Thanks for the input all – very helpful. A couple follow up questions as I have changed my criteria a bit:
(1.) I have played a bunch of Ibanez models (JS 1000/1200, RG 1570, JEM). For the money the 1570 seems like a great guitar, especially the thin neck which I like. The only thing not hot on for the 1570 is the pickups (I think they are stock Ibanez Hums – IB8 and IB7??). They seemed a little weak. Anybody have any experience with them?
(2) I am coming around to being open to a neck-thru, but most of the neck thrus I have come across seem to have the back of the neck painted the same color as the guitar. The Ibanez I have been playing for 20 years has an unpainted back of neck. Does a painted back of neck affect the feel and speed of the neck – i.e., is it less fast than an unpainted neck?
(3) I never had a good impression of BC Rich but just came across a BC Rich model that seems to be getting rave reviews –everywhere I look the ASM Pro (see http://tinyurl.com/asmpro
). It has original (not copy/license) Floyd, EMG 81/85 and ebony (! yeah!) fingerboard.. But it has a painted neck (see previous question) and I am unsure whether the neck is as fast/thin as an Ibanez RG 1570. I am going to try to find a store stocking the ASM Pro so I can play it but any opinions would be appreciated.
(4) If I do start to now look at neck-thrus and painted necks then I will probably take another look at ESPs. For $1,500 or so any models you would reco?
(5) Finally, for a budget of up to $1,500, would you pick the ASM Pro, Ibanez RG1570 or an ESP? Or another? Key to me is neck speed, good pickups and ideally neck and bride Hums, no centre PU at all. Want a strat-style body.
Sorry for long post and thanks a mill for thoughts
I currently play an Ibanez EX Series circa 1990 (a $500 guitar at the time). I am considering upgrading to a guitar in the $1,200 - 1,500 range. Here are the things that I am looking for:
1. Neck - thin, fast, bolt-on, not a painted neck
2. Pickups - would prefer Hum on bridge and neck, with no middle pickup at all
3. Ideally would like to stick with 22 frets (vs. 24) but will make the move to 24 if no choice
4. Rosewood fingerboard - not maple (too bright)
A few questions for the forum:
Q1. I have looked at the entire lines for Ibanez, ESP and Charvel. ESP and Charvel seem to be out based on above criteria (Charvel only seems to do maple fingerboard and ESP necks seems to be mainly neck-thru and painted). Of the Ibanez line, the RG1570 seems to be closest (except it has a middle pickup and 24 frets – both of which I am not happy about but could live with if no choice). The Ibanez JS 1000 seems to be out of my price range and I have read that the neck is not as fast as the Prestige/Wizard necks – the JS 1000 is more like a Strat neck. My question for the forum on this point is are there other manufacturers you know who would meet above criteria? Also am I missing something in the Ibanez family?
Q2. I have been playing electrics with 22 frets for over twenty years (it is what I learned on). I am nervous about making the move to 24 frets if I have to – will the neck be longer, will my left hand and right hand arm position be thrown off/have to retrain, muscle memory, etc. Any comments from the forum on this?
Q3. Some Ibanez models I have seen state they use “medium” frets while others say “jumbo”. What is the difference and which do you think is better for my style (metal, hard rock, shred , Satch, Vai, etc.)
All comments appreciated