Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 6
Soundwise this Rg fits my style pretty well. I play hard rock and shred and like the tone. However I can not get a great clean tone or blues tone. It can get noisy with a lot of gain and the tone knob all the way up. It sounds weaker than a guitar equipped with real EMG's but that can be expected. It can get a good neoclassical style sound with the right settings on your amp.
Overall Impression — 7
For my style, shred and hard rock, this guitar fits right in. I've been playing for almost 3 years now and own numerous other guitars and many amps. Compared to other guitars in its price range it stands up well. If you're a beginner or intermediate player looking for a guitar that can produce a pretty good shred tone for under $400 and look good doing it then I recommend the RG3EX1 to you.
Reliability & Durability — 7
Although I have not gigged with this guitar I think it would be alright for shorter gigs but I would make sure you have a backup. Just recently my output jack has been shorting out. With a replaced output jack, however, this guitar could probably stand gigging.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The guitar was set up pretty well from the factory and from being on display at Guitar Center. The string height was almost perfect. There are very few finish flaws, which might have been from it being on display, and the frets were poorly filed. Noisy pickups round out the loose ends. All of these are pretty easy fixes other than the finish flaws and they should not stop you from getting this guitar.
Features — 7
The RG3EX1 is a simple but versatile guitar that can suit many styles and is great for beginners. My guitar was made in 2006 in Indonesia. It comes Standard with 24 frets and in a beautiful Quilted Maple Top. I have the Gray Burst and it looks phenomenal. The body is Ash and the neck is a 3-piece maple. It is shaped identical to other Ibanez Rgs. There are just one volume control and one tone. The bridge is a string through. Last but no least it comes with "Designed by EMG" pickups based on EMG's HZ line.