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Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by OmegaSlayer, Apr 25, 2014.
The ZPS can be taken out... Easily.
The ZPS system is being discontinued in all markets moving forward as there were a couple patent issues. In the end Ibanez didn't want to pay for licensing or for the patent as a whole, and thus the bridges with this system are going to be discontinued. So the Edge Zero, Edge Zero II, and the ZR series will be dwindling (at least in their current format) going forward. Ibanez still has a massive inventory of these bridges, so they'll still be seen on current models as well as spot models for at least the next few years. This mirrors the the Edge Pro phaseout, which took about a year and a half.
The Edge III FX is not going anywhere. The 8-string variant is being scaled down (for now), and the 6-string model is still in production. The TAM100 and MTM models will still feature these bridges for the foreseeable future. Ibanez took notice that most 8-strings on the market aren't using locking bridges and that a lot of users (and dealers/distributors) weren't keen on them. Probably doesn't hurt that with fewer parts the current 8-string bridges are cheaper to produce and warranty work is easier as well.
The reason to switch back to the Original Edge and Lo-Pro Edge is more to do with timing. They are no longer restricted by patent and licensing fees, which means they can have them made by Gotoh for much cheaper and without having to pay secondary costs. The units lack the ZPS so there's no need to re-engineer the units to work with current patent issues (see above). The fact that these units are very well revered is a huge bonus, and Ibanez knows it.
At the end of the day, this patent issue with the ZPS (effecting nearly all current trem designs they have) caught them off guard, so they went with what they already had, the Lo-Pro. The top routes for the bridges are nearly identical (thanks to the Edge Zero designs having elongated fine tuner assemblies) so they lucked out on it working with minimal effort.
Had the patents which affected the Original Edge and Lo-Pro Edge still been around we would probably have seen a return of the Edge Pro, which didn't use the FR patents of the other two units.
What I'm excited for is the next couple years where Ibanez will hopefully revisit the design of these older units (Original and Lo-Pro) and see what tweaks can be made, the designs are 35 and 30 years old respectively and could use a modern refresh. I still think the built in intonation adjustment of the Zero series units was an awesome idea, it just suffered from inferior build on most models, having not been Gotoh built or engineered. The arm collar assembly could use some attention as well.
^ it's always good to have a trem encyclopedia around
I wanna say "if it ain't broke don't fix it". I can understand they want to redesign trems that are several decades old, but if they work perfectly fine they should just leave them how they are...
The word "hopefully" in there is key, as I haven't heard any rumblings of Ibanez doing anything to either the Original Edge or Lo-Pro Edge.
Ibanez has been on the quest of making floating, double locking units more user friendly, but as they've found out, the more you add to the old FR design, the more components you need and the more complicated the unit gets. The problem there is that all those little time saving tools (balancing systems, intonation adjustment tools, new saddle designs, etc.) make the unit more complex for the new user.
I think it would be a real loss if Ibanez just rested on thier laurels instead of trying to push innovation a little further. I'm not saying to nix the Original and Lo-Pro all together, but to at least expand on them on some lines, much how the Saber was the test bed for the ZR and its iterations.
I really liked the ZR series trems, so I'm bummed to see them get phased out. Does this mean that they won't be using the adjustment knobs in the back any more?
I wish they could just make as many of their trems as they can to fit in the same cavities. just so people can swap around if the guitar they want doesn't come with their favourite trem.
I would love to see the intonation screw and offset saddle lockdown screws make their way to a potential future revision of the Lo Pro. I'd stick the intonation screw in the rear cavity, though.
Is it just me or does the difference between the Edge/Lo Pro and the newer Edge Zero and Edge Zero II bridges change a LOT of the general aesthetic of the whole body end of the guitar? The lines of the former generation makes them seem rugged and sturdy while those of the latter give a sleek and polished look. I don't even know what I prefer, TBH.
Is there such thing as a Korean Prestige? I thought all Prestige models were Japanese? I know my S prestige is Jap built
Some Sabers were Korean-made.
