RG3EX1 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (55 votes)
Ibanez: RG3EX1

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 9
This guitar, as I had bought it, fitted my style of playing perfectly. I play blues from B.B. King and Stevie Ray to straight thrash-metal like Slayer and Pantera with a bit of newer metal. The only small complaint is that while the distortion sounds amazing, the bass gets a little muddy when you have the Drive cranked up. I solved this by upgrading to Seymour Duncan Distortion Mayhems and I get cleaner distortion but they can also still clean up for blues and jazz. I run it through a Boss ME-70 footboard with preamps on it to a Spider III Line 6 75 watt amp. With the original pick-ups, this guitar can do it all, just the distortion got muddy cranked to 9-10 out of 10. Overall, the sound of this amazing guitar please me greatly.

Overall Impression — 10
This guitar will allow you to play all styles of music, from the softest blues to the hardest metal. This is very good for me and all people that have played mine agree it sounds great with any distortion setting until 100% distortion where the bass gets just a little muddy. If this guitar was lost, destroyed or stolen, I wouldn't hesitate to get the exact same model but knowing myself I'd probably play some newer Ibanez models just to see how they are. I love this guitar beacause of its great quality, sound and durability. When I went to buy a guitar, I played a few Jacksons, and Epiphone and a Kramer but to me, the RG just came out on top. I don't regret buying this guitar, not one second.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I have never played a live show on this but I has been through many practices and jam sessions that might as well have been live stage shows. I would very confidently take this guitar without a backup. The strap buttons were very solid but I installed Dunlop Strap-Locks just for safety reasons. Good strap buttons don't fix bad straps. The hardware and finish, I feel, will last a very long time. I plan to keep this guitar past it becoming Vintage and I know it will still play like new even then.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
When I bought the guitar, the action, Bridge and neck nut were set almost perfectly leaving the strings setting less than 1/8th of an inch off the frets all the way down the neck with no buzz. The pick-ups were also very well set, I just messed with it a little to get my preferred heights. Everything about this guitar was clean, from the finish to the frets to the hardware. Also, the pots and switches didn't give any feedback which makes a guitarist very happy. I have owned it for 5 years and other than very few hairline scratches that could be buffed out from my pick, the guitar shows no signs of wear except on the fretboard but it is very minimal. That happens to all guitars though, things like that and reaching 20 years old is what makes a vintage.

Features — 10
This was my first guitar when I got serious about playing. It was built in 2006 at the Cor-Tek Indonesia Factory in Indonesia. It is a 24 jumbo-fret guitar which allows you to play faster tempos much easier. The neck is a slim-D shaped maple neck which makes jumping up and down the frets much easier. The fretboard is rosewood with sharktooth in-lays and the classic Ibanez headstock at the top. It is a HardTail basswood body guitar with a fixed string-through bridge. The finish on mine is a crimson quilted-top and I don't believe it's laminated. The body shape is strat-style with sharper horns and the back has a slight cutaway section for more comfortable playing. The pick-ups that came in it originally were a set of EMG passive humbuckers. They are controlled by one volume and one tone knob with a 3-way switch. The tuners aren't branded but they are non-locking tuning keys.

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