Sunday March 11, 2012
 

Ibanez Necks

The guitar neck is the place where you’ll lose some DNA to your hardware.  The Ibanez RG1570 Wizard necks has a shredder thin/wide design featuring a 24 fret rosewood fingerboard and a five piece maple walnut neck construction.  The five piece and two walnut lines extend all the way through to the head stock.  The guitar’s maple neck is finished in a satin gloss and features the comfortable Ibanez Wizard symmetrical neck curve that has a medium “C” profile. 
The scale length is 25.5", with a two-octave neck and Jumbo frets.

Tonewood

Rosewood is known to have a dark fat tone whereas maple is brighter and livelier.  But the varnish on Maple necks eventually wears through giving a road worn appearance. Great if you like the abused look. Rosewoods wear is not nearly as noticeable. You might see some etching from your fingers eventually.  The bound rosewood fretboard itself is a nice 5mm thick slab.  It’s a reddish chocolate color and a little porous. One minor concern is that the rosewood out of the FujiGen factory is somewhat dry. The first thing I’d recommend doing is to remove the strings and oil it down with some Dunlop Ultimate Lemon Oil.

Ibanez rosewood fretboard

Ibanez rosewood fretboard

Detailing

The neck is topped off with pearl dot inlays. My trivial criticism is the neck detailing is a little bland compared to others in the RG series.  Even the budget RG350DX has sharktooth inlays in contrast to the unexciting pearl dots of the RG1570 Ibanez necks. The white outer binding wouldn’t go amiss too. I guess the pearl dots are conservative and don’t spell Death Metal shredder if you’re trying to stay clear of that tag. If this worries you the RG3570Z has a nicer “wedge sharktooth inlay” which is more subtle than the standard sharktooth. I’m not asking for a vine pattern or anything like that, but something more in keeping with the Prestige label would be appreciated.

24 fret Ibanez Neck

24 fret Ibanez Neck

Scale

The 25.5"scale length is comparable to most standard 22 fret electric guitars.  So while the 24 fret Ibanez neck squeezes in an extra two frets the same string tension is maintained at concert pitch. For those that are coming from a 22 fret guitar, you’ll find that the fingerboard is slightly longer down the neck. The Ibanez from nut to the end of the rosewood fingerboard is approx 19.3 inches (49cm) a Fender Stratocaster is about 18.5 inches (47cm). The Ibanez achieves this by squashing the pickups closer together. So if you like a bit of space between pickups and pick deep into the strings you might want to try this before you buy. Also another factor to consider is the neck pickup is warmer slightly up the neck so this may affect your pickup choice if you are upgrading.
Ibanez necks have a wide fretboard measuring to 2.20 inches (56mm) width at the 19th fret. This helps with bends on the high E string not going off the neck.

Frets

Jumbo fret wire is standard on the Prestige line. It really isn’t a major difference than medium frets.   I hardly noticed the difference. Again this is a preference of choice. The quality of workmanship on the frets is superb.  They’re slightly rounded crown and nicely filed down on the sides. Note that you cannot see the “tang” the part the goes into the rosewood at the sides compared to a standard Strat.

Thin Wizard Prestige neck profile

Thin Wizard Prestige neck profile

Action

String action is good and I could get it low, but not super low without some buzzing. But that’s without playing around too much with the Edge Pro whammy bar and the truss rod left at factory default. Owing to the whammy bar setup for 009-042 strings at standard pitch you may have to spend a while adjusting for anything else e.g. E flat tuning.

While the neck is slim it is not the thinnest in the Ibanez line. That honour belongs to the super thin Super Wizard neck, being 1mm thinner all round. That neck can be found on the RG3507Z. However, some players have mentioned that the Super Wizard neck doesn’t lend itself to extended periods of playing.

Sustain

Any concerns of the Wizard Ibanez necks not having enough sustain owing to its thin construction are unfounded.  I didn’t notice any lack of sustain on any part of the neck. But then again I wouldn’t put this against a Les Paul sustain king.

The truss rod is hidden by a metal cover plate at the headstock. Once the plate is removed the truss rod adjustments are easy, without the need for string removal. The allen key is provided.

Ibanez Necks AANJ neck joint

AANJ neck joint

Neck Joint

The other renowned Ibanez feature is the All Access Neck Joint (AANJ). This joint where the bolt-on neck fastens to the body is specifically designed for easy access to the upper frets of the slim Wizard necks.  The neck is attached by four non parallel screws. A standard neck heel is usually a considerable thick square block of wood and a metal plate to keep the construction solid. With the Ibanez AANJ the rounded heel adds better access to the neck while still maintaining sustain and strength.

 

 

Other Ibanez Necks

There are three RG Prestige necks in the current line up: 

  • Wizard
  • Super Wizard
  • Original Wizard Prestige

And the rest on the other RG series:

  • Ultra HP Prestige             
  • Wizard II             
  • JEM Prestige

See the Ibanez Neck Comparison Chart

Conclusion

The neck is very comfortable due to its flat and wide fingerboard. That along with the tidy, polished fretwork makes this guitar play quite easily. Bending is easy on the wide fingerboard and unlike some necks you don’t bend the high E string off the fretboard. The fast 24-fret Wizard Maple Ibanez neck without doubt adds to the guitar’s dynamism and overall selling point.

Return to the Ibanez Prestige RG1570 Main Page

 
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