Purchased from: Sam Ash
Sound — 7
I have benn a metal player from the start. Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, and Pantera were my teachers. Since starting in 1990 I have braodened the spectrum of music styles from funk, fingerstyle, classical, and oldies to name a few. I feel that the minute you know everything about guitar does not exist, because there is always something new to learn! The sound is bright but not too tinny. The neck pickup with the middle pickup produces a softer "whine" than that of a Strat when playing bluesy-like with slight overdrive and reverb. Think SRV sound without the TubeScreamer, not angelic sounding like a USA Strat but for under $400.00 the sound quality gets the job done and does it well. I have played mr 350 through a Peavey Blazer 158 practice amp as well as a Crate PowerBlock150 guitar head, MXR DD-11 Dimebag distortion pedal through a Peavey 4X12 slant cabinet. I'm not big on effects but I do love a good screaming distortion for my sound. I used to be a QA tech for Hoshino and have played thousands of Ibanez guitars and found that the Infinity series just at OK. They were usually in S type guitars and I thought they sounded weak but with them on a dense basswood RG body the tone is significantly better sounding than I have come to expect. With the distortion on I can get tap and pinch harmonics, Zakk style squeals with the bridge pickup easily with a and clean sounding sweep arpeggios with the 5 way Switch at the 2nd position (neck pickup southern coil and middle pickup on). Clean this guitar sounds like a Fender on steroids, you know, not so nasally. However nothing beats a SRV tone for searing soulful lead sounds! If you have a decent guitar FX processor like a PODX3 or an ME50, you will have no problem getting that sound with this guitar.
Overall Impression — 8
The RG350MDX is a decent offering from Ibanez in this price range which has been a pleasent surprise for me. For heavy metal this guitar lives and in the right hands it can hold it's own with the big boys if need be. For the past few years I have been wanting a white RG350, but with better pickups than the PowerSound pickups equipped with the previous years models. And with a maple fretboard, too. The black sharktooth inlays are the icing on this heavy metal cake! The neck is very fast, and the sound is warmer than I expected. This guitar delivers lots of bang for not-so lots of bucks. My list of pros? The pearloid pickguard is beautiful. The Edge III bridge keeps her in tune just fine for those vigorous Dimebag divebombs. Matching headstocks just look better! The pickups sound good and sustain comes easy with this guitar. Asthaetically this guitar is one of the prettiest RGs I have ever seen IMO. Would be prettier with a reverse headstock. The RG350MDX just what my doctor ordered. Once in a blue moon the high-E gets caught on the neck pickup or the 24th fret but that means to me that I need to lighten up my hold on the string when I bend. Did I mention it's not available with a reverse headstock? Oh wait, there IS an RGR350 available in Japan with a reverse headstock but I Live in the US. I want to see this model with transparent green or transparent purple sunburst finishes over a figured maple top. and matching reverse headstock! Over all I give the RG350MDX 3 and a half out of 4 picks. I just saw the black MDX online so I guess I'll have to have one of those by the end of the summer.
Reliability & Durability — 8
After well over two weeks of almost non-stop twiddling, twanging, tapping, sweeping, bending, unisyn bending, legato runs, whammy divebombs, horse whinneys and whatever else I did and this monster stayed in tune save for very minor fine-tuning adjustments every now and then to the high-E and G. The pitch difference was only within a 5% pitch difference on the E and as we all know the G string never stays in tune on any guitar! If it did the universe as we know might collapse! The bridge lays level to the body and when properly setup will hold tune for a long time.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The setup was satisfactory for a beginner but for a seasoned player of 17 years, I had to tweak the truss rod a tiny bit to get the action just right to 1.7mm at the 14th fret with the high-E and 2.2mm with the low-E. The neck is about 97% dead straight with a slight bowing near the 5th fret that is very common with many guitars of midgrade quality. The pickups also needed minor height adjustments but pickup height preferences are purely individual to the player. The frets are of a higher quality than previous Indonesian offerings from a few years back. I have done bends with my low-E vigorously without scratching the hell out of the RGs frets. If you have an Indonesian Ibanez from the late '90s and early '00s of have a Chinese made guitar you know what I am talking about. You know, when the frets turn green after a few months! I don't have to worry about that with this guitar. The white is snowblindingly bright but we all know in 5 years or so the polyeurythane clear-coat wil yellow a bit but then again what white guitar stays white after years of love? I also had to tighten all the bridge saddle securement bolts but IMO evert guitar player should know how to maintain and make adjustments so this did not bother me one bit. It just allowed me to get to know my new friend just a little bit better. There were no issues with the tuning pegs or the locking nut. I also like the fact that the Ibanez logo on the headstock is silver foil like on the Japanese models.
Features — 8
Ok so my first post is a review pretty ballsy for a noob? Silliness aside. I have been playing guitar for 17 years, bass for 16, drums whenever I can! I have played just about any guitar I could get my grubby paws on: Jackson, Fender, Ibanez, Series10, Cort, Warmoth, Carvin, Karera, if I keep going this post would end up in New Jersey so I'll just get to the good part now. The budget minded beastie known as the RG350MDX is a mid-grade practice/stage guitar built in Indonesia in 2007. The build quality for this series is surprisingly better than the RGDX series from the early '00s in the $300 price range. My 350s neck is 3 piece quartersewn maple plus a non-glossy maple fretboard with black sharktooth inlay. The Wizard II neck is slim and skinnier than the average RG neck of this price range. The back of the neck is slightly flatter as well, just slightly. Not quite as nice as the RG550 maple fretboard Wizard neck from the early '90s but is pretty darn sweet none-the-less. The heel is rounded nicely for easier higher fret access. The guitar neck is very comfortable with a slightly closer string spacing than on a Jackson. The frets are of equal quality to the higher-end Korean models. They don't get those rake marks from bending the lower-gauge strings just once like on some of the other guitars that are in this price range. The body is basswood and weighs more than a 1984 USA BC Rich Warlock! It has an H/S/H configuration with INF3 neck, INFS3 middle, INF4 bridge pickups. Ibanez has upgraded the RG350DX series bridge with an Edge III double locking tremolo. She is white with a pearloid white pickguard, matching headstock and black hardware.