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Old 08-11-2006, 04:38 PM
tzer tzer is offline
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Ibanez JS1200

Well even though I havnt been playing long, I just added this to my small collection. The Ibanez JS1200CA.

The Caddy Apple Red finish is absolutely friggin georgeous. Can't find a flaw. The shape of the body fits nicely against you, very comfortable.
I love the Prestige neck on this, slightly wider, but thin and flat, Maple with a Rosewood fingerboard, a real nice feel to it.
Floyd Rose Licensed Edge Pro Tremelo: Never use the trem alot but it feels real nice, much nicer than the one on my Fender. I know this is a real nice guitar for shredding but I am not near that level yet. Real nice tone with the DiMarzio's in it! (PAF Joe/Neck & Fred/Bridge) The JS1200 also has coil taps on both pickups for single or humbucking tones and a high pass filter maintains the highs at low volumes. Doesn't get muddy when you turn the tone knob down! Played through a clean channel on my Crate 120w 2x12, with a small bit of chorus/delay and slight reverb....she sings!! ... the tone is extremely rich & vibrant...very crisp. Extremely lightweight (Basswood) compared to my Epi Lp and Fender.
Hardshell case. The guy through in a new set of strings and a set of strap locks too

CONS: Brand new out of the box the Edge Pro trem was popped out on 1 side so I had them do a setup on it while I waited around for an hour (Sam Ash btw). Also the tone knob and shaft pulled right out (not the set screw, from the inside because it's clickable) Tuning is slightly harder with the Floyd Rose...(for me anyway)

$1280. out the door with tax!.....

Wish I could say more about it but like I said I havn't been playing long so I don't have the experience yet to really critique it....hope I did ok.... but the bottom line is I love the look, feel and tone!!

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Last edited by tzer : 08-11-2006 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 08-12-2006, 08:57 AM
EL34XYZ EL34XYZ is offline
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I bought a JS1200CA also a few months ago. After playing Strats for 25 years, I decided to get something completely different.

I decided to get mine From because Rich does pro setups and does a couple mods to the trem studs that vastly improve the stock Edge pro trem. Not that the stock trem studs are horrible, but Rich has a mod that improves the stock design a bunch. He tears down a brand new JS1200CA guitar and resets everything from scratch like neck pocket, nut, saddles, trem, dresses frets, etc. You pay a couple hundred more for this service from Rich. Go to his web site to read the extensive setup info, it's a long read but worth.

I made some custom mods to the guitar myself like getting rid of those Tele type Knurled knobs. I like numbered knobs and since the guitar has pull up switch pots, I found some really nice Black numbered knobs with rubber grips and easier profile to grab and pull. See photo below.

I disconnected the tone control, I never use it and I end up always turning it to make sure it is full up.

I added a 500P cap across the volume control, full time, so that when you turn down, the guitar cleans up. There a stock 390P cap on the guitar that is supposed to do the same thing but you had to pull up on a pot to switch it in. I like this 500P cap on full time in all my guitars.

I reversed the front pull pot switch so that you have to pull up to make the front pickup a humbucker. The front pickup is now a single coil when the pot is down. I rarely use the front humbucker, a front single coil is better for switching quickly between bridge/lead and neck/rythym.

I also had Rich set me up with 10's even though I play 11's on my Strats. I lived with the 10's for about a month and decided to go up to 11's. This stabalizes the trem a bunch more. You don't get that gargling noise when you hit a string real hard and the trem arm is much more controllable, no over bending like with wimpy strings. The palm muting on the bridge is much more stabile also. I had to add another trem spring, reset the trem position and do an intonation because of the 11's. The guitar now sounds much better with the heavier gauge strings. Seems to be way more solid sounding.

I am actually thinking about getting another one of these. I want two.

Pro's for me = Body shape is awesome and the guitar is very light. I don't like block of wood hard edge guitars like the JEM. The Satch model is very curvacious.

The neck feels incredible to me and the notes all fret perfectly up to the 22nd fret.

