This guitar is extremely good for the price. You get absolutely bang for the buck for all it's feature. I have the utmost love for this guitar and would most definitely recommend this guitar to anyone out there with a budget for a beginner/intermediate guitar.
kennethdave, on july 05, 2012 3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Features: My particular guitar was made (mid-2011) in Indonesia. It comes with 24 jumbo frets and the new Wizard III neck with a scale length of 25.5". If you're wondering what's the difference between the new Wizard III and the old one, it isn't much. The newer Wizard III's width at the nut and width at the last fret are just 1-2mm wider.
It's made with a solid Ash body, 3-piece Maple neck and a bound Rosewood fretboard with Shark-tooth inlays. The body comes with a natural finish, which is really beautiful. Also, the new RG470s now come equipped with the Edge II bridge and the Zero Point System in its cavity (more on this in a later section). Pickups are passive and configured as HSH. One volume and one tone knob, with a 5-way pickup selector. The locking nuts and tuning heads are standard Ibanez hardware.
The one difference with this guitar compared to other floating trem designs is that it doesn't come with the retainer bar above the nut, because the headstock is angled in such a way making the addition of the bar unnecessary. // 8
Sound: Before I go into the details of the sound of this guitar, I'll mention the amps that I've played this guitar through (No effects plugged in): Mesa Triple Recto, Marshall JVM, PRS SE 30 and a Roland Cube 30 & 60.
First it's important to mention that the pickups have very well balanced bass and treble frequencies, with a slightly higher midrange; Considering these are the Ibanez Infinity range of pickups. Combined with the the Ash body of this guitar, the string clarity and dynamics are really amazing. I play a few genres; Metal, Classic rock, Blues, Pop, and there really is nothing you can't do with a little EQ tweaking.
However, getting pinch harmonics to really scream is rather tough unless you crank your gain knob and find the proper sweet spots. Also, the single coil can get a little rough sounding when used on its own. It's best to use the single coil combined with the humbuckers for a better sound, basically the single coil is there to add more tonal variety to your playing, and a nice way to dial your sound down a bit and make it cleaner. All in all, it's a really versatile guitar, and does Metal really well for all you concerned UG-ers. // 7
Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set-up surprisingly well from the factory as I was testing it before buying. The neck and string action was really well done and comfortable to play with. However being me, I don't really care for the factory set-up. As soon as it was in my hands I switched the string gauge to 0.10-0.46 and adjusted the pickup and string heights to my liking.
The next thing I'm very happy to mention is there were no flaws on this guitar what'soever. In my experience it's really rare for an Ibanez in this price range to be crafted really well. The only explanation I can come up with is it's because of the natural finish on this guitar, which would make flaws really visible, thus pushing the manufacturers to put extra care. Even the spring cavity is really well cut and finished. 10/10 on this section. // 10
Reliability & Durability: I have gigged with this guitar numerous times and must say it can withstand whatever I have given it SO FAR (It's only been 10 months since I bought this guitar). The ZPS system holds the guitar in tune really well and the strap buttons are nothing to worry about. You can definitely depend on it without a backup.
Will the hardware last a long time? With my super-corrosive-sweaty-palms, it's tough. Rust can easily build up on the bridge, especially on the spot where you rest your palm for muting. Also the cosmo black hardware can have sweat and other fluids make it look old fast. To prevent this, always make sure to wipe the guitar down thoroughly and lubricate metal parts, no exceptions, or you will notice the difference the very next day. // 7
Overall Impression: MY conclusion? This guitar is extremely good for the price. You get absolutely bang for the buck for all it's feature. I have the utmost love for this guitar and would most definitely recommend this guitar to anyone out there with a budget for a beginner/intermediate guitar.
HOWEVER, my next few points will the buying point for those who are more experienced with guitar playing. The Edge II bridge combined with Zero Point System (ZPS) makes for an extremely stable bridge for the price. It holds its tuning well even if you break a string and even with a little whammy bar abuse. Another plus point is you can use almost any kind of string gauge with various tunings and still have this bridge hold on its own. I used lower tunings and even dropped B on my 6th string (with the other strings in standard tuning), DADGAD, DADF#AD, etc etc.
