RG320FM review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (127 votes)
Ibanez: RG320FM
11

Sound — 9
I know everyone on here says this, but I actually do play a lot of styles. Aside from very heavy death metal and the like (which I'm sick of at the minute), I play some country, acoustic stuff like Jack Johnson, straight up rock, average metal (say Metallica), Muse and the like, corporate rock like the Foos and Pearl Jam, and, predominantly, Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave and The Chilis. The guitar really does deliver in every department. I generally use a semi-crappy Marshall MG, and the guitar still sounds great on everything. The range comes from a very smart pickup layout, at first I thought it would just be a 3-way toggle, because it's a twin humbucker guitar, but instead, it's a five way toggle, offering the option of neck humbucker, bridge humbucker, both humbuckers, the inside coils of both humbuckers and the neck item connected in parrallel. The result is a vast range of tones, to cater for absolutely everyone.

Overall Impression — 10
As with before, I play lots of styles, the guitar churns out a suitable tone for each one. It's thick when it needs to be, thin when necessary, I love it. I don't know why this asks for how long I've been playing and why it's relevant, but that would be 18 months. Don't just dismiss this review as bullshit from a begginer now, in those 18 months I've been through 7 guitars, and my bandmate has had about the same, so I've had prolonged use on all those too. The RG320 strikes me as a great guitar. If it were stolen, I would hunt down the thief, call the Y.D.E, tell them the thief had stolen their Bucky, and watch it unfold. I wouldn't buy a new one, because I couldn't afford it, but if I had it stolen and replaced with 310, I'd definitely buy it again. The tone at the neck pickup is great, and the ease of play is great. I'm yet to see how it will perform with a really high output beast at the bridge pickup, but if it's anything like my last RG, I'm sure it will be immense. The deciding factor is definitely the Edge trem. You either love the floyd rose trems or you hate them. If you switch tunings all the time, and I don't mean drop tunings, just whole guitar changes, then it might be a pain in the arse for you, but as a guy with very very little time, it still suits me, so it should be fine for most others.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I've gigged it, it's hard as nails. Nuff said. I'd gig it without a backup, easy. The strap buttons are solid, the hardware has lasted this far with no problems. The finish is tough. What I'm getting at here, is that it is a particularly solid guitar. You drop it, it bounces.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
This was the only slight letdown. Nothing major, just one or two wee issues. Working on the assumption that everything else was more or less perfect, the problems were: 01. The action was too low, and the bottom strings rattled, while the top strings cut out with any bending. 02. One of the bridge saddles had falled out. Two minutes with an allen key soon sorted that out. 03. It then turned out the intonation was slightly off to begin with. This is a batty of a problem time-wise, but I was patient, because it's a new guitar after all.

Features — 9
There was no review for this guitar on UG before I bought it, so I figured I'd let any potential buyers know what they were in for if they wanted this guitar. This is a 2006 model Ibanez, made in Korea. There are 24 frets, on the Ibanez "Wizard" neck, which promises the playability of a thin neck, mixed with the stability of a thick one. The neck definitely delivers, it's lightning fast, but with a bit of chunk, which is always nice, it doesn't feel like it's going to snap or anything. One of my favourite features-shallow as it may be is that this guitar is very aesthetically pleasing. Rather than the usual RG finish, matt colours, which look very unnatural, we have a lovely flamed maple body (hence the 320FM), a solid maple top, and it's available in two stained finishes - transparent lavender blue (not as queer as it sounds), and amber. The body is basswood, which is solid enough, and is a bit of a comprimise tone-wise. It sits between the two ends of the tonal spectrum, meaning it can go either way, great if you're always switching styles. The RG shape is now a classic, the access is amazing, you really can get up to all 24 frets with no bother. It's a comfy shape too, it sits nicely when you're standing up, and is great when you're sitting down. The guitar is fitted with an Edge Pro III bridge, which is a floyd rose style locking trem. I know the edge bridges get slated on UG, but it's holding up well so far. I don't know if this is because I don't really abuse the whammy so to speak, controlled dives are the order of the day for myself. The point I'm trying to make is that if you treat it with a bit of respect, nothing will go wrong. It's fitted with a set of passive "infinity" humbuckers, in a two humbucker layout, rather than the usual Hum-single-Hum layout on RGs. I was a little concerned about that at first, but more on that later. I was actually very impressed a lot by the neck item, I feel the bridge could be a bit nicer, and I'll be replacing it soon, that's probably just because I'm used to Dimarzio bridge items now. The tuners are irrelevant really, once you've got the trem locked, but they are responsive enough anyway. As for extras, I was a bit annoyed at this, I bought a gig bag for when this guitar arrived, and it already comes with a great Ibanez padded bag! It also includes all the appropriate allen keys, and the whammy bar.