In the early 00's S, SZ, and SA Prestige models were made in South Korea by Cortek. It's been a nuber of years since they've done that though, almost a decade now.
The last MIK Prestige was the S2170.
Also of mention, the RG Anniversary Prestige models had thier bodies made in Indonnesia, with only the necks being MIJ. Hence the super low pricetags they shipped with.
wow, well i never knew that thanks for the info guys
^Is the Cort facilities still doing any Ibanez guitars? I was thinking about if the move may have been prompted by the media coverage of the atrocious conditions for the people working there, but I don't remember the chronology of these events.
Yes, but not Cort Korea. Cort's Indonesian facility still makes Ibanez (and many others') guitars.
In fact it was Cort moving a chunk of their manufacturing to Indonesia that prompted a lot of those complaints from Cort Korea employees.
Yeah, Ibanez really doesn't like having to pay any cash out to patent holders for using their licensed tech. They used that reasoning when they phased out the Lo-Pro and Edge originally too but apparently even after redesigning their trems i think they still had to pay Floyd Rose for using their patented 'idea'.
That's the reason the Backstop was so short-lived too. They're actually also patented by Floyd Rose even though i can't ever remember Floyd making anything remotely similar to the Backstop!
I've got one here that i've used in three or four different RG's fitted with Lo-Pro's or original Edge trems and it's always worked really well for me when you set it up well.
I even think that ESP has discontinued their 'Arming Adjuster' single spring backstop type device now as well. There's the German Rockinger and Goldo single spring ones that are still available though. I've had one of the Goldo ones here for years but never got around to trying it as i had the original Backstop to use.
To expand upon my hatred for the ZPS, I will never understand why Ibanez made a system to limit the functionality of their trems. I like that stupid "fluttering effect" . I get the tuning stability stuff, but a properly set-up floating trem works just fine. I've never had issues with OFRs, FR-1000s, Floyd Specials, Jackson Licensed Trems, TRS Trems, Edges, Edge Pros, even floating Wilkinsons when it comes to returning to pitch.
The original Edge is a great unit, and equal in all aspects aside from longevity (pitting) compared to the OFR. I'm happy we're going to be seeing more of them!
A properly set up Floyd doesn't need any gimmicks, that's for sure. But they're hard to set up, and they will always have some quirks. Like, double stop bends going out of tune. Something like the BackStop or ZPS can actually keep the strings in tune during a double stop bend and let you raise the pitch if you pick up the bar hard enough, but at the sacrifice of flutter and some of the feel. It's nice to have available options. I hope that Ibanez continues to innovate with their hardware.
But apparently they need to spend some time filing patents to get in front of the game, here.
I never understood why the ZPS was so polarizing. It was/is incredibly easy to deactivate/remove, and then the trem functions 100% the same as any similar unit without the ZPS. One of the reasons they incorporated the thumbwheel was to make it easier going from ZPS-on to ZPS-off.
As Cardinal above mentions, the point of the ZPS wasn't just "trem training wheels", but to add actual function.
As for longevity, pitting isn't really going to do anything bad to the unit, and compared to recent OFRs, unless it's a REALLY bad cosmo batch, both units will show wear rather quickly.
I'm totally up for innovation, even when I don't find it immediately useful.
Nothing can be perfect for anyone and nothing mechanical can be 100% performing in its first iteration.
There's always space for improvement, especially if your willing to listen to customers' feedback.
As I said I just hope that Ibanez (and other manufacturers) don't stop researching because market is headed towards a direction.
I never used a ZPS, so I'm not aware of its flaws, but the idea of turning a floating bridge into a basically hardtail bridge just turning a wheel and not having to remove the back plate is a good idea in my book.
Anyway it's a choice.
The more choices, the better.
I'm definitely not opposed to innovation, because I think that trems could use some upgrading after all these years. I'm actually a big fan of the design of the ZR trem. No knife edges seems like a much better idea to me.
I just didn't see a reason for the ZPS to exist in the first place. That's just me though.
ZR with no knife edges seems a nice idea to me too
I also think it's the way to go for 8 strings tremolo bridges