FINALLY!!!! NGD (Lefty Content)

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by johmica, Aug 15, 2020.

Original speed knobs or replacement Ibanez Sure-Grips?

Poll closed Aug 22, 2020.
  1. Speed Knobs

    50.0%
  2. Sure-Grips

    50.0%
  1. johmica

    johmica Tele-Meister

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    For those of you who have read of my travails in other threads, I'll keep this brief. I won this guitar on the online auctions nearly two months ago. The seller shipped the next day and provided a tracking number. The guitar bounced around the eastern US for a few weeks, and then disappeared "in transit." The seller was fantastic about following up, reaching out to the post office, etc., but things were beginning to look hopeless.

    Skip to this morning. I have an unexpected package waiting for me on the front porch. I LOVE this thing. It looks and feels like it dropped out of the 1970's jazz scene. I've got some Duncan Antiquities that I'm going to get RS to install for me, as well as a vintage 335 wiring harness, but I'm just enamored with this cheap little guitar. So much fun for a lefty with very few options in the market.

    This particular model came stock with the Gibson-style speed knobs, but I kind of like the Ibanez Sure-Grips that the later models sported. What do you guys think?

    1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 3+_.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg
     
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  2. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    Looks great, and Ibanez offers a respectable semi hollow. Heck, If it sounds good, I'd match the knobs and leave it as-is.
     
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  3. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have praised Ibanez so many times here on TDPRI that I feel it’s hardly necessary to continue...but I will.
    I have been a big fan since 1973 and I’ve owned and currently own several. They are great guitars and very reasonably priced. I’ll shut up now.
    OP, nice catch, now play it till the frets are flat.
     
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  4. jamester

    jamester Tele-Holic

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    Hey congrats, love a happy ending!

    Personally I'm a big fan of the Ibanez sure grips, but they can be near impossible to find aftermarket. I've never seen a stock AS93 with speed knobs, only sure grips. Did yours come with only the one sure grip and three speed knobs? Yours also has an aftermarket stop tailpiece instead of the Ibanez Quik-Change. I also swapped mine, for a heavy zinc style.

    Definitely follow-up once you put those Antiquities in...
     
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  5. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity

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    I always disliked those gold speed knobs and the white ones too. They just don't look good to me.
    So the Ibby ones or some reflector knobs would look good.
    [​IMG]Or these look nice.
     
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  6. johmica

    johmica Tele-Meister

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    I think you might be wrong about the speed knobs. If you look at old photos of first-gen AS 83s, they all came with the Gibson-style speed knobs. I've also seen photos of first-gen AS 83s with the solid stop bar tailpiece, too, although I'm not as confident that this was ever stock. If they did issue them initially with the solid stop bar, they changed over to their quick-change pretty quickly (I'm very proud of the second half of that sentence).

    I've already got replacement sure grips in my drawer of random guitar parts (I'm a true-blue modder), and I put the one on just for comparison's sake. I've also got a quick-change stop bar that I'll put on at some point, but when I do change out the stop bar, I'll be paying close attention for any tonal differences. I'll be curious to see if the lighter Ibanez stop bar affects the tone in any noticeable way.
     
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  7. johmica

    johmica Tele-Meister

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    I just went over the guitar with a fine-toothed comb. It's a 2004 model, manufactured in Korea, and the frets look like the guitar has never been played. I honestly cannot find a single sign of wear, even at the "cowboy chord" frets or the "A" position. It makes me wonder if this guitar didn't belong to someone who gave it a try, but never learned to play.

    As I'm sure you all can tell, I'm super-excited about this thing finally arriving.
     
  8. jamester

    jamester Tele-Holic

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    Interesting, it seems you are right and they did come with speed knobs! Always happy to learn something new. I found this Reverb listing, speed knobs but Quik-Change tailpiece:

    https://reverb.com/item/2102549-ibanez-as-83-artcore-2004-violin-flamed-maple

    Very nice guitar, glad everything finally worked out! :)
     
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  9. jamester

    jamester Tele-Holic

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    Meant to add, I personally find that a heavier stop bar gives a more solid note attack. Aluminum and cheap pot metal ones tend to be more "pingy" (for lack of a better adjective haha) That is why I put a heavy zinc one on my Ibanez, the extra weight was fine as mine is only 7lbs to begin with.

    Conversely, I put an aluminum piece on my black 335 instead of the zinc one it came with. This shaved a few ounces and gave a little "air" to the tone, as that guitar has a more focused, compressed sound.

    As we know, no right or wrong to this game it's all about what's best for any given guitar...
     
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  10. johmica

    johmica Tele-Meister

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    Got the guitar back from RS earlier this week, upgrades complete. Now it's sporting Duncan Antiquities, an RS vintage 335 harness, and a bone nut.

    For those of you lefties out there who haven't tried upgraded electronics, I cannot recommend the upgrade highly enough. Most manufacturers, when wiring lefty guitars, just use right-hand tapered pots, and then wire them backwards.

    This works to a certain degree, but basically what you end up with is a couple of on/off switches for the volumes and tones. There's no functional sweep. Even higher end Fender products (like my AO 50s tele) suffer from this "shortcut."

    Adding left-hand taper pots opens up a world of tonal possibilities on lefty guitars. RS Guitarworks' workshop is only about a 40 minute drive from my house, so I get those guys to wire all of my guitars, and the difference it makes is remarkable.

    Back to the guitar . . .

    I love this guitar, I really do, but I don't think that it's going to fill the "gap" in my collection that I was hoping it would fill. I wanted this guitar to be a jazz box. I'm working on TrueFire's Jazz Learning Path, and I wanted a guitar that could get those nice, rounded, deep jazz tones.

    I had read, prior to purchasing this guitar, that the AS 83s tend to be a bit "trebly." This guitar was no exception with the stock electronics and pickups, but I was hoping that the Antiquities and the vintage harness would mellow the tone out. It worked to a certain degree, but I'm still not getting jazz box tones out of it. Of course, I can fiddle with my DRRI's tone settings and get a close approximation, but the guitar just tends to have an aggressive tone not really suited for Autumn Leaves. It starts to break up the amp at around 3-4, whereas with my other guitars, I don't start getting the overdriven sound until 5-6.

    That being said, let me reiterate. I LOVE THIS GUITAR! It's so much fun to play. It's a small body, much more akin to a 339 than a 335, and the neck is thin, sleek, and one of the easiest to play I've ever owned.

    So I have a perfect solution to my "conundrum;" namely, another guitar! I've already got the clearance from the better half: I'm about halfway through my Jazz Learning Path on Truefire (second half of Lesson 4, to be exact), and when I complete the course (and the "electives" that I've picked out to complete along the way) I'm going to get myself a lefty Eastman AR805LCE. I mean, a man's got to have goals!
     
  11. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    I find most Gibson type knobs are too slippery and would remove them, for ergonomic reasons. Your suggested upgrade makes sense, to me. :)
     
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