Maldihr, on september 02, 2011 3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 1480
Purchased from: Sandvika music senter
Features: This is the new Ibanez Premium guitar made in 2011 in Indonesia. It features a quilted maple top on an American basswood body, maple/walnut premium neck with KTS titanium reinforcements, 24 jumbo frets on a rosewood fretboard, offset dot inlays unique for the Premium line, Ibanez's own CAP VM passive humbuckers and single coil, edge zero 2 tremolo system with ZPS3, and Ibanez tuners. Controls: One volume, one tone, a 5 way blade toggle switch. I'd wish it had the Edge Zero trem and Gotoh tuners though. Don't get me wrong, the EZ2 and Ibz tuners works great, never had problem with them yet.
Mine came in High Voltage Violet, but (in Europe) it's also available in Red Desert, Black Ice, Black and Laser Blue.
I bought this guitar mainly because I didn't have a guitar with a tremolo system, and because I love Ibanez Wizard necks! But the thing that surprised me the most was the output jack hole. When I first connected the jack to the guitar, it needed some big muscle power to get out. It's been like that ever since, and I love it! It's literally no way that jack is going anywhere. // 9
Sound: I play metal, like Iron Maiden, Lordi, Children Of Bodom, All That Remains... And this guitar just kicks @$$! The sound is just amazing, so powerful and clear. I run it through a Boss Metal Zone, into a Roland Cube 30X, with some delay. Not a very big or complex setup, but for small stages and home practice, I don't need anything else.
This is my forth el guitar. I own an ESP Ltd EC-100QM, an ESP LTD EX-400, and a crappy newbie Strat copy. I've played about 4 years, and some may think I have too many guitars compared to my short playing time, but I've bought a new guitar when I feel the guitars I have holds me back in some way.
The clean tone is even better, if you put on some soft reverb, and use the middle and splitted neck pickup. The clarity and "air" in the sound is just stunning, perfect for calm ballades. I might switch them out for some DiMarzio D'Activators, but for now the pickups rock! Just me being a bit picky. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar was set up fairly well from the factory, with notes hanging all over it, hehe. The action was a bit high for my taste, so was the single coil. The spring tension needed to be tightened a bit, but not much.
The guitar not in tune at all. Some strings were in D#, some in D, and some in E. But when I tuned it properly, it stayed in tune. And I hardly need to tune it at all. Because it has the tremolo system, I keep it in E all the time, and I tune it just one time a day, with the fine tuners. But often it's perfectly in tune. Well done Ibanez!
The finish is perfect, and no other flaws has caught my attention yet. Overall just minor factory stuff you would expect when the guitar has been flown from Indonesia to Norway. // 8
Reliability & Durability: I haven't played live with this baby just yet, but hopefully I will soon. I would bring a backup, like always. But I don't think it will be neccessary. After a year I haven't faced any problems what so ever, but for an original Ibanez guitar handcrafted by Japanese luthiers, that's what you should expect.
The fact that it's made in Indonesia, pulls the price down to half of the Prestige, even though both guitars is made by the same people. // 9
Overall Impression: This guitar matches my style (metal) perfect, but it can without any trouble handle everything from black metal to pop to blues to country. The pickups are very versatile! As said, I've played guitar in 4 years, and owned this RG the last year.
I love this guitar, and I would without hesitation buy this guitar again if it was gone/stolen. If you take good care of it, it will be a good companion for many years to come. Worth every single coin! // 9
krehzeekid, on august 10, 2012 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Price paid: C$ 900
Purchased from: Long and McQuade
Features: This guitar was made in 2012 at the new Ibanez Premium facility in Indonesia. IT features an American basswood body with a quilted maple top (which appears to only be a veneer). The top is finished in a highly figured trans-grey, with the back of the body being finished a brownish trans-grey. The edges are unbound but finished with a PRS-style natural clear-coat. The bolt-on neck is a 5 piece Wizard Premium made of maple and walnut with KTS titanium reinforcement which helps to keep the wafer thin neck from flexing. The neck features a 25.5" scale length, has a 43mm nut and is 18mm thick that the first fret, making it one of the thinnest necks on the market ever. There are 24 jumbo frets (unspecified material). The neck also features offset dot markers, a nicely grained rosewood fingerboard and a satin clear-coat on the back.
Hardware wise, this guitar features Ibanez's own passive CAP VM1, VM1s and VM2 pickups in an HSH configuration. The pickups are controlled by a strat-style 5-way switch and single tone and volume controls- nothing too fancy there. The bridge is an Ibanez Edge-Zero 2 locking tremolo unit, and features a matching locking nut. The tuners are generic non-locking units of unknown origins (presumably Ibanez). The guitar also features completely generic strap buttons. All the hardware on the guitar is finished in a black chrome, all of which looks to be reasonably consistent.
