Service Package Levels - Fixed Bridge
For years I've only offered one level of service because I had to self warranty all instruments I sold. Now that I am an Authorized Dealer all instruments are covered by Ibanez, allowing me the flexibility to sell guitars as every other dealer does, or to offer several levels of service to meet your budget and needs. In keeping with the recent Olympic spirit I chose medal colors to represent the different levels of service available. I know there is no Platinum medal given, but, maybe there should be. Trends have to start somewhere! Of course the lower priced guitars will end up being the most expensive compared to List prices as that's just the way the numbers work out when adding up all the labor, material, and expenses involved. The highest priced guitars at the highest service level should be the closest to typical pricing, it's just the way the numbers work out. Rest assured that at every level you will be getting far more than your moneys worth.
Incoming Inspection - Guitar has passed incoming inspection I use to determine it is satisfactory and deemed a "good guitar". Finish, neck relief profile, hardware, plugged in to check output and make sure switch and pots are problem free, prepared and packed correctly inside and outside the case. This is far more than you get from any mass merchant or warehouse dealer, at considerable savings. All warranty work required will be the responsibility of the distributor, Hoshino USA.
Inspected & Tested - Visual inspection for any flaws to the finish, neck inspected and truss checked, sharp fret ends filled and Micro Mesh polished if needed, overall inspection, plugged in for electronics check and play testing. Play testing includes bending every string a whole step at low action to check for and correct any dead spots in the fretwork. Prepared and packed correctly inside the case and then bubble wrapped outside the case to ensure the most trouble free delivery possible. All warranty work required will be the responsibility of the distributor, Hoshino USA.
Bronze - In addition to the inspection described above, all simple adjustments and full maintenance routine [all wood to metal contacts tightened] are preformed as would be typical of any extensive setup done by your typical store tech, except it will be done perfectly by an Ibanez specialist. Strings stretched, neck relief, individual string action height set to your preference, nut height cut much closer [not ultra fine cut to close tolerance] and lubed, string/neck alignment [but not side shimmed to pin the neck in place, held only by screw tension], tuners tightened, and any paint pimples shaved from the back of the neck. Intonation is set by strobe. Factory D’Addario 9-42 are left on or the strings are changed to the gauge of your choice. I stock D\'Addario strings in all gauges. Feel free to send your favorite strings if you prefer something else. It is preferable that your guitar be setup with the strings you will be using. Requests for custom tunings are no problem and no charge. Any warranty work required will be the responsibility of the distributor, Hoshino USA.
Silver - This is the level that dials in the fine details that can make the difference in a good playing guitar and a great playing guitar. In addition to inspection and simple adjustments already detailed, nut height is cut to tight tolerance, neck heel pinned to the bass side of the neck pocket and alignment pinned in place using brass shims on the sides of the neck pocket [neck can still slip to the treble side as the neck screws loosen over time, keeping metal to wood contact points tight is part of routine maintenance], pickup height including replacing the foam under direct mount pickups that are too low. All in all everything a guitar needs to be fine tuned into an instrument is done, except a fret level to insure perfect fretwork. Warranty work will be performed by either HUSA or Ibanez Rules at your discretion, except fretwork related claims which must be covered by HUSA. Ibanez Rules will pay return shipping during the first 6 months on any other warranty issue. To accelerate repair I can also send the parts to those that are mechanically inclined or have access to a good local tech, and cover all charges.
Gold - In addition to Silver service, the guitar will receive a fret level using a 24” Stew Mac box beam milled to some ridiculously high degree of tolerance. Cutting all the frets in unison is the only way to insure a perfectly level playing surface. If a neck has a slight anomaly in it’s bow profile that is not enough to reject under inspection, it is corrected by jig cutting the neck under stress to simulate string tension. All frets are crowned to under the 1mm crown spec, crowned fret sides polished with 400 grit, 800 grit, 00 steel wool, and all frets final polished with 0000 steel wool. The fretboard is also scrubbed with steel wool to cut off the light glaze caused by the factory polishing the fretted neck. Warranty work will be performed by either HUSA or Ibanez Rules at your discretion. Ibanez Rules will pay return shipping during the first 3 months on any warranty issue. To accelerate repair I can also send the parts to those that are mechanically inclined or have access to a good local tech and cover all charges.
Platinum – To all returning customers, this is the Level I have been providing since 2004 [IIRC!] and is fully described on this page. In addition to everything above, Platinum adds enhanced fret end radiusing and fretboard edge radiusing. Simply explained, the ends of the frets are made much rounder so they are more comfortable on the fingers, and the fretboard edge is cleaned up [factory Prestige finishing can leave this a little “notchy”] as best as possible and then enhanced by making it rounder and smoother. The fret ends are bevel filed with a fret file, the bevel is rounded using a crowning file, then sanded with 300 grit paper on a fret dressing stick. The edge of the fretboard is rounded using the fret file, then shaved smooth with a razor blade. All of it is then scrubbed with 00 steel wool, the fretboard is masked with tape, and the frets finish polished with 00 and Micro Mesh up to 6000 grit for a mirror finished playing surface. This Level has never been a necessity but IMO is the finishing touch in creating a truly superior instrument. Warranty work will be performed by either HUSA or Ibanez Rules at your discretion. Ibanez Rules will pay return shipping during the first 3 months on any warranty issue. To accelerate repair I can also send the parts to those that are mechanically inclined or have access to a good local tech and cover all charges.
No matter the level of service provided, all guitars should be checked and adjusted upon arrival. Shipping from one climate to another can cause changes to any piece of wood and wire. Neck relief and trem angle are prone to change as wood expands or contracts. Typically if these two measurements are readjusted the setup falls right back into place.
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