Price paid: £ 300
Purchased from: GAK
Sound — 8
Being a music student, I constantly have to play styles outside of what I may play at home. I'm playing through a Peavey Vypyr amp and a college Roland modelling amp, and it performs well with a range of sounds! With the neck (INF3) humbucker selected I can get a clear tone for Paul Gilbert-style soloing to clean jazz and blues, or switch to the neck single-coil for that more twangy sound- I'm very fond of it! The bridge pickup is a slight letdown however, it lacks the distinct punch'n'crunch needed for heavier styles, such as Trivium or Lamb Of God. The middle single-coil doesn't sound too different from the bridge single, and it is also very noisy. Ignoring the middle pickup, the rest are silent and clear.
Overall Impression — 8
I play a lot of styles, and I can say it suits the majority. I'm playing with Elixir 9's, so drop tunings don't sound great (older Trivium, Lamb Of God) but with thicker strings I'm sure it would. Jazz & blues sound fantastic from the neck pickup- humbucker for very clear and full tone, single-coil for more percussive strumming such as Stevie Wonder's "Superstition". I've been playing for 3 years, and I'm starting to break into faster and more intense playing styles that would have been difficult on a Les Paul. This guitar addressed my needs! I especially love the single-coil neck pickup and the maple fretboard- vibrato never felt so good! If it were stolen, I would be heartbroken but I would likely buy the same or simular model again. I've always loved Ibanez guitars, they are aesthetically pleasing to me in the way that they don't over-do it. I tried a range of guitars, the only one that came close was a Yamaha Pacifica because of the slim neck and single-coils. I wish I had bought a different color, black is a little boring but I plan to spice it up with some decals. I would also like to upgrade the bridge pickup to something more powerful, but I'm content for now.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I feel comfortable with this guitar, and I have used it live for both musical theatre and gigs. It hasn't let me down and I will likely continue using it live, though I am rather fond of my Les Paul! The strap buttons haven't given me any trouble, they are tight and solid. I would consider getting better locks, JUST to be safe. I don't wanna drop this! Again as mentioned if the trem is set up correctly it will hold perfect tune for an entire gig, so it is dependable. I've knocked it against tables and beds ect while being careless, not a scratch so far even on a black finish (black tends to show up scratches far more). I feel that this is a very reliable guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
I assume the guitar was set up by Ibanez, but the good folks at GAK set it up again for free! The action on the bass side was 5mm at the 14th fret- a little too high for my liking, even though I prefer higher bass strings. I have lowered the action myself to 2.5mm, any lower and the fret buzz starts appearing. The pickups are fine, can't complain aside from the aforementioned sound with the bridge. The central single-coil mayb be damaged though, I'll have to look into it. The bridge wasn't quite parallel, so that was adjusted by me too. Also the factory strings were horrid, poor tone and unpleasant feel. Onto the Edge III tremolo! A LOT of people give the Edge III a lot of hate, and I can understand why. I'm not a whammy-bar person, I like the odd dive or fluttering chords but that it all. WHEN SET UP PROPERLY, the Edge III will stay in tune for weeks to a month and can handle a fair amount of trem-abuse. If not set up..well, why would you expect it to work? If you don't mind the maintainance once in a while, this trem will not disappoint. The main issue with the Edge III seems to be the design- the side "plates" are a slanted shape, so it is very easy to mistake whether it is parallel or not. As mentioned, if it's set up correctly then it will hold well.
Features — 7
A fast neck and locking tremolo make this an affordable solution for the metal/shred guitarist! This guitar was made in Indonisia in 2008. It has 24 jumbo frets on a maple fretboard, with a solid basswood body- superstrat shape. The neck is the Wizard II maple I believe. My RG350M is black body, head, hardware and pickguard and the fretboard is of a flamed natural maple finish, with dotted fret markers. It features the somewhat infamous Ibanez Edge III tremolo, and the Infinity 3&4 pickups in the HSH position with a 5-way selector switch. I had no acessories with this, not even an instruction manual :(