Weird String Misalignment on Ibanez Prestige RGD7UC(S)

BigViolin

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This is probably my biggest pet peeve of production issues. It's really about the first thing I look at in any guitar. The bummer is even with good photos there is no way to know how tight the neck pocket is. Breaking out the screwdriver for a quick 2 minute fix is one thing but once you have to start sanding and shimming it should be a hard pass...on to the next one.

Looking at a $2700 Strandberg right now. String alignment is off at least 1 mm. A dealer took the time to take a high quality straight on photo to post on the internet but didn't notice? or didn't care to deal with it. Wonder how many hands that guitar passed through once it was strung up at the factory. This is simple shit and it baffles me.
 

MaxOfMetal

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This is probably my biggest pet peeve of production issues. It's really about the first thing I look at in any guitar. The bummer is even with good photos there is no way to know how tight the neck pocket is. Breaking out the screwdriver for a quick 2 minute fix is one thing but once you have to start sanding and shimming it should be a hard pass...on to the next one.

Looking at a $2700 Strandberg right now. String alignment is off at least 1 mm. A dealer took the time to take a high quality straight on photo to post on the internet but didn't notice? or didn't care to deal with it. Wonder how many hands that guitar passed through once it was strung up at the factory. This is simple shit and it baffles me.

The thing is, stuff like this usually doesn't happen instantly. Production guitars are on a race out the door, there isn't time to let them sit and acclimate.

This is made worse by being shipped half way around the world, again being quickly moved off to the next step in the chain.

Adjusting it, along with a whole bunch of stuff your average afraid-to-change-strings player avoids, should be done in a proper, detailed setup.

Wood moves. It bends, warps, expands, contracts, etc. Nothing is going to change that. Even old, seasoned wood will if the change in climate is significant enough.

A lot of builders tend to sit on guitars after final assembly for a certain amount of time to help lessen this.
 

BigViolin

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Good points, all around.

I think your last sentence is how things should work, at least for higher end stuff.

The thing is, it needs to be evaluated at some point. I have no problem with minor, settling in adjustments, if the issue can be fixed easily by the end user. But if the issue lies in the neck pocket route or bridge placement being off due to poor programming, machine maintenance, dust collection or the myriad of other things that can stretch tolerances then the end user becomes part of the manufacturing process.

It's just a bummer and another reason to work with a good dealer who will check this stuff and most importantly send the shit back that is too far out of spec to be easily corrected.

...or just roll your own. :lol:
 
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MaxOfMetal

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Good points, all around.

I think your last sentence is how things should work, at least for higher end stuff.

The thing is, it needs to be evaluated at some point. I have no problem with minor, settling in adjustments, if the issue can be fixed easily by the end user. But if the issue lies in the neck pocket route or bridge placement being off due to poor programming, machine maintenance, dust collection or the myriad of other things that can stretch tolerances then the end user becomes part of the manufacturing process.

It's just a bummer and another reason to work with a good dealer who will check this stuff and most importantly send the shit back that is too far out of spec to be easily corrected.

...or just roll your own. :lol:

As long as we want guitars made of wood and built to be affordable, we'll have to get our hands dirty...or just keep sending things back until the stars align.

It used to be when you bought a guitar you'd go down to the local shop, fill out some forms, and your order would be placed. After however long the shop would receive your guitar. If it looked good they'd call you up and you'd come in and determine if you were keeping it. If you decided to keep it you'd select the strings you want, talk to the tech and they'd set things up to your liking. That usually meant adjusting the nut, shimming the neck, etc. Stuff most folks don't even consider. Then you'd come back a few days later and pick up your perfect guitar.

Now, you buy one online that's drop shipped from who knows where. Maybe a retailer will see it first, but they're just there to verify it's the right SKU, that it's not a basketcase, and maybe throw a set of strings on.

Guitars need work when they arrive to play best. Even nice ones.
 

Vede

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As long as we want guitars made of wood and built to be affordable, we'll have to get our hands dirty...or just keep sending things back until the stars align.

It used to be when you bought a guitar you'd go down to the local shop, fill out some forms, and your order would be placed. After however long the shop would receive your guitar. If it looked good they'd call you up and you'd come in and determine if you were keeping it. If you decided to keep it you'd select the strings you want, talk to the tech and they'd set things up to your liking. That usually meant adjusting the nut, shimming the neck, etc. Stuff most folks don't even consider. Then you'd come back a few days later and pick up your perfect guitar.

