Bare Knuckle Pickups Forum

Forum Ringside => Guitars, Amps and Effects => Topic started by: Slartibartfarst42 on June 20, 2018, 06:30:10 PM

Title: Ibanez AR420 or PRS SE Custom 24
Post by: Slartibartfarst42 on June 20, 2018, 06:30:10 PM
Hi everyone, it has been a while!

I'm still living in the Falklands, where I moved a couple of years ago and I've just signed on for another three so clearly the terrible internet and isolation aren't killing me but I'm not in a band here and I'm likely to be moving around the world for a few years yet so I've decided I need to streamline my guitars. I'm going to sell my Gibson Les Paul Studio, Fender Standard Stratocaster (HSH) and Yamaha TRBX304 bass so the only electric I'm keeping is my PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 but the funds from the three I'm selling will be going to buy just one guitar. My current PRS has hot pickups in it so I'd like my new guitar to have a more vintage feel as I'd like it to go from a Santana type tone to early 80's Metal (think Saxon or maybe Guns 'n' Roses). After a great deal of consideration I have it down to just two:

Ibanez AR420 or PRS SE Custom 24 (this time with a standard trem)

I can get the AR420 for 450 while the PRS would be 750 so there's a significant price difference straight away and while the AR420 pickups MAY be good enough for what I want, the stock items in the PRS almost certainly won't do the tones I'm after as they'll be voiced too modern so that's the thick end of another 200. Where's the problem you may well ask?

The problem is that due to being in the Falklands, this has to be done in the two weeks I'm in the UK in August, effectively meaning that I'll have to make a decision on this before I get there. The PRS isn't an issue as I've already owned a few and I absolutely love them so the only issue there is the price. The difficulty is the AR420 as I've never played one before. It looks good and the spec is impressive and it will have at least a 300 price advantage so here are my questions:

1. How does the build quality of the AR420 compare to the PRS SE Custom 24? I know that the PRS is superb so if the Ibanez is weaker in this area, where are the differences? Is the PRS 300 better?
2. Are the stock pickups on the AR420 good enough to do everything I want and stay articulate?
3. I've read the AR420 is neck heavy and that doesn't sound good for playing while standing up at a gig, assuming I'm ever in a band again. How pronounced is this problem? Would just a few small weights glued into the electronics cavity solve the problem?

In an ideal world I'd wait and play them both but if I need to order new pickups, that will need to be done at least a month before I get to the UK and only one of these options will need a change of pickups for certain. There's also the issue that the guitars I'm looking at might not be in the store if I wait until August, especially as the PRS I'm looking at is a limited edition. The safe bet is to spend the extra 300-500 and get the PRS but if the AR420 is as well built as the PRS, has good pickups and it's head heavy nature isn't much of an issue, the Ibanez all of a sudden looks like stunning value.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.