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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
bump price drop
Hey guys! I just discovered this forum. I'm getting old and my hands can officially no longer rock with extra thin necks. Been in denial for years and kind of still am but ready to sell some gear to buy something new and get back to playing asap. Any suggestions for super strat options with slightly more substantial but equally magical necks? So far I'm looking at suhr and strongly considering ESP E-II SN also.
In the meantime I'm selling my 2014 RG655 to gather up funds. It's the best finish they had for this model in my opinion, rarely see these firestorm orange ones up for sale. Everything is stock, from pickups to trem, near mint aside from a couple dings and light usage where the palm rests. Comes in the original hard case. I'm asking for $1150 shipped and the guitar is listed on ebay/reverb too if you want to check my feedback. The higher price there is to cover fees and discourage extreme lowballing, but I'm open to offers. Questions and requests for more pictures welcome of course. Cheers!

rg655incase.jpg rg655back.jpg rg655bottomdingjpg.jpg rg655frontside.jpg rg655headstockding.jpg
 

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The recent Ibanez AZ series have lovely roasted maple necks that are quite chunky by shredder standards.
 

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The E-II SN has a thin U profile... might not be the best selection if you don't like the RG neck. I sold my last two ESP MII's(one a MIJ Custom shop and the other a USA custom) which have the same profile as the SN because of wrist pain. For me it was especially bad playing in the first 5 positions. Might want to find one locally before spending the money on one sight unseen.

The AZ would be more comfortable or if you are looking at other Ibanez guitars find one that has an Ultra neck.
 

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I would also echo the AZ series. I’d say it’s a Suhr-esque model and indeed does have a more substantial neck than your traditional wizard/nitro Ibby necks. In the mean time, I’m going to think very carefully about this as I generally can’t resist an orange guitar!


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Maybe an older Standard Horizon? While I don’t find the E2 necks to be anywhere close to Wizard thin or as flat, I found the Necks on my ESP headstock Horizons to be a little more rounded and comfortable to play.
Beauty Ibanez. If this was 15 years ago I’d still be all over that but I moved on to an ESP obsession for the exact neck reasons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The E-II SN has a thin U profile... might not be the best selection if you don't like the RG neck. I sold my last two ESP MII's(one a MIJ Custom shop and the other a USA custom) which have the same profile as the SN because of wrist pain. For me it was especially bad playing in the first 5 positions. Might want to find one locally before spending the money on one sight unseen.

The AZ would be more comfortable or if you are looking at other Ibanez guitars find one that has an Ultra neck.
Thanks for the heads up about the ultra neck! Wow, I tried an LTD sn 1000 in store and was assuming the MIJ necks were the same, just higher quality but now I see that the specs are a little different even though both are listed as "thin u" ...yikes. I was shocked at how good the MIK LTD neck/board felt but seems like the MIJ board is rounder which will be too much of a jump from the radius I'm used to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I would also echo the AZ series. I’d say it’s a Suhr-esque model and indeed does have a more substantial neck than your traditional wizard/nitro Ibby necks. In the mean time, I’m going to think very carefully about this as I generally can’t resist an orange guitar!


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More votes for AZ, heading to the shop this weekend for a test! I feel you on the colour weakness haha, let me know! Mine are orange and purple 😅
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Maybe an older Standard Horizon? While I don’t find the E2 necks to be anywhere close to Wizard thin or as flat, I found the Necks on my ESP headstock Horizons to be a little more rounded and comfortable to play.
Beauty Ibanez. If this was 15 years ago I’d still be all over that but I moved on to an ESP obsession for the exact neck reasons.
Hey thanks! Do you mostly have old ESP standards? or anything since they did the renaming line-split? I haven't bought a new guitar in years and figured I'd treat myself to something that's maybe a bit pricey but will last a long time and be my main axe. I'm not sure if discovering this forum is a blessing or a rapid road to bancruptcy lol!
 

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My experience with ESP is only with Custom Shops, and a couple MII's from the mid 90's. I still have my 2 custom shops, an MX250 and a tele and both of those have much different profiles than the thin U. For whatever reason the ESP thin U destroys may wrist anymore. Like @tdotrob said, perhaps the Horizon will be different... I have no experience with the EII since I really dislike the logo. It's not a valid reason to not try them out, but I just can't get over that logo.

Good luck with the search... the best part is trying out new gear.
 

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Hey Roryfan! Thanks I'll have to look them up! Have you had the chance to try yourself?
Yes I briefly owned a MIJ AZ24 this spring but had to sell a bunch of gear to pay “bonus” income tax. It went from @pstratman to me to @barnesable who may want to chime in with their thoughts. I also concur with previous comments that the hardware & build quality are on par with Suhr.

P.S. The “medium-output” Duncan bridge pickup is actually 17k, although it cleans up pretty well with the guitar’s volume knob.
 

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Hey thanks! Do you mostly have old ESP standards? or anything since they did the renaming line-split? I haven't bought a new guitar in years and figured I'd treat myself to something that's maybe a bit pricey but will last a long time and be my main axe. I'm not sure if discovering this forum is a blessing or a rapid road to bancruptcy lol!
Right now I’m rocking a 2012 Standard Horizon as my number 1. I just sold an EII-MII and the deciding factor was the necks as discussed.

I have an USA Horizon but I find the neck is little more rounded on the Standard compared to USA.

I had a EII Horizon and it has a similar neck to the Standard but still didn’t feel quite as rounded and a little flatter and narrower. Those have been my experiences so far.

As far as sound, quality, fit and finish, the Internet hype is dead wrong. The EII are every bit as good as the old ESP standards.

But I do agree I prefer the ESP logo headstock for the looks.

here is a picof a couple Standard on the right, EII-MII on the left.

