Price paid: £ 260
Purchased from: Nevada Music
Sound — 9
I play heavy metal mostly, but also the odd hard rock song. This is through a Roland Cube (Set to R-Fier with Bass full, Middle full and Treble 7/8ths of the way up) I also use DigiTech Death Metal and Bad Monkey pedals with my Roland Cube and a Laney LV120. The pickups are really high output, perfect for divebombs, pull-ups and squeals. Admittedly, the bridge pickup could use some more bass to it, as quite often, I find there is just a tiny something lacking in the sound. But considering these are bog Standard Ibanez pickups, they work fantastically. And it is worth fiddling around with your amp settings to get a thick crunchy sound. These pickups are very versatile, and all 3 can pretty much be used for any style. They all sound amazing with or without any kind of distortion, and I would certainly use it for recording. One other thing that I am really impressed with, is the sustain. I can do a squeal pull-up, and be there for ages just holding it. This really is a versatile guitar (minus the appearance)
Overall Impression — 10
I mostly play heavy metal, and aesthetically, is certainly does the job. Then you plug it in, and it just sounds really good. No matter what style you play. Again, at times, the pickups can be a tad on the thin side, but all you need to do is just adjust some of the amp/pedal settings, and you are ready to rock. It has an unbelievable amount of sustain, and just destined for metal. If it were stolen or lost, I would certainly buy another. I would definitely choose it over, for example, a Jackson Randy Rhoads Series (which I was trying at the same time) Again, in my opinion, this guitar can trounce other guitars that are twice it's price, or maybe even more! When I was looking for a new guitar, I was trying out shed loads of alternative ones. I was looking mainly at Jackon Roads' & Dinky's and ESP F Series' and EX series. And for me, this just blew all of them out of the water completely. The main reason being price, and the second being the sustain. I tried out all the guitars in identical conditions, and none of them had the sustain that my Ibanez does. And being an avid trem user, this was a massive thing for me. I also found that the Jacksons, in particular, were quite badly built. I have found that Ibanez (out of all the companies I have tried) have the best quality control. Even on their base package models. The only thing that I wish this guitar had is either an EMG HZ FH2 bridge pickup, or a Seymour Duncan Dimebucker and a push/pull tone splitter. Other than that, this guitar is perfect for me.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I have only used this guitar live once, and it coped with ease. Especially as I didn't have a back-up and I am using a floating tremolo, I was very impressed (I would always recommend a back-up though. No matter how well a guitar is put together, a string snapping is always a possibility) It is very well put together. I often do maintainance on my guitars, and I do often check them over. And so far, nothing has fallen off of it. So I am very happy about that. Unfortunately, I have found that the wood is quite easy to damage. I am not sure whether it is the wood itself not being especially durable (basswood) or whether it is the finish. In my opinion, the finish does seem a little on the thin side. But accidents are going to happen, no matter how careful you are. And I quite like the odd dent in my guitars.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar was set up perfectly from the factory. The action was as low as humanly possible without any kind of buzz, the pickups are an ideal height. I have barely touched the setup (minus one time with the tremolo, and boy did I regret it) The neck was perfectly aligned to suit the set-up, everything has just been put on this guitar solidly. In my opinion, Ibanez have some of the best quality control that you can get. And to see such quality on such low end models really brings confidence to me in the company.
Features — 10
Production completed on 28/4/2009 Bought on 18/9/09 Strat (Ibanez RG To Be Specific) Shape 24 XJ Frets, Maple Neck, Rosewood fingerboard, Red Sharkteeth Inlays Basswood Body, Black Flat Finish with Red Binding Red Pickguard with Ibanez PSND2 (Bridge) PSNDS (Middle) PSND1 (Neck) (All Passive) Ibanez Edge III Tremolo Pickup Selector (5 Way) 1 Volume Nob and 1 Tone Nob Ibanez Non-Locking Tuners Overall, a very well built and specc'd guitar, even more so when you consider the price of only 260. I have had it since September, and I have never had a problem with it (touch wood). In my opinion, a bargain guitar that can't be matched by even some guitars double the price