Price paid: € 510
Purchased from: Audio Pro ZG (Croatia)
Sound — 8
So, the sound is best used with distortion. I've tried it on some Vintage-sounding amp (can't really remember the name) and it sounded nice. Then I came home and plugged it into my Spider III with insane distortion - and man, it ROCKED! Perfect for metal. It sounds great on clean too (although not too bright), when the volume is not jammed all the way up (and after adjusting the tone knob) it can even play blues. And sound good at it. The sound is full, and within pretty good range. However, this axe does its best with a lot of distortion playing Metallica and Iron Maiden. Pinch harmonics are no problem (after my Squier Strat, the sound is astonishing). Sustain is pretty good (much better than my squire, and pretty long for Floyd Rose tremolo) 8 because it's pretty versatile, and can sound well, however the sound isn't really that good. These pups aren't no Duncans or EMG's, that's for sure.
Overall Impression — 9
I'm not that familiar with guitar gear and subtle tone differences (for now) but that will change as soon as I open my guitar store (my dream). This sounds like what I wanted, and although I didn't do much comparison (I feel strangely shy whenever I enter guitar store). I own little MG15DFX and Spider III 120W (the worst combination, my father bought it all and he has no clue about what I need, so IMO they sold him what they needed to get rid of), Squier Strat (nice beginners guitar). This Ibanez I chose myself and I think I made a great choice. I wish I've noticed the cracked pickguard before I came home, that would've cut the price a little. The Edge III trem isn't as bad as everyone says it is, it DOES stay in tune, although ZR or Edge-Pro are surely better. I like the sharktooth inlay a lot. If it was lost, I wouldn't buy this model probably, I'd shop around some more. Who knows, perhaps I'd take it again. It's hard when you Live 80 kilometers from the nearest guitar shop. All in all, it's not anything too special but you get good value for your money. Ibanez is known as probably the best in the middle price range and here it proved it again. IMO, it's worth a 9.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar will definately withstand Live playing. I'm bandless at this moment, but if I were to gig I'd take my Squire with me too, as a backup (a lousy one, but still better than nothing). The same if I were to play in different tunings, it takes a lot of time to re-tune Edge III, not mentioning tightening the springs in the back. Hardware seems like it will last a long time, even the cracked pickguard. I'm not so sure about the backplate though; it feels cheap. Finish is pitch black and it looks like it will stay that way. Strap buttons are small, but sturdy and solid. I give it a 9.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Ok, I got it pretty much set up (only had to tighten the tremolo springs a bit). Finish is as great as always (I've had it for little less than a month now), however the tremolo paint is wearing off (IDK how it's called) so now it's half grey half silver. Perhaps it's meant to be, IDK. I got the guitar with a little crack on the pickguard, not too noticeable but still it is there. It has no impact on the sound and seemed unimportant to me at the time. Now I know that I could've bargained a bit more. Pickups were set up well, there are no flaws (everything is exactly where it should be, even the output jack is tight) apart from the chipped pickguard, however it's not really Ibanez's flaw. No fret buzz, no dead tones. I also like the sharktooth inlay. But because of the tremolo colour coming off, and cracked pickguard I'll give it 7.
Features — 8
It was made in 2008, in Ibanez's Cort Indonesia Factory. I'm not really sure if it's 350DX or 350EX (in the store it was supposed to be DX, but on the headstock it's EX and it has black finish). 3 piece maple Wizard-II neck (fast, almost flat from backside), basswood body and rosewood fingerboard. 24 jumbo frets. It's solid-body with (I think so) laminated top. Nice Strat-like body with sharper curves and typical Ibanez RG headstock. Black finish with silver pickguard. Three passive pickups (INF3 humbucker in neck position - ceramic magnets) (INFS3 single coil in the middle, specially designed to work split with humbuckers - Alnico magnets) (INF4 in the bridge position, alnico magnets with pretty high output). Volume and tone selector, along with 5-way Switch. Edge III Tremolo. Also comes with spare spring, allen wrenches and a cable. Sadly, without gig bag so now I have Ibanez guitar in Washburn gig bag. At least it's sturdy gig bag. 8 because of Edge III trem (I'd like at least edge-pro in it) and no gig bag.