RG3EX1 Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 05/03/2011 category: Electric Guitars

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Ibanez: RG3EX1
There isn't much information out on this guitar, but it is one of the best guitars you can get for $400.
 Sound: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Reliability & Durability: 9.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.6
 Features: 8.8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (10) 18 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.3
RG3EX1 Reviewed by: Vindication, on may 03, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound: This guitar suits my music style perfectly. I play anything from classical and blues to metal (mostly metal, however). I'm playing it through a Vox AD15VT with a Dunlop Crybaby. The sound is fairly balanced, as it should be (it has a basswood body). I didn't get any noise at all while using this guitar, but my amp does have noise reduction that I was using. The pickups in it were good seeing how much the guitar cost, but putting in Seymour Duncans improved it greatly. Overall, it sounded great; you're not going to find a much better sound out of a $400 guitar. 9, the pickups weren't as good as I hoped but a Switch helped change that. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set up decently (better than the RG2EX1, but still not perfect). The pickups were minimally adjusted (neck pickup lowered and bridge pickup raised). There were no flaws that I could see, but the intonation was off by quite a bit, and the action was a tad bit high for my liking. Easy to change, though. 8, action and intonation needed some work but there were no other flaws. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I'm not good enough to be gigging yet, but I believe this guitar could withstand live playing. The hardware seems like it would last, and the whole thing is extremely durable and dependable. The strap buttons are very solid, but there are no strap locks, so one would have to be careful. 10, overall durable and dependable guitar. // 10

Overall Impression: I play a little bit of classical, blues, and classic rock, but mostly heavy metal (from Judas Priest to Megadeth), and as a newer player, this guitar suits me perfectly. There isn't much information out on this guitar, but it is one of the best guitars you can get for $400. If this guitar were stolen or lost, I would probably get either this or a 2006 Jackson RR3 (the new models are good but slightly expensive). I like everything about it, except for the fact there is no good floyd rose on it. I compared it to several other products, including some Schecters (Omen and some C-1's), some Jacksons (older RR3, some Dinkys), and a MIM Fender Fat Strat. This guitar blew them all out of the water. I would recommend this guitar to any beginning player Who plays any kind of rock and roll. // 10

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overall: 6.6
RG3EX1 Reviewed by: angryelephant3, on april 19, 2007
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: 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. // 7

Sound: 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. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 6

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 7

Overall Impression: 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. // 7

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overall: 8.6
RG3EX1 Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 11, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 349.99

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: This is a 2007 RG3EXQM1. It has a transparent red finish on a quilted maple top. 24 jumbo Frets. The body is basswood. It also has a HardTail bridge for sustain and tuning stability. The two passive humbucker pickups are designed by EMG. It has 1 volume knob, one tone knob and a 3-way pickup selector Switch. The tuners are non-locking Ibanez tuners. All hardware is pewter colored except the cap on the pickup selector Switch is black. The tone knob broke on me, not the potentiometer, the knob, this is an isolated incident and reflects nothing on the quality, which is very good. // 9

Sound: Great for all sorts of genres. I play a lot of metal so it definitley works very well under a lot of gain. It's great for blues when you put the selector switch on the the 2nd position. Great "Slash solo" sound on the neck pick up. Tons of sustain. With a good cable and amplifier, you wouldn't be able to tell if your volume is very high and you almost deafen yourself when you play a note. It's got a mid (between thin and thick), almost tube like sound, for those of you Who listen to Joe Satriani, you know what I mean. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The finish is durable but it can be scratched if you deliberately try to. Pickups were well adjusted when I got it but I raised the bridge for a more aggressive tone. The action was flawless, I mean it, it was perfect. The trussrod was perfectly adjusted, didn't have to touch a thing. The wood is properly bookmatched. No flaws so far. Very well made. The only thing is the bridge is a bit discolored on mine. So make sure you don't have the same thing on yours. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar can withstand the gigging lifestyle. The straps haven't failed me yet. Hardware is great and very stable. I wouldn't use it with out a backup because if a string breaks from bending, I don't want to have to restring and break in a new string. The finish is fine but is scratchable. // 8

Overall Impression: Great guitar, I love it. If it were stolen, I would definitely buy a new one. Only complaints are that the output jack does get loose every once in a while and the bridge discoloration but other than that. It's perfect. I compared it to the Gryphon by Schecter and I prefered this. // 9

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overall: 8.8
RG3EX1 Reviewed by: Georgieboy714, on june 26, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 200

Purchased from: Sam Ash

Features: The Ibanex RG3EX1 has a basswood body and jumbofrets. It has sharkfin inlays and the Standard, yet iconic, Ibanez headstock. The Bridge is a string-thru It is a HardTail guitar, meaning no whammy, but as someone Who dislikes whammy bars, this guitar suits me. It has a Strat style body with a grey-black finish which is also laminated. It also has a thin speed neck. The pickup system is dual EMG humbuckers with a three way Switch, volume, and tone control. The nonlocking tuners do not have a brand name, so I cannot identify them. // 8

