MESAexplorer, on may 29, 2009 6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Features: This is a Prestige model, so you know you're getting a quality guitar. Came with one of the nicest cases I've seen, black gator skin with white trim, and talk about case candy, 80+page thick prestige book, allen wrenches and whatnot. But onto the important stuff...
The neck is a hefty 27" scale, 24 fret Wizard 8 string neck. It's not too much thicker than my RG7621's neck but the width is what I would worry about. I believe it has a rosewood fretboard, I say I believe because it's very dark, closer to ebony in color. The neck is composed of maple and wenge. The frets are "Xjumbo" however, they feel closer to medium-jumbo. Which leads to my first gripe, this guitar should have stainless frets. Big strings burn frets down quicker than fire in a barn. I've already noticed a decent amount of wear as it is. All guitars over $800 should have stainless frets Standard IMO. 8 gotoh tuners sit atop the massive guitar.
The bridge being an Edge 3 concerns a lot of people. I'm the only person to own this guitar to have had a bridge problem yet. One of the saddles Busted when I was changing strings. I don't forsee this happening again, and I don't understand how it happened in the first place. The saddles are extremely heavy steel...
2 EMG 808 pickups. These have been the main concern so far with the posters after the previous review. I can say, these are the best EMG's I've used. They have the fatness of an EMG 85 but they clean up like a 60 or 89. If you roll off on the tone knob you can get a jazzy fat clean tone. If you set it to 10 it's very clear, piano like, or dry and dark, extremely versatile, and responds to amps well. I do have my complaints with them though. The build of the guitar is great, it's a prestige, you shouldn't expect any less.
I would have given it a 10 if they had a pickup option for EMG's or some sort of Standard 8 string passive pickup. // 9
Sound: This is actually one of the most versatile guitars I've played given that you know how to adjust an amp. Using the Vetta II as my primary amp, the potential tones are quite endless. It's obvious, this guitar is built for metal, and metal is what it does... SECOND best.
The BEST sounds you will get out of this guitar will be playing jazz. Nothing says fat like 8 strings, nothing says fatter like a set of 808's in a basswood body. The tone you can get with it is huge. The 8th string is great for extending into a bassists territory then ascending back into the guitar territory. I love being able to compliment every member of a band because I now have the range to do that with, something you just can't do without 8 strings or one crazy tuning on a 7 or less.
Another thing I love about this guitar, out of the 3 pickup selections, all 3 sound great. Most of the guitars I've used have sounded mediocre in the middle position. Something I would skip over or have to use to achieve a niche. The middle selection on the RG2228 is more than tolerable, it's good.
For metal, I've always said 8 strings can be played 3 ways.
1. Ride the 8th string and use it as percussion, a la Meshuggah. Works great, as expected. Instead of using the 8th string with power chords, keep the notes individual to avoid mud.
2. Replace the strings so the guitar is BEADGBea and have an extended high end with the low end of a 7 string. Similar to Rusty Cooley.
3. Play it like a 7 string, where you base most everything off of the B, and then use the 8 for extended lows or simplifying chords/riffs.
My only gripe is the EMG's. They're not as hot as the other EMG's. When making the pickups, they're calibrated so the low strings will be equally as loud as the quiet pickups, which kills the punch on the low end. Although, this keeps the guitars volume fairly even, when you're playing high gain it tends to get compressed. I find that I get great results when I EQ specifically for the 8 string, otherwise the tone is just average. I only notice this with high gain though. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar itself was perfect as far as quality of construction and finishing. The action, however, was horrible. The strings were way off of the fretboard. It takes quite a while adjusting this guitar as well, don't expect a quick turn of the truss rod to make this thing play like an RG550. I found myself turning the truss rod 1/8th turns at a time and raising and lowering the bridge, trying to avoid dead frets on all 8 strings... The setup took about an hour. This wasn't a big deal to me though. Why, you might ask? When you play an 8 string, it's very different than everything else you've used. Chances are you want to make this guitar fit you to make it as comfortable and usable as possible. I now have mine strung up with an 80-10. The stock one was 72 I believe. By trying to avoid excessive tension on the high strings, and flabbiness on the low strings, many people are going to have different preferences of strings.
As far as the feel of it goes, it's easily playable if you can visually interpret the guitar as a 6 or 7 string with 2 or 1 extra strings, respectively. The neck is flat, but curved enough to not dig into your hand. The width isn't hard to get used to, and overall it feels great. My problem is the 27" scale. Schecter guys will love this, Ibanez guys(me) will probably complain. The high strings are drawn tight if you don't have a custom guage set of strings installed. This can make bending difficult if not compensated for. The additional stretching involved combined with the wider neck can make it a little slow to play at first. If I were playing a show, I would warm up for at least 20 minutes before hitting the stage.
