Ibanez JS1000BP Guitar Hands on Report by Glen Cianciulli 7/2016
The playing time I have on Ibanez double-locking axes in the last few years can be counted on the minute hand of a clock. Mostly because the ones I still have just aren’t a good fit for me. So I was intrigued when presented with an opportunity to address this… “an Ibanez JS1000BP in great condition with case”. Really intrigued when I saw the price. Along with a few low-res thumbnail photos the only other detail to help clarify was the serial number F07xxxxx. Most notably the year determines the tremolo routing on the body and possible manufacturing defects or oddities that might be present. Ibanez tweaks things sometimes for good and sometimes for other reasons. For example, the neck width at fret-22 and famously the shift from Edge, LoPro, EdgePro then Edge again. Generally speaking it was not a great idea for Ibanez to design a new tremolo to avoid licensing fees without first vetting patent expiration! Since this JS1000 is a 2007 model I knew to expect an EdgePro tremolo without locking studs and 56mm neck width at fret-22.
It’s no secret that after having owned several dozen JEM, UVs & RGs over the years, I moved on from playing these superstrats. Not just because I prefer hardtails for tone, tuning stability, vibrato, intonating bends, simplicity, etc. You can make a JEM/RG/etc. into a hardtail in just a few seconds… block its tremolo with an insert and pull a rear spring. This allows string pressure to fix the block against the insert against the body wall thus removing all tremolo movement. For a while I did just that… it provides the nicety of having the fine tuners right there at the bridge too.
As stated above they’re not a good fit for me. The reasons I moved on from the superstrats are the same ones I’ve encountered (if not labor with) for 3 decades. The same issues many of you might knowingly or unknowingly struggle with today… the fretboard is both too flat (430mm radius) & too wide (43mm nut, 56-58mm at heel) even for size LG hands. I’d call this simply fighting against the instrument or use the analogy of the mechanic using the wrong screwdriver. Combined with the meh ergonomics & relatively “basswood” (blah & muddled) tone at some point you stop and ask yourself the most basic question when you pick up that guitar to play… “why”?