RG350DX review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (473 votes)
Ibanez: RG350DX

Price paid: $ 220

Purchased from: Craigslist

Sound — 9
I play a lot of rock and metal, I absolutely love the nice bitey crispy edge of the ENG pickups on this thing, they give the tone a lot of bite and thats what I wanted, as my Eiphone began to sound to blurred and muddy for my and I wanted something more crisp. I use this with my Line 6 Spider III amp which comes with built in tones anyways so I get good sound from that and I have a Line 6 Pocket POD which gives even more tones as well. Along with this purchase the seller threw in a DigiTech RP-80 pedal which has built in drum machine and effects and wah. I haven't yet really used that but I am sure that too will make the tone of the guitar sound great. I have an issue with the output on the middle pickup (single coil). When the toggle is on any 1 of the middle 3 clicks (putting power to the single coil) there is a sound of feedback/power generating sound that I can hear in my speaker. Not sure what is causing that but it is only heard when you aren't playing anything as when you play its overpowered by the sound of the guitar. Maybe it just needs adjusting. But overall the sound of the guitar is ridiculously sweet!

Overall Impression — 10
The guitar is a great match for my tone and what I play. At the time I bought this I went to see 2 guitars about a mile apart, one was this one with a hardshell case and EMG HZ pickups and the other was also this same guitar with a hardshell case but with Seymour Duncan pickups. I know people would say Seymour Duncans are better pickups for sure, but they can be more clean and bluesy than what I wanted. I know I don't have EMG active pickups, but these EMG HZ give me better tone adjustment and they give me more edge and bite which is better suited for me playing metal. Definately I would seriously recommend trying out this guitar to make sure it is what you want before you buy it. I went into Guitar Center, 2 other stores, tried this with regular pickups, tried the used ones with the Seymour Duncans and the EMG HZs and compared it with the S series and the RG370 as well. I feel that i made the best choice that I could. I have been playing for about 2 years, and am not all that good, I am still learning and it takes a lot of time and practice to get good, I am a bit strapped on time. But besides this I have an Epiphone SG which I love as well, that one seems a bit smoother and easier to play, this one is more raw and edgey. If this were stolen I'd be pretty pissed. I have found these at all different price ranges both new and used and had to look around a lot to find one around the price I was willing to pay and totally scored getting this with upgraded EMG pickups like I dreamed of having, a hardshell case, and a DigiTech RP-80 footpedal thrown in, the plastic film was still on the pickguard too, all for $220 from a guy locally on craigslist! Just got to search for deals everyone, so I would be pissed if this was taken because it took a long time to find it in such good shape and this low price. What I love is the fact I finally have a white guitar, so I don't have to see scratches. I love that I now have EMG pickups for that edgey raw sound I wanted. I also love the contrast on the black/white with the body/neck color and the black hardware.

Reliability & Durability — 7
I am not nearly good enough to play Live so I'm not sure how that would stand up to live playing exactly, but it stays in tune well with the locking nut so I would imagine it would play pretty sweet Live. The hardware is ok, like I said the pickguard is stickign up a bit which makes the pickups not sit perfectly flat/straight so that could be an issue and the one tremolo Sting piece is missing so that could be a sign of it being cheap if that broke. Otherwise the body appears to be solid and the strap buttons are nice and tight as well. The paint finish appears to be great. White is great and shouldn't show scratches as much as a black guitar, this was my main reason for wanting a second guitar because I have a gloss black Epiphone SG and I am picky about scratches and keeping things clean so the white is great and doesn't show scratches as easily.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The guitar was bought used and the guy seemed to have a ton of guitars and knew a lot about them and how to work with them. He told me he just didn't like the way the guitar was setup. But overall the action seems pretty nice. I would probably want to adjust it a bit to my taste but it's completely playable. I am new to this tremelo so I don't want to mess with it and screw it all up so I'm basically leaving it where its set in regards to height and action. The pickups are setup fine, the neck is perfectly set, the single coil is a little crooked and the bridge one is definately crooked. I am not sur ehow to fix that all the way, but it looks like the pickguard is not all the way stuck to the body of the guitar and it lifted in the section between the single coil and the bridge pickup, so that could be what it making the pickups crooked since they are bolted to that pickguard. The 19th fret is also sticking up from the fretboard a tiny bit which causes definite buzzing of strings if you play past the 15th fret on the low E string, but most people don't really play that los on that string anyways, you mainly play down there on the high E string and that one isn't effected by this. Sometime I'll find out how to push it down without denting the fret itself. One of the little pegs that pushes against the low E string on the edge tremolo appears to be missing so the owner put a small black screw in there to hold the string tension tight in there which is fine, it works so it's purely cosmetic to me. The fretboard and frets could use a smooth glossing and cleaning to keep them up to date, they aren't rusted at all, but they would look better with a nice cleaning.

Features — 10
This guitar is a 24-fret guitar, the frets are pretty thick and wide, moreso than my Epiphone. The color is a nice white color and comes with a pearloid pickguard and sharktooth inlays on the fretbooard. It comes with a black edge tremolo and whammy bar and locking nut at the top of the neck. The tuners themselves are non-locking but that doesn't really matter because of the locking nut. All the equipment on the guitar is black which looks awesome in contrast with the white guitar. I really chose this one over the RG370DX for the white color and that the top of the neck is white with black lettering which matches the mody and looks much better that it's not just a plain black neck like the RG370 model. It has a 5-way toggle switch which is great and it allows for good change in tones which I really enjoy having more tone choices to choose from. Mine came upgraded with EMG HZ passive pickups, which give a nice bitey edge to the tone and are much better than the stock ones from what I hear. Mine also came with a hardcase for storage which would not normally be included in a regular purchase obviously

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    An update to what I posted above. After havign it properly setup at Guitar Center ti plays perfectly now. They tapped the fret back down that was coming upwards, smoothed out the fret edges, lowered the action, and changed the strings. They had to fix some loose wiring in the body as well as some soldering was not done right. But now she plays great. Oftentimes people don't want to spend the money to have the guitar setup properly. But once you have it done it will change how the guitar plays and feels. I enjoy the way it is now much much better than when I bought it. It's perfect for me now