The rear humbucker pickup sounds awesome and cuts through the mix like a knife. I don't use the front humbucker but I can say that when the front pickup is switched to single coil and you turn down the volume, the guitar rivals my Fenders for single coil type tone. It's different than my Fenders, but so are they to each other.

The trem stays in tune very nice, even though I don't really yank it up or down in an extreme way.

The cord jack is angled upwards toward the rear strap button and the guitar cord exits the body at a perfect angle. If you weave your cord behind the strap to keep it from being yanked out of the guitar, this is the perfect angle of entry into the body.

Ibanez used a very nice chrome for all the hardware like pickup surrounds, trem bridge, neck plate, etc.

The candy apple red is stunning to look at in person. The photo's on the Ibanez web site don't even come close to showing how nice this paint job is.

The Ibanez Team J Craft case that came with the JS1200CA is top notch, it looks and feels very expensive

Cons for me: I prefer a Strat type pickup selector switch, but I am getting used to the Gibson style switch.

Last edited by EL34XYZ : 08-12-2006 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 08-12-2006, 11:51 AM
tzer tzer is offline
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Wow, great stuff EL34XYZ!! I like alot of those mods you did, especially the spilt HB up front. Question, did going up to 10's then 11's effect the tone of this beast much?
I've heard people say that the Prestige line is "very un-forgiving" Which I assume to mean that there is no room for error's or sloppy playing with these, with that said........Do u think the heavier strings help it, or make it more "un-forgiving" ?
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Old 08-14-2006, 06:44 AM
EL34XYZ EL34XYZ is offline
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I went to 11-48's years ago on all my Strats cause I was looking for a bigger tone from bigger strings. Not quite SRV or Dick Dale gauges but the bigger strings did sound way better than 10's or 9's.

When you hit an open E string on bigger strings, you get a nice solid bonk from the string.
With floating bridges and bigger strings, you get a way more solid pivot point.

I noticed that with the 10's on the JS1200ca that if you hit strings hard like I do, I was getting that garling noise caused by the floating trem.

As soon as I got the guitar set up for 11-48 I noticed the bridge was way more solid feeling. I didn't tend to wander and warble anymore. Now, when I grab the trem arm and do subtle vibrato's, I get a better vibrato. With 10's, it was too easy to over bend the arm and get an exagerated vibrato.

Like I said above, palm muting is way more stable.

I am not sure how much difference the big strings make when you are using totally distorted high gain tone but clean tones are way better on bigger strings.
I am sure it must translate over to better all around tone if the clean tones are better.

As far as unforgiving, not sure what they mean but with the bigger strings, you have better resistance when making notes. I like the feel of a guitar string that makes you dig in and play the note hard.
I would think that it would be easier with 9's to overbend and get sloppy notes than with the bigger strings.

I only had the 10's on the Ibanez for about a month before I went up to 11's. The guitar feels way better to me now with 11's but that's what I have beeen playing for so long, that's what I am used to.
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Old 08-14-2006, 07:18 AM
ren ren is offline
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Just for balance - I've got a couple of JSs and a radius, and all are running 9's - I've not experienced the problems outlined above, but then I've played guitars with floyds for a very long time, so maybe my playing style compensates.

As in my review a while back, the only fault I can find with the JS is that when you pull the tone control up to engage the tap, the trem arm hits the top of the knob....
"Its taken me all my life to learn what not to play... - Dizzy Gillespie
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Old 08-14-2006, 10:26 AM
EL34XYZ EL34XYZ is offline
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I got rid of the stocks knobs on my JS1200, see picture. When I record, I like to see where the volume is so that I can set the guitar back to the same exact position and match recording volumes and guitar tone exactly.

Maybe the stock Tele type knobs stick up further. One thing is for sure, the set screw Tele knobs did not fit very precise on the knurled split shaft pots. There was a wobble to them when turning because the set screw always threw the knob off a bit, no matter where I tried to tighten them down.

The rubber gripped numbered knobs are pretty dang nice. I got them from All Parts in Texas 800-327-8942. Part number PK 0183-023 in case anyone is interested. Price is $8 retail for a two .

The new knobs don't come that close to the bar, but I don't really lay the bar down all that far.
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