Ibanez Guitars - J Custom And Prestige (the Top Of The Line), Are They Worth it?
Todd Simpson
Feb 21 2020, 02:59 AM
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As many of you know, I’m a BIG fan of Ibanez guitars. I’ve been playing them for years and they remain my fave. This is not to say that everything that they make is great. The fact is, they make a LOT of sub $500 guitars that are honestly not very good. Also, the nomenclature of their naming convention on various guitar models throws some people off. In addition, they continue to blur the line between their higher end Japanese guitar and their slightly cheaper guitars made outside of Japan. As a big fan of Ibanez I get asked a lot about which one would be a good choice. The good news is there are several that are worth owning and many that are very affordable. At the top end of the range, they run towards pricey. The top of the range are generally the J-Custom and Prestige line. (This does not include the Ibanez custom shop guitars which are considered prototypes built for artists in order to be able to make the artist happy and to serve as templates for “Signature” guitars)



THE TOP OF THE LINE - The J CUSTOM

The “J-Custom” series is considered the very top of the pile. These instruments a built only in Japan and are typically the work of a single luthier. They use the highest quality materials (exotic wood and inlays) that Ibanez has to offer. These guitars are usually expensive and are not easy to find and try out. The Jcustom line features very thin necks, many of which are the 17mm at the nut variety. This is the thinnest production neck Ibanez. Makes. It’s these wafer thin necks that make these guitars so easy to play. You can get a better price used than new of course. Many players honestly don’t think the Jcustom is worth the extra money compared to the next step in the line. The “PRESTIGE” series.





NEAR THE TOP OF THE LINE - THE PRESTIGE SERIES

The “PRESTIGE” line is thought of, by many, as the sweet spot. Where top quality wood and hand finished necks make the price of the instrument worth it. Buying a used prestige in good condition is a great investment. That is, if the guitar speaks to you. Otherwise, do not buy it. The Prestige line are also built in Japan. As many “Ibby snobs” can tell you, the best Ibanez guitars built in Japan. Others say, it’s just that the most expensive guitars are built in Japan. There is some truth in both statements. Prestige guitars tend to hold their value quite well and are always in demand. If you buy one, you will probably be able to get your money back out of it if you decide to sell it.


*These guitars are from a few years ago and they have managed to keep their value pretty well. A prestige in good shape can bring a great price upon resell.






QUESTION: Who owns or has ever owned a PRESTIGE or JCUSTOM? What was your experience? Was it worth what you paid?


Todd

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This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Feb 24 2020, 05:08 PM
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Mertay
Feb 21 2020, 09:22 AM
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My 97 model Prestige 3120, one of the first prestige models. Doesn't exactly fit to todays modeling standard as they were sort of the J.custom at the time.

J.custom's back then were real custom made models extremely hard to find, they wanted a model that can carry that standard worldwide so these models were born. The neck is handmade in Japan but the body was from the Cort factory.

Very heavy, sounds thicker than a typical RG sound. After 23 years still the workhorse for me, only changed the electrical compnents but the hardware/wood parts and even frets are still original.

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Kristofer Dahl
Feb 21 2020, 10:40 AM
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I had a black J Custom RG2550. I sold it pretty fast, but I don't really blame the guitar. It was very metal:ish and I was starting to go in a different direction.

I do have a Prestige RG652 Ahm - and I love it to death. The only problem is that in spite of the 5 piece neck it is not the most stable guitar - even when I compare to (high end) double locking guitars. Could be just mine though.

The slight fluctuations in tuning are probably small enough for live gigging but are annoying in the studio.

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Potsau
Feb 21 2020, 12:12 PM
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Prestige pcm180

this is amazing

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Kristofer Dahl
Feb 21 2020, 02:56 PM
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Nice Potsau, I have always wanted to have one of those thin Ibbys!

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Caelumamittendum
Feb 21 2020, 03:58 PM
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I have owned a couple of cheaper Ibanez guitars as well as a lot of other cheaper and middle range guitars from other brands. None compare to my RG3570Z (I think retail was 2000 USD) as well as my RG752MFS-VFD limited edition run, which was also around that price range.

Of course I've never owned a J custom, but I would sure like to, but I might want to play one first and see if it's a nudge above my current ones.

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Todd Simpson
Feb 21 2020, 06:18 PM
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BEN: you've got two great Ibbys for sure. i had the 3570z for a while and just loved it. I got offered a lot for it and took the offer but I should have just kept it! It's one of the few six stringers that was as comfy as my antique rg560 smile.gif


MERTAY: She's a keeper! Yeah, the definitions have changed a bit over the years. The LA Custom shop used to take orders from anyone able to pay for example. They don't do that much now and the custom shop mostly makes prototypes that become signature guitars. Of course, the custom shop version is a hand built guitar and the signature versions, even prestige, are factory built, with hand finished necks.

POTSAU: That is amazing! The SABRE series eventually rebranded as the S series was originally thought up to be a touring guitar as it was made to be lighter and less of a burden on the player during long gigs. This one seems to fit the bill! Nice.

KRIS: I've seen your prestige in action and it looks like loads of fun to play! The prestige necks are just wonderful. They carry on the tradition of the original wizard with the 17mm profile at the first fret.

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Kristofer Dahl
Feb 21 2020, 07:00 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Feb 21 2020, 06:18 PM) *
KRIS: I've seen your prestige in action and it looks like loads of fun to play! The prestige necks are just wonderful. They carry on the tradition of the original wizard with the 17mm profile at the first fret.


Yeah, that + the original tremolo is probably the most distinct features of this axe!

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Caelumamittendum
Feb 21 2020, 07:10 PM
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Here are two pictures of my Ibanez' guitars smile.gif

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AK Rich
Feb 21 2020, 08:00 PM
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I have an RG652K (Prestige) It's been a great guitar for me and is my main instrument. I bought it used in mint condition with a hard case at only a couple years old for $700, about half of the retail price I think. A lucky score so it was worth every penny.

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Caelumamittendum
Feb 21 2020, 08:16 PM
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We have some beautiful Ibanez guitars on here for sure smile.gif

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Kristofer Dahl
Feb 21 2020, 09:51 PM
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Very nice axes, the orange:ish one looks incredible Cael!

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Caelumamittendum
Feb 21 2020, 09:57 PM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Feb 21 2020, 09:51 PM) *
Very nice axes, the orange:ish one looks incredible Cael!


It's a limited edition run smile.gif Only 39 made.

"The RG752MFS is a spot model which was configured on behalf of some users of the Facebook group "Ibanez RG Series Fans" in conjunction with Killerburst Guitars which is the exclusive North American dealer for this model. It is believed that a total of 39 examples of the model were produced, with 12 being sold through Killerburst and the rest offered by select retailers primarily in Europe."

https://ibanez.fandom.com/wiki/RG752MFS

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Todd Simpson
Feb 22 2020, 04:36 AM
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Some Killer Ibby's on this page!! Very envious of BENS spot model! Only a few made it to Europe and he's got one of them! Spot builds are rare and precious things. Then again, just about any Prestige is a rare and precious thing IMHO smile.gif The necks are all still finished by hand by some of the best luthiers in the world and it's the neck that makes or breaks a guitar for me. I can tell in five seconds whether I'm going to like an axe or not just by playing a few bits.
QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Feb 21 2020, 04:57 PM) *
It's a limited edition run smile.gif Only 39 made.
https://ibanez.fandom.com/wiki/RG752MFS

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