Price paid: $ 399
Purchased from: musiciansfriend.com
Sound — 7
When I first bought this guitar I was on a kick playing Megadeth and Steve Vai tunes, and this guitar suited that style very well. I use several different amplifiers, but the ones I own and use the most are a Line 6 Spider III 30, an older Vox (don't know the model) and a generic battery powered practice amplifier (for practicing while traveling). The only effects I really use are an Ibanez Delay pedal, and a Dunlop Crybaby Wah. The pickups truly allow a wide range of options of sound. While several people have praised the pickups in this guitar as the second coming, the truth is they are decent pickups, and they provide a good variety of tones, but they aren't GREAT or SPECTACULAR, they are just pretty good. These pickups are not wound for a country or blues tone, despite many people on here saying these can cover anything. You CAN play blues or country on this guitar, but it isn't going to sound as good as a guitar that was not designed for METAL. You can't forget this model was definitely designed for shredding and metal. Also, several people talk about tuning stability with the EDGE III bridge, but honestly, it seems to stay in tune very well unless there is a sudden temperature change, which would affect any stringed instrument.
Overall Impression — 7
I play a wide range of music, and I have been playing a little over 4 years. I keep this guitar in the Ibanez MC100 fitted case (I may have the model of the case wrong - it is the fitted hard case for the RG series) and I keep moisture beads, etc. in the case. While this guitar plays very well, very fast neck, awesome neck profile, the pickups are very acceptable, the tremolo works great - I can't get over the cosmetic degeneration of this guitar. I take good care of my instruments and for whatever reason this guitar just isn't holding up - it is only cosmetic at this point, but how long before there is a functional issue because of this? If this was lost, I would not buy this product again. While I love Ibanez as a brand, this guitar has disappointed me, because I buy equipment to last and this doesn't seem to be doing that. I would maybe replace this guitar with an older model RG, because the hardware seems to hold up better, and then I'd drop an EDGE pro bridge in there instead of the EDGE III. This is a nice guitar as an entry into a "floyd rose" type bridge. In the future, if I buy another guitar, it would probably be a G&L Tribute Series S-500, as it more fits with my current taste in playing, and I have other guitars that can do Metal passably well.
Reliability & Durability — 5
I have some issues with the hardware after owning this guitar about 9 months. The screws holding the pickguard in place are beginning to rust. The metal of the bridge is beginning to discolor. The knobs are becoming very tarnished. The edge of the pickguard (which is made of plastic) appears to be trying to curl up. The fret wire was beginning to rust as well. I had to do some serious maintenance work on this thing. I had to remove the strings, polish the fret wire, rub lemon oil into the neck (the rosewood seemed to be drying out faster than it should), replace the screws holding the pick guard on, and spent a LOT of time polishing the bridge and knobs trying to remove the discoloration. After all of this, the discoloration remains on the knobs and bridge. The pickguard is still curling upwards. The guitar is still very playable, though...just depressing watching it get SO ugly SO fast.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The finish on this guitar was immaculate. The action and intonation was also perfect except I did have to adjust the intonation on the B string only. When I received this guitar I immediately put on a set of Ernie Ball 9-42's and the action was perfect - super low without buzzing and the neck was super fast - you could fret chords/notes very intuitively because so little effort was required.
Features — 8
I received this guitar in February 2010, and I believe it was made in 2010 in Indonesia. This has 24 Jumbo frets. The body is made of basswood, with a superstrat RG body style. The bridge is an Ibanez Edge III (which is very similar to a Floyd Rose), with the Wizard II neck. This guitar has two humbuckers and a single coil in the middle position, they are all Infinity Pickups. The tuners are non-locking, but there is a locking nut, so the tuners aren't a big deal.