Last Sunday I got a phone call from a long lost friend. We weren't that close and we knew each other through the hobby. You know the usual "your friend is actually my friend too who is also their friends which makes us everyone's friend". From memory I know he plays guitar casually back then but from our conversation I sense he had stopped for a while and wants to come back to the hobby. I told him over the phone well if you want to come by under one condition that you bring something I could fix and it must be musical related or else I'd deny your entrance. Sound rude in English but truthfully if you know Bahasa Malaya, its sounds absolutely polite and witty. Hehe.
He did brought something for me to fix. His beat up old acoustic. We chatted for few hours during it I noticed he was throwing some valid questions about this and that electric guitar brand. I could tell that he wants to buy a new electric guitar. Well why haven’t you be more explicit from the start. You see he think I'm a fucking music consultant cum salesman. Yes, but I'm not that same person that flips catalogues every time anyone ask about a product. That was then. I'm not that person anymore. As a matter of fact I'm now the most learned Music Consultant/Tech here in 6-3 U5/N Subang Bestari with the help of Google.
At this moment most of you might think this is some sort personal diary instead of a guitar journal. Please understand I have to start this post from somewhere. What's better than an actual discussion itself? Have patience please. We'll get there after a couple more paragraph. I'll be sharing what had transpired in the long Q and A. It's the core part leading to my suggestion. Here's the initial priority spec he wanted. It must have a Ford Rows like on those Jeksen guitars. What the hell is a Fort Rose on what Jerkson guitars I asked? Do you mean those Jackson that were made in Fortworth? Okay I'm pulling his and your leg. Relax. Hehe. Let's not only look at Jackson. Let's put 3 leading metal/rocker guitar brand in the witness box. Let's question each of their selected mid-range model. Let's us arrive to the truth together aka the winner. Do take note my reasoning has my preference in it too. So yes, I am a biased person. For your information I never ask his budget nor did he tell me how much was he willing to spend. I think it better that way so I could give my blunt honest opinion and since I don't have any of the 3 for sale. That makes my recommendation free from conflict of interest, impartial and unbiased. Huh? I thought I said. Never mind that. Let's begin.
He shouted Jackson earlier remember? I replied bad choice my friend. Why? Let look at a Jackson model. It has a Jackson FR but the fact is it's some sort of Floyd Rose Special in disguise. The saddles on those tend to break sooner or when you least expected which puts you in a dilemma. Either you buy a set of high quality saddles later or buy a complete Schaller bridge outfit.
What a waste of thrilling time waiting for the part(s) to arrive. Look at where the 5 way selector is located. You’ll trip the volume pot without knowing. Did I too? Of course I still do. Look at back spring cover. Compare the setup efficiency factor with the next two I’m about to compare to. Next please!
What about ESP he asked. Wait a minute I think you meant to say LTD right? It's the same story like the Jackson. They both slap on their engraved or laser etch name on the bridge to hide the fact it's a Floyd Rose Special. You see my friend it's 2018 and these 2 brand is replaying their 1998 marketing game. Both slapping their name on every hardware to make people think they make those hardware's. Though they try to be different from one another back then. It's still the same game like before. The only difference is the game play. By right we consumers should be more alert about cost cutting practices culture in today's economy. Never have the guitar making business been volatile as it is today. Have you check how many guitar maker are there in the market lately?
So let me try comprehend this.What about Ibanez I asked. His facial expression was positive. Alright my friend let's look at Ibanez mid-range spec closely. First of all the bridge is not Floyd Rose Special but it does have a few special thing. The knife edge is hardened steel. The stud has a small screw inside for secured post lock-down. The spring tensioner uses knurled thumb-wheel. You don't need to scour your car boot or kitchen for a screw driver. The best thing is the Edge Zero II needs only two proprietary springs that guarantees greater tremolo wanking experience. Taking out one spring from FR doesn't make it even close to the well-engineered balance of the Edge Zero II.
There's a stopper bar too which you could remove or retain when you feel like it. The neck joint is AANJ as oppose to the old school or offset rectangle block heel. The 5 way selector is where its suppose to be. The lower horn cutaway is wide and spacious for high notes access. The string passing the nut towards the machine head do not have any abrupt break angle. The RG overall built is ergonomic without diminishing its intended character. Not even slight. The RG standard has 24 frets and a couple of humbuckers as does the Jackson or the LTD by ESP but in the price bracket of between MYR1500 to MYR2500 the RG Standard is the clear winner here.
It is only at this juncture of my consultation he spat out his budget. I could squeeze 2000 ringgit he says. Well what are you waiting for? Have you not been listening to my sermon? Hehe of course he did. However do not ask me where to buy the RG for I do not wish to be seen as a shill for any shop. I think the model you want is the Ibanez RG370ZB. People say (not me) direct mounted pickups gives better tonewood transfer. The alternative would be RG370PBZ or RG370FMZ. I call you when your acoustic is done. Goodbye and please come again.
I have directed my friend to go to two music shop. One in Old Klang Road and the other in Setia Alam. I'll be tagging along when the time comes. Either one of you better have it in stock. I might do a shop experience write up next. So do not try to sweet talk nonsense to my friend in my presence! Just so you know.
Anyone locally in need of guitar buying advice. I am at your service. Come and see me. My address and contact on the right. You're more than welcome to drop by.
Helping Buyers, Domestic and International.