Now, you buy one online that's drop shipped from who knows where. Maybe a retailer will see it first, but they're just there to verify it's the right SKU, that it's not a basketcase, and maybe throw a set of strings on.

Guitars need work when they arrive to play best. Even nice ones.
And yet some nice guitars seem to suffer this particular issue more than others. That’s what we’re really talking about here.

Mayones guitars fly over from Poland. And yet they rarely exhibit this issue relative to, say, Music Man guitars that are made here in the US. Perhaps Mayones developed a superior neck pocket or other method of ensuring their necks stay in place (for example, Mayones use 6 screws instead of 4). Dunno the reason, I just notice the difference. And if manufacturers like Mayones can figure this out, then the rest of the industry is capable of figuring this out. In the meantime, those of us that don’t like this issue will speak with our wallets - we’ll either not buy or return guitars that have this issue.

Also, I’ve been playing guitar for 30 years. During that time, I’ve personally never had a guitar develop this issue over time, regardless of climate changes. Some of my necks bow, sure, but they don’t slip in their neck pockets.
 

MaxOfMetal

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And yet some nice guitars seem to suffer this particular issue more than others. That’s what we’re really talking about here.

Mayones guitars fly over from Poland. And yet they rarely exhibit this issue relative to, say, Music Man guitars that are made here in the US. Perhaps Mayones developed a superior neck pocket or other method of ensuring their necks stay in place (for example, Mayones use 6 screws instead of 4). Dunno the reason, I just notice the difference. And if manufacturers like Mayones can figure this out, then the rest of the industry is capable of figuring this out. In the meantime, those of us that don’t like this issue will speak with our wallets - we’ll either not buy or return guitars that have this issue.

Also, I’ve been playing guitar for 30 years. During that time, I’ve personally never had a guitar develop this issue over time, regardless of climate changes. Some of my necks bow, sure, but they don’t slip in their neck pockets.

I've worked around guitars professionally for over two decades, been playing probably the same amount as yourself. I've probably worked on hundreds if not thousands of them. It doesn't matter the brand or the price bracket, I've seen issues like this pop up.

I haven't noticed EBMM to be especially susceptible, having owned over a dozen. :shrug:

EBMM probably throws away more guitars than Mayones sells here. More guitars overall means more individual cases of problems.

I'm not saying that folks should accept whatever, just putting some perspective out there.
 

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- I don't see why it's an issue at all really. As long as it's easily correctable it's not a big deal. More time is spent talking about it than doing the actual work to fix it.
- I don't like getting messed up guitars either that need to be fixed, but once I've determined the guitar is a keeper it gets the full treatment and rebuild from the ground up anyways so every bolt and nut is tightened to the pressure I want and everything. If there's any loose wood screws I refill the holes, I tear apart the and rebuild trem and make sure there's no metal fragments, touch up fret ends etc. I actually enjoy doing it if it's my own personal guitar. It's like Rich from Ibanez Rules offers in his package upgrades type stuff that I do too. If I ever got a guitar from him I wouldn't want him to touch it. I'd want to do it myself because I know how I like it and want to do it. Once it's done it's solid and almost never has any issues. It hardly even goes out of tune after punishing it, let alone break a string. A neck pocket alignment is no big deal. A lot of this stuff has to do with treatment in shipping. Some routes, hubs, and carriers can be particularly rough. So can customs when it's going across borders. That being said, some manufacturers could have continual problems and that could be either bad QC, to low of or no torque tolerance for those screws, a bad choice of hardware/screws, or a bad design for the bolt pattern/ spacing while using that hardware. I like necks with a little play in the pocket because you can adjust it exactly how you want plus it also prevents the body edge around the neck pocket and the horns from cracking like they do when they're to tight. Ibanez started doing this by leaving a 0.5-1mm gap there. It's there on purpose. It's not a flaw or bad crafstmanship.
 

mlp187

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I've worked around guitars professionally for over two decades, been playing probably the same amount as yourself. I've probably worked on hundreds if not thousands of them. It doesn't matter the brand or the price bracket, I've seen issues like this pop up.

