Custom guitars are awesome! There is no denying it. The ability to have a guitar built just for you to your exact specifications is a whole different experience than buying a production model guitar. Unfortunately, many people either can’t afford, or just can’t justify what a full custom guitar might cost. We actually have an article about the expenses of custom shop guitars if you’re interested.

Fortunately, many companies such as Ibanez and Schecter have realized this, and now they offer many really cool features on production model guitars that used to only be available on custom shop instruments!

Here’s our 5 Best Features on Modern Production Guitars!

1- Carbon Fiber Reinforced Necks

Guitar necks change due to differences in temperature and humidity, and truss rod adjustments are often necessary to have your guitar properly set up. However, with the introduction of super strong and super light materials that manufacturers can put inside the neck, we can make necks much more stable than before. A popular material to use for this is carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is a super strong material that is lighter than steel but even stronger. Many well known luthiers have opted to used carbon fiber to ensure maximum stability in the neck. Carbon fiber isn’t the only material used to reinforce necks, however. Ibanez puts titanium inside their higher end guitars to provide extreme stability too!

2- The Evertune Bridge

Evertune is less than a decade old. They are available on some LTD guitars as well as the higher-end Ola Englund signature Washburns. These bridges are perhaps the most stable bridges on the planet. Much like a tremolo, there is is a string that is connected to a saddle that is held by tension on a spring inside the guitar cavity. Each saddle has a spring connected to it so that you can adjust them separately. The strings are inserted through the bottom of the bridge, much like on many string-thu bridges and fender style tremolos. Overall, the Evertune works very similar to a floyd rose or other trem-equipped guitars. This isn’t a very popular system because of the amount of routing it would take to put one in your guitar, and very few companies actually sell evertune equipped guitars. However, this interesting bridge is something that I suspect will become more and more popular, especially for players who often perform live and need ultimate tuning stability.

3-Luminlay Inlays

Luminlay inlays are becoming an increasingly popular option on guitars. Luminlays are luminescent glow-in-the-dark inlays for your guitar. They aren’t stickers, they are installed just like your typical inlays and side dots are. They were designed as a solution for poor lighting conditions many guitarists have to face while playing. Difficulty seeing your fretboard can lead to mistakes.  Aside from looking really nice and giving off a nice pale blue or green light, luminlays will never, ever die out. They don’t need any sort of batteries, they “recharge” off of light. You can press a lit flashlight up to them and they’ll absorb that light and activate!

These have been popping up on many production instruments, such as the Schecter Wes Hauch PT-7!

4-Solderless Pickup Systems

Many guitarists are overwhelmed when they want to try pickups. Soldering is a fairly easy thing to do, but some would rather pay a tech rather than learn, which is understandable. EMG and Seymour Duncan offer a solution to soldering your pickups. EMG’s pickups now all come with a special wire that you simply connect to the pickup and to the pots, and you’re all set without any soldering work. Seymour Duncan offers a solderless pickup system, which are pots with slots where you place the wires and screw them in without any need of using a soldering iron. Seymour Duncan actually made a video that proves you can replace the pickups in under one minute with their system, and that’s super impressive!

5- Fanned Fret/Multiscale Fretboards

“But stringed instruments of the 17th century had fanned frets too, Mike, what are you talking about?

Yeah yeah, I know. The fanned frets were pretty much forgotten about due to the low demand, and they were something you could only get through high end luthiers…until recently. Now, many major manufacturers have multiscale production guitars available, such as the Ibanez RGIF8. Multiscale guitars or fanned fret guitars have slanted frets. This means that the lower strings have a longer scale length than the higher strings. This results in a more even string tension, easier intonation at low tunings, and clearer notes at lower tunings.

You don’t have to use super thick strings to get to F anymore. With a multiscale, the added length means you can go down a gauge or two, and have a much clearer sound while retaining excellent stability and intonation. Manufacturers say that the fanned frets offer an easier and more comfortable playing position, and this is true in 99% of cases. Many people are nervous about getting a multiscale because it seems very hard to get used too and confusing. I can assure you this is completely untrue. While multiscales may not be for all, they are very easy to get used to and after a few minutes you don’t even think about it anymore!

If you want to learn more about fanned frets, we have an article that highlights all of the pros and cons of multiscale guitars!



We hope you enjoyed this article! If you did, make sure to check out more, because we upload new reviews, technical articles, lessons, and more daily!

Also be sure to check out our shop! We are an authorized dealer of many beloved brands such as PRS, Schecter, Mayones, Ibanez, ESP, and Seymour Duncan. We can get you your dream guitar at the best price possible!

This article was written by Mike Azernov, our editor located in New York


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