#1
Dear fellow players,

I have been playing guitar on and off for the past 13 years, and always had a nice Ibanez RGR270DX (http://ibanez.wikia.com/wiki/RGR270DX) as my first-and-only guitar. While it has a couple of quirks - not a good tremolo system, for starters - it's still a fun guitar to play, and I feel I got more than its worth in terms of money (bought for 400 euro in 2001). It still has an okay sound with my Boss MT-2 pedal, and I use it mostly to play thrash and other types of hard rock and metal music.

Recently I've started picking it up more frequently than before. While I am definitely not a guitar shredder or a good player (I am mostly self-taught), I would like to get a new guitar which is an improvement over the last one. This one should hopefully last me for the rest of my life :-).

What I really liked about Ibanez, is the narrower neck, if compared to many other manufacturers. While I was in love with the Randy Rhoads guitars from Jackson from an aesthetic perspective, I've had the occasion to try it out in a shop and realized I'm not comfortable with such wide necks.

So, I would like:
  • to stay under 2000 euro of investment, if possible.
  • 6 strings (however, question: is having 7 strings an hindrance to play songs composed for EADGBE? if not, I am open to it)
  • to have something new, which sounds great also with a transistor amp
  • two humbuckers
  • good access to the highest frets
  • a passable tremolo system. I don't use it that often, but I find it a nice-to-have.

So I have identified a couple of options (other ideas are welcome):

either I get directly a Prestige guitar (for instance, the RG652AHM (https://goo.gl/4mOKX1),

or

I get something akin to a RG927WBBZ (which is a 7-strings guitar, though), which is cheaper but maybe enough for my use case (https://goo.gl/A6TJUl).

I would really like to change the pickups and get the Seymour Duncan's Pegasus at the bridge, and the SD Jazz at the neck. Given this, would it make it a huge difference to go with a Prestige instead than a Premium? Do these pickups sound good in your experience with a basswood body? Or would you rather go with the factory-provided DiMarzio pickups?
#2
If you have the budget, Prestige all the way. And I'd make the pickup decision after you've tried the stock pickups.
Fleet of MiJ Ibanez
Couple of Balls
Peavey & EVH Wolfgangs
Eclipse
Fender HM Strat
Kemper KPA
5150 III 50w & cabs
#3
Quote by DarthV
If you have the budget, Prestige all the way. And I'd make the pickup decision after you've tried the stock pickups.
This. I have an Ibanez Destroyer with the Tone Zone/Air Norton set, and they sound really good IMO.

Try it through your own setup before spending like $150 on pickups you might decide you don't need.
Quote by Diemon Dave
Don't go ninjerin nobody don't need ninjerin'
#4
yeah get a prestige.

when you say a narrow neck do you mean the nut width? most ibanez rgs are 43mm at the nut which is the same as jacksons usually.

also is there any reason why it has to be a transistor amp? 2000 euros will easily buy you a prestige ibanez plus a nice tube amp, unless there's some reason why a tube amp isn't sensible (maybe you have to play at whisper volume, for example).
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#6
Yeah. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's totally his call, and he may well have a perfectly legitimate reason for wanting that. But sometimes the threadstarter just hasn't considered it, and wanting something "that sounds great with a transistor amp" might be easier said than done. It's likely easier to find something that sounds great with a tube amp.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#7
I used to play Ibanez Jem guitars and I thought they were nice. I can't say I'm a fan of some Ibanez guitars, unless you can find a Japanese made RG and I did have one of those some years ago (RG565). I'm not saying Ibanez are bad, just not anything that feels special to me. Solid and dependable though.
#8
I've owned MANY Ibby guitars.
If you like the Vai thing, get a Jem.
Premiums are hit and miss. Same with Irons.
I've had some decent MII, again hit and miss (current Xiphos is phenomenal. MII)
I personally dig Sabers. Particularly the GC exclusive S520EX. I've had one before, and will buy another eventually. But it will be a MIK, not a MII (they made both)
Can't go wrong with any older MIJ RG. Unless it's trashed ha.

