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J-custom RG8550MZ Vs Prestige RG2770QZA - Is it really worth to pay $1,000 extra for the j-custom?
Piing
#1 Posted : 10/28/2016 7:19:10 AM
Piing


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Posts: 8
Location: Bangkok
After having sold my new S5470Q due to problems with the sustain on certain notes,
I have narrowed down the search for a new guitar to the RG8550MZ (J-custom) and the RG2770QZA (prestige).

Aesthetics apart, the specs of both guitars are very similar, except on this details:

Neck:
RG Custom Super Wizard HP w KTS Titanium rods Vs Wizard HP Prestige

Fretboard:
Maple Vs Rosewood

Hardware finish:
Gold Vs Cosmo Black

Price (here in Bangkok)

$2,800 Vs $1,800

The two guitars I’ve been playing for the last 35 years have maple fretboard (American Deluxe Strat) and
rosewood (RG550LTD) and I don’t mind the difference.

I saw no flaws at all at the neck of the S5470Q. Is there room for improvement on the prestige neck?

Regarding the hardware, is the gold finish more susceptible to discoloration and corrosion than the cosmo black?

I cannot play the guitars before I make the decision, so I am wondering what factor (besides the tree of life) can make
the j-custom an instrument worth extra $1.000. Can the playability or the tone be improved with the “j-custom” fretboard treatment,
or with the Hoshino Gakki signature?

And another detail: African Mahogany Vs Mahogany. Are they really using different lumber? Does it make a noticeable difference?

RG8550MZ - Ibanez Site
RG8550MZ

RG2770QZA - Ibanez Site
RG2770QZA
Bill@Ibanez
#2 Posted : 10/31/2016 2:33:43 PM
Bill@Ibanez


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I think that side by side, both will play very similarly. I don't think the differences will account for too much actual difference in feel or sound.

The Gold and Cosmo Black finishes are susceptible to wear, but I'm not sure if one is more easily worn than the other. I'd probably say they are equal in this regard.

The African Mahogany vs Mahogany is probably differently sourced wood. If they didn't list African Mahogany on the prestige, chances are it was sourced somewhere more locally in Asia. African Mahogany is something that people generally correlate with quality, so they list it specifically to show its value.

The J Custom models generally get a much higher level of attention to detail. A bit more labor is expended to make the J custom models as perfect as they can be. The woods used and time spent working on the j custom guitars is the reason for the price difference. Not to mention the limited nature of these guitars.

If you aren't too worried about the extra cosmetic details and just need something to play and enjoy, the Prestige is probably enough to satisfy your needs. Again, I would not expect a large difference in sound from one to the other.

Hope this helps,
-Bill
Piing
#4 Posted : 11/1/2016 12:19:18 AM
Piing


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Thank you very much for your helpful comments, Bill.

I have finally purchased the j-custom RG2770QZA.

I am satisfied with the decision, but I am very upset because the guitar seems to have a dead note (C at the 3rd string 17th fret and 2nd string 13th fret).

There are more details about this issue at the Jemsite discussion:
http://www.jemsite.com/forums/f...th-1-000-a-145370-2.html
Bill@Ibanez
#5 Posted : 11/1/2016 1:25:15 PM
Bill@Ibanez


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I'm glad you are happy with your decision!

Dead notes can have a number of causes and in some cases are not something that can be easily fixed. When a note renders dead after plucking it, or the sustain dies out quicker than other notes, something is removing reverberation from the string. Your common culprits are:
  1. An improperly seated fret - If the fret itself can move in its slot, it can kill the sound of the string and absorb the vibrations. Because you have the problem on specific strings on the fret and not other strings on the same fret, I'd say this is unlikely the cause.
  2. A loose mechanical piece - Something like a part in the nut or tremolo can do the same thing as a fret and absorb the vibrations. Once again, I'd say this is unlikely the cause. If it were, I'm sure you'd find more dead spots using the affected strings and not just on one spot on the neck.
  3. A resonant frequency in the body, neck, or bridge - A more complicated problem. A resonant frequency is basically a note(frequency) that causes the body, neck, or bridge to actually vibrate. I've found specific notes on a keyboard that cause a nearby snare to vibrate, which is basically the same principle. If a note on the guitar is causing the neck, body, or bridge to want to vibrate, it will absorb that frequency and cut down the string movement. This isn't necessarily caused by a "soft spot" in the wood but is more or less the guitar's natural frequency at which it wants to vibrate.

Seeing that the likely culprit is option 3, there aren't many options to fixing this issue since it is a more inherent characteristic of the wood. What you might find online, is that people can combat or eliminate this by changing the guitar's resonant frequency. This can be done by altering the weight balance of the guitar, commonly by adding something to the headstock to make it a little heavier. This product is specifically targeted for this purpose:
http://shop.fender.com/e...-guitar/0992180100.html

If something like this does help the issue, it might not be a bad idea to consider heavier tuning machines. That way you can try to get more weight on the headstock without the extra weight piece.

Hope this helps!
-Bill
Piing
#6 Posted : 11/2/2016 12:50:26 PM
Piing


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Joined: 9/21/2015(UTC)
Posts: 8
Location: Bangkok
That’s very good and concise information! Thank you for taking the time to share it.

I am also inclined for option 3, because the insertion of a c-clamp at the headstock increases the sustain of that note from 2 to 4 seconds and smooths the abrupt decay. I have already ordered the Fender Fatfinger and I hope that it will provide good results.

One curious experiment: if I insert a capo at the 17th fret and play the 3rd string, the sustain is also improved and not decaying abruptly. I am wondering how it can be like that, because it is a cheap plastic capo that doesn’t have much weight. I have repeated the experiment several times, and it's definitively better than playing that note with the finger.

bridge, but there

I used to c-clamp in order to have a free hand to check for unusual vibrations at the saddles or other parts of the bridge, but it seems OK
Piing
#7 Posted : 11/2/2016 12:52:13 PM
Piing


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Posts: 8
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Sorry, duplicated post
Piing
#8 Posted : 11/2/2016 12:53:21 PM
Piing


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Sorry, duplicated post. I wanted to edit but I quoted myself again Doh
Piing
#3 Posted : 12/3/2016 1:04:11 PM
Piing


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Joined: 9/21/2015(UTC)
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Bill@Ibanez;520555 wrote:
I think that side by side, both will play very similarly. I don't think the differences will account for too much actual difference in feel or sound.

The Gold and Cosmo Black finishes are susceptible to wear, but I'm not sure if one is more easily worn than the other. I'd probably say they are equal in this regard.

The African Mahogany vs Mahogany is probably differently sourced wood. If they didn't list African Mahogany on the prestige, chances are it was sourced somewhere more locally in Asia. African Mahogany is something that people generally correlate with quality, so they list it specifically to show its value.

The J Custom models generally get a much higher level of attention to detail. A bit more labor is expended to make the J custom models as perfect as they can be. The woods used and time spent working on the j custom guitars is the reason for the price difference. Not to mention the limited nature of these guitars.

If you aren't too worried about the extra cosmetic details and just need something to play and enjoy, the Prestige is probably enough to satisfy your needs. Again, I would not expect a large difference in sound from one to the other.

Hope this helps,
-Bill


Hi Bill, for your information:

I have solved the problem with the combination of 3 things:

- Replacing the original tremolo block with a brass tremolo block
- Placing a Fender Fatfinger at the headstock
- Slightly releasing the neck screws

Loosening the neck screws has been crucial to eliminate the dead spot, since the brass block or the Fatfinger alone could not solve the problem.

You can find more details at the jemsite forum:
http://www.jemsite.com/f...h-1-000-a-145370-6.html

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