This is a major plus point for those of you who love the feel of doing bends, vibratos and palm muting on a floating trem without the hassle of sticking to one tuning and one set of string gauges. With the added thumb screw to adjust the spring tension at the back, it makes it easier to switch tunings and adjust the springs without the need of a screwdriver in your hands.
The downside to this is for people who love their trem arms to move more freely or more easily I should say. With the ZPS springs on, the trem arm is a little tough to push around. Also for those who love doing flickers with their trem arms, it's almost impossible if not extremely difficult because of all that added to tension to keep things in tune.
Want your trem arm to feel more like a natural floating trem? Fret not, you can deactivate the ZPS by removing those added springs and your trem arm will have that same familiar feel like all those other floating trem designs. The screwed up downside to this, you can only use one string gauge, most probably the 0.09s tuned to standard. Using any heavier gauge with the ZPS turned off is impossible, from 4 springs, you have now reduced it to 2 springs; No matter how much tighter you turn those springs with 0.10s, it ain't gonna balance that bridge.
So, ZPS on: Good tuning stability, able to hold various string gauges and tunings, easy to fiddle around with. If you're the type to have the ZPS off and use various string gauges and tunings, you're better off with the traditional spring cavity setups.
So, with that I'll rate this section based on how I use this guitar and play with. Which is with the ZPS on. How you rate this section will depend on how YOU will be using this floating trem design. As I stated in my conclusion on top, this guitar is absolute bang for the buck, good design, good sound, good feel. // 8
unregistered, on september 11, 2012 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Features: This guitar is a 2011 model from Ibanez. I bought mine in 2012 Q3. The ash wood body looks stunning and is the perfect wood to display on an unfinished/unpainted body. This is the second RG I have owned that has infinity pickups, and they are definitely a good choice for inexpensive yet outstanding and versatile passive pickups. The Hum-Single-Hum configuration adds to the versatility. It has a 5-way pickup selection, with 3 of those being single coils.
The Edge Zero II bridge is quite complex, and takes a lot of work to set it up. All the time spent on the setup doesn't seem to payoff in the end, because even slightly playing with the trem can kick the tuning out. DO NOT dive-bomb with this guitar. The bridge does, however, have a good feel, making it easy to play on the right-hand. Not sure why. My opinion, though, is that if you can't do crazy tricks with a trem, then it isn't worth the hassle. One of Ibanez's fixed bridge alternatives are better in this regard, like the RGA32 (also a wood finished guitar, active pickups, cheaper price).
The neck of this guitar is amazing. Seriously. The Wizard III neck is so easy to play on, and Ibanez has started putting oil on their necks instead of gloss varnish. This makes speedy playing very easy, and gives you more control. These new necks also have a 400mm radius (15.75 inches), which feels only a little different. Sharktooth inlays look great and show that it's a midrange Ibanez product. They look great and are easy to spot while playing, since they're so huge.
Overall, this guitar looks and feels amazing, but loses some points for the Edge Zero II. If you don't use the trem, you'll have an amazing guitar. I'll give it a respectable 8. Awesome, but not perfect. // 8
Sound: Versatility is what RG's do best! Add a HSH configuration to that, and you can quite literally play anything you wish. I personally play a vast range of styles, generally focusing on bright tones with not too much gain (for clarity reasons). This guitar handles that very well. Shreds sound great on the neck pickup, with lots of power. Rhythms on the bridge pickup sound aggressive with very detailed lower notes. If you put new strings on, they will sound amazingly detailed. I have D'Addario 10-46 strings at the moment. Clean sounds emphasize the detailed nature of the sound, especially on the single coil pickups, sounding very strat-like. Jazz chords sound awesome.
Sadly, this guitar has slightly low sustain. This is probably due to the bridge and bolt-on neck. You won't be able to hold a bend for too long, but it'll at least sound good while it lasts. I have played this guitar through a Blackstar HT-5R, and Line 6 Spider III 75w. Both sounded great. The Blackstar of course gives it more detail. When I saw the guitar in the shop, before I played it I was considering replacing the pickups with some DiMarzios. After playing the guitar in the shop I quickly changed my mind. For the amount of money, it's just not worth it. Of course, DiMarzios would sound better, but these infinity's are great already.