My personal fav was an RGA121, but I dig hard tails.
#9
Quote by Dave_Mc
Yeah. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's totally his call, and he may well have a perfectly legitimate reason for wanting that. But sometimes the threadstarter just hasn't considered it, and wanting something "that sounds great with a transistor amp" might be easier said than done. It's likely easier to find something that sounds great with a tube amp.


This is what I'm not really able to wrap my head around.

Playing through an MT-2 through whatever solid state amp... different humbuckers, and especially different HB-equipped guitars will sound nearly indistinguishable. If your current guitar "has an okay sound" through an MT-2, buying a nice expensive guitar isnt going to sound any better. Amps and distortion pedals are the bulk of your tone.

For comparison, going from stock Ibanez to a SD Pegasus didn't yield too much of a difference for me through a high quality amp sim (I'm ampless at the moment)

Also, playing 6 string stuff on a 7 string is definitely doable, but IMO it's uncomfortable. I have two 7's and I would never play a whole 6 string song one of them.

Disregarding all that, yes, a Prestige will make a huge difference in feel and playability over a standard or premium. Prestiges are MIJ and top quality, and it's worth the money.

I'd look into the S series Prestige. But if you're set on an RG, you can't go wrong with that either! The RG652AHM seems to be one of the only RG series that fits your needs to a T.

Take a look at this though
http://www.ibanez.com/products/eg_detail.php?year=2016&area_id=3&cat_id=1&series_id=4&data_id=365&color=CL01

Comes with Nailbombs already loaded!
#10
Ignite
I would argue that. I'm playing with 100% solid state (excluding MultiValve, that I run in front of my preamp. I only use the compressor and "tube warmth")
Even among guitars with higher end pups (Duncan Distortion vs Dimarzio D'Activators, for example) i notice different tonal nuances, both clean and dirty.
And even amongst guitars with similar pups, there will be differences in sound with wood types, and sustain, based on wood types and hardware types. Crappy pot metal bridges arent going to compare with a decent Floyd, Kahler or tailpiece.
And even with same electronics and hardware, being a smart shopper and getting a decent made ride, such as something MIA/J should have better quality, and better playability. Just my $.02
#11
Tony Done
I was also wondering about the expensive guitar/SS amp combination.

You are of course right, I was just trying to avoid buying an amp along with the guitar, just from an economical perspective. But yeah, getting a tube amp is a very good idea which I also considered and just put off a little. If the guitar isn't tremendously expensive, I think I'll buy a good amp and be done with it.

The Peavey transistor amp I have isn't great, but not bad either. Plus, it's 400W... which has a lot of punch when playing outside with other people.

Ignite
I'd look into the S series Prestige. But if you're set on an RG, you can't go wrong with that either! The RG652AHM seems to be one of the only RG series that fits your needs to a T.

The S6UC looks also a very good match for what I am looking for, but it's a bit over budget. I would need to try it to tell if for me it has a justified price. I hope there's a dealer stocking one in Berlin. I'll also have a look for some used guitar deals, if I get a drop in price under 2000 € I might consider it.

Anyway I'll head to some shops and try out again different models from different manifacturers. Maybe I find out something I hadn't considered.

Thanks everybody for their suggestions!
#12
Quote by Diatribes
Ignite
I would argue that. I'm playing with 100% solid state (excluding MultiValve, that I run in front of my preamp. I only use the compressor and "tube warmth")
Even among guitars with higher end pups (Duncan Distortion vs Dimarzio D'Activators, for example) i notice different tonal nuances, both clean and dirty.
And even amongst guitars with similar pups, there will be differences in sound with wood types, and sustain, based on wood types and hardware types. Crappy pot metal bridges arent going to compare with a decent Floyd, Kahler or tailpiece.
And even with same electronics and hardware, being a smart shopper and getting a decent made ride, such as something MIA/J should have better quality, and better playability. Just my $.02

You're absolutely right, just because it's a solid state amp doesn't mean different pickups and guitars won't translate. I was mostly talking about his pedal, the MT-2, which is considered one of the worst distortion pedals. It's high gain and colors the tone, and no matter what you throw at it, it's going to sound like an MT-2.