Sound: My music style is melodic metalcore, and this guitar suits beautifully. It has a very heavy tone and the guitar itself handles downtunes better then Standard. I play in C, and this guitar sounds the best in C, although D Standard and B Standard also sound nice. The guitar does make some noise but I theorize that I merely have to clean out the pickups to get rid of that. I am currently in Egypt so this is the wrong place to worry about getting dust out of somewhere. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set up beautifully. The bridge itself was aligned perfectly just the one part where the high E string goes was slightly positioned wrong so the E string was down a little more. This is easily fixed with the push of a finger or adjusting a really small screw. The action was beautifully. Quite simply; the action was as low as it could go without buzzing. The electronics on the inside are neatly laid out. I've dealt with messy innards before but when I opened the guitar to investigate a problem I was having(which turned out just to be I didn't push the knob on far enough) I smiled. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar has withstood live playing and it is capable of bringing the house down. This guitar is very durable and I have played without a backup. The hardware is so simple I highly doubt it will ever break down and if it does it wil be because of malpractice on my part. The finish is completely untouched and even has a psychedelic look to it...you will have friends arguing about whether its grey or green. I say grey but thats just me. // 10

Overall Impression: I play heavy rock, melodic death, metalcore, and occasionally I help my industrial friends out. I have been playing for 10 months and have come through leaps and bounds in my playing. This guitar works for any rock-based style. Anything else I don't know because I don't play any other style (although I've been wanting to learn jazz) What I love about this guitar the most is that, since I have larger hands and it has a thin neck, I have more power over the instrument. This guitar fits my hands, tastes, and all-around personality perfectly. My friends always fight over playing my guitar but I put it under a no-one-but-me-plays basis. If I lost or had this guitar stolen, I would go through hell and high water to get the same model, but if not I would probably Switch over to an ESP LTD. // 9

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overall: 9.6
RG3EX1 Reviewed by: Gyser, on january 04, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 349

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: I have a friend who works at guitar center and I've seen the literature on this guitar. It's based on the RG321 model and has a Mahogany Body with a quilt maple top. It has 1 volume, 1 tone and a 3 way pickup selector with 2 EMG designed non-active humbuckers modeled after the EMG HZ pickup line. It has a 3 piece Male neck with rosewood fingerboard similar to the Wizard II neck shape. The paint and clearcoat on this guitar are excellent, although I do I have the Ibanez RG2-EX2WH which is white for you guys that don't know the Ibanez product codes and it has some small imperfections in the paint that look like dirt or something hit it before it dried. But it too plays amazing. // 9

Sound: I love the sound from this. It fits all my styles, I play everything from jazz to hard shred metal. I can adjust it to whatever sound and tone I want whenever I want. It can bounce from low volume to loud toneful and incredible volume without being noisy, even when I crank it on my friends B-52 half stack it keeps it's sound and I love it. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set up perfectly. I did play all the RG3's they had before I settled on this one. The pickups were a little low for my taste but that's what the adjustment screw is for right? I lowered the saddles just a pinch on the bass side though, just above fret buzz level. They only spot on the top that doesn't look right is where it meets between the pickups. Just a fraction off as to be noticeable. Flawless finish other than that. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar seems like it would take a fair amount of typical abuse that would occur on a gig. I had no probs with it tonight. I would never gig without a backup guitar. The hardware really seems like it would keep its life or whatever, I don't see any of it failing any time soon at all. The finish will not wear off and if it did I'd be really surprised to be honest. // 10

Overall Impression: I've been playing about 13 years or so and I also have a Peavey Classic 60/60 Stereo power Amp, A Crate Blue Voodoo 4X12 cabinet, DigiTech GNX3000, 1977 Elektra Les Paul Custom Made, Ibanez RG2-EX3WH, a whole shitload of computer recording crap and that about covers it. I've been into gear a long time and I looked up everything I could, asked every question I could and looked the guitar over like you wouldn't beleive. I've been burned once to many. I love everything about the quitar. I don't hate anything. The String thru Mahogany body. I compared it to all the Ibanez Models they had. It played the best and in my opinion sounded the best. It's like they say. You can tell what kind of day the luthier had the night before by playing a couple different axes. // 10

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overall: 9.2
RG3EX1 Reviewed by: WhiteChad, on july 16, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: It's made in indonesia, I'm not sure what year it is but if anyone can tell by the serial code "050854118". It has 24 Jumbo frets. Not sure of the body and neck woods. But the rg body is great to work with, it's not to heavy, not as light as an S series guitar but it's reasonable, The neck feels good, the shark fin fret markers are a nice feature, it has one volume, one tone and a 3-way selector. The thing just looks great for something of it's price. // 10

