Ibanez AZ vs Schecter Nick Johnston??

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DescalonaDescalona Frets: 11
Hi!

I would like to get an HSS Strat and I have ended up with those in my mind (Sire S7 was there for a long time but I can't bare the headstock)

I love how the Schecter looks (artic frost) and how it sounds but the Ibanez has stainless steel frets and probably more versatile sound. 

I don't have any guitar shop around where I can play both and decide so... what are your thoughts?
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  • PC_DavePC_Dave Frets: 3108
    edited July 26
    I thought the Schecter NJ had stainless steel frets as well?

    EDIT - it would appear they do not
    This week's procrastination forum might be moved to sometime next week.
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  • StevepageStevepage Frets: 1790
    Difficult decision to make and I’ve heard nothing but good things about both.

    personally I’d go for the Ibanez because the neck shape is amazing.
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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 20529
    I'd go for the Schecter personally, I like the fact that it looks more stratty, and I like Nick's playing a lot. If it's good enough for him I'd say it's good enough for me. 
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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 1448
    I purchased an AZ2402 (H-H) in April and I'm very happy with it. So much so that, when finances permit, I plan to get an AZ2204 (HSS). If an AZ2204 is good enough for Jack Gardiner then I'd say it's good enough for me :)

    It's not a competition.
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  • 19791979 Frets: 79
    Having played both and owned the Ibanez premium 224 I would say the Ibanez felt a little nicer than the Schecter. would suggest you wait and get your hands on them to compare though
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  • DescalonaDescalona Frets: 11
    Thank you guys! This was helpful! Initially I fell in love with the Schecter but the artic frost finish is out of stock here in UK (otherwise I would have bought one) so I continued watching videos and reading articles until I found the Ibanez AZ and I can't decide....

    Your opinions are making me lean to the Ibanez. On the paper, the differences between AZ premium and prestige are very slight, right? Same pickups, neck shape, stainless steel frets, electronic but different building location and that weird neck treatment. I will probably go for a premium AZ.


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  • VibetronicVibetronic Frets: 773
    Descalona said:
    Thank you guys! This was helpful! Initially I fell in love with the Schecter but the artic frost finish is out of stock here in UK (otherwise I would have bought one) so I continued watching videos and reading articles until I found the Ibanez AZ and I can't decide....

    Your opinions are making me lean to the Ibanez. On the paper, the differences between AZ premium and prestige are very slight, right? Same pickups, neck shape, stainless steel frets, electronic but different building location and that weird neck treatment. I will probably go for a premium AZ.


    I've got a Prestige AZ and a Premium. The Prestige is slightly better finished all-round, and the neck is definitely smoother and a bit more comfortable (doesn't feel quite as wide - it's the comfiest neck I've played). That being said, it's only tiny differences and there's not much to choose between them; my Premium just needs a bit more wearing-in I think. Pickups/sounds are identical, and terms feel the same (Prestige has titanium saddles apparently - is it worth paying more for these? No, it isn't :) ). 
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  • VibetronicVibetronic Frets: 773
    I know someone with one of the Schechters too - sound like great guitars (James Went, used to be on here but you can probably find him playing it on FB). 
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  • meltedbuzzboxmeltedbuzzbox Frets: 9569
    Frets can be changed.

    I would play both if you can and see which one you prefer.
    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
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  • ZenOvertoneZenOvertone Frets: 168
    The deal breaker might be the neck profile - my AZ has a fairly chunky neck (closer to Suhr Classic S/Alt T), not sure about the Schecter NJ but I read that was slim profile.  
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  • elusivelightelusivelight Frets: 39
    Can I throw a Charvel DK24 Pro Mod into the mix?

    Great guitars. 
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  • DescalonaDescalona Frets: 11
    Can I throw a Charvel DK24 Pro Mod into the mix?

    Great guitars. 
    it must be 22frets ;) I've got 24 covered
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  • DLMDLM Frets: 2269
    @Vibetronic Glad to hear James is still playing!
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  • elusivelightelusivelight Frets: 39
    Descalona said:
    Can I throw a Charvel DK24 Pro Mod into the mix?