But a higher quality setup, specifically a more dynamic tube amp, the differences are going to be much more pronounced.

All I was saying is if I already had a fine guitar and i was playing through an MT-2 and a solid state amp, I'd much rather upgrade my amp setup.

But if OP is happy with his tone and isn't expecting a guitar to drastically change it and just wants a top quality guitar for playability, there's nothing wrong with that.

Quote by msettenvini
Tony Done

You are of course right, I was just trying to avoid buying an amp along with the guitar, just from an economical perspective. But yeah, getting a tube amp is a very good idea which I also considered and just put off a little. If the guitar isn't tremendously expensive, I think I'll buy a good amp and be done with it.

The Peavey transistor amp I have isn't great, but not bad either. Plus, it's 400W... which has a lot of punch when playing outside with other people.

Ignite

The S6UC looks also a very good match for what I am looking for, but it's a bit over budget. I would need to try it to tell if for me it has a justified price. I hope there's a dealer stocking one in Berlin. I'll also have a look for some used guitar deals, if I get a drop in price under 2000 € I might consider it.

Anyway I'll head to some shops and try out again different models from different manifacturers. Maybe I find out something I hadn't considered.

Thanks everybody for their suggestions!

Yeah don't take anything we said about your amp setup the wrong way, I'm just trying to reiterate that a new guitar will not make an "okay" tone sound any better with your setup. Possibly brighter and tighter with some nice pickups, but it won't be a huge difference.

I didn't realize the S guitar was out of your budget, excuse my ignorance as I'm from the US and didn't convert the price to euros. Most Prestiges are sub $2000 US so I assumed it would be near your price range

I wish the S series till had the ZR tremolo, that trem is killer, I have one on my S770. That's originally why I suggested it, but they seem to be equipped with Edge trems now.
#13
Ignite My bad, I should have paid closer attention. It's been "a day".
I agree with you completely regarding the boss pedal.
I was thinking about how different guitars sound, through my own rig, which runs a PSA-1 preamp.
Apologies for arrogance. Wasn't intended.
✌?
#14
Sorry for the silly questions or the poor explaining, I'm still very inexperienced with amps. I always had the same one, and never spent much time looking at alternatives, rather resorting to fiddling the knobs to find a sound I like.

If I got it right, the advice is to get a good tube amp to go along with a guitar, and use amp distortion / overdrive over the MT-2.

What are good options, for an amp which can do a good distortion/overdrive, along with a passable clean tone? I would like to keep a warm blues-y sound, like with the Orange OR80 / OR100, rather that something very crunchy and drier, like the (to me, much recommended) Peavey 6350. What do you think?

This guy seems to take out a very nice sound from an Orange amp:
Does anybody have experience of playing Ibanez RG Prestige guitars on Orange amps?

By the way, what are good distortion pedals? For me (with a solid-state amp and mid-range guitar) the MT-2 always did a more-than-decent job.
#15
My personal opinion is to ignore distortion pedals, unless there's a specific tone you're going after. "Natural" preamp tube overdrive is going to be the best sounding for a good heavy high gain tone. But, an overdrive pedal pairs well with high gain tones, whether tube or solid state. People keep the drive off, and the tone knob acts as a sort of filter, cutting the bass and boosting mids/high mids and giving you a nice tight aggressive tone. You can bring the bass back up with the amps EQ. (Pre EQ/filtering changes the tone in a different manner than post-EQ)

You have modelers too. Pods (Pod X3, Pod HD, the new Helix), Axe FX, etc, and you can even get really nice tones out of computer software like Guitar Rig, Amplitube, and Bias Amp.