Sound: I play mostly Metal/metalcore stuff. For lack of cash I use an old peavy bass amp that I have set to sound like a guitar amp and I use an Ibanez distortion pedal, not too sure of the exact name. The guitar sounds great, nice and heavy, every note comes in clear it's great for metal but it's not so great for playing classic rock or anything light really, just doesnt't sound right. Plus, it's awesome for taps and bends, espeically bends, Works beautifully. But there's one thing I can say. If your a metalhead and your just starting out this is great to get for a beginner's guitar. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I'd say the action is great and everything about this guitar is great when new except for the neck Pu's. The pickup comes loose somehow after playing for a bit and rattles because it's pretty much just sitting in the body. It doesnt't fall out or all but it looks crappy when it happens and the guitar sounds like it's falling apart. you can adjust the pickups easily to tighten it up again but it'd be nice if I didn't have to do that. And one last thing is that the knobs and selector Switch parts fall off and I had to super glue them on. // 8

Reliability & Durability: It's definately a reliable and durable guitar and it could definately withstand any Live show without a doubt. The strap buttons, I've never had a problem with. I would not need to bring a backup besides for risk of strings breaking. Personally, between my little brother being clutsy and it being knocked over by accident by others, this thing has taken a beaten and it's still the way I got it besides maybe one or two dings on the edges. // 10

Overall Impression: I like to Metal and Hardcore stuff, some death metal, and this guitar is definately a good match, I've been playing for a little over a year now and it's just a great guitar that got me through things. If it where lost or stolen, personally, I would look into something else but don't get me wrong, that's just me, it's a great guitar. I love the shark-fin fret markers, the tuners, and the overall way it sounds. The only change I think it would need is that the volume knob be further away from the playing area, it's easily knocked down in volume while playing a song. it's one of the best money can buy for a guitar around $400, I didn't buy it but I've played other guitars that are around the same price as mine and most just don't compare besides a few other Rg models that Ibanez has made. // 9

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overall: 8.8
RG3EX1 Reviewed by: ZULND3R, on february 18, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: Nothing special here, the guitar has everything you need for a guitar in this price range so there is no problems here. It has everything I expected on a guitar in this price range. Personally, I think the quilted maple top looks excellent on this guitar. // 9

Sound: In terms of the music that I play, it suits my style well. I play a lot of progressive rock (Dream Theater), metal (Avenged Sevenfold, Mastodon, All That Remains) as well as some other alternative here and there (Dredg). It plays very well in these styles with the exception of a lot of the clean sounds. Distortion sounds great until you tune the guitar below D. The pickups start to get a bit muddy. Lets face it though, this isn't the kind of guitar you buy for cleans so for what it is, it's an excellent instrument. I play this guitar through a Line 6 Spider III 75, as well as a Line 6 Vetta II Halfstack. The pickups are only rather noisy at extremely high gain. They tend to be rather "bassy" and have a great low end. They tend to get muddy below D (I tune this guitar to D-Standard). As for everything else, the pickups perform very well, especially for palm muting. The tone is a bit lacking on the pickups as they sound a little on the sterile side. Again, this guitar excels greatly at playing music with high amount of distortion. It should be noted that, in this price range, this guitar exceeds anything else that I have played. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: The setup was spot-on for the most part. I had to raise the neck pickup a little bit but the bridge pup was right where it needed to be. The action was a bit on the high side for my liking when I purchased the guitar, but that was an easy fix because of the fixed bridge. I did have to make some small truss rod adjustments in order to eliminate as much fret buzz as possible. Everything else about the guitar was great. No other complaints. There were no manufacturing flaws. The hardware on this guitar is particularly nice. The finish looks great on this guitar. You can still see the grain of the basswood on the back of the guitar, and the quilted maple top looks excellent as it has a lot of "depth" to it. It also has a matching headstock that has a quilted maple top. // 9

Reliability & Durability: As far as durability, I have no doubts that this would withstand Live playing. I have used it in 4 gigs thus far and have not had a single issue with the guitar. The hardware has a tendency to lose a bit of it's finish if you have particularly acidic sweat, but it is simply an aesthetic issue (IMO it adds some character to the instrument). Overall the hardware is extremely durable, if you dropped this guitar a few times it would probably be just fine (I wouldn't recommend trying that though). The strap buttons are solid, I have spun it around, jumped all over the place, flipped it, and have not had a problem. It definately is a dependable instrument. Out of habits sake I always have a backup ready (you never know what can happen) but I would feel relatively comfortable playing without a backup while using this guitar. The finish is a very thick clear coat laquer finish. It seems to hold up just fine and I am not worried about it wearing down over time. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall, this instrument was an excellent match for me. I feel that it suits my playing style very well (I am not a tremolo player too much fuss). I feel that it would also suit most players Who are into various styles of hard rock music. I have been playing for 5 years. I own multiple different guitars (Fender, Schecter, and now Ibanez). If this guitar were stolen, I would most likely invest into one of Ibanez's RGT models. I like the fixed bridge RG models a lot, but one with a neck-through would be amazing. I love the finish on this guitar, as well as the neck (it's extremely fast and easy to play due to it's thin profile). I dislike the sound of the stock pickups, while not bad, they don't have the exact tone that I'm looking for. Again though, for this price, you can't beat it. Personally the only thing I wish that this model had would be some better pickups. The stock pickups in this guitar a bit too "bassy" for my taste. Everything else is excellent. // 9

