Ibanez set-in necks - watch out neck-body alignment

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by advrider, Apr 19, 2015.

  1. advrider

    advrider Member

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    I thought of sharing this with you so that you pay attention in your next buy of Ibanez Artstar / Expressionist / Artcore semis. I have been always amazed about the build quality of these guitars but QC may have been relaxed a bit lately.

    I recently bought an AS93 and was struggling with fret buzz in the 6th and 5th strings. Only raising the bridge (and action) on the 6th string side above what I would consider normal would correct it. I then discovered when looking at the headstock vertically down to the body that the whole neck was tilted by several mm to one side, i.e. the planes formed by the fretboard and the body were misaligned. This was obviously due to a bad joining of the neck to the body. I brought the guitar back to the retailer, was replaced and the new unit has no problem and plays superbly (those super 58's custom PUs don't sound bad at all!), with a nice low action.

    The surprise came when several weeks later I tested an AS153 of the Artstar series, Ibanez's top of the range of their 335-like China-made semis. Again the same issue, a very obvious neck-body misalignment (and fret buzz!) with the 6th string side anomalously raised. This seems therefore a recurrent problem.

    So watch out and take a close look at the headstock-body alignment in your next Ibanez semihollow.
     
  2. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    Several mm?!??! That is a lot!
     
  3. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

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    Pics or its not true.
     
  4. advrider

    advrider Member

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    Hi there. 2 mm to be exact. Sorry I did not take a picture of the AM93 I returned, I just got it back to the retailer (who obviously sold it afterwards, I monitored their online stocks ...) and got it replaced with one without the defect. As for the AS153 I tested this week, I don't use to carry with me a precision rule when I go to a guitar shop ... But the deviation of the neck and body planes was very obvious as judged by a simple observation of the alignment of the headstock edge with the body plane as you look down the neck from above, with the guitar placed vertically.

    I am just sharing this because I find this quite unusual (my experience with Ibanez is that their build quality is generally impeccable) so that those interested in buying an artstar, expressionist or artcore semihollow (or actually any other set-in neck Ibanez guitar) check well beforehand the neck-body alignment. In the case of the AM93, the build defect was having a very noticeable effect on the guitar setup, making it difficult to avoid fret buzz on the 6th and 5th strings unless having the action too high. This issue may be important if you do not have a chance to inspect closely the guitar before buying as typically happens with online purchases.

    Cheers.
     
  5. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

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    The reason I asked is I set up these all the time and I've never seen it.
     
  6. filtersweep

    filtersweep Member

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    I have two Artcores that are 'perfect'- a 73 and 105. If this was a 'known issue' I believe the internet would be screaming about it. If it were misaligned, I would expect it would be quite visible where the neck joins the body- above the neck pick-up.

    Every Artcore I have seen at GC has been badly in need of a setup-- to the point of being almost unplayable (off the rack, at least).
     
  7. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    No doubt any and every guitar needs a look to check out the plane of the fretboard vs body, just in case.
    Good reminder!
     
  8. dubdub

    dubdub Member

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    Same here, I've never seen it. You should have posted pics OP....
     

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