Ibanez Talman standard vs. prestige

gp81

Member
Messages
169
Looking at the Talman tele style guitar. Seems to sounds really great.
What is the difference between the $399 model and the $1199 model prestige. Anyone have any insight.
Is it just pickups and tuners? or something completely different?
 

John C

Gold Supporting Member
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6,252
Mostly the price difference is where they are made - the $1,199 Prestige model is made in Japan and uses USA Duncan pickups (and one assumes higher-end hardware, probably MIJ like the Gotoh-branded tuners) while the $399 Standard model is made in China with all Chinese hardware. Plus the $1,199 models come with a hardshell case (Sweetwater shows 3 different Ibanez cases on these, but one of them is a tolex with an "Ibanez Talman" logo printed on it so I would assume that's the standard case); the $399 models do not have a case or a gig bag.

I suppose it has to do with the current exchange rates; most of the "non-artist-signature" MIJ Ibanez are pretty close in price to Fender American Standards or American Specials.

I've not played the Standard version, but I did play a couple of the Prestige versions at a local mom & pop dealer; very nicely made guitars, but the necks are pretty narrow - even narrower than an EBMM neck. I had a Fender Lead II for a long time - it had a narrower neck than than any of the EBMMs I had owned over the years. The Talman Presige neck reminded me of my old Lead, but with a modern radius. And I had quit playing the Lead (I let it go last year in kind of a "pay it forward" deal) because of that narrow yet medium-depth neck.
 

bdonnelly

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,278
Yeah - I picked up one of the Talman prestige models this week - with the tele style pickup configuration. It sounds nice, build quality is quite good. Solid instrument. But after spending some hours playing it this weekend my hand is cramping up from the neck. It's just too narrow for me - and one of my favorite neck profiles are on Music Mans. So I'm returning it to the store this week. I almost don't want to part with it, but it's just not comfortable.
 

HayekFan

Member
Messages
1,526
Not to derail, but has anybody compared the new ones to the old ones from the 90s?
The original Talmans had a wide span of models, materials, and places of manufacture over the years. Most were made in Korea but some were made in Japan. Most had particle board a.k.a. "resoncast" bodies but some had alder or basswood. Bridges ranged from a mediocre quality strat style to a better quality and very cool Mustang influenced strat style to an excellent Gotoh strat style to a Bigsby/TOM style. Pickups were cool looking but unremarkable sounding lipstick singlecoils, great sounding Super 58 humbuckers, or Korean made Kent Armstrong designed SKY P90s which I haven't heard.

I've owned two MIJ Talmans. One had a typical modern C profile and the other, which I still have, has a shredder thin profile (.73" at the first fret if you can believe it) and is also pretty narrow (41 mm at the nut). Excellent build quality on both.

The new Talmans look pretty cool but lack some of the distinctiveness of the originals in that they now follow the typical strat and tele pattern in their bridge and pickup configurations and also in their neck construction. The originals' necks had a scarf joint and a headstock that angled back; the new ones are more Fender-like with no scarf joint and no angle. They've also subtly rounded off the tip of the headstock which gives it a more bulbous look. Personally I wish they had left it alone.

My guess is that overall quality of the new MIJ Talmans is on par with or even a little better than the upper model MIJ originals, and that the new MIC models will have a little better fit and finish than the lower model MIK originals but will lack some of the funky coolness.
 

milli vanilli

Member
Messages
4,929
Never played a talisman, but I assume the Prestige line is the same across the board.. you pay extra because it is made in the Japan factory, has the best hardware, nice case, name brand pickups, and there is extra attention to the frets.. they actually spend a lot more time on those. And the neck profiles can vary from Prestige to non-prestige ibbys... Prestige is their top of the line (before you make a huge jump to the J custom). My experience anyway. (Just got a prestige RG655. Loving it so far)
 

bdonnelly

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,278
An update - I decided to keep playing it for a few days before returning it - basically because I really liked how good it sounded. Turns out I started to get used to how small the neck is. So, I think I'll be keeping it after all.
 

dansworld

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,209
An update - I decided to keep playing it for a few days before returning it - basically because I really liked how good it sounded. Turns out I started to get used to how small the neck is. So, I think I'll be keeping it after all.
I've got one of the 90's ones and the neck is not that narrow. I bought it used for like $500 and I absolutely love the guitar!

 

bdonnelly

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,278
And...now I'm returning it because playing the thing has cramped my hand every time I play it. Not sure if it's the narrowness of the neck, the profile of it...combination thereof..but everytime I play it I walk away feeling like i have arthritis or something, and I start flubbing notes on the thing I easily pull off on my other axes. In 38 years of playing a guitar has never made my hand hurt as much as this thing. It sucks because it sounds great, like how I would want my dream Tele to sound, but it's just nigh unplayable for me.

Hopefully Guitar Center won't give me **** about returning it 29 days later or find some sort of mark or something on it.
Plan on getting a Jeff Beck sig Strat in it's place.
 

jklotz

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,775
I picked up a regular model, and played a prestige while I was there. The hardware on the prestige is defiantly a cut above, as was the fretwork and pickups. That being said, I didn't feel the difference was worth the cost of admission. Poly finish was the same, neck shape, finish and material seemed the same. If cost was not an issue, I would have gotten the prestige, but all told, I am very happy with the standard.

I actually like the pickups on the standard. The neck pup is a little dull, I might end up replacing it, but I do like the bridge. On mine, the nut slots were not cut deep enough, which is no big deal, as I did it myself. Also needed a little truss rod tweak. Overall, I think it is an excellent guitar for $399. Body shape balances extremely well.
 

Dan Rozanski

Member
Messages
1
I've got one of the 90's ones and the neck is not that narrow. I bought it used for like $500 and I absolutely love the guitar!

I bought this same exact guitar and color (used) back in 1996 when I lived in Pompano Beach. I loved the way it sounded and it was easy to play. I wish I never got rid of it.

 




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