24-Fret Ibanez Style


Junior Member
First, this is not a Warmoth build (it's 100% custom build). I know there are plenty of folks interested in these types of guitars/features since this subject comes up every so often (and immediately gets dismissed by the luddite crowd  :(    So, this post is for those of you who appreciate such guitars, and also to remind W that we're still here.

I'm not naming the builders, out of fear that the big F's legal team will pounce. But suffice to say, the neck is from one custom builder, the body from another. It is essentially an Ibanez Jem disguised to look like a Fender Strat.

- 25.5" Scale Length
- The body is basically a modified Ibanez Jem/RG (less pointy and slightly reduced in certain spots to lend to it's strat appearance)
- Ibanez Style AANJ Neck Joint
- Ibanez Jem neck dimensions
- Stainless Steel 6150 Frets
- Hard Tail / String Through Body Bridge
- Fender CBS style headstock
- Mahogany Body, Maple/Ebony Neck

I'm dying to see some Warmoth options for improved fret access. They don't need the AANJ, heck, even just a bit of rounding on the edge of their angled heel joint would do it. (This is where I should mention that the palm of my hand is extremely sensitive to pressure - surgery has only offered a partial improvement).

As for 24 frets, I don't like the fretboard overhang that W uses (can't reach 'em anyway). I don't want a shortened scale length found on the 7/8 body. The extended cutaway on the Soloist might be OK with the right heel - but it apparently can't be done with a top-route pickgaurd. I suppose no one is stopping me from having a custom pickgaurd made, but I digress.

Anyway, I apologize in advance if this thread seems troll-worthy. I promise that's not my goal. Truth is, my main guitars have always been Warmoth, and will probably stay that way as I'll be too nervous to gig with my custom job. But I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see some more performance related options like this. I know I'm not alone.

I fear there will be troll worthy responses to my troll worthy post though. Folks chiming in to tell me that no one ever plays the 24th fret. And that the existing heel options should be fine. And that I should just play a hideous pointy heavy metal guitar if I'm not happy with W's options.

As for my experience with this guitar, I intend to work with both custom builders again. I'll need a couple backups eventually, as soon as the Mrs. let's me spend some money again.

Look, I get it. Warmoth has built quite a niche, and does an amazing job at it. If there are licensing issues, that's one thing. If they're simply not interested, that's another. I'm not gonna stop buying W products. I just want to point out that there is a market out there for this sort of thing.





Sorry but it looks more like a strat to me than an RG/Jem.

After 30+ years of existence I consider the RG body shape & Ibanez headstocks classics and I find the aesthetics a nice blend between modern & classic. I also prefer the AANJ Neck Joint and any type of contoured heel. For me it's unacceptable to see guitars without a contoured heel just because it didn't exist in the 50's & 60's. If it wasn't for the thin necks and the FR tremolo I would own a RG, that's for sure.
Congratulations on the build - it's very nice looking axe. The only thing I don't like on this guitar is the neck literally touching neck pickup.

Personally, I am satisfied with 22 frets but I have learned guitar on a 21 fretter and developed my playing style accordingly, but again that's just me.  

Nice guitar!  If your goal was vintage looks and modern (well, ok, 20 year old modern) features, I think you nailed it!
"Sorry but it looks more like a strat to me than an RG/Jem."

Yep, that was the goal. Success!!! :)

And I am in total agreement regarding FR trems and ultra-thin necks. They just arent' for me.

This is based on a Jem neck, which isn't quite as thin as the RG. It's not much thicker, but enough (for me). My hand barely touches the back of the neck anyway, so it's more about the fretboard for me.

Regarding the 22 vs 24 fret issue; Well to be honest, I rarely get up there. But it makes a heckuva a difference when you're trying to reach the 19th fret or so. Also, there's probably a psychological or philosophical aspect, in that 21 or 22 fret necks seem "incomplete" to me. I feel like the manufacturer is trying to save a few cents and trim 5 minutes off the build time or something.

The neck pickup location was sort of a compromise. I wanted it as far out as possible to preserve as much strattiness as I could. I probably could have afforded to have a slight gap between neck and pickup - but I'm diggin' it.
I dig the appeal of a 24-fret guitar without a trem, and I think you nailed the look you were after.  I don't see myself ever wanting more than 22 frets, but access can definitely be an issue, and it looks like you have a guitar that accomodates access to at least that point (22nd fret) really well.

