Price paid: $ 450
Purchased from: Spotlight Music
Sound — 7
Has a very modern sound. Good for high mids but not so good for scooped mids. I usually have to turn the bass up a little bit to compensate for the lack of good, heavy sounding pickups. I play mainly metal and hard rock with a little 70's rock. It works good for most rock music, but not quite so well for the heavy metal. It doesn't have quite the bass response I like. Picks up harmonics good, though. Just a little too bright sounding for me. I think if you upgrade to Seymour Duncans or Ibanez V-7 and V-8 pickups it'd sound better.
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing for three and a half years and tried tons of Ibanez RG's and similar guitars and this is still my favorite "Strat style" guitar under $500. It feels great and has a really fast neck. The 5 way pickup Switch provides lots of options and it looks cool, too. I like having the simple Dot inlays (a rare sight on Ibanez guitars) because its a bit easier to keep track of where you are than with the Shark fin inlays. It's a light guitar, easy to play, and just feels great. My only complaints are the pickups and trem, but you can't expect to get a $100 Edge Pro and $100 Seymour Duncans on a $450 guitar. If you want to upgrade, you can do it pretty easily. The Edge Pro fits right in and tons of people change their pickups. I've considered trying to find another several times but they are hard to find. If it was stolen or broken, I'd probably cry and head to eBay. If you think you like it, buy it. It's a lot better than most of the Ibanez's at the same price so don't take too much time second guessing yourself.
Reliability & Durability — 8
So far, I've only had one problem and that was with the Edge III trem. The little plastic bearing broke which isn't a really big deal until it got to where I couldn't get the trem arm bar in. It's nearly impossible to get a new one and it took me about 6 months to finally get one. Then I had to disassemble the whole trem to put it in. Also, the finish on the trem has worn off a lot on the bass side, but I palm mute and rest my hand there a lot so it always happens to me. It doesn't help that my hands sweat a lot too. Other than that, it's still in near perfect condition.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Seemed to be all good when I got it home, but the store always does a free setup on all their items before you take them home so I wouldn't really know how it was straight out of the factory. Has very low action, naturally, and is designed for fast playing. The flame maple top looks good to me. Not quite as good as my cousins PRS Custom 24, but not far behind (better than the top on my LTD GUS-600). Mine is a blueish purple (it depends on the lighting). I think the Amber looks the best, but they didn't have any in that color. Mine has a little defect in the headstock wood, but I think it gives it character.
Features — 9
I bought this guitar in 2007. It's Korean made and was never featured on the U.S. Ibanez site. It has a 24 fret rosewood fretboard and a Wizard II 3-pc. Bolt-on maple neck either satin or unfinished (it doesn't have the thick, sticky clear coat on it). It has a body of basswood with a flame maple top. No binding any where on the guitar. Dot inlays, 5 way Switch, and an Ibanez Edge III trem. Only has two Ibanez Infinity 3 and 4 humbuckers, no single coil in the middle.