Hi guitar experts,

I have been playing the guitar for a while as a hobby in my bedroom and at the moment I own an Ibanez GRX40. I mostly play rock / metal / shred wannabe styles but I like to throw some nice clean sounds in there as well.. even some U2 sounds.

So, I'm looking forward though to upgrade my axe. My requirements are:
- Must have 24 frets (cause I wanna play some songs that require them)
- Must be able to crank some pretty neat distortions but at the same time decent clean sounds
- I don't want it to weight a ton. My GRX40 is a bit on the heavy side.
- Must have a neck good for shredding. Since I'm playing on the Ibanez GRX40 I feel comfortable with that neck and would like to keep it the same. It seems to be on the thin side.. dunno if it's a wizard type though.
- I want to have a tremolo that I can use a few times without throwing the guitar all out of tune. Tremolo must be able to do dive bomb sort of thing

and for that I have some choices:

- Ibanez S5470
- Ibanez SV5470
- Ibanez RG550MMX 25th Edition
- Ibanez RG2570
- Jackson DKMG

So my shortlist isn't that short in the end. Initially my first choice would go for either one of the Ibanez S series however:

- I heard the 5470 models have trouble with sustain, and there's some videos on youtube showing this. And it's quite noticeable... wonder if it's fixed by now or if it can be fixed. Anyhow I wouldn't like buying an expensive guitar knowing that it needs some after fix.
- I'm not sure if I should go for a S or SV. The S has a locking tremolo whereas the SV doesn't. I have never played with a locking tremolo system before. I heard it's quite difficult to tune down to drop D for example with those. In my guitar playin I don't often do drop D but occasionally I may do it. Same way I don't use too much the tremolo but if I need to, I want it to stay in tune after some 10 uses of it So is the locking tremolo best suited for this ?

Regarding the RG models, I read that basswood isn't the best wood for an axe but dunno if I'll actually hear a difference between that and mahogany. And the RG550MMX in yellow is just beautiful! But wonder if the RG2570 being a newer model has better all-round features.

The ESP LTD MH-1000NT is definitely a good looking guitar.. but I'm not sure if it's too much metal oriented. And having played all the time on an Ibanez GRX40, I wonder if the ESP LTD neck is going to feel too weird... haven't tried the guitar at a shop yet.

Recently the Jackson models came to my attention for their quality and tone.. but again having played and Ibanez I don't know if the neck will feel weird. Also the Jacksons seem to be pretty much for metal. And I don't think I like the black colour in most models..

So any recommendations from you guys ? (other than I should really try all the guitars myself)
well man you might not be totally satisfied with this response, but I recommend you try them all out first. If you buy a guitar without trying it, there is a good chance you will be disappointed. It happened to me haha Most guitars aren't set up out of the factory, and you said you didn't want to have to fix anything once you got it, so I would recommend going to a local guitar store and trying some out until you find something you like (hell you might find something not on your list that you really like!).

Aside from that, it is not hard to tune to Drop D with a locking tremolo as long as you leave enough room on your fine tuners.
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Basswood isn't a 'good' wood, so much as it's good for some of those guitars. The wood doesn't tend to transfer treble really well, so it helps tame the sound from the floating bridge and the cheap Ibanez stock pickups. Hard ash would sound just as good, but costs and weighs more. Plus using good pickups makes the basswood stop being useful, aside from it's light weight.

My experience with Ibanez (and Jackson, and any other foreign-made production-line guitar) is that from model to model, they don't vary a lot. If you like one guitar with a rosewood fretboard and a Floyd Rose, you'll probably like any other similar versions they make, pickups and construction variations aside. Not that you shouldn't try everything you can, but unlike a Gibson (which is more-or-less mandmade), there's not nearly enough variance for you to go from 'love it' to 'hate it'.

Personally, I recommend the Jackson .... um .... I forget the model. The one with a Sustainiac in the neck, for like $600. I had one for a while, but sold it on the basis that I'm really not playing any metal outside of my apartment these days. My Epi Dot actually gets more use.

Anyway, the sustainiac sounds surprisingly good as a neck humbucker, and the other two pickups are okay. It's a Duncan JB and a random single coil, I think. I felt the JB was a little trebly with the Floyd Rose though, so if I kept the guitar I probably would have swapped it out for something throatier.

Anyway, that's my vote. Great guitar, good price, good construction. Only downside is that the circuit for the Sustainiac can cause some nasty feedback loops if you try to install active pickups.
what amp do you play? and what is your budget?

and from personal experience Basswood is an okay-ish wood i don't mind it, it's very tonally balance per say albeit leaning a bit more to the warmer sound.
Basswood isn't a bad wood at all. Vai, Petrucci, EVH, Satch, and Gilbert all play basswood guitars. And those are some of the most talented guitarists ever. I find that it's a very dynamic wood. You can make it sound like crap or it can sound amazing depending on how you play. It's very responsive of technique. Playing my RG has definitely improved my playing and helped me develop my own style more than any other guitar simply because I feel like I have more control over the tone than other guitars. So to sum things up, basswood sucks in the wrong hands, but it's amazing in a talented guitarists hands. I believe the sustain problem of the S and SV are due to the pickups. It won't be fixed unless they come out with new pickups or start offering different ones, but pickups on Ibanezes are meant to be changed. You just have added incentive. And the Edge Zero and ZR2 are very easy to change tunings due to the ZPS system. There are no screwdrivers involved, just a knob. You're also not doing a balancing act of death so that makes things a lot simpler. And going from standard to drop D will often not need any adjustments. You can just do it with the fine tuners and you're set. The strings also don't go flat when you bend. They stay in tune for a very long time. I say get the S5470 or the RG2570Z. You don't get the AANJ or the ZPS with the RG550. And it's also not as high quality as the other Ibanezes since it's period correct and they were made before Prestiges came out with the improved fretwork. But you do get the Original Wizard neck if that means anything to you (it's 1mm thinner than the others). I am an Ibanez ***** so be warned. I only like ESP Eclipses and Jackson necks weren't for me. You can't go wrong with any of them if you like them so just try them out. You're not getting a ****ty guitar.