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KTS Titanium rods

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  • KTS Titanium rods

    So I have a 2013 Ibanez RG8WH that I bought brand new back in 2014. 7 years later I decided to buy another RG8WH to have a spare as we are writing a lot of 8-string songs in my band.

    I realized a while back that Ibanez changed the RG8WH with going to Mahogany in 2015 and then Meranti in 2019 (the holes in the back of the body are different too) as well as changing the fretboard to Jatoba. And then, they sprayed the Ibanez logo on the headstock.

    My 2013 has the abalone logo as well as the 2014 one I just purchased. Not sure why Ibanez changed that but I do remember they did that to the 7321s as well.

    So, ideally it’s the same guitar except the KTS titanium rods have been omitted since 2014 which means this one does not have them. (They are only on the 2012-2013 models.

    Are the KTS titanium rods better to have? I know it helps with keeping the neck straight but I should’ve just opted to just go with another 2013 model. Oh well.

    Curious to know more about it. I could always sell the 2014 model I just purchased later on down the road.

  • #2
    IMO truss rod technology has been around long enough that the "upscale" ones are probably more hype than anything else. If 30+ year old fender 5 string P-Basses can get by with oldschool steel rods I'm sure an 8 string guitar can too. I wouldn't worry about it.


    • #3
      I believe these are additional titanium rods that serve the same function as the graphite rods in other brands.

      Contrary to popular belief, they are not commonly used to make the neck stronger, they are to make the neck stiffer. (Truss rods also aren't there to reinforce the strength of the wood, but to make the neck relief adjustable.)

      Wood necks are plenty strong. Ken Parker has said that even the basswood neck on the Fly guitars are plenty strong enough to hold the string tension. The problem is resonance. “Lively” instruments that you can feel vibrating in your hands are actually resonating too much. That resonance feels great, but can cause “wolf notes” and dead spots as nodes and anti-nodes in the vibrations can reinforce or cancel out frequencies. The basswood neck on Fly prototypes was practically unplayable, because it was tonally inconsistent across the instrument's range. The carbon fibre exoskeleton fixed that.

      Building carbon fibre/graphite rods (or titanium rods) into the neck (or wrapping the neck in carbon fibre the way Parker did) stiffens the whole structure, which has the effect of raising the resonant frequency much higher. This makes the notes ring out more consistently across the fretboard, and reduces the likelihood of wolf notes and dead spots.

      This in turn ensures that more instruments are playable out of the box, won't end up un-sold and hanging on a store wall forever, with fewer returns and incidents of warranty work for strange resonance issues.

      Many guitars made 50 or 60 years ago still have necks that are in great shape, and they have single-action truss rods and no extra stiffeners installed.


      • #4
        Interesting. It just bothers me to no end that when Ibanez releases a model.....they change it and then they change it again and so forth. I was more or less trying to understand why they changed that too....maybe to cut costs?

        It probably shouldn’t make a difference but it just one of those things that bugs me. All in all, it’s a spare but it’s a nice one and was a great day nonetheless.


        • #5
          UPDATE: Turns out it is a 2013 model. It has nearly the same serial# as mine starting with “I 13”.

          Seller never took pic of headstock (back) and labeled it 2014. I was judging it by the holes in the back of body to indicate early model.

          Its pretty mint for a backup. So I guess I have 2 RG8s with KTS rods.
          Last edited by Shawn; 04-13-2021, 12:40 AM.


          • #6
            I didn't know they had the KTS in other 8s. My M80M has that, thankfully. That neck is HUGE!


            • #7
              Someone pointed out on a forum that the KTS rods make a neck feel "cold" and I think I could concur.

              Could be from how skinny the necks are. One thing is for certain, they are definitely "stiffer."


              • #8
                I’m loving the necks on both of them. The 2012-2013 models are something special. I see that they are highly desired too. I was going to sell one further down the road (probably the one I just got) but I think I’m going to keep them both.

                As I mentioned above (I edited), the seller never took a pic of the headstock’s “back” where the serial numbers are and I believe that is why it had the abalone logo on the headstock which were on the earlier models (2012-2013).

                Every 2014 model I’ve seen has the silver sprayed logo...even though it has the same holes in back of the body where strings go through, it does not have the KTS rods and that abalone logo. So they must’ve kept the body for that year but changed the necks.

                Anyway, glad I got another 2013 model. Previous owner took real good care of it too.