43 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Fender_boi_101
    ibanez are completely differant then an SG or a strat, cos ur ment to play fast on em where as on an SG or Les paul or a Strat you can play kina fast(slash, jimi page, jim hendrix ect) but it is much easyer to chug out some wiked rifs on em also i agree wid coreysmonster Fernder and Gibson guitar are other priced for the simple fact that they are big well known names
    War_Ensamble
    i personally love my gibson explorer because it suits me well i do rythm guitar and i dont have a prob with it this ibanez is not meant for wat i do so i agree with wat BlackenedRG320 says name aint everything needs come first
    BlackenedRG320
    JacksMyHero wrote: ibanez' guitars must sound pretty good cuz i dont see why someone would like one. I dunno, to me they look cheap and crappy. Gibson might not sound as good but at least it has style and doesnt look like a some terrible copy made in china or something
    The looks are obviously a personnal preference. Ibanez has different styles of guitars for different styles of playing, just like every other brand. Most of the time people are heart-set on a specific brand, even if its not the type of guitar they need. When choosing a guitar, don't look at the name brands first, find one that fits you.
    CoreysMonster wrote: dont waste ur time on this guitar. save up on a gibson sg or les paul or fender strat or tele yeah, right, dude. Ibanez kicks the shiit out of Fender (at least the American ones) and Gibson any day. For the price of the lowest quality guitar of Gibson you can get an Ibanez with the quality of the highest Gibson. They are very good guitars, and Gibson and Fender are only names that cost several thousand dollars.
    Again, most of the time people buy a guitar based on the name and "reputation". Yes, Fender and Gibson are both well made guitars, as so is Ibanez, ESP, and others. Personnaly, I don't like Fender. I hate the action, the tone, the look. Every Fender and Squire look exactly the same. But thats just my opinion. Most Ibanez's are meant to be played fast, heavy strumming and soloing. Most Fenders and Gibsons are meant for country and blues styles. They're not limited to these, but are the most common.
    zeppelin5005
    dont waste ur time on this guitar. save up on a gibson sg or les paul or fender strat or tele
    Dumebuggy
    BlackenedRG320 wrote: Again, most of the time people buy a guitar based on the name and "reputation". Yes, Fender and Gibson are both well made guitars, as so is Ibanez, ESP, and others. Personnaly, I don't like Fender. I hate the action, the tone, the look. Every Fender and Squire look exactly the same. But thats just my opinion. Most Ibanez's are meant to be played fast, heavy strumming and soloing. Most Fenders and Gibsons are meant for country and blues styles. They're not limited to these, but are the most common.
    +100000
    turksegitarist
    Well, i hav a question: How much millimeters are the strings from the mid-pickup?? Relly i HAVE to know!!
    BlackLuster
    turksegitarist wrote: Well, i hav a question: How much millimeters are the strings from the mid-pickup?? Relly i HAVE to know!!
    Mine are about 10mm from the middle pickup, very low. But that is because when I got it it had to be setup; I had no choice. So when they said how low do you want the action I asked for it to be very very low which it is.
    the boogieman
    zeppelin5005 wrote: dont waste ur time on this guitar. save up on a gibson sg or les paul or fender strat or tele
    possibly the stupidest statement ive seen in a while kudos, you ignorant cock muncher
    DiMeBoLyaZ
    i own this guitar for nearly 3 months now and i havent got any major problems with it YET...but the action was terrible so i have to adjust it a bit lower and also the pickups are too muddy for me..but overall, its a very nice guitar with a very reasonable price..maybe i just have to change the springs also...and the hardware is kinda worn out...is it possible that i can change the trem into an edge pro?? will it fit???
    wmx428
    why ibanez rg for me? the jumbo fret of course... i have big hands
    PopPunkPotHead
    Guitar is perfect for an entry level guitar. plays great Buddy says he perfers it to his prestige rg with the edge pro. My only complaint is that i can only stand the sound of the neck pickup for rythyms, but should i spend 3/4 of the cost of the guitar on emg's Probably not
    Satch fan!!!
