Price paid: £ 299.99
Purchased from: Andertons Music Co.
Sound — 9
A fairly large range of sounds are achieveable with this guitar. Obviously alot depends on the amp but everything from classic rock, hard rock, alternative and metal to blues, jazz, pop and beyond is covered - its extremely versatile. I mainly use it for the solo project I have going at the moment, an alternative/electro sound backed up by high-gain guitars - high gain is what this guitar does best so it suits perfectly, but as I say its very versatile and could probably be used comfortably in any genre. For 300 you aren't going to get something that matches higher end guitars, but I have to say I was pleasently surprised by the sound of the stock pickups on this thing. That INF4 in the bridge position offers a thick and heavy tone with little backround noise, perfect for a bit of hard riffing. Both humbuckers are coil-tapped, notably allowing beautiful, prestine clean tones when the neck-middle combination is selected. The value for money when it comes to sound is outstanding. My plans for it include the installation of a MI. Audio GI Fuzz pedal, possibly a Kaoss Pad if there's room, and new pickups (though the quality of the stock pups are causing me to have a rethink).
Overall Impression — 8
I'm very pleased overall, Ibanez have a reputation for turning out excellant budget guitars, the RG350M is no exception. you'd be hard pressed to find a better deal for 300, especially if you play metal or rock. Some may have a problem with the amount of maintainence involved with this guitar compared to other models, so if you want something that's going to look after itself then I recommend you look elsewhere. don't let that put you off though, the small efforts are very rewarding. If I had the choice I would defnitely make the same purchase again.
Reliability & Durability — 6
Due to the basswood body, its fairly light-weight, which can work both ways. On the one hand it makes playing on stage and general sustained playing a whole lot easier, but on the other it does feel as though with a bit of abuse it could easily break. In reality I think it will stand up to the rigours of live playing, but I always feel like I have to be extra careful with it compared to my other 2 other guitars, even when using it in the bedroom. You should never gig without a back-up, but I'd be extra wary with this guitar. That said nothing has gone majorly wrong so far, I've had no problems with the strap buttons etc or the general reliability. On a minor note the finish has been chipped in a couple of places, but these aren't really noticeable and do nothing to ruin the overall appearence. As I've mentioned the Edge III will need looking after, but with a bit of patience this isnt really a problem.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The factory set-up was perfect, unfortuneatly the factory strings were 9s and I have a preference for 10s. This caused alot of hassle when changing over, the bridge requiring alot of adjusting and fine-tuning. The Edge III itself gets alot of bad press, but if set-up and maintained correctly it can be functional and hold tune extremely well. This can require a certain amount of effort at times, but the results are well worth it. Other than that everything else it flawless - the yellow finish might not be everyones cup of tea, but once you see this guitar up close it really is beautiful. The combination of black hardware, maple neck, and that stunning finish on a Super Strat-style body is truly inspired.
Features — 8
My RG350MYE was made in Indonesia, im guessing its a 2009 model. Features include: - Ibanez RG-stlye basswood body - all-yellow finish w/ black pickguard - 24 Jumbo frets - thin Wizard II bolt-on maple neck w/ black Dot inlays - Edge III Floyd Rose-style double-locking vibrato system - H-S-H passive pickups (bridge: INF4, middle: INFS3, neck: INF3) - Standard Ibanez tuners - 5-way pickup selector - 1 volume control, 1 tone control The guitar came with a vibrato bar, allen keys (essential for maintainence), spare bridge spring, basically everything you need to get started.