The guitar did arrive with a soft-case (note: this is neither a gig-bag or a hardcase- it is more or less a case with a nylon outer rather than wood or plastic), which is more than decent for general transport, though I did buy a proper flight-case. Additionally, the guitar comes with an Ibanez Premium tool, which feature all the tools you need to work on the guitar.
Overall, the spec of the guitar is quite reasonable, but not stellar. I would have liked to see an Edge-Zero (as opposed to the Edge Zero 2) and some better pickups, but the quality of the guitars build, despite its origins, does make up for the small cost saving measures. Anyways, I would rather have a well built guitar that needs some mods that a poorly built guitar with great parts. // 8
Sound: I am using this guitar almost exclusively with a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster, so that will be the reference point for this review. From the outset, I want to point out that I was not completely satisfied with the pickups in the guitar and I have recently swapped them for a set of DiMarzio's (Crunch Lab and Liquifier). This review, however, will be of the guitar pre-modification.
Anyways, played through a clean channel, the guitar is surprisingly good, especially the neck pickup. Note to note clarity is fairly good, and the pickups do offer sufficient character to create nice and lively cleans. Highly complicated chords can end up sounding a little flabby, but this is not really a big issue as this is not a jazz guitar. My only real gripe about the clean tones from this guitar is that they can be a little one-dimensional and processed sounding, particularly with the bridge pickup. It's not that they sound bad, but they don't sound stellar.
Moving to lower-gain overdrive and distorted settings, the guitar feels a tad out of its element. The pickups are a little too HOT for these sorts of settings, but it doesn't sound bad at all. The bridge unit is adequately bright to give mild distortion and bright and present edge, while the neck unit is tubby enough to provide a good bluesy sound. The single coil does sound quite good, though it is quieter than the other two pickups.
Going to a more distorted sound again, the pickups feel like they're entering their happy place. Single notes rip out with authority and chords have a nice and full sound while retaining a high degree of precision. Even reasonably complicated chords still have adequate clarity, which is a very nice surprise. The neck pickup, though somewhat too thick sounding for chord-work, has a nice bouncy and syrupy lead tone that's great for singing solo's and shredding. Somewhat disappointingly, harmonic content of both pickups is a little lacking - they just don't seem to have the harmonic clout of better pickups.
Upping the gain again into modern metal territory (I favor John Petrucci type metal tones- super tight rhythm and smooth lead), and the guitar starts to show its cost cutting measures more. The lack of harmonic content really begins to show itself more openly, leaving notes sounding more processed than I would like. Additionally, the pickups do not have adequate clarity to handle complex chords with high levels of gain. However, the bridge unit is still able to remain reasonably present in most mixes, and it resists the urge to get flabby- which is very nice. The neck pickup has an almost great lead tone; it is very responsive and almost vocal, but it is a little too bassy. The single coil simply cannot handle high gain levels, and I would not expect it to.
The guitar sounds anywhere from good to very good, and never sounds bad. My issue is that it never quite sounds amazing- you're left thinking that it could have been so much better if the pickups were just a little better (I can now say that it really is far better with good pickups). That being said, it isn't bad at all and it is certainly good enough to play without an upgrade. Additionally, I have to note that the guitar has very good sustain, especially when you consider that it has a locking trem. Also, the guitar has a very pleasant neutral tonality in the sense that it doesn't seem to natural emphasize or mute certain frequencies, which gives it a fairly natural sound, which I really like. // 7
Action, Fit & Finish: The factory set-up on this guitar was one of the best I've even seen. Other than slightly high (and I do mean slightly - 1mm) bass-side action, everything was spot on. The pickups were well adjusted, the intonation was perfect and the trem was very well set-up. More impressively, however, was how well the guitar was assembled. The fret-work on the guitar is absolutely perfect- I have tried to find a flaw and I simply cannot, and all the other work on the guitar is very clean. The finish is even, gaps are tight and screws are evenly torqued.
Of note here, this guitar has an incredibly fast neck. It is so thin and flat, and the action is easy to set nice and low, that it is almost effortless to play quickly. The Edge Zero 2 trem, despite my initial reservations, does seem to be working very well too. I'm hardly a serious trem abuser, but I do use the trem frequently and it has stayed in tune very well (I only have to make minor adjustments every few days!). It is also one of the easier trems to set-up and work on that I've ever owned, though I can see how somebody unfamiliar with locking trems could become very frustrated by it- set-up is still a long endeavor.
Overall, this guitar is very well finished and made to a very high standard. It is not as good as a Prestige series Ibanez, but that wasn't the expectation. It is, however, better than a comparable Jackson or a Deluxe series LTD and significantly better than non-premium Ibanez's, so it does appear that you get what you pay for. // 10
Reliability & Durability: I have had this guitar for somewhere around 4 months now, and I have played it live quite a lot in that time. It has responded very well; it stays in tune very easily and simply does not give me any grief whatsoever. However, because the locking trem would fall out of tune due to a broken string (despite Ibanez's fictitious claims that the ZPS system would remedy this), I will never go without a backup. I removed the stock strap buttons in favour of strap-locks (I do it on all my guitars), but the stock buttons looked pretty average.