    I'm seriously condsidering buying this guitar although I originaly had my heart set on a JS1000, being a huge satch fan. Basically I'm looking for a very versatile and comfortable guitar with a good double-locking trem and powerfull bridge humbucker so I would greatly appreciate more reviews on this guitar :
    Jawkster
    I have the blue one. Great guitar and I got it new, equivalent to 150.I would prefer I better tremelo but meh. Plays very nice.
    GuitarsRule!123
    Its pretty nice yeah i have the RG350 EX and it has the same Trem system and made of the same type of wood same neck...but i want them pickups Btw the EDGE III trem DOES give you problems i went for the first month without any problems sience then they havent stopped
    Fender_boi_101
    It looks rely nice lol, ive got the dilema of chosing between this 1 and the RG350DX (the white 1) i dnt no wat 1 2 chose, its good that it can play loads of stuff cos i play basically the same stuff as you
    jp_cheif
    i luv ibanez, its the only guitars i use, and i really need a 24 fret, it looks awesome, i just wish it came in black
    Y.D.P.B.C
    Yeah the blue one is the actual one that i have, dunno why they put the yellow one in the pic...
    FretZippy21
    HoeyHimself wrote: I've owned this guitar for 2 years now and love it. I have the Amber finish, and to be honest..pictures dont do justice to the beauty of it's finish. I play (or rather attempt) a large variety of styles, mostly metal, and the guitar sounds great for just about anything I toss at it. I dont want to get into the big debate, but really its all subjective..its all upon your prefrence. I have played every guitar I coulf get my hands on at Guitar Center, some sound better then others, but I find the RG guitars the most comfortable for me to play with. I would like the get a Strat sometime in the near future, just as a daily jamming axe..the Ibanez to me is too pretty to risk getting banged around. I think that the people who act like the Les Pauls are holier then thou just say that for status..to make themselves appear to be something special, like they are soo good that they earned the right to own/play a Les Paul..but at the end of the day, its the guitarist and his skill that counts. I mean, anyone with a fat wallet can own an expensive guitar, but a broke ass person can buy a walmart axe and shame the guy with his $3000 guitar if he doesnt even know what hes doing.
    Amen!
    BlackLuster
    This guitar is amazing for its price. I bought it after reading this review and getting in touch with Y.D.P.B.C and I don't regret it for a second. I play quite a few styles, and the only problem I've ever had is changing the tuning, but leaving it in standard suits me just fine. I don't think i'll need to buy another guitar after this. It's been through scrapes and drops and I've never needed anything replacing (except strings) It's amazing , and it plays like an absolute dream.
    Trezticle
    I have this guitar, good review too... I replaced the pickups with the fred and paf joe cause i didnt really think the pickups were all that great. The edge III held tune perfectly even doing giant dives and everything, you just need a good setup, well it did hold tune perfectly till i put 10's on it now it doesnt for crap but ive been told that you need to have it set up again to make that better, anyway its a good guitar and this a good review
    killthelights17
    I don't much like the color selection on this...good review, though. I'm very much into most Ibanez guitars, but I think I'll keep saving for that RG1570 I've been wanting...
    the spiker
    I have two RG series guitars and they hold up very well. This one looks prettier than the ones I have.
    CoreysMonster
    dont waste ur time on this guitar. save up on a gibson sg or les paul or fender strat or tele
    yeah, right, dude. Ibanez kicks the shiit out of Fender (at least the American ones) and Gibson any day. For the price of the lowest quality guitar of Gibson you can get an Ibanez with the quality of the highest Gibson. They are very good guitars, and Gibson and Fender are only names that cost several thousand dollars.
    allchavsrgay
    Yeah i got this guitar its really nice but can but it wasnt very well put together when i first got it!!
    daniel c b
    i own a squier (by fender) standard fat strat and a BC Rich Warlock (M7, Mick Thompsons Signature Special Series), and i think this guitar looks hella wicked! maybe i will save up to buy one, but i know in the future i see an ibanez
    GnR86to93
    I agree with zeppelin ibanez isnt that good save up for something better gibson flying v sg les paul or a fende telecaster
    Mahavishnu80
    get an s series ibanez instead..mahogany tone, most comfortable guitar to play ever..all the feature of an rg and as cheap. Or maybe a gibson if you dont intend on widdling like Steve Vai.
