Sound — 9
Played through a Keeley Electronics modded Ibanez Tubescreamer TS9-DX - a great overdrive pedal, in my opinion, into a Vox AD100VT. Certainly not the best amp on the market, but I managed to get the sounds I wanted out of it. I play metal, and usually go for a death-metal sound similar to Entombed or Carcass, but play a variety of genres. The pickups had no problems doing distortion, but they were extremely muddy. It took a lot of tweaking before finding a setup where I had decent distortion without the notes getting lost in the mud. This was only a problem when playing metal, if I didn't go for a distorted sound, the pickups did fine. I'm especially fond of the coil-split, which sounded very acoustic, but people Who buy 7-strings are usually focused on the heavier genres, so the pickups won't do it. A pickup change will solve this, though, and I suspect Ibanez has just put on these cheap stock pickups so that people can choose the pickups themselves. The potential in this guitar is great, and you can make it sound extremely good with a pair of good humbuckers in it. I don't feel the stock pickups ought to ruin the score of this guitar, but leaving the choice of pickups up to the consumer isn't very friendly on those Who doesn't have experience with pickups beforehand. I'm giving this a 9, but the only reason it doesn't get a 10 is because there's not one pickup that's objectively the best fit for this guitar.
Overall Impression — 9
I've played the guitar for over 4 years now, although only seriously for about a year and a half. For metal, this guitar is going to sound noisy, messy and muddy with the stock pickups, but you'll have a lot of choices, buying the specific pickups you're after. The wood of this guitar is of top quality, and it's got a lot of potential, I've witnessed other guitars of the same model using different pickups, and they all sound great in their own way, which is the main reason I've never gotten around to picking a set to buy myself. If there's anything bad to say about this guitar, it's that the Edge Pro tremolo seems a little stiff compared to other Ibanez tremolo systems, but I hardly ever use it, so it doesn't bother me. I might've bought a fixed bridge version of this if it was accessible to me, but it only means I've got to spend more time tuning the guitar, which is just good experience, anyways. This guitar is the main reason I've improved so much the last year, because it's so fun and easy to play. The feel of the neck is superb, and the 7th string adds so much fun without preventing you from playing songs made for the Standard 6 strings. I'm sure that once I put in some better pickups, it'll last several more years and keep on being an inspiration for me to improve and continiue to play the guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've had this guitar for about a year, and it's been through a lot. I've managed to drop it on the floor, and I've put the bridge back into the routing so poorly that it actually just slipped into place when I was playing, making a really unpleasant sound, but it's survived it all without as much as a scratch, and it still plays perfectly. The strap buttons are extra wide, so I haven't needed any straplocks, which I suppose has to be a good thing. The finish is just as pretty as when it was new. I've never had a string snap on me, so I would without a doubt use this guitar without a backup.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was, as always is the case, rather poorly set up. The bridge was tilting, the guitar was completely out of tune etc. Nothing new here. Once adjusted, you can get quite a low action without much fret buzz. It's a dream to play, when well adjusted. The neck is thin, but I like that, and it's very comfortable for me to play. The only thing I can say is annoying about playing the guitar is that sometimes the tremolo springs start vibrating and make a buzzing noise, but I assume that happens to every floating bridge tremolo now and then. I just strech the springs a bit and it's usually gone.
Features — 10
Ibanez Prestige RG-1527 Royal Blue, 2005 model. Made by the J-Custom team in Japan. 24 jumbo frets, Wizard III 5-piece maple/wenge neck, basswood superstrat body, Edge Pro floating bridge, double-locking tremolo system. Stock Ibanez pickups, V7-7 and V8-7 with coil tap and split, 5-way pickup selector, tone and volume knobs. Gotoh non-locking tuners. Usually comes with an Ibanez Prestige case, mine included a manual, some allen wrenches and the tremolo bar. Nothing missing. Came with a set of 09-52 D'Addario (I think) strings.