I haven't noticed EBMM to be especially susceptible, having owned over a dozen. :shrug:

EBMM probably throws away more guitars than Mayones sells here. More guitars overall means more individual cases of problems.

I'm not saying that folks should accept whatever, just putting some perspective out there.

Anecdote time (semi off-topic):
My majesty BFR suffered severe fretboardn
shrinkage and subsequent delamination and lifting at the nut.
EBMM repaired the issue and even upgraded my electronics. I couldn't be happier. I can't say enough good stuff about the quality of their instruments and their commitment to customer satisfaction. But they are still suseptible to the nature of wood.

Moral of the story - shit happens to wood!
 

Vede

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Anecdote time (semi off-topic):
My majesty BFR suffered severe fretboardn
shrinkage and subsequent delamination and lifting at the nut.
EBMM repaired the issue and even upgraded my electronics. I couldn't be happier. I can't say enough good stuff about the quality of their instruments and their commitment to customer satisfaction. But they are still suseptible to the nature of wood.

Moral of the story - shit happens to wood!

Everyone knows 'shit happens to wood'. That's a given. AND I think many of us would probably agree that EBMM has great customer service. But, ALSO, EBMM (just as one example) is shipping a lot of guitars with this problem - both bolt-on AND neck-through instruments. And although SOME of that may fall into the 'shit happens to wood' category, the fact that it's happening on a lot of their neck-through guitars, as well, strongly suggests, at least for EBMM, that this is primarily a production and QA issue.

Rich from Ibanez Rules came here earlier and said basically the same thing about Ibanez. And in that case, he complained so much that the company finally took steps to improve the situation. And now it happens less on Ibanez guitars. NOT because of wood, but because of Rich. And because Ibanez started giving a shit about this.

Yes, sure, because guitar companies work with wood, this will never 100% stop happening. But it can and should be happening a lot less. And that's the point I've been attempting to make here.

I have personally owned two EBMM guitars that had this issue to a significant degree (one neck-through Majesty, one bolt-on BFR), held several others in stores that have it, and can easily find online photos of EBMM guitars that also have it. In fact, the two Majesty photos I posted in this thread earlier were literally just the first two photos I happened to click on when I did a google image search for "Majesty guitar", and they BOTH had this issue.

Here's the Petrucci BFR I briefly owned before I sent it back. EBMM customer service was terrific and was absolutely willing to take a look at it in person and fix it if I sent it to them. But I didn't want to deal with all that for a brand new USA-made guitar and lose my ability to get a refund from the retailer. Customers shouldn't be apologizing for this or making excuses for wood, because EBMM can and should be shipping fewer guitars like this.
full
 

Vede

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I've worked around guitars professionally for over two decades, been playing probably the same amount as yourself. I've probably worked on hundreds if not thousands of them. It doesn't matter the brand or the price bracket, I've seen issues like this pop up.

I haven't noticed EBMM to be especially susceptible, having owned over a dozen. :shrug:

EBMM probably throws away more guitars than Mayones sells here. More guitars overall means more individual cases of problems.

I'm not saying that folks should accept whatever, just putting some perspective out there.

I hear you, Max. And there's no question you have far more direct experience with this than I do. But I'm telling ya, just do a random search for high-resolution photos of EBMM guitars and you'll see a lot more of this than you're expecting. And it's typically not because of the angle of the photo or the height of the bridge. And I know that because I've compared the photos to the actual guitars in my hands on numerous occasions. I could walk you into any Guitar Center in the country today and show you a lot of this, including on neck-through guitars. What I probably COULDN'T show you is a bunch of customers in Guitar Center that actually care about the problem! And I think that's why most manufacturers aren't sweating it, aren't really trying to minimize it.
 
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I hear you, Max. And there's no question you have far more direct experience with this than I do. But I'm telling ya, just do a random search for high-resolution photos of EBMM guitars and you'll see a lot more of this than you're expecting. And it's typically not because of the angle of the photo or the height of the bridge. And I know that because I've compared the photos to the actual guitars in my hands on numerous occasions. I could walk you into any Guitar Center in the country today and show you a lot of this, including on neck-through guitars. What I probably COULDN'T show you is a bunch of customers in Guitar Center that actually care about the problem! And I think that's why most manufacturers aren't sweating it, aren't really trying to minimize it.

