#1
The title says it.
Next week I plan on running around local guitar stores and checking out what they have, but since the range in here is so poor, I'll be most likely ordering from thomann.de

Right now I need some tips.

I'm big ESP/LTD fan, but I was thinking about maybe trying out some ibanez guitars. I really like the JEM555WH, but it's maybe bit too expensive for something I buy on whim though ><

How are the RG/GR ranges? Also what's the difference between them? And which ones of the ibanez trems should i avoid? If i remember correctly, they used to make some pretty bad ones.

Any other brands i should check out? Schecter w/ FR any good?

Spec wise: Nice FR-style trem that won't drive me mad after a while, preferably 24 frets, HH or HSH pickups, under 1000 euro (preferably way less, since I just got a new guitar), thin-ish neck (my old LTD M-50 has the best neck I've played so far ><, don't mind getting something used, but the used market in here kinda sucks

That's about it, any help appreciated.

edit: was also thinking about the new JTV w/ floyd, any thoughts on that?
Last edited by KorYi at Oct 12, 2013,
#2
First and foremost - avoid cheap FR-equipped guitars. Like anything under 500 €. But I have and LTD MH-1000FR and the tremolo on that thing is just great. Provided you set it up right, you don't need to worry about anything and can whammy the shit out of it. Mine holds tuning easily for 2 to 3 weeks... and even then I only have to fine tune one or two strings...
#3
rule #1 is "Don't buy a guitar with a sub-par double locking tremolo."

with ibanez it pretty much has to be prestige, unless you're ok with the ZR trem on the s series, which isn't exactly the same as a floyd.

OFR, schaller, gotoh and ibanez edge, lo-pro edge and edge pro (probably edge zero as well, but i haven't tried it) are the good ones, basically. Some of the more expensive guitar companies use rebranded trems made by schaller and gotoh, too (e.g. vigier, musicman, schecter japan, etc.)

personally i'd put the frt-x000 as the worst floyd i'd want to use. it's the korean-made version of the OFR, bit cheaper and a few corners cut, but it's usable ok and should be a direct swap for an OFR down the line.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#4
Quote by Dave_Mc
rule #1 is "Don't buy a guitar with a sub-par double locking tremolo."

with ibanez it pretty much has to be prestige, unless you're ok with the ZR trem on the s series, which isn't exactly the same as a floyd.

OFR, schaller, gotoh and ibanez edge, lo-pro edge and edge pro (probably edge zero as well, but i haven't tried it) are the good ones, basically. Some of the more expensive guitar companies use rebranded trems made by schaller and gotoh, too (e.g. vigier, musicman, schecter japan, etc.)

personally i'd put the frt-x000 as the worst floyd i'd want to use. it's the korean-made version of the OFR, bit cheaper and a few corners cut, but it's usable ok and should be a direct swap for an OFR down the line.

this.
that being said, avoid the edge III, to my knowledge that is the only Ibanez edge out of all the variants that is bad.
yes I've owned an edge III equipped axe.
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#5
Quote by Dave_Mc
with ibanez it pretty much has to be prestige, unless you're ok with the ZR trem on the s series, which isn't exactly the same as a floyd.

how about the cheaper RG's? I've seen some ppl really praising the RG premium. Is there a big difference from prestige in build quality, etc? Or are just all non-MiJ ibanez bad?
#6
^ I haven't tried the premiums, but the problem is they still use the cheaper trems. The guitar may well be good, but a bad locking trem is enough of an achilles heel that, IMO anyway, it can single-handedly make a good guitar bad. I've heard some claims that the newer Ibanez cheaper trems aren't as bad as the old ones, but obviously that's only hearsay, and also I doubt they're as good as the "good" ones, either.

Quote by aaroncaper
this.
that being said, avoid the edge III, to my knowledge that is the only Ibanez edge out of all the variants that is bad.
yes I've owned an edge III equipped axe.


I think the edge II wasn't meant to be great either, though i think it was fairly short-lived. And then you have older non-edge things like the lo-trs and lo-trs II and single locking trems, which are to be avoided, too.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#7
I personally prefer OFR's. If you find a good quality OFR, then you're pretty much set. (I actually would buy used, if you can find a used guitar with an OFR. You'd save a lot of money buying used.)
#8
Quote by KorYi


edit: was also thinking about the new JTV w/ floyd, any thoughts on that?


I've got one; it's now a couple of weeks old.

Backstory: I've got seven or eight Floyd-equipped guitars (including a Gibson Axcess Custom) and another several Kahler-equipped guitars. I've also got two earlier Variaxes (an Acoustic 700 and a 500 Electric). When the JTVs were first being introduced several years ago, I was at Line 6 (it's in my backyard in Calabasas) looking over the prototypes with Rich Renken, who was the product manager for those guitars (last year he left Line 6 to become an independent producer).

