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FearlessUndeadMachines
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:57 am
Posts: 77
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:44 pm 
 

It's kinda ironic; it's the most expensive guitar I own, and I hate the fucking thing.

The tones are good, and it's the only guitar I currently own that can do strat "quack" tones. The neck, fretboard, and frets are all nice. But, the damn thing WILL NOT STAY IN TUNE. And I think one of the reasons for this is the design; it's a bolt-on, and instead of a plate, there are 4 screws in the wood, and the neck is UNSTABLE.

Whenever I pick the thing up I end up tuning it more than playing it. Argh.

So my question is this; should I sell this piece of shit?

(Edit) - yes, I stretch my strings out, and yes, I've put graphite in the nut slots. a luthier pointed out the neck stability problem, so every so often, I'll tighten the screws at the neck joint, and tuning stability will improve - briefly. The issue always returns after just a day or two.

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mattp
Veteran

Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 9:57 pm
Posts: 2910
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:52 pm 
 

Gotta love Ibanez always using super soft basswood in their instruments. Basswood is not the most stable of hardwoods a guitar could be made out of.
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FearlessUndeadMachines
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:57 am
Posts: 77
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:23 pm 
 

Mahogany body, maple top.

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mattp
Veteran

Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 9:57 pm
Posts: 2910
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:48 pm 
 

Oh.

That's odd, mahogany and maple should be more solid than that.

You could consider filling and redrilling the holes.
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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 4774
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:26 pm 
 

If you occasionally need to re-tighten the screws that hold the neck in, the wood might be torn apart inside to the point that the screws don't properly hold into it. You could take the screws out, put wood glue in, and put them back in (and clamp it) - easy to mess up if you do it wrong, but it could help if the soft basswood is torn up.

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FearlessUndeadMachines
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:57 am
Posts: 77
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:41 pm 
 

Zodijackyl wrote:
If you occasionally need to re-tighten the screws that hold the neck in, the wood might be torn apart inside to the point that the screws don't properly hold into it. You could take the screws out, put wood glue in, and put them back in (and clamp it)


Seems like a design flaw.

Zodijackyl wrote:
- easy to mess up if you do it wrong, but it could help if the soft basswood is torn up.


As I have previously stated, the body is made of Mahogany.

And funny thing, I have a cheap ESP/LTD M-100FM. That body IS basswood, and it stays in tune like grim death. The $450 cheapie gets played every day, while the $800, crafted-in-Japan, "Prestige" seems better suited to being a door-stop than a musical instrument.

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kingnuuuur
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:35 pm
Posts: 2123
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:28 am 
 

OP didn't describe his string winding technique, or how much he's going out of tune. (I understand the model is fixed bridge, non-locking)

Retuning every 2-3 days sounds normal to me, especially if you live in an area where temperature keeps fucking with you.

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FearlessUndeadMachines
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:57 am
Posts: 77
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:06 pm 
 

kingnuuuur wrote:
OP didn't describe his string winding technique

Imagine for a moment that you own ten guitars. Nine of them hold tune reliably, one does not. Would you really infer that it's because of your "string winding technique"?
kingnuuuur wrote:
or how much he's going out of tune.

I did, in fact, say how much it was going out of tune, in my original post.
FearlessUndeadMachines wrote:
Whenever I pick the thing up I end up tuning it more than playing it. Argh.

The next person who says "well, your problem is clearly a guitar made of cheap basswood" is going to have a live cat thrown at them. :-D

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kingnuuuur
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:35 pm
Posts: 2123
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:41 pm 
 

FearlessUndeadMachines wrote:
kingnuuuur wrote:
OP didn't describe his string winding technique

Imagine for a moment that you own ten guitars. Nine of them hold tune reliably, one does not. Would you really infer that it's because of your "string winding technique"?

It's a possibility. For all we know, your 9 other guitars could have locking nuts/tuners.

FearlessUndeadMachines wrote:
kingnuuuur wrote:
or how much he's going out of tune.

I did, in fact, say how much it was going out of tune, in my original post.

