Price paid: $ 699
Purchased from: music123.com
Sound — 8
Now as I stated earlier, the stock pickups weren't gonna stay long, however I played with them enough (whilst waiting a few weeks for my to spanky new Dimarzios to arrive) to give you an idea of what they were like. And that basically is, average. They weren't bad, at all. On the whole, they were tolerable, possibly quite satisfactory pickups. But then Who wants something that's JUST satisfactory? Not me! I wanted to achieve Vai's biting tone, and Petrucci's low end riffs, and feel that real seven string power, but also people to back the gain off, and play some jazz. So I got me a Blaze Custom for the bridge and an Air Norton for the neck, and those babies brought the guitar to life! I run through an all valve Laney amp, using pretty bog Standard effects pedals, an MXR ZW44 overdrive being the main Drive behind my gain. Clean it has a nice melow jazz tone on the neck, one of the switches settings being able to split the coils and make it even cleaner with a slight, dare I say it, telecasterish sound?! But yeah, clean it is more impressive than you would assume, seeing as this guitar was clearly intended for super low metal riffs. The Blaze Custom on gain has a very high output, distinctive, perfect metal lead tone, and definitely with a few setting tweaks, gets you that Vai lead tone, along with the Dream Theater sort of rhythms, and also being able to achieve a Nevermore sort of tone (Well Chris Broderick used one!) Again, the Air Norton on gain can help you to achieve that Passion and Warfare "For the Love of God" tone alongside Petruccis leads. I've used this guitar for a lot of A level performances, having to play songs as Sweet Child O' Mine, Jazz pieces (Fly Me to the Moon) and progressive instrumentals such as Building the Church or Glasgow Kiss These pickups for me turned the guitar into a beauty, and helped me achieve the tone I wanted, but the electronics have to be changed in my opinion, to get the best out of this guitar. Now, as the sound I presume mainly comes from my modification, with it, I would give it a 9.5, based on the fact that it didn't have a single coil. Without it, It would probably achieve about a 7, but the guitar has the potential sound amazing, it's the electronics that didn't, So I will give it an 8.
Overall Impression — 9
Now I'm a guitarist of 3 years now, taking my grade 8 theory and playing, being primarily self taught until the last year or two, studying under two teachers (one being the guitar professor at most English universities of music). As I study music and play in large ensembles of all sorts, a guitar has to be able to cover every corner for me, from death metal to jazz, and this is another guitar that does it. I have a large selection of gear to run it through, but I pair it up most frequently with the ZW44 and the Laney LC15 or 30 to get the basis of my tone. I have no regrets about buying this product, I don't think I could have entered the seven string market in a better way, and in specs, this is very similar to the more expensive Universe, once the electronics are changed. There is nothing I hate about this guitar, apart from the fact that it's one more string to change ;] I just love the feeling of an Ibanez in your hands, it feels so natural, and the Low B definitely adds a new dimension to my playing. The product I compared it to was my RG2550, as it is basically the reason I chose to get another Ibanez, but this time I wanted a 7. And it shows that Ibanez are consistent in their quality. Furthermore, on written spec, I compared it to an Ibanez Universe and a Musicman Petrucci 7, as they were basically what I wanted from 7 strings and with a few tweaks, this guitar definitely matched those. But as I said, I wish it had a single coil, then I think it would be unstoppable! But yeah, bar a few minor hitches, out of the box this gets a 9... with a few mods, 10 or more definitely.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar does withstand Live playing except one thing: The gloss black, chips like a bitch. I'm not fussy and perfect about my guitars, but I've never seen a guitar chip like that. It's definitely nothing deeper than paint, and having done research I found out it is an issue with gloss black (Explaining why Ibanez typically operate in metallic only these days). But again, what is paint? The hardware I know will last, it's the same as on my other Ibanez and that has done me proud. Having said that, a red piece of plastic broke quite randomly out of the back of the tremolo. Having taken the back off, I found out this is what holds the ball ends in place in the bridge. Although the functionability of the tremolo was not affected, I'm still curious what caused it. The strap buttons I standardly replaced to strap locks due to paranoia of dropping this beauty, but the original ones were perfectly fine, and I'm sure would have lasted. I would never gig without a backup when using a guitar with a Floyd Rose. If a string breaks, tbh, you're screwed, but I trust this guitar and I love it, even though there have been some minor issues.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The set up was perfect to be honest, the action can keep going down and down! I thought my RG2550 was out of the box satisfaction until I got this. It is truly heaven to play. The pickups needed to go up a little, but what's the deal? It's just a few turns of a screwdriver Now finish is where I have a few problems with this guitar, but BARE in mind, I had an exclusive finish, not the typical one and I think it is solely a problem with the gloss black. There is a noticable line in the finish which is visible when reflections appear on the guitar. It's not a major problem, but I'm not sure if it should be there. And also... actually, I'll come back to this in durability.... The neck is perfect as per usual of Ibanez, and is finished and matched well, but there are no flaws otherwise in the guitars construction, so I think the score shouldn't be reflected on appearance, as I am being veeery fussy.
Features — 9
The 2006 Ibanez RG1527, in an exclusive (and cheaper ;D) gloss black, courtesy of music123.com. Being an Ibanez Prestige, it was made by the notorious Team J Craft (In Japan), once more proving themselves to be workmanship wonders. The 1527 features 24 jumbo frets, on a 7 string scale with a rosewood board (Pearl dot inlays) and a 5 piece Wizard prestige 7 maple neck for those super flying fingers we all dream of! The body is solid basswood with a bolt on construction neck. The finish as mentioned before is a gloss black, making a change from the Royal Blue that this guitar is usually supplied in. The body is the infamous RG shape, and for those Who somehow are yet to discover the RG, it's basically a typical superstrat. The bridge is an Edge Pro 7, a licensed Floyd Rose manufactured by Ibanez which is seemingly becoming their most used model on their top guitars, the Edge Pro 7 recently making an appearance on the Universe (Steve Vai's 7 signature) and it's six string counterpart on the Jem. The electronics are stock Ibanez pickups, but let's face it, they aren't gonna stay! The controls you get on this guitar are one volume, one tone, and a 5 way Switch (which has all sorts of controls over the tone considering it's only HH configuration) The tuners are gotoh but are rendered irrelevant a lot of the time due to the locking nut system. As far as accessories go, Ibanez don't fail to provide you with all you need to get this baby roaring! One Prestige hardcase, more tools for the floyd rose than you can shake a stick at, spare barings for the Edge pro arm and with a manual so big it that makes you wonder if Ibanez have anything to do with deforestisation! *gasps* A lot to take in right? Now, for the rating on this, I was split for. The guitar is perfect in specification, but lacks a few features that I think could have given it some real edge being: Dimarzio pickups (Or possibly another brand with equally good tone) And a HSH configuration But I suppose Ibanez are just trying to distinguish the Universe a little right? ;] Anyway, I've given this a 9 but I suppose an 8.5 may have been more just.