    Spawn2
    Well, I agree with blackened. You should play a guitar that fits your style. I have some expensive Ibanez's and Gibsons, but also a couple of cheap Stagg rip-offs. And to be honest: there's a stagg Les Paul that I love to play more for classic rock, than the original expensive version (which I also own) so it's just a matter of taste. Of course: Gibson or Fender, or Ibanez look cool on your headstock, but just because it's got a hefty prize on it, doesn't mean it plays better!!! The main reason why I prefer Ibanez, is because they constantly evolve their guitars, Gibson and Fender however (though they are cool) haven't evolved since they first started in the 50ties... But it's just a matter of taste
    cjelliott
    im pretty shure that the people who still go on about the fender and gibson has changed and is putting down ibanez can go get a cataloge of each brand down at your local music shop (their free) and compare. you'll see that ibanez is drastically changing every year just like the automobile companies. don't be prejudgedice either teenagers.
    The Wanton
    To me, most ibanez look cheap and they lack significant tone in their playing...thus making them metal guitars? well whatever, if your into playing that sorta stuff then naurally this type of guitar would suit it
    dimebag7
    thats tottaly not true spawn 2. Fisher pots, pull konbs, and other shit man.
    Spawn2
    dimebag7 wrote: thats tottaly not true spawn 2. Fisher pots, pull konbs, and other shit man.
    Well, Dimebag7, if I look at a Fender nowadays I'm still looking at the same model and sound they made 50 years ago, if you're pleased with that sound, that's ok. But I'm someone who looks at guitars like: 'wht can this guitar offer me, that other guitars can't', and with Ibanez guitars, they just stand out of the others with their features. Of course, a fender looks cool (hey: it's a fender) but for the money that can buy you a standard original fender, you get the highest grade in Ibanez guitars. And since I'm a Steve Vai, Satriani, Morse fanatic in playing, I need a guitar that can cope with any style... And Ibanez just fits that bill exactly But as I said: it's a matter of personal taste, I'm just telling you how I feel about those classic rock guitars. (I do own a couple of them)
    Poison_The_Joel
    Personal preference is always a key factor when buying a guitar, and to say don't buy an Ibanez cause I thing they look cheaply made is just plain dumb. I love gibson, they make great guitars but they cost a damn fortune. I dislike fender cause they're not my thing. But I love Ibanez as well. Play one and tell me that they're made cheaply! You couldn't find an Epiphone for the same price and quality. Don't be such closed minded wankers!
    BlackenedRG320
    Spawn2 wrote: Well, Dimebag7, if I look at a Fender nowadays I'm still looking at the same model and sound they made 50 years ago. . .
    This is why I don't like Fender. Fender found a style and tone that sold. So what did they do? Keep it. Just as the stlye of music changes, the style of playing changes right along with it. Ibanez offers an extensive variety of guitars, they have one for just about everyone. I can only think of a few reasons why not to get an Ibanez: You only play guitars that cost as much as your income. You found a guitar that you like (and its not Ibanez), and your afraid of change. You don't play guitar.
    SpaceAce32
    I don't understand why people that don't like ibanez read this review just to say fender and gibson are better, if you think that **** off and read fender and gibson reviews?
    Ikilledkenny
    How long will the Edge III last if you don't use it alot? Just like to know cause I have the same guitar.
    HoeyHimself
    I've owned this guitar for 2 years now and love it. I have the Amber finish, and to be honest..pictures dont do justice to the beauty of it's finish. I play (or rather attempt) a large variety of styles, mostly metal, and the guitar sounds great for just about anything I toss at it. I dont want to get into the big debate, but really its all subjective..its all upon your prefrence. I have played every guitar I coulf get my hands on at Guitar Center, some sound better then others, but I find the RG guitars the most comfortable for me to play with. I would like the get a Strat sometime in the near future, just as a daily jamming axe..the Ibanez to me is too pretty to risk getting banged around. I think that the people who act like the Les Pauls are holier then thou just say that for status..to make themselves appear to be something special, like they are soo good that they earned the right to own/play a Les Paul..but at the end of the day, its the guitarist and his skill that counts. I mean, anyone with a fat wallet can own an expensive guitar, but a broke ass person can buy a walmart axe and shame the guy with his $3000 guitar if he doesnt even know what hes doing.
    JacksMyHero
    ibanez' guitars must sound pretty good cuz i dont see why someone would like one. I dunno, to me they look cheap and crappy. Gibson might not sound as good but at least it has style and doesnt look like a some terrible copy made in china or something