    Great guitars. 
    it must be 22frets ;) I've got 24 covered
    DK22 lol?
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  • TenebrousTenebrous Frets: 1170
    I wouldn't worry too much about stainless vs non-stainless steel frets honestly. Unless you're playing the same guitar for hours & hours each day every day of the year you're unlikely to get to the point until you actually need a refret, & if you get to that point you've A) gotten a hell of a lot of love & value out of the guitar, & B) can upgrade to stainless at that point.

    The AZ2204N-AWD Prestige is dream guitar territory for me, but I've really been looking hard at the Schecter myself seeing as how it fits in that ballpark occupied by Mexican Fenders & higher end Pacificas, both of which I'm a huge fan of.

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  • carloscarlos Frets: 2317
    Get a Harley Benton Fusion 2 with roasted maple neck, SS frets and change the pickups and get it a pro setup. With the difference you can take your partner on a holiday.
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  • VibetronicVibetronic Frets: 773
    Tenebrous said:
    I wouldn't worry too much about stainless vs non-stainless steel frets honestly. Unless you're playing the same guitar for hours & hours each day every day of the year you're unlikely to get to the point until you actually need a refret, & if you get to that point you've A) gotten a hell of a lot of love & value out of the guitar, & B) can upgrade to stainless at that point.

    The AZ2204N-AWD Prestige is dream guitar territory for me, but I've really been looking hard at the Schecter myself seeing as how it fits in that ballpark occupied by Mexican Fenders & higher end Pacificas, both of which I'm a huge fan of.

    The stainless steel frets do give it a bit of a brighter sound as well - but it's one of those things that if I'd not read about it beforehand, would I have noticed? Not sure. The lack of wear is a bonus if you do play a lot....my 2 main guitars over the last 5 years have both had stainless and have been played every day for hours all year round - no wear, unlike my others.
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  • VibetronicVibetronic Frets: 773

    carlos said:
    Get a Harley Benton Fusion 2 with roasted maple neck, SS frets and change the pickups and get it a pro setup. With the difference you can take your partner on a holiday.
    I'm intrigued by these (and the Corts someone else posted about). A friend got the 7 string fan fret HB and for about £130 it was pretty bloody good!
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  • carloscarlos Frets: 2317

    carlos said:
    Get a Harley Benton Fusion 2 with roasted maple neck, SS frets and change the pickups and get it a pro setup. With the difference you can take your partner on a holiday.
    I'm intrigued by these (and the Corts someone else posted about). A friend got the 7 string fan fret HB and for about £130 it was pretty bloody good!
    I got the HSH blue one with a Wilkinson vibrato. For sale on FB Marketplace with pickups replaced with Rocksong (Alnico 2 humbuckers) from Tonerider and wiring by Mad Hatter. Cost me £180. It's really bloody good, though. FWIW I like it better than the Fender Am Std Strat I flipped 2 years ago.
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  • TenebrousTenebrous Frets: 1170
    Tenebrous said:
    I wouldn't worry too much about stainless vs non-stainless steel frets honestly. Unless you're playing the same guitar for hours & hours each day every day of the year you're unlikely to get to the point until you actually need a refret, & if you get to that point you've A) gotten a hell of a lot of love & value out of the guitar, & B) can upgrade to stainless at that point.

    The AZ2204N-AWD Prestige is dream guitar territory for me, but I've really been looking hard at the Schecter myself seeing as how it fits in that ballpark occupied by Mexican Fenders & higher end Pacificas, both of which I'm a huge fan of.

    The stainless steel frets do give it a bit of a brighter sound as well - but it's one of those things that if I'd not read about it beforehand, would I have noticed? Not sure. The lack of wear is a bonus if you do play a lot....my 2 main guitars over the last 5 years have both had stainless and have been played every day for hours all year round - no wear, unlike my others.

    I thought it was meant to be the other way around, with nickle having the brighter tone over stainless steel? I'm not sure, though.
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