Price paid: $ 1799
Purchased from: Good Times Music
Sound — 10
As my profile name states, I tend to play progressive metal and dapper in some classical style. The two extra string on this beast allow so much more for an individual riff and ones ability to accent chords with a very heavy low end. Currently I am running through a 100-watt Bugera 333XL amp head (soon to be an Engl Fireball) connected to my custom Avatar 4x12 cabinet with two Celestion Vintage 30s on top and two G12H30s below. The G12H30s give a brighter high-end that accompanies death metal playing perfectly. This guitar is not noisy in the least and I'm running it through low-end Champion cables. I tend to scoop my mids for most of my playing as to replicate Scale the Summit sounds and get the bassy tone I aim for. Normally my lead channel is set to Treb:6 Mid:3 Low:8. With my cleans I'm set to Treb:5 Mid:7 and Low:8. These settings really achieve this guitars potential (even though my amp is average). This guitar can handle excess gain like no other. I normally keep my gain around 4 or 5, but that's me. The cleans on this guitar are quite amazing. The bass tones are exquiset with equal volume given to each note in a chord, scale, arpeggio, and any other musical shaping. The RG2228 can produce any sound a player would want. I recently filled in for a friend with his blues band and this guitar replicated a Stevie Ray-esc tone perfectly. One issue I have, which really is just a matter of switching amp settings to gix, is while tapping on the clean channel, the 808's do not give enough volume toward higher tapped strings. The real volume loss is while sliding a tap, but it's really nothing major.
Overall Impression — 10
Like I mention above, I play progressive metal, death metal, some jazz, and some classical. This guitar matches each of the genres perfectly. I have been playing for roughly 3 and 1/2 years. I bought a Jackson RR3 8 months prior to this guitar which I still have. Even though some people may be hesitant to Switch from a six string directly to an eight, the jump really isn't akward. I played an RG2228 for over two hours in a Guitar Center roughly 3 months before making my purchase which really let me fall in love with the extended range. I have no regrets about bying this guitar at all. If my RG2228 were to be stolen I would buy another in a heart beat. This guitar is amazing. I had tried out a few Ibanez and ESP seven strings before getting my hands on this eight string. Sevens are excellent, but the utility brought to the table by the eighth string is insurmountable. There really is nothing to hate about this guitar. I would have liked pickup options, but in all honesty changing them out is not a problem, even though they don't need a change. The only thing I truly wish is that there would have been different finish options. I'm fine with black guitars and the galaxy finish adds more to it, but I would have loved the ability to have a natural finish.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I have only played two live shows with this guitar and it handled like a charm. It can take abuse like any guitar should, even though I'm avoiding that at all costs. The hardware is flawless. The strap buttons work fabulously. Straplocks are honestly not looking necessary in the least. The RG2228 is outrageously reliable. I will never need a backup guitar. I have only rotated the strings once, not because I had to, but because it felt wrong if I didn't. The finish does not show any wear what so ever. It is built to last. A cat some how managed to tip my case's lid over which resulted in a dent the size of a pencil head on the body, but it is barely noticable. Ibanez made an instrument built to last forever in this monster.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Out of the box it was tuned perfectly excluding the 8th string which was slightly off the F# that is sould have been. No problems at all wth the action. There is no need to reset the action in any way. The pickups are perfectly level with a little extra routed space as to exchange them if a buyer wishes to do so. Everything was routed and marked perfectly with literally zero flaws. It looked as though they painted the RG2228 the day I got it. This guitar is perfect from the beginning.
Features — 9
Let's break it down. This masterpiece was made in Japan during May of 2009. The RG2228 has 24 jumbo frets set to a 27 inch scale. Ibanez's 5-piece Wizard-8 neck that comes with the guitar is made up of maple and wenge. The fingerboard itself is rosewood with pearl Dot inlays. My only complaint with the fingerboard would be that on the 15th and 16th fret the wood is a little worn. This minor imperfection does not reduce the guitars playability or tone in any way. The body is constructed out of basswood adding even more depth to the guitar's low-end. It comes with Ibanez's "galaxy black" finish. Think a Standard black finish and add some glitter. The RG double cutaway style is maintained in this gutar like the rest of Ibanez's RG prestige series guitars. The RG2228 comes with a Fixed Edge 3-8 bridge with a double locking setup. The Standard setup for this guitar, which I have left mine with for now, is a pair of active EMG 808 humbcking pickups. Many people have complained about the boomy-ness that can be produced by these pickups, but in all honesty they have a very smooth sound with far less boom than many would believe. I plan to try out some Lungren pickups in the guitar soon just to see the difference in tonality. The 2228 has a Standard 3-way pickup selector (bridge, both, neck, you know). The Gotoh tuning machines that come with this masterpiece work perfectly. The case Ibanez gives a buyer is superb. It fits the guitar like perfectly with extra storage space for 2 fifteen foot chords and 3 Standard size Boss effect pedals without warping any part of the case or harming the guitar.