Overall, you get a versatile sound, with plenty of detail, and single coils and humbuckers. Everything is great in this category, except for the average sustain. Still, I think it deserves an admirable score. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was made in Indonesia. It was poorly setup when I bought it. It needed a truss rod adjustment, partially because it was built in the northern hemisphere and I live in the southern hemisphere (temperature change). The level of adjustment needed, though, was too large to put down to temperature change, and I honestly feel that someone in Indonesia didn't do their job too well. The guitar needed a completely new setup. It came with D'Addario 10-46 strings, which are my usual choice, so I was obviously happy about that.
Like I said previously, setting up this guitar with its Edge Zero II bridge and locking nut is tedious, so buying it and then fiddling around with the action all day only to find that the truss rod is actually the problem is really annoying. Apart from that, the finish on this guitar is great. The wood is not varnished, and is oiled, making it feel like a slab of wood taken straight from the factory. I love that. The neck also has an oil finish, adding to the rustic feel of the guitar. Pickups were at a good height when the guitar was stock, which was a plus.
Overall, the guitar had a terrible stock setup. Most people cannot make truss rod adjustments themselves, making the problem a severe one. Other than that, the guitar looks great. No chips on the wood, no errors in neatness of the build. I believe the finish has made up for an otherwise terrible setup. // 6
Reliability & Durability: Judging from my previous Ibanez RG321MH, which I've owned for 6 years, also built in Indonesia, I have a good knowledge of this section. Firstly, the "Cosmo Black" hardware looks great, but don't be fooled, it will not last forever. From experience, these finishes last less than a year before showing deterioration. Regardless, I think it adds a bit of character. In terms of rigidity, this guitar will not fall apart on you, and will last a very long time. On my RG321MH, I had to resolder the input jack wiring to the jack clip. The soldering lasted about a year, and I expect something similar from this RG470AHZ. For that reason, I would recommend a backup for a gig, unless you have checked the soldering first, which is simple enough.
Also, the frets on my RG321MH have worn down a lot over my 6 years of playing on it. In fact that was the reason for me replacing it. The quality of metal was not very good on that 2005 model, and I hope this has changed on this 2011 model. Depending on how long you expect to keep this guitar, and how often you play, expect to do a fret redress in the distant future (under 10 years).
Overall, I expect this guitar to last a decent amount of time (10 years or less). The hardware will deteriorate, and it's soldering should be checked before deciding to gig with it. Otherwise, it's awesome for bedroom jams. I feel a 7 is fair, because this guitar will last, but not without some minor shortcomings which could cause disappointment. // 7
Overall Impression: This guitar is priced in a beginner to almost intermediate level. For what you pay for, you really do get a whole lot, and if you only plan on using this guitar for 5 years then you really can have a great guitar on your hands. There is a possible better option for many players. If you want HOT pickups, the wood finish, no trem bridge, and don't mind not having a single coil pickup, try the RGA32. It's even cheaper, and sounds amazing. If you're looking for a reason to buy this guitar, it should be because of the single coil options. The Edge Zero II is far from perfect, and should not be a buying point.
Apart from many flaws, I still feel that this guitar has a lot of character. Because of its versatile nature, it feels like this guitar has a lot to say, and you will want to jam endlessly on it. I've also owned an Epiphone Les Paul, and I immediately missed how versatile an RG is, not to mention how thin the neck is. If you're looking for versatility, or haven't quite found your style of playing yet, or just love playing as many styles as you can, you simply can't go wrong with an RG.
I would definitely recommend this guitar as a great entry-level intermediate guitar. It definitely feels and sounds like a more expensive guitar would. I've played many guitars around and below the $1000 range, and the RG's always feel special. I have given this guitar an 8, because of the character that I believe it has, and how I've really become so attached to it. It feels special, and that's the most important thing. It makes me want to play guitar. I've even nicknamed it, Caramel, because of it's beautiful color (funny, I know). I can't give it a lower score, because I love it too much, flaws and all. // 8