the Schecter, but you CAN'T make the Schecter as playable as the Ibanez.

Go for what plays best, and in the future when you get a new amp, get some new pickups for it.
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#28
Quote by Simsimius
Playability is THE most IMPORTANT factor with any mid-priced guitar IMO.
So, get the Ibanez.
The reason? You can upgrade pickups [for a cheap price] to get a sound as good as, or better then, the Schecter, but you CAN'T make the Schecter as playable as the Ibanez.

Go for what plays best, and in the future when you get a new amp, get some new pickups for it.


i completely agree. if you found it easier or more pleasurable to play on the ibanez, then by all means get it. The only hard part about upgrading pick-ups is figuring out which ones to get.
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#29
I'd personally get the Schecter, I mean, music is about sounding good, right? You can get used to the way the thicker neck feels... I got a Schecter Synyster custom and the neck is a lot thicker than my friend's ibanez... at first i liked his neck better, but after playing around with my guitar for a day or 2 I preferred it over his... you just get used to it and somehow it feels a lot better and professional, whenever I play an Ibanez i feel like it's a fragile toy, quite honestly...lol

better sustain is always a good thing too
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#30
I'd go with the Schecter.
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#31
I'd go for the Ibanez.

No, the INF pickups aren't that exciting, but not only does a well EQ'ed tube amp compensate for this, they're easily replaced.

I feel the Ibanez beats the Schecter when it comes to the bridge and overall playability.
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#32
well i think ibanez guitars felst like plastic im my hands... the shecter is mutch nicer to play om and has great sound... and you can change to a real floyd... I think ibanez feels like a guitarhero guitar XD
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#34
Update #2. There are now 16 in the Ibanez camp and 10 in the Schecter camp. After talking to numerous people and reading many reviews, it is obvious that both guitars have pros and cons and are virtual equals. I'm beginning to think that maybe the reason why more people support Ibanez is because Ibanez produces more guitars and therefore has more people playing their guitars than the smaller company Schecter. While I did like the playability of the Ibanez S540 better than the Schecter, the difference was very mild at best. After reading your comments, I'm wondering if maybe I will start to like the Schecter's thicker neck better after I get more used to it. Now I'm confused again and will be going back to Guitar Center to play them again. Humbug.

Erik
#35
Go try them out again.

To me, it sounds like you're leaning towards the Schecter but doubted by everyones Ibanez love.
#36
Tough call dude, tough call. Here is my take on it:

Don't judge a guitar on stuff that can be upgraded like pickups and the trem. Thats stuff you can replace later if needed. You really need to focus on the things you can't replace: The natural sound of the wood, the feel of the neck, the overall aesthetics of the guitar.

Get the guitar with the nicest wood, the best feel and the best look. For me thats the schecter, but for you that might well be the ibanez.

Your call amigo
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#37
i personally hate ibanez, i feel like the necks are made for little kids, and they have the most terrible necks for 7 string models. but thats becuaseim a big guy and those tiny necks jsut dont suit me. so if you have small hands its the ibanez.
and as for your tremelo problemive talked to a guy who owns and plays an ibanez in my school's jazz band and he says he personally hates the edge III tremelo on his guitar, and ive also heard their not to reliable. and as for the floyd. i dont have any compalints on them. i just got a avenger/revenger 7 string for christmas so i would get another schecter, but if you want something like that look up the Dean vendetta, the 4f model is about 600 bucks and is pretty damn nice and sexy, but im a Dean fan so i would recommend them over almost anything.
overall go for the schecter
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#38
try MANY models from schecter and ibanez, don't just try one model. and try on different amps too...