At the time, I was pretty sure that my choice would be the JTV 59 (the LP-esque version). But at one point, I suggested that the guitar would be nearly perfect if it had a Floyd. He pointed behind me and did one of those "cough" things with the words "third shelf." On the third shelf of his bookcase, in with all the drag racing car models, was a Graphtech LB 163, the Floyd model equipped with the Graphtech piezo saddles.

I really only glanced at the JTV-89, which was sort of passed off as the "shred" or "metal" version. I remember thinking the upside down headstock was a bit affected, and was unimpressed with the bolt-neck setup. I much preferred the 59, with its smoothed set-neck setup. Unfortunately, the 59 will probably never have a Floyd. Instead, it arrived in the 89.

Fast forward. I think the JTV-89F (for Floyd) may be the dirty little secret, and possibly the very best design of all current Variax models.

Here's why.

Unlike the rest of the Variax line, the neck is thinner, wider (feels that way, anyway), has a flatter radius (16") and has 24 frets (and they're jumbos), and you can get to all of them (thanks to a fairly wide distance between the neck and the lower bout's cutaway horn). It's a 25.5" scale (rather than the 24.6" on the 59), which means that you've got more space to work with in the upper frets and the bottom end sounds a bit more piano-like in its clarity. Mine arrived with very low action and absolutely no buzzing frets. They've flipped the headstock right side up (better, IMHO). The back of the neck is a matte finish -- no glossy-finish stickiness. Very fast.

The pickups are hotter than the 59's, but not *too* hot. Balance is on the money, thanks to an upper bout strap button that's located about at the 12th fret (an LP's is down around the 16th fret). Unlike the LP type quad of controls on the 59, the 89's have the volume control nearer the bridge/bridge pickup, where you can get to it quickly. MUCH better. Overall, as a well-thought-out guitar, I think this is the best of the bunch, and probably precisely because it doesn't need to be a slave to traditionalism, as are the LP version and the Strat version.

Body is mahogany, so this isn't a light guitar. It's not a basswood or alder Ibby; it's got some substance. But it's also not an 11-pound LP/Yamaha SG2000, etc. The Floyd is extremely high quality (I think it's one of the high-end German Floyds, probably a Schaller) piece and the Graphtech piezos may be better than the LR Baggs that come on the other models.

I'm used to the models (they really haven't changed significantly since the Electric 500 I own), but the extra DSP power and the new "HD" modeling and the better piezos has made a difference. The LP models are better (including the P90 variants). The tele models were superb on the original 500 and they've actually used a *different* tele to model this bunch (the original not available?), but this one is outstanding as well. The 335 has always been very good and the acoustics are always very good, but the 12-strings have really taken a jump up and the strat models have changed subtly. The new Workbench software (free) allows you to "build" guitar models that don't exist in nature, and that's very cool. You can store them in the two "custom" spots on either end of the rotation of the model knob. Line 6 has actually included a full set of models of the 89F pickups themselves, and that will seem curious until you consider:

Alternate tunings. The Variaxes have always been able to do alternate tunings; they use pitch replacement technology, and you can pick out a note up to an octave up or down on either side of what your string sound is. Fact is, you can play bass on the damned things, or do uke or mandolin sounds as well. To engage an alternate tuning, you push the alternate tuning dial, pick one, and go. Then just play as if you had that alternate tuning on your guitar and everything comes out of the amp (or headphones) exactly as it would. You'll have the most discordant mess if you're simply listening to the guitar acoustically, of course, but...it's an electric! The 89F has substituted some of the nice Blues G, etc. that the other guitars have with extra Drop Whatever tunings. Drop Bb is one of the choices. Don't like them? You can reset them either on the guitar directly, or using Workbench.

Where the guitar really shines is in performance, and especially if you have an HD500 or an HD Pro (rack). If you use the Variax cable (looks like an ethernet cable), you can set your HD500 user presets to include guitar models and alternate tunings along with the HD500's amps/cabs and FX models. A single stomp and you can go from a 12-string acoustic intro to full-bore LP into overdriven Marshall (ala Boston) instantly, then move from that to an Open G on-a-tele opening for a Stones song. Learn all of Don't Stop Believing in the original key just to find out that the vocalist can't hit Steve Perry's notes and needs it a couple of steps down? Rotate the dial and just continue playing the song as you learned it. What comes out of the amp will be a couple of stops down, and you'll still be doing the bends with exactly the same tension on the strings, etc.

This is a pretty good guitar.
Last edited by dspellman at Oct 13, 2013,
#9
That's all well and good, but is there a button on the Variax which will hypnotise the singer if he wants to the do the Glee version of Don't Stop Believin'? Or better yet, erase all remnants of that travesty from my memory?
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#10
Quote by Dave_Mc
That's all well and good, but is there a button on the Variax which will hypnotise the singer if he wants to the do the Glee version of Don't Stop Believin'? Or better yet, erase all remnants of that travesty from my memory?