I give it an 8 because the action is adjustable, a poorly built guitar isn't. This guitar is far from poorly built. And I'm taking that down to 7 because of Ibanez's emphasis on how easy it is to adjust to if you've never played it before. // 7
Reliability & Durability: Everything about this guitar seems solid except for the saddles. I'm sure I'm the only one with this concern though. Would I gig without a backup? Certainly. Does the hardware seem like it will last? Everything on there is great except for that saddle. Can I depend on it? Depends on how many times I have to change strings.
Here's where I'm not going to let Ibanez Live this down, and I can't find a better place for this. Customer Support is a huge weak spot for them. I first started off calling Ibanez/Hoshino, they would put me on hold for an hour then it would just disconnect. I tried this at least once a day for 2 weeks. I eventually gave up with that and searched Ibanez parts on google, sweetwater popped up. They had a description stating how they were experts with Ibanez parts, seemed generic, but I was planning on chewing someone out if it was BS. They were able to order a replacement saddle, which Ibanez had build specifically for me, I guess they don't expect problems to arise, which took about 5 weeks, and then it was shipped, which took about another week. Big thanks to sweetwater for the help, big F YOU to Ibanez for the lack of help.
I'm going to give this 2/10 because of Ibanez unwillingness to help a customer. The guitar itself gets a 10. I would almost guarantee the saddles are near perfect, I think I got a bad one, of everyone on SS.org, I'm the only one Who has had this issue, and Hoshino even said I was the first person to have a broken saddle. I've changed strings twice since the incident, no problems, it isn't comforting though. // 2
Overall Impression: You should know whether this guitar is for you or not. If you're a blues, classic rock, or 80's metal kind of guy, or the one Who flames everyone who tunes below 1/2 step down, this guitar isn't for you. If you like Meshuggah, try it out! If you play jazz, try it out! If you tune your 7 strings down, try it out! If you're just curious, try it out!
Everyone I know has been surprised, not only at the fact it has 8 strings, but how usable all 8 strings are and the quality of sound I get from it. I wouldn't buy another RG2228, but I will buy another 8 string, preferably a multi-scale (fanned fret) model.
Is the guitar easy to play? No. If you have no experience with 7 strings, this guitar might be a huge challenge. If you're a 7 string player, you might be wondering, what the hell do I do with this extra string. It takes some time to extend your scales to the extra string, adjust to the wider neck, longer scale, and bigger strings. After you're adjusted to it you can go as far as to say it's very comfortable.
Is it easy to play considering what it is? Yes. The guitar, if adjusted well, isn't painful, it is very useful, and well made. If you've played 7 strings for a while, within a few hours the 8th should be easier to incorporate without riding on it. Within a month or so, if you still have the guitar, chances are you won't look back.
Good price for 8 string guitar
Plays well after you adjust to it and adjust it
Takes a while to adjust to
EMG 808's only
Ibanez Customer Support
Not the best for heavy bending
Non stainless steel frets will wear down quick // 8
ew94, on may 28, 2009 3 of 9 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 1799.99
Purchased from: GuitarCenter
Features: This is the first mass produced eight string guitar made. This was started in March 2007, but my buddy talked me into trying one at the local Guitar Center, I fell in love with it. After harassing my parents for about 2 years and getting all A's on my school report, I finally got the eight string monster. It says that is was made in Japan in 2008. Has 24 Jumbo frets, which are perfect for advanced playing, and a 27" scale. Made of a 5-Piece neck (Maple/Wenge/Maple/Wenge/Maple). The body is a basic basswood body, it comes with a Galaxy Black finish and black chrome hardware. The body style is the Standard body style RG body that any Ibanez has, the bridge is a Fixed Edge-III 8 bridge, the pickups are the amazing EMG 808 Humbucking pickups which active of course, and the electronics are a simple 1 Volume, 1 Tone and a 3-Way Switch. This comes with a custom-made case for it. // 10
Sound: This guitar can be used for any type of music style, from classical and jazz, to death and thrash metal. The two added bass strings give an even more versatile style of metal, which for me is good, as I play most styles of metal which some times need and extra "chug" if you know what I mean. I run it through my Line 6 Spider III HD150 amp head and a Line 6 Spider III 4X12 Cab. The sounds are great, and as I said before, this works for any genre. // 10
Action, Fit & Finish: I just know it must have been tricky to set up an 8 string, but the guys at the factory made and amazing job at it. The guitar was amazing from the time I took it out of the case. Flawless to the bone. The pickups are adjusted perfectly, and create a perfect sound for anything. // 10
Reliability & Durability: I've so far used it at three gigs. At one of them, my strap broke and the guitar fell, headstock first to the ground. To my surprising, only 1mm of paint chipped off. But after that incident I've decided to get a couple of good quality straps, and take my backup with me, which is a 6-string. // 10
Overall Impression: I've been playing for five years, and in 4 and half of those I've always used 6-strings. Even though I still have a 6-string as my backup, just in case something happens, I use this as my regular. If this was lost or stolen, I'll have to think twice about it, cause it took me an @$$ of a long time to get it, I have to care for it with my life. // 10
