Price paid: $ 500
Purchased from: Mercury Music
Sound — 7
OK, I am part of the generic community on UG and play predominantly metal but this is by no means simply a metal guitar. I run it through my Boss ML-2 and my Roland Cube 30X. Not the most top quality amp but it gets the job done :) With the bridge pick-up it responds well to chords in clean tone, very high bass output on that front but leaving picked out chords to ring gives a very nice feel that reminds me of Opeth's more mellow breaks. Using the bridge and mid is my personal favorite for my clean tone with some delay and chorus, it has a twangy sound which still retains the warmth of the bridge pickup. The mid single coil is straight up Stratocaster sound, your Vintage sound in it, I don't use it much because the buzz annoys me. The neck-mid has the same effect as the bridge-mid but it has a brighter sound to it, less of the twangy sound. And lastly with clean the neck has a bright sound which I would use mostly for arpeggio and scale based playing, I don't strum much on it. The distorted tones now, the bridge pickup is great for chugg riffing which we are all so fond of hearing about and works nicely with chords and doesn't let extended chords sound too messy. I don't use the in between selections with distortion due to noise and the twang sounds wrong for my preference, but the neck pickup I found only sounds good when you start to play or solo up on the higher notes, the treble strings or past the 12th fret, it articulates the notes very nicely when soloing and I will always switch to it for the higher notes. So it is versatile, I have recently gotten into jazzy stuff and some blues so it can do more besides the metal background the RG series has.
Overall Impression — 6
I feel it is good for some things. Jack of all trades, master of none. An intermediate level instrument but well suited to whatever you want to coax out of it. I have been playing for 3-4 years now. My set up is my Boss ML-2, love that pedal, my Roland Cube 30X, it is noisy and can be upgraded to get even better tone out of the guitar. The other guitar I have is a Cort X2LH, a decent beginner guitar, very fun to play on. I wish I asked them to set it up but if it were stolen I would rather put in the extra money and upgrade up from it just from my first impression. But it is a very decent guitar overall for the job it does. I love the shape and inlay, how fast and comfortable the Wizard 3 neck is (don't think I mentioned which neck it had earlier). I don't like how the bridge gets in the way when you are picking of how the whammy bar works loose and starts flopping around while playing and when you need it.
Reliability & Durability — 6
This guitar is very robust, hit it on many things jumping around while playing and I have put strap-locks on it and it hold up well, the Edge-Zero Bridge holds well for violent whammy bar abuse and holds tune with despite all the abuse. The hardware holds well, just after my input socket fix I would gig with it. I would use this without backup provided I play nice with it and not do something really stupid to hurt it. The finish is very temperamental to even the thought of being touched and has many scratches. It doesn't wear with polishing so you just have to keep it out of harms way.
Action, Fit & Finish — 4
Like I said before the set-up was terrible out the box for me, the bridge was a total mess with like gauge .13 on it, So I had to work a lot on the action and the springs. I didn't set it up as a floating trem so I could maintain some tuning stability. The pickups are alan screw adjustable, covered in glue from the sticky film so I had a lot of cleaning to do and adjustments to make them even, then do the heights to finely adjust the sound and responsiveness of the pickups. I'm not an expert on that so I played it by ear mostly. The whole thing was routed well, it's just the input jack I had to tighten after resoldering the wires on.
Features — 6
My guitar is the left handed model made 2007 in Japan. This guitar has 24 jumbo frets with a 25.5" scale. The Ibanez Wizard 3 Maple neck with a rosewood fretboard and Shark tooth inlay. Basswood solid body guitar with a gloss black finish which like all gloss finishes gets scratched and smudged so easily. Super-Strat body style with a beveled top for comfortable arm placement. It has a Edge II Zero Locking trem which holds tune well even when breaking a string, but it took a lot of setting up out of the box for me to be able to use the whammy bar. It has a hum-sing-hum setup, with 5 way switch (as if you didn't guess) and has a tone and volume knob. The Pick-ups are standard Ibanez Infinity's. Neck-INF(H), mid-INFS(S), bridge-INF(H). This guitar out the box was not exactly playable because after changing the strings I had to fight with the intonation and setup of the counterbalance springs to get it to hold tune in the tunings I use. So this guitar stays in drop tuning now for me, with my non-locking trem guitars change around. But other than that this guitar came out very nice and felt good in my hands, comfortable to play with the beveling at the back.