Set-neck versus bolt-on?

I'm comparing the Fender Showmaster to the Ibanez RG320. The Fender has a set neck, and the Ibanez has a bolt-on, although Ibanez does make some others with set necks.

Can anyone give me any feedback on the advantages/disadvantages of each, as well as some opinion on the two guitars?


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I can only say, as a bass player, that the bolt-neck seems to be brighter with more emphasis on initial attack and decays quicker. A thru-neck has a wider envelope. Proper guitarists will come in with more useful ops, but that's my opening coupla pfennigs... :)

I think you have potted the black on the first try Bass, your observations are as usual, spot on. But then of course you could go on to the differences between the maple and the mahogany...

Do go on about the difference!

OK, mock the pleasant plucker, you six-stringers :) . HST, I might be a root-picking, one-string-at-a-time man, but wait a second.

Putting to one side the obvious, in order of importance:
1) Pups and electronics
2) Body and neck woods
3) Ancillary stuff like bolt-on, set-neck, neck-thru, truss rod adjuster at the heel or the headstock

I had a look at that Fender Showmaster:

and I thought "Whadda?"

The only point of a flame maple top (it makes no difference to tone) is that it looks pretty. It looks pretty if it's bookmatched. What the perfooey is that top from Fender? I got a better job from laying down a laminate floor in my bathroom. A bookmatched flame maple is pretty simple; saw down the middle and lay the two halves flat. The Fender looks like a couple of slabs in the warehouse stuck together. A real candidate for the "worst finish" thread. For the money they're asking, I wouldn't touch one unless it just happened to even up. The random I've posted from a guitar seller looks blimmin' ghastly.

Whats slightly worrying is, that picture looks like a catalogue picture, so if that was the best they could find, what does the worst look like? maybe they are made in China where they havent quite grasped the concept of bookmatching.

I think what they're trying to say is go for the Ibanez, and for my bit, get it in Gunmetal, they look cool (well, apart from the trademark 'Axe of Cheese' looks) at least it doesn't have a monkey-grip! And that Fender is B-ugly


Basswood body on the Ibanez, though - not my favourite wood. It's not a tone thing, it's just that basswood dings so easily.

OK, what I actually did was bought an Ibanez SA160QMAH. That's the quilted maple, amber finish.

I believe it has a mahogony body... I wonder if it's one piece, or 3 or more pieces like most Fender bodies?

Blanche, I had a look and is this yours - the QMAM?

the 160QH is a sunburst ash-body. Either way, I reckon you've chosen a better guitar than either of the first two you mentioned (WARNING! humble bass player opinion :) )

The HSS pickups should be quite versatile (is that a rotary selector?) compared with the twin HBs, and the wood looks better. I doubt if it is one-piece mahogany (flip it over and have a good look) but I wouldn't worry if it's not. One-piece costs more and it only matters to those who think less glue = better tone (darned if I can tell).

Structurally, a three-piece core body capped with a two-piece maple is very strong. Rather like a brick wall; the mortar doesn't sit on the same line. Again, the three-piece maple neck is a good thing if (and I'm sure it has) it's lined up properly with opposing grain.

Good pick of guitar, IMHO.

I have this model in my armoury and find it the most versatile of all my guitars, i have it by the main computer, connected to a Line 6 guitar port, i just learn all my songs with it, and it is a very good guitar, i dont like the look of it, mine is actualy an orangy/yellow burst, the shape isnt realy to my taste but i bought it for it versatility. Mine is made in Korea and the build and quality level is very good too.

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