On a related note, Tele and Jazzmaster bodies have always struck me as designs that offer better upper register access without the obtrusive lower horn, so I'm a little surprised I haven't seen more "shred" guitars built on those bodies, but the super-Strat thing is a staple, so I'm not really all that surprised...
I'm a little confused - does this fretboard not overhang as well?  Or is the neck joint fitted differently to sit further back?  Er... but that wouldn't be a Fender compatible neck...  :icon_scratch:  I guess I don't quite understand how this particular 24 fretter is different from a Warmoth neck (aside from the particular neck profile). 

As I see it, you could have ordered a W neck with the Wizard profile (the same as the RGs?  Or thinner?), and had them not drill any neck bolt holes, then drill the holes to match the body (or have that done by a luthier).  There's quite a few folks on here who have done some form of quasi-AANJ that way.

But regardless of the how, the end result is just super cool.  I read the subject & first few lines, saw several mention of "Ibanez" & my mind was somehow prepared for some soloist/RG/JEM style body with appropriately funky paint scheme.  Wow, that was so very wrong, and the actual instrument is RAD.  :icon_thumright:
Yeah, I really like it. I've had an Ibanez RG 7, and the neck was too thin. And I built a Warmoth 7, but their standard thin is still too thin and there's no other option... so I mostly play a couple of Schecter 7's. And once you get used to it, 24 frets does seem like a good idea. It's not so much that you always need that high E, as much as you can play the 19th fret with something other than your little finger only. I may be in touch about those sources.
Mayflown said:
Nice guitar!  If your goal was vintage looks and modern (well, ok, 20 year old modern) features, I think you nailed it!

I think so too! That is a great looking guitar!
That is most definitely a great effort.  I really dig the concept of getting all the playing specs of the JEM into a "civilized" looking guitar!

Would have been even nicer if you could have had them sand the neck heel so that it flowed into the shape of the AANJ - but I am picking nits there.  I would gladly pay W extra for all those options you mention in your introduction.  There is most certainly a market there - but as has been said many times before on this site, W is really a Fender based shop and don't appear hugely interested in doing other stuff.  If would be fantastic if they did, and to go further had other build specs as well such as set necks for example, but one can only dream.  I'm sure there are a whole bunch of cost factors and other licensing issues that they need to be wary of.

Just curious, what is the neck radius on a JEM?


The fretboard radius is 16" or so (430mm). So it's pretty flat, which makes them feel even thinner (and/or less round).

As for some of the other questions/suggestions; there's really no compatibility between this neck / body and Fender. This neck is solid (no overhang), so it's about an inch or so longer than a regular strat neck, and sits that much deeper into the body before the heel joint even starts.

I've seen folks contour strat heels (and I've done it on my strats too), but mounting a 24 fret neck would require removing and reshaping so much of the joint, and horn areas, that it's just not practical.

I want to know where you got that neck.  I have been looking for an AANJ replacement neck for a while.
Cool concept! I would put an Evolution in the bridge position. :guitarplayer2:

Maybe they could offer the cutaway heel of Jems. It's a bit thinner than Warmoth's current one, which is similar to tilt joint, and they could keep the strat-correct neck plate (not present in AAJN). I think it's a bit easier to construct too?

cutaway heel http://ibanez.wikia.com/wiki/Cutaway_Heel
tilt joint http://ibanez.wikia.com/wiki/Tilt_Joint

It's pretty clear that the thickness of the body at the "classic" Fender neck joint isn't needed for strength, it's just carrying over from earlier manufacturing techniques. Not too many people played up there in 1952. I've seen a back route like that on a number of brands, so it isn't patented, I don't think. As they've already got the CNC machine cutting the hole in back for the whammy springs (no extra charge, or rather no discount for hardtails :laughing7:), it seems like it could be done.
The only thing I was thinking is that it might be patented. If it's not, then I'd vote for it! :redflag: :icon_jokercolor: It kind of rocks if you ask me.  :headbang1:
If anyone's going to go with a heel that's not Fender compatible, I don't understand why they wouldn't just go all the way and do one with no heel. PRS are really the only company who I've seen to do this properly.

Except in that example it looks like the whole area surrounding the neck plate cracked and was repaired, so, maybe not the strongest way to reinforce that point.  :dontknow:
Corey P. said:
Except in that example it looks like the whole area surrounding the neck plate cracked and was repaired, so, maybe not the strongest way to reinforce that point.  :dontknow:

... well, if anyone wants me, I'll be over in this corner, very quietly looking stupid...
Actually I was thinking the JEM contoured heel quite lately. I'll put it in the suggestion box. :toothy10: Mostly as an additional option than to replace the old one.