No, what I meant is, does it detune by cents or semitones? e.g. say you tune the low E string dead center and perfect, by how much does it fall back a few days later? A few cents, or something like a whole step down? If it's the former, then I'd say that it's quite normal. If it's the latter though, then I'd say that you have a rather serious problem somewhere, and it may not necessarily be the neck.

Speaking of the neck, does it look bowed or in any way not in line with the body? Are there any visible cracks at the joint? (You may want to use a magnifying glass)

EDIT: One more thing btw, something I've noticed with my own Ibanez (also made with mahogany) is that the neck is a little bit more prone to "bending" towards the body when I'm playing, especially on the lower frets (towards the headstock). The notes go slightly flat, basically, and when I relieve the tension applied with my fretting hand, it goes back to normal. To compare, my other guitar which has set-in construction as opposed to bolt-on, has a stiffer neck that's much harder to bend. So my opinion is that the bolt-ons from Ibanez may not be all that rigid.

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FearlessUndeadMachines
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:57 am
Posts: 77
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:10 pm 
 

I looked up some info about re-stringing to see if there was something I was missing in that area. This is how I re-string: http://www.fretnotguitarrepair.com/repa ... anging.php

If that's wrong, then, ok, wow.

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kingnuuuur
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:35 pm
Posts: 2123
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:19 pm 
 

No, that's a very good method.

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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 4774
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:39 pm 
 

FearlessUndeadMachines wrote:
As I have previously stated, the body is made of Mahogany.


Well, that advice is still valid. If the screws have been removed and put back in a bunch of times, that might be it.

Is the bridge fixed, or is it one of those Ibanez Edge trems? Those are complex mechanisms for making a guitar go out of tune.

FearlessUndeadMachines wrote:
The next person who says "well, your problem is clearly a guitar made of cheap basswood" is going to have a live cat thrown at them. :-D


If you will do this, I will keep the cat and take care of it better than you take care of your guitars :evil:

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FearlessUndeadMachines
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:57 am
Posts: 77
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:30 am 
 

Zodijackyl wrote:
Is the bridge fixed, or is it one of those Ibanez Edge trems?


The model is the topic of the thread.

http://www.zzounds.com/item--IBARGA121

Imagine yourself having a conversation that goes something like this;

you: the guitar is made of mahogany.
response: I have a feeling that your problem is being caused by a guitar that is made of cheap basswood.
you: the guitar is made of mahogany.
response: hmm. Did you say it was made of basswood? because basswood is soft.
you: I already said twice that the guitar is made of mahogany.
response: I see......basswood?
you: it's an Ibanez RGA121 Prestige.
response: but what kind of guitar is it? because some of those Ibanez guitars have crappy floating trem systems.
you: it's an Ibanez RGA121 Prestige.
response: yeah, but what kind of guitar is it?

I will admit, this whole thing has become pretty humorous to me. At this point, I am only returning to this thread to marvel at how surreal and Dada-esque it has become.

I can report that I have found several discussions on other forums regarding this particular model Ibanez (yes, I know - "but what kind of guitar is it?" lol), and apparently I am not the only one who has encountered this problem.

I have owned a couple of other Ibanez guitars in the past and gotten rid of them. Ibanez guitars are sort of cool but they are not made to pro specs and will not stand up to daily use.

As per the inference that I'm rough on guitars, you're damn right I am. You give me a shitty guitar to play and I will probably destroy the fucking thing. But my ESPs perform reliably for me.

My cat, however, is happy, fat and snoring. :-)

Later.

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Ilwhyan
Metel fraek

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:41 pm
Posts: 6356
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:02 pm 
 

FearlessUndeadMachines, don't be an asshole. Appropriate as it might be for a helper to look up the specs of the guitar before posting to ask questions, there's absolutely no need for you to lose your shit over someone not bothering to look up what a Gibraltar Plus bridge is. If you insist on acting like an arrogant jew, don't expect help.

Aren't you the guy who had dents in your strings?
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