Ibanez Quality Tiers?

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by Kodee_Kaos, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. Kodee_Kaos

    Kodee_Kaos NegRep For Free Porn

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    How do the different series of Ibanez compare? I know J-Custom is supposed to be top of the line. Then there is J-Craft, which is synonymous with J-Custom? Then there is the Prestige line, which is the lowest end of Fujigen guitars, but still pretty good. Is there really much difference in fit and finish? How do J-Customs of 2017 compare to J-custom models from say, 1997? What about Prestige models from that era?
     
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  2. Sir Ibanez

    Sir Ibanez SS.org Regular

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    Team J.Craft - it's sort of common mark only. Prestige line means all japanese-made guitars after 2003. Overall good quality. J.custom - top of the production line. Selected materials, best quality. All guitars in this line made by highest skill luthiers. As a rule - limited edition guitars.
    I think the best quality Ibanez guitars - made in 2005-2006 and soon. The guitar industry is constantly developing and become more and more qualitative.
     
  3. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak SS.org Regular

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    So does this mean that everything Ibanez makes now that doesn't explicitly carry a "J" in its nomenclature mean it's made in China/Indonesia then?
     
  4. Leviathus

    Leviathus Psychotic Monster

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    Sugi>J.Custom>Prestige

    I believe Team J-Craft is synonymous with the builders of Ibby's at the Fujigen plant, don't quote me on this though.
     
  5. dr_game0ver

    dr_game0ver SS.org Regular

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    Aren't all standard prestige made by Team J-craft? Also, how about the LACS?
     
  6. Zhysick

    Zhysick Sick of all

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    LACS means for "Los Angeles Custom Shop" so no Team J. Craft there. It's supposed to be better than Japanese guitars but anyway that's only for artists I believe...
     
  7. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    I don't think there's any "supposed to be better than the Japanese guitars" -- they just cater to the artists, address all the weird artist customizations they want. I also wouldn't necessarily put Sugi above the J-craft builders.
     
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  8. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    ya prestige level instruments are remarkably consistent. I've got one from 89 and 2 from 2002 and I've played tons of more recent ones...
    other then the trems they are literally all the same.

    j.craft and sugi might do more customization and more intricate options but the base of the instrument is already pretty good at the prestige level.
     
  9. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak SS.org Regular

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    I thought the Prestige class was made in Indonesia now?
     
  10. NickS

    NickS Carvinite

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    Premiums are made in Indo, Prestige are all Japanese made, as far as I know. Where are all the Ibby experts when they are needed around here?
     
  11. NikolajBak

    NikolajBak SS.org Regular

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    My 2015 and my brand new prestige are both from Japan, so it seems like they are still made there. As I mentioned in the NGD thread there is a difference in fret edge treatment, even though they both were marketed as "prestige fret edge treatment" my S5527 from 2015 has rounded "ball" ends while the new rg652mpbfx has not, they are more pointy, not sharp by any means, but still not as smooth as the S series.
    So it seems like the features and quality can vary intentionally within each tier.
     
  12. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    there was like 2 years where some prestiges were made in indo a long time ago. Otherwise the prestige are all japanese.
     
  13. marcwormjim

    marcwormjim SS.org Regular

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    They're in the non-Ibanez threads, telling the OP he should have bought a prestige.
     
  14. cwhitey2

    cwhitey2 BlackendCrust Metalâ„¢

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    They were actually made in Korea. I used to own one ;)
     
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  15. Metropolis

    Metropolis SS.org Regular

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    Nope, they were made in Korea between 2005-2008 and only S-series guitars.
    http://ibanez.wikia.com/wiki/Prestige_series
     
  16. Ordacleaphobia

    Ordacleaphobia Can only power chord

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    To my knowledge-
    Gio - China
    Standard - Indonesia
    Iron Label - Indonesia
    Premium - Indonesia
    Prestige - Japan
    J. Custom - Japan

    Then there's LACS and Sugi builds but those are more niche. If you're buying one of those you probably know what you're looking for already. Aren't they also opening up a new Japan-based semi-custom shop as well? They previewed like a white...RGD I want to say?

    And to quote a post from some other Ibanez thread...
    J.custom - some features / best quality = $$$$
    Prestige - less features/ better quality = $$$
    Premium - more features / less quality = $$
    Standard - less features / less quality = $

    Personally I'd stick to the SSO motto: "Buy a used Prestige"
     
  17. NikolajBak

    NikolajBak SS.org Regular

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    +1
    It is is interesting how some of the premiums are actually more expensive than the prestiges.
    Take a look at the rg1070PBZ: 11 pc neck, luminescent side dots, stainless steel frets, gotoh tuners, natural binding, wenge fretboard etc.
    I would have jumped it immediately, but the playability on the premiums I've tried havn't been on par with my prestiges. And I would allways put playability first.
    That said It would be nice to see this as a prestige with a fixed bridge or low pro edge. I'm not getting why the prestiges can't have the cool features.
     
  18. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger Contributor

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    The worst thing is the premiums were supposed to be an alternate option to the prestige line for people on a budget. The idea was they would have a few cool features with the aim of keeping costs down so they could be sold for around $700-800.

    LACS ranges from better than J-custom to Iron Label quality. They are meant to be really inconsistent.
     
  19. Sogradde

    Sogradde SS.org Regular

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    IIRC the only difference in build quality between a J-Custom and a Prestige are the rounded fret edges, which prestiges don't have (anymore?).
    Other than that, the upcharge comes from the features and selected materials rather than from build quality.
    Premium quality is pretty much all over the place for newer models but a bit more consistent on models that have been available for a while, at least that's my experience.
    However, premiums don't have a neck as thin as the prestiges and I honestly don't like the shape of the necks so I personally stick with prestiges.
    RG550s (pre-prestige MIJ Ibbys) are considered by many to be the golden era Ibanez'es but it's up to you whether or not you agree. Having briefly played one, they are nice but I still prefer newer prestiges.
    I seem to be an outlier though, as I also like my Edge Zero alot. :shrug:

    Tl;dr: buy a used prestige.
     
  20. Grindspine

    Grindspine likes pointy things

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    The J-Craft moniker is stuff made out of the Fujigen plant prior to calling them Prestige. Prestige made now are from Japan and start the serial number with the letter F. Artist models like the Satriani JS2410 also come from this Japan plant with the letter F starting the serial number.

    Artist models such as the JEM77WWDP Steve Vai "Woody" are Indonesian made with the serial starting with I. Regular S series, RG series, RGA series, Premium, and Iron Label guitars also share this serial and origin.

    miKro guitars are made in China and start the serial with a C.

    This can all be confirmed for current production Ibanez guitars with a quick look at serial numbers from the in-stock item photos for Sweetwater.
     

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