Oh lord. I remember that. I've never been so tempted to reveal that on my planet, I can shoot lasers out of my ass and take the entire cast out.

Actually, there's a local band called Rock Sugar that does a version I love:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr4HffbAUTk

FWIW, the lead singer and the guitar player are both voice-over artists; the lead singer is the voice of Ironhide ("Transformers") and Wakko ("Animaniacs") and lots, lots more. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jess_Harnell

There are another dozen of these mashups out there, and the band does this level of harmony, etc., in person.
Last edited by dspellman at Oct 13, 2013,
#11
^^^That made my week, thank you for sharing that lol.

On topic, be cautious of the lower end FRs. OFRs, Schallers, and the Ibanez Pros are great trems. But after that, it starts to get pretty varying on the LFRs. The Jackson LFRs aren't that bad. I'm not sure about the FR Special, I've never tried an axe with it.
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#12
hahahahaha awesome
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#13
Quote by Dave_Mc
rule #1 is "Don't buy a guitar with a sub-par double locking tremolo."

with ibanez it pretty much has to be prestige, unless you're ok with the ZR trem on the s series, which isn't exactly the same as a floyd.




This, or you'll end up like me! I use an Edge III and while it stays in tune if I don't mess with the trem arm but if I do I notice it slightly goes out of tune. And after awhile it gets pretty annoying. So I avoid using the trem arm. You get what you pay for I guess.
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#14
From store play, I found the edge zero II on the new premiums to be pretty good, but who knows how they will stand the test of time. Original edge, lo pro edge, edge pro, ZR and edge zero are all bulletproof. I'm still amazed at how tuning stable they are. Still haven't figured out how to get the edge pro on my rg1570 to go out of tune!
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#15
Firstly, I'd advise you to carefully consider what you want to do with a tremolo system and whether a floating double-locking system is right for you.

The most significant benefit of a floating double-locking tremolo, specifically those that use a knife-edge design, such as the OFR and the Ibanez Edge, Lo Pro and Edge Pro is the tremolo range, that is, the amount you can dive or pull-up.

Any good quality knife-edge floating double-locking tremolo will allow you to dive until the strings are completely slack (under no tension) and return to pitch. Almost all other tremolo systems either don't have the mechanical range to completely slacken the strings (my experience with the Ibanez ZR tremolos, which are floating double-locking tremolos that use a hinge mechanism instead of knife-edges) or can't ensure that the strings will return to pitch from being completely detuned (which is the case with every non-locking tremolo system ever), or both.

Upward range depends on how the floating double-locking tremolo system is mounted on the guitar. If the tremolo is top-mounted, there may be little to no upward range (and certainly no upward range beyond what is possible with a non-locking tremolo). If you attempt to set up a top-mounted floating double-locking tremolo system for more pull-up range, the action will be inevitably raised, the intonation will be out and the tremolo performance will suffer because the tremolo plate will no longer be perpendicular to the posts in the neutral position.

I have a Charvel Pro Mod with a top mounted Floyd Rose tremolo system. The tremolo can be set so the G string pulls up to a Bb. No more upward range would be possible without negatively affecting the action, intonation and tremolo performance. For comparison, that's less pull-up than is possible on my Stratocaster with a non-locking tremolo, which can pull the G string up to a B.

If the tremolo system is recessed into the body, the range of pull-up is dramatically increased. On my Ibanez JEM7VWH, the tremolo is set so the G pulls up to a D. Obviously, the more you pull-up the more likely you are to break a string, and the guitar will be totally out of tune if that happens. Recessed tremolo systems are also a little more difficult to restring, set up and maintain.

All floating double-locking tremolo systems that I'm aware of work best with lighter gauge strings. Heavier gauges lead to more wear on the contact points, which inhibits the tremolos ability to return to pitch. The Ibanez ZR seems to be impacted by this far less than knife-edge designs, but Ibanez still recommend using .009s.

Setting up a floating double-locker to accommodate a change in string gauge is a slow, tedious process. I wouldn't recommend using anything heavier than .010s on a floating double-locker that uses knife-edges. I've seen people using .011s and .012s on the Ibanez ZR.

Increasing string gauge on any tremolo system will make the tremolo stiffer.

If you don't need the downward range of a floating double-locker with knife edges or the upward range of a recessed floating-double locker, you don't need a floating double-locking tremolo system.

I'm not saying don't buy a guitar with a floating double lockign tremolo system. I'm just recommending that you consider a non-locking tremolo system if you don't need a floating double-locking system.
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