PGM 301 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (22 votes)
Ibanez: PGM 301

Price paid: $ 800

Purchased from: Ebay

Sound — 10
I love the sound of this guitar. I'm playing through a Crate GTD120 and I still sounds brilliant. The maple neck and fingerboard give it a nice bright sound which is perfect for hard rock, shred, and country music. The PAF Pro pickups sound great even at very high gain. They can be a little noisy, but nothing to worry about. The single coil really only shines on a clean sound. It's very thin and acoustic sounding. In fact, if you only heard it and didn't see the guitar, you might think it was an acoustic guitar playing. My biggest complaint about the single coil is that it's quite a bit quieter than the humbuckers, so if you're gonna play Live and plan to use the single coil, make sure to have a volume pedal. The basswood body offers a pretty good sustain, but nothing near a good Gibson Les Paul. But this guitar isn't made for holding long notes. It's meant to blaze through at lightning speed. Using different pickup combinations, this guitar can get quite a variety of sounds (keep in mind it has no tone knob). It sings beautifully in the upper register, has a nice twangy like sound in the middle, but lacks a punchy bass. One other thing I love about this guitar is that the PAF Pros get amazing pinch harmonics for passive pickups. They scream.

Overall Impression — 10
I play a lot of melodic death metal and power metal. Both of those styles of music have a lot of classical elements to them and the brighness of this guitar really makes it sound good. This guitar feels great and I would recommend it to anyone Who wants a great tone and not a lot of useless features you'll use twice a year. I had been comparing this to the RG770DX reissue that came out last year. I finally decided on the PGM for 2 reasons. The first is that it was a hell of a lot cheaper and the second was because the RG770DX has a square bolt on neck, which made upper fret access difficult. I'm sure I made the right choice, because I haven't played any of my other guitars since I got this one. My only real complaint about this guitar is that I had to buy it before I tried it, since it's so specialized guitar stores won't carry it. It has nothing to do with the guitar itself, but I had to take a risk when buying it, which is never any fun. To close, this is the best guitar I have ever played and I plan to take it to the grave. Everything about it is just perfect for my style of music. If you like it fast and loud, this is the guitar for you.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is great for Live gigs, but you must watch it like a hawk, since anyone can tell it will fetch a fair price. It's solid as a rock. The reverse headstock is a nice feature because now when you're turning blindly and you bump the headstock into something/someone, it won't get knocked out of tune, since the pegs are on the other side. The strap buttons are nice and big. It has yet to slip from my strap.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I bought the guitar from a guy on ebay. I know it was risky, but he had only owned it for 4 months prior to putting it up for sale. I got it for $500 cheaper than a new one and it was still quite new. What a deal! I have no complaints with anything on the technical side, since the Prestige Ibanez guitars are under strict QC. The pickups selector is a bit harder to Switch than other guitars I've played, but after a few weeks of playing, I have gotten use to it.

Features — 9
All PGM301s are made in Japan. The PGM301 is from the PGM series guitars (Paul Gilbert Model). It boasts a very smoothly contoured; double cutaway basswood body, a 24 fret maple PMG prestige wizard neck and fingerboard, 25.5 scale, reverse headstock, PAF Pro pickups and a Jem single coil, fixed string-thru bridge, and 1 volume knob. The finish is a lovely alpine white with 2 fake F-holes. This guitar doesn't mess around. It's pure tone and nothing else.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Yes, maybe you should have, but even the best of us make these mistakes, haha, . But good review none-the-less. At least you are a better judge than some reviewers and didn't simply say everything is perfect leaving me with the impression that it's the same as every other 10 star guitar, haha.
    the action section has nothing to do with what you wrote...i liked your review besides the simple errors you made
    Do they still sell this guitar in Japan? I heard about the PGM300RE but i dont like the bridge... Very good review, it helped me a loot to understand more about this guitar By the way, is it a easy playing guitar for one with short fingers, even on the higher frets?