NGD: Ibanez QX527PB

Randy

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Straight to the pics! Just as it came from the factory. One of the nicer pieces of burl (not hurl) I've seen. The "Parallel Scale" thing is kind of a weird gimmick, I was concerned it would be the awkwardness of fanned frets without the benefits but it feels like a regular straight scale. Can play a straight scale and then this both blindfolded and miss zero notes. Neck is more like a Wizard than the neck on the...

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CanserDYI

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Is that a body you made or Ibanez? Looks pretty cool!
 

Randy

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About damn time someone did a proper NGD for one of these.

How does it stack up? They’re pretty tempting for the price.

Features 5/5
Build Quality 4.5/5
Playability 4.5/5
Pickups 2.5/5

The "Parallel Scale" thing is kind of a weird gimmick, I was concerned it would be the awkwardness of fanned frets without the benefits but it feels like a regular straight scale. Can play a straight scale and then this both blindfolded and miss zero notes.

Neck is more like a Wizard than the neck on the 6-string. These are wide and flat with minimal shoulder, the 6 string model is pronounced round in the spine like a tele or something. Only knock on the neck shape/size is that it's a little more Wizard 2/3 where it has *some* shoulders but still feels like an Ibanez neck.

Pickups I don't get on with. I had the Q54 before this that had the HSS config, the bridge was passable but not great, the middle and neck were unusable for anything besides cleans and math rock. I had some friends that had this and also the 6 string in H-H, they said the voicing was more rock/metal appropriate in those. Tried this with that in mind and nope, it sounds just like the Q54 bridge pickup.

The best way I can describe it is that they sound like 3/4 of the way to being a metal pickup but not enough gain/bite unless you add a bunch more gain and EQ further downstream. They also have this weird flat presence to them like the tone is rolled off. I don't know what the EQ toggle is supposed to do, but it sounds either the same or maybe worse but it's hard to tell.

I think if you play that Ichika or Polyphia kinda stuff where you're playing clean with a dimed compressor, they probably sound pretty okay. I swapped a Fishman Classic and Single set into the Q54 before it shipped off, I'd be greatly tempted to do something like that with this if it sticks around.

I'm not gonna spend a lot of time on the looks or features on it, I think they're kind of self explanatory. I do think the species/cut of burl they used on this line is nicer than most of the mid to low production models I've seen.
 

Shawn

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While I never was one for headless guitars, I really love the body shape and finish. Very nice!
 

Randy

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While I never was one for headless guitars, I really love the body shape and finish. Very nice!

The teaser stock images of the Quest line definitely didn't do it justice. In the wild and in person, it's definitely very much a headless saber. The body is ~1.35" thick and tapers down to ~.45" around the perimeter.

I'm not a big fan of alternative no name woods on some of the newer stuff like this Nyatoh body but it's a really nice light, neutral with some warmth guitar. I'm impressed with it.

Pickup swap will *probably* be pretty straight forward for passives because the toggle switch is labeled for coil in/out for both pickups.

I used Fishmans in the Q54 and all the electronics had to go because of the pots (500k vs 25k), and the selector/mini-toggle being setup for the stock passives, and also the output jack. Anything besides the stock selector has to be modified because the cavity is so short; I had to buy the smallest toggle I could find, snip the lugs off the bottom and solder directly to the PCB. Did ultimately get a pretty clean/stock looking control setup and still room for a 9v battery in the cavity.

I'm definitely swapping the pickups on this, just undecided what they'll be.
 

mungiisi

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Looks pretty stunning on the pics, congrats on your NGD.

How are the angled frets? Does it feel different compared to standard perpendicular frets? What tuning are you using on this one?
 

OmegaSlayer

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Really tempted to get an Ichika if the world survives the (nuclear) winter with some coins in the pockets
 

Randy

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Looks pretty stunning on the pics, congrats on your NGD.

How are the angled frets? Does it feel different compared to standard perpendicular frets? What tuning are you using on this one?

Honestly feels exactly like perpendicular frets. I might go as far as saying the idea is pretty good because it's been a couch jam guitar since it arrived and playing exactly the same as I have for 20+ years, I've zero times drifted to the wrong fret.

I've played a lot of fanned frets lately. I get the "you don't really notice" on those somewhat but playing up the entire length of the neck, the fact the frets lean one way and then the other way does make it noticeable, as does the degree of angle the further you make it from the parallel fret. Fanned has been around long enough I'm sure there's people that are accustomed to it, but I generally don't thing you can go between perpendicular frets and fanned without some changing your technique.

These, you can play 100% the same as you do perpendicular frets IMO. Could be the consistent angle or the consistent fret distance (from string to string), I'm not sure but for me I can go back and forth between a regular guitar and this all day and no feel a difference.

This I'm still playing in standard tuning. I don't drift too far from that typically, maybe occasionally drop A.

Maybe worth noting, the neck angle was not great on this when I got it. I bottomed out the adjustment and the strings were still really floating so i slipped a shim under the back of the heel and it's 100% now. I'm a skinny string guy, so these stock 10 to whatever aren't doing it for me, just debating waiting for the pickup swap or changing them now.
 
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