Cant say enough about the MIJ ESP quality though. They seem to get it right.

1790A313-CD0F-43A6-97DD-5ACEB672CCD8.jpeg
 

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Thanks for the heads up about the ultra neck! Wow, I tried an LTD sn 1000 in store and was assuming the MIJ necks were the same, just higher quality but now I see that the specs are a little different even though both are listed as "thin u" ...yikes. I was shocked at how good the MIK LTD neck/board felt but seems like the MIJ board is rounder which will be too much of a jump from the radius I'm used to.
My MIK LTD 1001 has the fattest neck of all my ESP/LTD guitars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes I briefly owned a MIJ AZ24 this spring but had to sell a bunch of gear to pay “bonus” income tax. It went from @pstratman to me to @barnesable who may want to chime in with their thoughts. I also concur with previous comments that the hardware & build quality are on par with Suhr.

P.S. The “medium-output” Duncan bridge pickup is actually 17k, although it cleans up pretty well with the guitar’s volume knob.
How did you feel about the pickups overall? Would definitely love to hear your thoughts and/or theirs!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Right now I’m rocking a 2012 Standard Horizon as my number 1. I just sold an EII-MII and the deciding factor was the necks as discussed.

I have an USA Horizon but I find the neck is little more rounded on the Standard compared to USA.

I had a EII Horizon and it has a similar neck to the Standard but still didn’t feel quite as rounded and a little flatter and narrower. Those have been my experiences so far.

As far as sound, quality, fit and finish, the Internet hype is dead wrong. The EII are every bit as good as the old ESP standards.

But I do agree I prefer the ESP logo headstock for the looks.

here is a picof a couple Standard on the right, EII-MII on the left.

Cant say enough about the MIJ ESP quality though. They seem to get it right.

View attachment 339145
Loving this E-II though I do agree it's an awkward logo. Kinda like having Ibanez style model names but permanently on the headstock 😆 Not enough to stop me from buying one though cuz I feel like my options are narrow enough between neck profiles and budget.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The quality of these guitars are amazing....I'm a sucker for Japanese built guitars.....
Same here, though I will say that lately some I've tried have felt like perfect precision builds but without any soul which was bizarre. Hoping that isn't the case with the AZ line being recommended cuz they're gorgeous
 

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How did you feel about the pickups overall? Would definitely love to hear your thoughts and/or theirs!
Take these comments with a grain of salt as this was my first shredder & my approach is generally quite old school: Strat, LP or SG plugged straight into the amp, find my lead tone & then roll back the guitar volumes to get various shades of crunch, clean, etc.

The bridge was a little too hot for my taste (I was hunting VH tones & normally use PAF-spec HBs) and I wasn’t crazy about the neck, although my “too bright” complaint may have been more due to it’s placement on a 24 fret guitar. The 10 various coil tap options sounded interesting on paper but struck me as half-assed versions of a Tele, out-of-phase Strat, etc. Arguably a useful tool for a band that has cover a wiiiide range of material, but I seem to gravitate towards one trick ponies that do that trick VERY well. FWIW I’ve found that 2 volume knobs with a useable taper can get me pretty much everything that a coil-tapping jack of all trades but master of none set up is trying to accomplish.

I also didn’t like the balance of a 24 fret neck on a dinky-sized body. When playing seated, the placement of the lower body contour made the guitar sit on my leg in a different place than a Strat & the nut seemed to be far away like Firebird.

This guitar oozed quality: the neck was wonderful (feel & profile), no tuning issues with the Gotoh 510 trem/locking tuners/TUSQ nut combo, and the playability was excellent (top-notch fretwork). If this guitar was 22 frets on a full-sized Strat body I would have considered keeping it & doing a pickup swap.
 

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The AZ series is amazing. I had the same guitar @Roryfan is talking about and only sold it to get the strat version of the AZ (but I bought an Xotic instead :))I liked it better than some of the higher end Suhrs I’ve owned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Take these comments with a grain of salt as this was my first shredder & my approach is generally quite old school: Strat, LP or SG plugged straight into the amp, find my lead tone & then roll back the guitar volumes to get various shades of crunch, clean, etc.

The bridge was a little too hot for my taste (I was hunting VH tones & normally use PAF-spec HBs) and I wasn’t crazy about the neck, although my “too bright” complaint may have been more due to it’s placement on a 24 fret guitar. The 10 various coil tap options sounded interesting on paper but struck me as half-assed versions of a Tele, out-of-phase Strat, etc. Arguably a useful tool for a band that has cover a wiiiide range of material, but I seem to gravitate towards one trick ponies that do that trick VERY well. FWIW I’ve found that 2 volume knobs with a useable taper can get me pretty much everything that a coil-tapping jack of all trades but master of none set up is trying to accomplish.

I also didn’t like the balance of a 24 fret neck on a dinky-sized body. When playing seated, the placement of the lower body contour made the guitar sit on my leg in a different place than a Strat & the nut seemed to be far away like Firebird.

This guitar oozed quality: the neck was wonderful (feel & profile), no tuning issues with the Gotoh 510 trem/locking tuners/TUSQ nut combo, and the playability was excellent (top-notch fretwork). If this guitar was 22 frets on a full-sized Strat body I would have considered keeping it & doing a pickup swap.
Keeping this all in mind since I'm definitely trying to avoid immediately putting part-swap money into something I'm already (over)spending a good bit on 😅 Interesting comments about the coil splits. I'd tend to agree with that because I've only heard bare knuckles split convincingly so far. Overall lots of question marks about why Ibanez has started putting "collaboration" pickups on even some of their highest level models now....part of why I'm really looking hard at ESP options. Thanks for the tips!
 
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