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  1. #1
    Romeo Delight erasetheprocess's Avatar
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    07.24.17 @ 07:06 PM
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    Default Gotta Bring it to a Luthier....(Long Story)

    This will be as shocking to you as it is to me, but the reality is: I am not Edward Van Halen.



    (Trust me, I am going somewhere with this)

    In 1998, my brother needed some strings, and asked me if I wanted to go with him to GC. I said sure, had nothing else to do. He was talking with the guy at the counter, and I was just looking around......and saw this decent looking red guitar. Hey, that's kinda cool....

    Pick it up, it felt like an extension of my own fingers, and I truly fell in love with it, then and there.

    Up until this point in time, my only guitar was a Series 10 Stratocopy that had a **HORRIBLY** warped neck, and was actually uncomfortable to play, so pretty much anything with a straight neck felt amazing.....but this one...there was something special about it.......what IS this thing????

    Ibanez JS 100

    Now, by this point, my brother had already been playing for about 10 years, had a few guitars, was in a band, and I trusted his opinions.

    "What do you think of this thing?"

    "I like it....but it has that fat ass neck that I can't stand. I know you seem to like thicker necks though." (If you are familiar with Ibanez, he typically played on RG's with Wizard necks, which are slimmer than the JS100.)

    We took off, and I couldn't stop thinking about the guitar. That entire evening I was doing math in my head and realized, I could actually afford it. I could make it my own.

    "I think I'm gonna buy that guitar tomorrow. Will you come with me, check it out, make sure I don't do anything wrong, and that it's structurally sound?"

    "Sure, but if you are gonna spend 650 bucks on something, I want you to play on different guitars. I want you to test different things to ensure this isn't just a case of "I really like it." Let's make sure that this is "the one for you."

    I played probably 15 guitars that night. The necks didn't feel right. "This is too thin, I can feel it."

    "You are full of sh*t. It's the same neck."

    "I'm telling you, it's not. This one is thinner than Joe."

    He talked to the guy behind the counter again, and had him pull up the specs on the 2 guitars.

    I was right. Joe's neck was thicker that whatever neck I was playing on. By 1 millimeter.

    I am not Edward Van Halen, but there was some part of me that could feel..."this isn't right."



    To this day, my brother still mentions it. "I don't know how you felt that." "It just didn't feel right."

    2011

    I have some money in my pocket. I want another guitar. I play over **60.** They just don't feel right....until I pick up a EVH Gear Wolfgang Special.....and then a few years later, in 2015, a used MIJ Wolfgang Special Stealth.

    Something...didn't feel right, but only right in this spot, right here. I can feel it, when I bend. It's not a warp....it's a...rub???

    I'm just gonna keep playing it, call it one of the many little individual perks of owning a guitar with an unfinished neck. They have souls. They are alive. They have attitudes, and they do things. If this one little thing is the only finicky-ness I have to deal with on a used guitar? I'm pretty blessed.

    I pick it up last week, and not only do I feel it when I bend, worse than it was, I *hear* it. It's a....click.....what the f**k is going on with my guitar????

    I pull the strings back, and am a little shocked, and a little horrified.



    I don't gig. I'm not in a band. I take care of my stuff. I don't use capos. How in the HELL did I manage to....cut? dent? crack? this **stainless steel** fret????

    I thought these things were damn near indestructible? I have a feeling that the reason the new Wolfgangs don't have them is because they are a bitch to work on, from a luthier's perspective, cause they chew up tools.

    I am not Edward Van Halen. I'm not beating the piss out of this guitar 12-16 hours a day, and taking it through all sorts of different weather conditions...

    This thing is TINY. It's literally the size of the tip of a sharpened pencil, and yet, I can feel it. It's screwing me up. It's pissing me off. I can hear the click every time I bend. I can feel it catching the string.

    Why am I telling you all of this, dear reader? Why have I written all of this?

    Because I find it truly fascinating that we, as guitar players, can pick up on stuff like this. NOONE else would be able to distinguish this kinda stuff. I can trust my ears, but I am not Edward Van Halen. I cannot tell the difference between cabinet woods and hear which one was made of which wood with a single note...but I can feel that something is off with my guitar in a single bend.

    The relatiosnhip we have with these inanimate instruments is truly...something special, and very personal, and I know I'm not the only one out there with a story like this.

    I'm kicking myself for not discovering it sooner.

    Emailed EVH Gear directly, and they put me in touch with a luthier about an hour away (California Bay Area) who does custom work. I called them today and they said they can work on the SS frets, about a week turnaround time, for about 25 bucks.

    I'm hoping its just a simple fret re-crown. This is the first time in 18 years of playing that I have ever needed to bring one of my guitars in to be worked on. I will be missing my guitar in the meantime, but the advantage is, I may have just found a local luthier that I can trust.

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  3. #2
    Eruption jaybird's Avatar
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    12.08.17 @ 07:08 AM
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    As an aside, I had the EXACT same JS100. 98 version in amazing transparent red, beautiful. Guy I bought it from had upgraded the pickups to the Joe/Fred combo (like the JS1000) so it was a killer axe for a lot of years. Traded it off for something...I don't remember...but I absolutely loved the thinner profile body style and how it sat when I played. Will probably pick up a 2400 eventually, if I can find one I like. Just wish Ibby and Joe would come out with a maple fret board. I know he toured with a custom version a while back, but I've never seen one released to the public.

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  5. #3
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    12.08.17 @ 02:16 PM
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    Small dings and dents on the neck or the body I can handle, but if it actually causes a twang I would notice it right away. I get what you mean about the "clicking" with something like that when you bend the string. It's definitely a weird chip. I can't imagine string wear causing such a narrowly defined rut, but it looks like it sits exactly where the string sits. Weird.
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

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  7. #4
    Romeo Delight erasetheprocess's Avatar
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    07.24.17 @ 07:06 PM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jaybird View Post
    As an aside, I had the EXACT same JS100. 98 version in amazing transparent red, beautiful. Guy I bought it from had upgraded the pickups to the Joe/Fred combo (like the JS1000) so it was a killer axe for a lot of years.
    The day I took that picture was the day I ripped out the stock pups and put in the Fred / PAF Pro combo.

    The Pro? It sounds EXACTLY like JS when you play through it. The Con? It sounds EXACTLY like JS when you play through it......... :P I still play it, and still love it, but Wolf gets a LOT more attention these days.

 

 

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