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Ibanez XP300fx
flyingstrauss
#1 Posted : 5/15/2017 7:03:59 PM

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Hey guys, first time poster here. So I have a cheap Xiphos XP300fx, it's really comfortable for me to play and I like the shape, but I'm having tuning stability issues. So if I change tuning machines, and maybe a fretwork and new pickups (I'm thinking Duncan Invader in the bridge), could it serve me as a reliable gigging instrument? What are your thoughts, should I bother doing all this?
Bill@Ibanez
#2 Posted : 5/15/2017 7:09:15 PM
Bill@Ibanez


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Personally, I like that guitar as well! The tuning instability could be a number of things. The tuning machines themselves could be the cause, or also the nut slots could be binding the strings.


I would make sure that you can get it to stay in tune to your liking before changing the pickups. Assuming the truning issues can be fixed, I would definitely put some nicer pickups in.
flyingstrauss
#3 Posted : 5/15/2017 9:25:34 PM

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Nice, thanks! So if understood, check the nut slots first, change tuning machines if needed, and change pickups if everything else is in order? So what pickups would you recommend? I play metal, Seymour Duncan Invader sounds good to me, but I'm not sure would it be a good match with the guitar itself...
Bill@Ibanez
#4 Posted : 5/16/2017 12:38:16 PM
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I wouldn't worry too much about the guitar itself. The wood in the guitar does play a factor in the overall sound, but ultimately, the pickup choice and amp/effects will really change your sound enough that the type of wood won't matter as much.

The Invaders sound like a good choice! Unfortunately, there are sooo many options for what to choose and not enough people who have played all of them. I would do a little bit of research into which pickups you think are a good choice and just pull the trigger! I'm sure you might also be able to get some more detailed pickup info and opinions from a pickup forum like Seymour Duncan or DiMarzio's forums.
1 user thanked Bill@Ibanez for this useful post.
flyingstrauss on 5/16/2017(UTC)
flyingstrauss
#5 Posted : 5/16/2017 2:08:54 PM

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Thank you very much Bill, you are very helpful! Cool I think I'll do that, thanks again! :) To the Seymour Duncan forum!!! Dance
Neon_Knight_
#6 Posted : 7/29/2017 10:53:38 PM

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I'm coming in a bit late here, so maybe you've already sorted this, but:

If you need a luthier to replace the tuning machines and dress your frets, you may be investing more than the guitar is worth, to resolve issues that shouldn't be present if you were to buy another guitar the same. If you're comfortable working on it yourself then great. If not, you might be better off replacing the guitar (potentially spend less plus have a spare guitar to sell off).

Ibanez uses Gotoh tuning machines on all of its Prestige and signature models, so these would be worth considering (not sure of the exact type to recommend sorry, but I'm sure someone here could advise on that, if you start a new thread regarding Gotoh tuning machines). They possibly make specific tuning machines for fixed/tremolo bridges, but I've never looked into this. I believe they cost £30-70, depending on the type.

As for pickups, I think the stock DiMarzio D Activators in my XPT700 are a great match. They definitely work well in a mahogany body. It really depends on what sound you're trying to achieve, but I imagine most Xiphos owners play metal at least some of the time. D Activators were designed as DiMarzio's passive answer to active pickups. I've heard them described as being halfway between an EMG 81/85 combo (the standard active pickup of 80s heavy metal...Metallica etc.)and DiMarzio Evolutions (standard pickup in Ibanez JEMs, as used by Steve Vai). They work well for thrash and death metal, but also clean up very well, and are less sterile than active pickups.
Bare Knuckle probably make the best passive pickups, and they will give you great advice and even tweak the number of winds to tailor to your needs for no extra cost, if you contact them directly. They also let you exchange if you aren't 100% happy after fitting them into your guitar. However, they cost £120+ per pickup.
It's worth bearing in mind that passive pickups are coloured more by the guitar they are fitted in than active pickups are. 81/85 EMGs sound similar in any guitar and their tone would be instantly recognisable if you fitted them to a baseball bat, whereas passive pickups can sound very different in one guitar than another; this is where the type/quality of wood and overall resonance of a guitar can really make a difference.
Again, if you have something specific in mind, but aren't sure quite what to buy, it would be worth starting a new thread.

I picked up my XPT700, used but in very good condition, for only £210. The last one to sell on eBay went for £250. Maybe that will help you weigh up how much it is worth investing in your XP300FX.
The XPT700 is a Premium/Iron Label level Ibanez guitar (from before these ranges existed), stays in tune very well, has a tremolo (I see that as an advantage over a fixed bridge...you can always block it off), and comes with decent pickups as stock.

flyingstrauss
#7 Posted : 7/29/2017 11:59:32 PM

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Hey, thanks for joining, you're not late! As for pickups, I still can't decide, so I'll probably just buy something and try it on. I play metal vast majority of time, so I'm looking for a fat, chunky tone. As for the tuning machines, I prefer to take it to luthier, but he is my friend so these minor things cost me next to nothing, and I would really like to make it a gigging workhorse.
Wow, 210? That's a great deal, I would love to get my hands on an XPT700! I actually wanted to buy it new, but they were pretty expensive for me at the time. Do you like yours? What about neck diving issues they have?
Neon_Knight_
#8 Posted : 7/30/2017 10:17:27 AM

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Ideal, definitely worth fixing if you can get it done cheaply.
I wanted an XPT700 the moment I saw one in 2007, when they first came out, but couldn't afford it at the time. Mine came up on Gumtree about 4 years later. They don't maintain resale value like a prestige RG.
Mine is an early model from 2007 and does have neck diving issues. The strap buttons are better positioned on newer xiphoses (they also bevelled the body more), so this is less of an issue. Mine is OK to play standing with a particular type of strap (I'll look up the name later), but I would move the strap buttons if I intended to use it for gigs regularly...as it is, it's very comfortable to play sat down at home, in normal or classical position.
Neon_Knight_
#9 Posted : 7/30/2017 10:20:08 AM

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Choosing pickups is always tricky. If you give us more specific examples of the music you will be playing, or the tone you're hoping to achieve, we should be able to help you narrow down your options.
Neon_Knight_
#10 Posted : 7/30/2017 10:24:31 AM

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Choosing pickups is always tricky. If you give us more specific examples of the music you will be playing, or the tone you're hoping to achieve, we should be able to help you narrow down your options.
flyingstrauss
#11 Posted : 7/30/2017 9:50:02 PM

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And what do you think is the reason for them not retaining value on the market? Xiphos is ideal body shape for me, it's more comfortable for me to play than standard superstrat shape, so if I don't find one, I'll probably have it made for me by my friend. Pickups are really tough decision, I like something like Matthias Jabs tone from the Crazy World era, but I play heavier music. This is the band I'm currently playing in, I wasn't a member during the recording time. I think the guy who did it used 81/85 set, but I would like to stay with passive pckups for now. Happy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fmws2kwcV7w Oh, and thanks for your help, I appreciate it! Cool
Neon_Knight_
#12 Posted : 7/31/2017 10:06:50 PM

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The RG is the most popular Ibanez shape, whereas the Xiphos has more of a niche market. A prestige / Made in Japan RG is considered to be as good a superstrat as money can buy, so will attract a lot of interest if it's in good condition.
A Xiphos will sometimes go for a lot more than I paid (I reckon I could sell mine at a tidy profit if I wanted to and was willing to be patient), but it will really depend who spots them on the odd occasions that they crop up.


flyingstrauss
#13 Posted : 7/31/2017 10:39:30 PM

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Sound right. Thanks man! I'll keep my eye on eBay.Cool
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