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overall: 9.8
RG3EX1 Reviewed by: eyebanez333, on december 03, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 349

Purchased from: Musicians Friend

Features: Not sure what year it was made, purchased it less than a year ago. Has 24 frets with sharktooth inlays. Quilted maple top in a variety of colors, I got the red one. Standard Ibanez fixed bridge, with passive EMG-designed humbuckers. Single tone, single volume controls, with a 3-way toggle switch for the pickups. // 9

Sound: This guitar was made for hard rock/metal. I've used it with a variety of amps that I've owned in the past; Marshall MG100HDFX, Crate V18, Peavey Windsor, etc. Like I said, the RG is more suitable for hard rock/metal... sounds best with high gain amplifiers. Out of all the guitars I own, this is probably the least-versatile. Which is fine with me, I bought it as a metal guitar. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was set up really good from the factory. The only thing I changed was the string gauges. Pickups were adjusted well and actually sound good for passive EMGs. I keep the action really low on it and the neck is very fast. The only flaw on my guitar when I got it was a loose connection in the toggle Switch... it was really staticky. Fixed really easily and has been rockin' ever since. The finish on these quilted maple guitars are beautiful. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've used this guitar several times live. The hardware is very durable. Even though the Switch had a loose connection, it seems very solid and kind of 'clicks' into place. Strap buttons were removed for straplocks, but were solid from the factory. I would definitely use this guitar without a backup. Like I said earlier, the finish on these guitars are amazing. The pictures on the internet don't really do it justice. // 10

Overall Impression: Perfect guitar for metal. I've been playing for a few years now, and this was my 2nd 'real, name brand' guitar. If this guitar was stolen, I would definitely buy another one. It is probably my favorite guitar I own. I love everything about this guitar; the finish, the inlays, the feel of the neck, even the pickups are decent for being stock. If I had to choose one thing to change, I would put active EMGs in it... I might actually end up doing that on this guitar. // 10

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overall: 9
RG3EX1 Reviewed by: gander93, on february 17, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 350

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: Made in Indonesia in 2008. It has 24 jumbo frets on a rosewood fretboard, and a thin, flat neck that makes shredding a breeze. It's got a basswood body with a quilted maple top, and is the Stratocaster body style with sharp horns. Tune-O-Matic bridge on a string-thru. It has one volume and one tone knob, and a three way pickup Switch. Dual humbuckers made by EMG. Non-locking tuners. The guitar did not come with any accessories. // 8

Sound: I play mostly rock and metal with some odd bits like blues and classical. This guitar fits great with any style you choose to play. I play it through a Spider III 15 and I can get most any sound I want out of it. Compared to other guitar with the same amplifier, it has a brighter, crisper sound, great for playing past the 12th fret. Any variety of sounds can be played, it all depends on the settings you put to it. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was a little too high for my liking, but not much. The neck pickup tends to sink into the body of the guitar, unfortunately, and I have to adjust it occasionally. The finish and hardware were excellent, though it did have a minor scratch beneath the lacquer. Everything else felt and worked great, though the volume and tone knobs have gotten a bit stiff. That is probably caused by accidental damage, not by factory flaws, though. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I play this guitar daily, and so far it has worked great. A few minor bumps and bruises have harmed the looks a bit, but on other guitars the damage could have been worse. The sound, however is unaffected by anything I put the guitar through. Never popped a strap. I'd use this guitar on a gig with no backup and no worries; it's hellaciously tough. Everything stays fit easily, and it takes quite a bit to damage anything. // 10

Overall Impression: It's a wonderful instrument, far better than anything I have played, aside from the extremely high quality Gibsons and Fenders I've sampled in shops. I've been playing for 2 years, and never been happier with a purchase. If this were stolen or lost, I probably would buy a newer model of the same type, and pay a bit more. The reason I chose this was the style and type were exactly what I was looking for, and it fell in my limited price range. The only thing I would add to this guitar is slightly better pickups, and I've always wanted a Floyd Rose bridge, and if I were to purchase another guitar, that's what I would have to get. // 10

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overall: 9.8
RG3EX1 Reviewed by: wagsRG3EX1, on may 03, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: 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. // 10

Sound: 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. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 10

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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