Depending on what you're doing, a tube amp may be a little too "much". They sound better cranked, although some can get nice bedroom level tones. But pushing the tubes and speakers really make it all come together.

Something like the Peavy 6505MH might be good though. I'm a little rusty on tube amps these days, I don't have a need for one so I get by with modelers.
Last edited by Ignite at Nov 21, 2016,
#16
For a tube amp in Berlin I'd be all over a used ENGL. there have to some deals somewhere.
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)

Amps:
Mesa Dual Rec Roadster 212
Peavey 5150 212 with V30s
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver
#17
Pestige
"A well-wound coil is a well-wound coil regardless if it's wound with professional equipment, or if somebody's great-grandmother winds it to an old French recipe with Napoleon's modified coffee grinder and chops off the wire after a mile with an antique guillotine!"
- Bill Lawrence

Come and be with me
Live my twisted dream
Pro devoted pledge
Time for primal concrete sledge

#18
Tube amps and preamps colour the sound. Many people desire this. Some do not.
I prefer solid state (Rocktron Velocity 250), with amp modeling through my preamp (SansAmp PSA-1). Which to me, sounds phenomenal. With cleans and dirties.
And although my power amp has definition controls, I try to adjust it for non colour to tone.
That said, I also run effects processor (Rocktron Xpression and MultiValve) to add different tone and effects to my signal.
All in all, it depends on what types of sounds you're trying to achieve.
General rule of thumb, is if you're running a tube preamp, run a tube power amp. Same with solid state.
Be wary of combos that feature a tube preamp, running with a solid state amp. More often than not this is a marketing gimmick. They typically don't run the preamp tube hot enough for it to be effective, and often its run in parallel with a solid state preamp.
Just my opinion
#19
msettenvini
I wish I could help on your amp selection, but I can not.
I have been a rack guy, for 20+ years.
metalmingee is probably correct (again lol) on his opinion of ENGL products.
I've heard nothing but good regarding their products, and would love to have a 530 or 570 preamp. Owning one of those would set me back some greens though, and get me some GAS for an all tube Mesa power amp.
Must resist the GAS...
#20
Quote by msettenvini
Sorry for the silly questions or the poor explaining, I'm still very inexperienced with amps. I always had the same one, and never spent much time looking at alternatives, rather resorting to fiddling the knobs to find a sound I like.

If I got it right, the advice is to get a good tube amp to go along with a guitar, and use amp distortion / overdrive over the MT-2.

What are good options, for an amp which can do a good distortion/overdrive, along with a passable clean tone? I would like to keep a warm blues-y sound, like with the Orange OR80 / OR100, rather that something very crunchy and drier, like the (to me, much recommended) Peavey 6350. What do you think?

This guy seems to take out a very nice sound from an Orange amp:
Does anybody have experience of playing Ibanez RG Prestige guitars on Orange amps?

By the way, what are good distortion pedals? For me (with a solid-state amp and mid-range guitar) the MT-2 always did a more-than-decent job.


if you don't want to spend too much, maybe an orange tiny terror?

you can use overdrive and distortion pedals with tube amps too, that often sounds better than with a solid state amp.

there are lots of good distortion pedals, it all depends on the type of sound you want.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#21
I have to say after reading some of the comments to your post and I agree with DarthV, if you can afford a Prestige Guitar they are amazing. I've been playing on and off for some years now but started playing everyday again now but during that time before, every time I picked up my Prestige it was incredible to play.

I have a 6 and 7 string Prestige and to be honest, playing 6 string songs on a 7 string guitar can be a bit awkward, i'm not sure if others prefer doing that or not but I look at it to practice control but I do prefer playing 6 string songs on a 6 string guitar

If you're concered about a 7 string guitar not being suited i'd say try one before you slap down the money on one if you can. I've always tried my guitars before I bought them and that's just something i've always personally done. (unless it's a j custom, then i'd get it no matter where it came from if I could afford one!)