You'll find this is the biggest problem, is that the majority of players don't know what makes a guitar good and what makes a guitar bad. I don't know how many threads I've read where somebody had trouble pulling the high E off the edge of the fret, what could be the problem? Ignorance, that's the problem. If you simply can't look at the string alignment and see that the high E string is sitting closer to the edge of the fret than the bass side, then you just don't know enough about guitars. I don't care how well you can play, every player should know the basics, basics of what is bad, what is good, basics of how to adjust, at minimum change strings, make truss adjustments, but too often you find this is something they always depend on somebody else to do. They take the time to learn how to play, but don't take the time to learn the guitar itself, and what differentiates a guitar, from an instrument.

Yes, wood moves, but it doesn't make neck pockets crooked. It warps necks, it shrinks bodies and necks, continually, but "wood moves" isn't an end all answer to what are pure manufacturing problems, and the fact that nobody right down to the dealer that hangs a very problematic piece of wood with strings, FAR from an instrument, onto a hanger for the next unsuspecting player that doesn't know enough about guitars to come along and buy it. The problem starts with the manufacturer, continues with the distributor, again, the dealer has the final responsibility to make sure he's putting quality material out for sale, but finally, it comes down to the person that picks it up and decides he likes it enough to buy it. And then within weeks he starts discovering all the drawbacks of buying something that might have many problems, and blames the manufacturer.

The manufacturer deserves the blame, but so does everybody else, including the guy that bought the POS he should have never been put on the rack. The only case where this is not true is with true beginners that just have no idea what they should or should not know. Otherwise, this is the age of free and easy information that anybody can access. I suggest people use it to it's fullest advantage.
 

MaxOfMetal

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jephjacques

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And yet some nice guitars seem to suffer this particular issue more than others. That’s what we’re really talking about here.

Mayones guitars fly over from Poland. And yet they rarely exhibit this issue relative to, say, Music Man guitars that are made here in the US. Perhaps Mayones developed a superior neck pocket or other method of ensuring their necks stay in place (for example, Mayones use 6 screws instead of 4). Dunno the reason, I just notice the difference. And if manufacturers like Mayones can figure this out, then the rest of the industry is capable of figuring this out. In the meantime, those of us that don’t like this issue will speak with our wallets - we’ll either not buy or return guitars that have this issue.

Also, I’ve been playing guitar for 30 years. During that time, I’ve personally never had a guitar develop this issue over time, regardless of climate changes. Some of my necks bow, sure, but they don’t slip in their neck pockets.

STRONG disagree. I'm one of the biggest Mayones fans on this board, I think, and I've seen some absolute dogs come out of their shop, all Duvell models. Bad neck pockets, stripped neck bolts, shifty necks, one even had a fretboard that they had obviously fucked up, repaired, and then tried to pass off as an A-stock instrument. The demand for those guitars was so high they were really cutting corners, at least for a while. I have yet to see a Regius that wasn't flawless, but that's just anectotal.

The point is, there is no major manufacturer out there who doesn't slip up at least sometimes. This is why return policies exist!
 

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It's not a direct shot of the front of the guitar. It's tilted to the right. Just look at the binding.
There's a shot in their pics that is tilted, for sure, but the one I posted...I honestly can't tell. It looks straight on, it's supposed to be (that's typically what they do).
IDK...I'm oversensitive now to this, since seeing this thread ^_^
It could be they hung it from a wall hanger and it was in fact tilted a little though
 

MaxOfMetal

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There's a shot in their pics that is tilted, for sure, but the one I posted...I honestly can't tell. It looks straight on, it's supposed to be (that's typically what they do).
IDK...I'm oversensitive now to this, since seeing this thread ^_^
It could be they hung it from a wall hanger and it was in fact tilted a little though

Yeah, that's not a 100% direct on shot.

The guitar is facing slightly to right, which is why you see more binding and the fret ends on the bass side.

Just above the 17th fret you can see the side of the neck, which would only be visible if the guitar was facing slight right.

F2F3ABD9-7293-46F3-A25A-0A882C9CBA5A.jpeg
 

jephjacques

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One of my JP15s has the high E string 1mm closer to the edge of the fretboard than my other. It makes absolutely no difference when playing. At a certain point, expecting utter perfection is only going to set you up for disappointment.
 


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