Price paid: $ 1920.47
Purchased from: Guitar Connection
Features: This guitar was made in 2002 in Japan and is now one of the rarer J-Custom models around as it is no longer in production. (This particular model has the Serial Number: 17024)
This guitar, like most Ibanez RG models, has 24 Frets and they are Custom Jumbo (SBB 216-195). Its neck has a 648mm/ 25'5 Scale made of 5pcs Maple/Bubinga and the fingerboard is Rosewood w/White Binding. The neck is 42mm wide at the nut and 56mm thick at the last fret.Its neck is also extremely thin at only 19.5mm at the first fret which makes a great guitar for shred.
The body top is made of Flame Maple and the back of Honduras Mahogany. As previously mentioned the neck is made of 5pcs Maple.
It had a very sexy looking Transparant Red Burst finish as it is the TRD model. The LA is in Flight Amber.
The body style is similar to that of most RG's with a double cutaway that allows full access to the higher frets on the neck. The bridge is an Ibanez Lo-Pro, one widely regarded as one of the, if not the best Floyd Rose Licensed bridges. It is also a floating bridge.
This guitar has two pickups, both humbuckers that are laid out in the H-H style. They consist of a DiMarzio Air Norton in the neck slot and a DiMarzio Tone Zone in the bridge slot. The Pickup selector is a 3-way that allows one or both pickups to be selected at the same time. The guitar has 4 Knobs, 2 for each pickup that control volume and tone.
The guitar has a double locking system, with a lock at the nut and one at the bridge. This helps to stop the guitar from going out of tune no matter what is done with it.
When I bought this guitar it came with a hard case and a certificate signed by Yuji Wakazono of Ibanez to prove it came from their Custom-Shop.
What particularly stands out are 4 knobs which allows an unprecedented amount of control over your tone without touching your amp and the very reliable tremolo which, when set up right will mean that this guitar never goes out of tune. // 10
Sound: This guitar is surprisingly versatile, being able to play everything I've tried very well. From blues-rock to Thrash Metal to funk to pop. It excells at anything rock/metal oriented because of the solid sounding pickups.
I run it through a Marshall JCM2000-DSL401 and my effects are a Reverb, Compression-Sustainer and a Wah and when using the amplifiers in-built distortion this thing sounds absolutely amazing. I usually play with Mid treble and bass and high mids and the tone is absolutely heavenly. The sound is not so much bright as it is extremely full. It sometimes becomes noisy if I turn the gain to 9 or 10 but this is very minimal and only sounds when nothing is playing. // 10
Action, Fit & Finish: When I got it this guitar was set up perfectly, action was very comfortable and no adjustments were needed to the pickups, bridge, neck or top. This may be because of the amazing Ibanez Custom Shop or because the guy at the store I bought it from is meticulous perfectionist who used to be a guitar tech for several professional bands such as RHCP and the Foo Fighters. To my eye I could not see any visible flaws. Its setup was perfect.
I would caution newer players as setting up this guitar is not easy for those who have never worked with Floyd Roses and thus only recommend this is intermediate/advanced players who know how to change strings without csusing your bridge to sink in.
Or if you want to pay money to get someone to do it for you go right ahead. // 10
Reliability & Durability: I've dropped this guitar a few times and it has only received a few scratches. The strap buttons are solid and the hardware looks like it would rust. The finish has not even worn at all even this crazy Singapore weather and its extreme humidity.
I recently gigged with this without a backup which while nothing happened was still a mistake. You should ALWAYS gig with a backup.
My only worry is that since the bridge is floating and locked if you break a string the tension will adjust and every other string will go out of tune and changing strings is very slow. This has happened to me before in practice when I hit the strings too hard but thankfully never live. // 9
Overall Impression: I have been playing for 5 years and play mostly Prog-Rock/All metal and this guitar is a fit for everything I've tried. I still get in a lot of time with my Strat when I play Alt-Rock/pop/RHCP/Pearl Jam stuff but The J-Custom can definitely play them.
If it were ever stolen or lost I'd buy it again in a heartbeat but that would be difficult as this guitar is quite rare. I have a Fender Strat and once owned an LTD and this guitar blows them both out of the water when used to play Rock or Metal. If there were one thing I could add to this guitar it would be a Sustaniac or a killswitch as I'm an effects junkie.
This guitar is an absolutely amazing guitar and you can not go wrong with if and if you can find and afford it I highly recommend you buy it. // 10