RG320FM Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 06/20/2006 category: Electric Guitars
Ibanez: RG320FM
The RG320FM guitar - the unchallenged standard in hard and heavy rock guitarswith infusion of high tech hardware and upgrades.
 Sound: 8.7
 Overall Impression: 9.7
 Reliability & Durability: 8.7
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.3
 Features: 9
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reviews (3) pictures (4) 52 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.8
RG320FM Reviewed by: Y.D.P.B.C, on june 20, 2006
12 of 13 people found this review helpful

Features: 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. // 9

Sound: 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. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 7

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 8.4
RG320FM Reviewed by: IbanezDudeCK, on july 10, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: Spotlight Music

Features: 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. // 9

Sound: 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. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 9

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 9.4
RG320FM Reviewed by: hotlayout, on october 01, 2013
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 175

Purchased from: Used

Features: When I bought the Ibanez RG320FM used it was in a standard configuration and had a couple of minor problems. It was pretty far out as far as the intonation goes and had a couple of cracked string retention screws on the bridge. I took it to Elderly Instruments for a set up and intonation. They rolled the edges of the neck and dressed the frets as well as properly setting the intonation. I have changed the pickups recently to a JB and Jazz Seymour Duncan. Huge difference. I always liked the 5 way switching set up and the neck, but felt the guitar just didn't have a great sound. Now it may be my favorite guitar of the 6 I currently have. I like the way the body conforms to me when I am playing. Either seated or standing it is very comfortable and lightweight. I'm not a divebomber so I don't use the trem much. I leave it unblocked because I like that kind of "Springy" feel like I get with my strat. (I swear that is why so many players fall in love with their Strats.) The only downgrade is the cheap hardware and tuners. // 9

Sound: The Seymour Duncan Hotrodded Humbucking set ($99 on sale a Guitar Center) has literally brought this guitar to life. It just screams on the JB Bridge pickup and I can get all the squeals and harmonics I was looking for. The neck is rich and throaty with a kind of "woody" tone much like the sound of the guitar when it is not plugged in (which is very sweet and resonant). This is now the first guitar I reach for. I think the lightweight Basswood of the body gives the guitar very nice string articulation vs. The dark sound of a mahogany body. I can add the "Dark" back in with pedals and still get clear string resonance. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Factory action and set up was weak. Elderly turned this from a poorly finished model into an excellent and playable musical instrument. I have to say I love the Wizard III neck. Fast and flat. Wider everywhere than my '68 Tele, American Strat and Schecter Classic but kind of feels roomy and expressive. I have no problem making the transition from one to the next guitar, and I play all 6 regularly. Great access to the upper register. The cool thing is that once I had this guitar properly set up, it has remained rock solid ever since. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Finish appears solid. I have had this one about 5 years and the only dent is the one it came to me with where someone had dropped it pretty hard. The neck has a very light satin finish that I think is the best of all but my old Tele. It is rock solid electronically with OK 500K pots and the best 5 way switching configuration on the market. This is kind of my knock-around guitar that I drag all over the house. The finish is holding up well and the neck has remained straight and true. I have put straplocks or the oval strap buttons on my other guitars, but the large strap buttons on this one are pretty dependable. // 9

Overall Impression: Buy this guitar for the great access to the upper frets, wonderful fast neck and superb switching configuration. Then have the frets dressed and the neck edges rolled by a pro. Add a pair of Seymour Duncan's or other custom pickups and you will have a serious rock machine that can hang with any other guitar you run into. It is lightweight and fits into your body fluidly making it a dream after 45 minutes of playing. Tis has been a great investment. $175 for the guitar used, 99 for the Pickups and $92 for the neck work at Elderly. For $376 I have a rockin' guitar that I will never part with. // 10

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