Progis8strings, on march 03, 2010 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 1799
Purchased from: Good Times Music
Features: Let's break it down. This masterpiece was made in Japan during May of 2009. The RG2228 has 24 jumbo frets set to a 27 inch scale. Ibanez's 5-piece Wizard-8 neck that comes with the guitar is made up of maple and wenge. The fingerboard itself is rosewood with pearl Dot inlays. My only complaint with the fingerboard would be that on the 15th and 16th fret the wood is a little worn. This minor imperfection does not reduce the guitars playability or tone in any way. The body is constructed out of basswood adding even more depth to the guitar's low-end. It comes with Ibanez's "galaxy black" finish. Think a Standard black finish and add some glitter. The RG double cutaway style is maintained in this gutar like the rest of Ibanez's RG prestige series guitars. The RG2228 comes with a Fixed Edge 3-8 bridge with a double locking setup. The Standard setup for this guitar, which I have left mine with for now, is a pair of active EMG 808 humbcking pickups. Many people have complained about the boomy-ness that can be produced by these pickups, but in all honesty they have a very smooth sound with far less boom than many would believe. I plan to try out some Lungren pickups in the guitar soon just to see the difference in tonality. The 2228 has a Standard 3-way pickup selector (bridge, both, neck, you know). The Gotoh tuning machines that come with this masterpiece work perfectly. The case Ibanez gives a buyer is superb. It fits the guitar like perfectly with extra storage space for 2 fifteen foot chords and 3 Standard size Boss effect pedals without warping any part of the case or harming the guitar. // 9
Sound: As my profile name states, I tend to play progressive metal and dapper in some classical style. The two extra string on this beast allow so much more for an individual riff and ones ability to accent chords with a very heavy low end. Currently I am running through a 100-watt Bugera 333XL amp head (soon to be an Engl Fireball) connected to my custom Avatar 4x12 cabinet with two Celestion Vintage 30s on top and two G12H30s below. The G12H30s give a brighter high-end that accompanies death metal playing perfectly. This guitar is not noisy in the least and I'm running it through low-end Champion cables. I tend to scoop my mids for most of my playing as to replicate Scale the Summit sounds and get the bassy tone I aim for. Normally my lead channel is set to Treb:6 Mid:3 Low:8. With my cleans I'm set to Treb:5 Mid:7 and Low:8. These settings really achieve this guitars potential (even though my amp is average). This guitar can handle excess gain like no other. I normally keep my gain around 4 or 5, but that's me. The cleans on this guitar are quite amazing. The bass tones are exquiset with equal volume given to each note in a chord, scale, arpeggio, and any other musical shaping. The RG2228 can produce any sound a player would want. I recently filled in for a friend with his blues band and this guitar replicated a Stevie Ray-esc tone perfectly. One issue I have, which really is just a matter of switching amp settings to gix, is while tapping on the clean channel, the 808's do not give enough volume toward higher tapped strings. The real volume loss is while sliding a tap, but it's really nothing major. // 10
Action, Fit & Finish: Out of the box it was tuned perfectly excluding the 8th string which was slightly off the F# that is sould have been. No problems at all wth the action. There is no need to reset the action in any way. The pickups are perfectly level with a little extra routed space as to exchange them if a buyer wishes to do so. Everything was routed and marked perfectly with literally zero flaws. It looked as though they painted the RG2228 the day I got it. This guitar is perfect from the beginning. // 9
Reliability & Durability: I have only played two live shows with this guitar and it handled like a charm. It can take abuse like any guitar should, even though I'm avoiding that at all costs. The hardware is flawless. The strap buttons work fabulously. Straplocks are honestly not looking necessary in the least. The RG2228 is outrageously reliable. I will never need a backup guitar. I have only rotated the strings once, not because I had to, but because it felt wrong if I didn't. The finish does not show any wear what so ever. It is built to last. A cat some how managed to tip my case's lid over which resulted in a dent the size of a pencil head on the body, but it is barely noticable. Ibanez made an instrument built to last forever in this monster. // 10
Overall Impression: Like I mention above, I play progressive metal, death metal, some jazz, and some classical. This guitar matches each of the genres perfectly. I have been playing for roughly 3 and 1/2 years. I bought a Jackson RR3 8 months prior to this guitar which I still have. Even though some people may be hesitant to Switch from a six string directly to an eight, the jump really isn't akward. I played an RG2228 for over two hours in a Guitar Center roughly 3 months before making my purchase which really let me fall in love with the extended range. I have no regrets about bying this guitar at all. If my RG2228 were to be stolen I would buy another in a heart beat. This guitar is amazing. I had tried out a few Ibanez and ESP seven strings before getting my hands on this eight string. Sevens are excellent, but the utility brought to the table by the eighth string is insurmountable. There really is nothing to hate about this guitar. I would have liked pickup options, but in all honesty changing them out is not a problem, even though they don't need a change. The only thing I truly wish is that there would have been different finish options. I'm fine with black guitars and the galaxy finish adds more to it, but I would have loved the ability to have a natural finish. // 10