Otherwise, everything else seems to be very good. All the hardware feels solid, and I can't really see any reason why it would fail. I did have my reservations about the trem, given that cheaper Ibanez trems aren't known for being the most reliable things on earth, but I'm yet to have an issue with mine.
The 9/10 is not due to any one item on the guitar seeming too weak to last, but rather its that the entire guitar just feels a little more delicate than some of my other instruments (my G&L could be used as a baseball bat). This is not to say that the guitar is flawed, but it just doesn't feel as bombproof as other guitars as a function of its design and bridge. // 9
Overall Impression: I bought this guitar not because I needed it for any particular purpose, but rather because I wanted to have a second "metal" guitar to go with my ESP Eclipse. I initially wanted to go with a prestige model Ibanez, but after playing this one (and factoring in the cost of a pickup swap- I would have swapped for the same pickup set in either guitar), I settle on this premium and I could not be happier. It is a brilliant stunt guitar for shredding and whammy tricks. More impressively though, it sounds good enough and plays comfortably enough to be a reasonably good multi-purpose guitar. Its definitely a metal guitar, but it can do other things quite well.
I am very happy with this guitar, especially with the pickup swap. I believe that I got good value for my dollar because the guitar is noticeably better built than most other guitar I tried for the money, and consequently it sounds and plays better than I think a sub $1000 guitar should. It is hardly a perfect machine, but it is very good, regardless of price, and delivers precisely what it promised to deliver. Nothing wrong with being exactly as advertised! // 8
Jeremynewall1, on march 21, 2012 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: C$ 950
Purchased from: cosmo music
Features: The Ibanez RG870QMZ Premium is made some were in Indonesia. Its has 24 frets put onto a bound rosewood fret board which lays on an extremely sturdy 5 piece maple and walnut neck. The body of this guitar is made out of American basswood with and absolutely beautiful quilted maple top. The bridge is Ibanez's Edge-Zero2 with a detachable zero point system along with a thing that you twist on the back of the body to adjust the spring tension (the zero point system basically made the tremolo A LOT more stable. I generally keep it off though because without the zps it feels very very smooth and is still stable). The guitar also comes with CAP-VM1, CAP-VM1S, and CAP-VM2 passive pickups which are controlled by a one volumepot, one tone pot, and one 5-way pickups selector. The pickups configuration is H-S-H. Now for the tuners. The Ibanez RG Premium has Ibanez's own tuners (btw they work very well) with lucking nuts. FINALLY... The guitar comes with a Ibanez premium tool which holds allen keys, a ruler, and 2 screw driver things just because Ibanez is nice to use like that. // 10
Sound: At this moment I am running the Ibanez RG870 through a Blackstar HT Club-40, with a Vox wah pedal and a Boss dd3 delay. When I play my guitar I generally don't have a "main style" (I go through musical phases. For example, right now I am really into blues and last month I was really into Yngwie Malmsteen) I like to play things from funk and blues to death metal (I don't play death metal that much thought). I was actually really surprise with this guitar when I got it because it can actually play every style very well. I find the the guitar has a very clean and clear tone when clean but heavy, aggressive, and chunky when distorted. The guitar also has a mid-range that is a bit more present than that of other guitars which will definably make it easy to "cut-through the mix". If there is one thing I don't like about the guitar it would probably be the stock single coil pickup. I find that it doesn't really mix well with the other humbuckers and is a bit to bright (but still sounds reasonably good by itself. I eventually switch out the single coil pickup for a DiMarzio Cruiser and now I could not be any happier with this guitar. For now I am going to leave this guitar with a 9 because of the single coil not sounding as nice and not mixing with the humbuckers. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: Well this is a very easy category to answer. This is an Ibanez guitar so you are defiantly going to expect amazing playability with probably no flaws. // 10
Reliability & Durability: I have only play a few shows with this guitar and I feel like it is never going to break on me. The hardware, the finish, the neck and every thing on the guitar was defiantly built to last. The only down side that I find is the it is made out of basswood which is a generally "soft wood" which means that you will get a few dings here and there is you hit it hard enough (luckily I don't have and dents or yet!) // 9
Overall Impression: My overall impression of this guitar is very good. It has a beautiful sound, it was built to last a longgg long time, plays great, and just has great features like the tremolo (definitely my favourite feature). I also think that he guitar is probably best suited for some of the heavier songs but adapts very easily to other styles. I just find it a great buy and I absolutely recommend buying it. // 10