Price paid: $ 350
Purchased from: Www.Musiciansfriend.com
Sound — 10
The Guitar looks like it was built for Metal, but looks can be deceiving. The stock neck pickup, Ibanez's V7 Model, is a decent clean pickup. It kept up with everything from Clapton, to the Clean runs of Metallica's music. However, it was a bit muddy, and so I replaced it with a DiMarzio Air Norton, and now the cleans are flawless. The stock V8 pickup in the Bridge was also decent, but only when distorted. It suited my Metal needs, but didn't really pack enough punch for me, and so I replaced it with a DiMarzio D-Sonic. And let me tell you, with the right pickups? This guitar is a Metal Machine, but has the ability to hit all kinds of music and excel at it. I practice based on my mood, So sometimes I'm playing blues, or some mellow Pink Floyd music, And the RG is perfect for it. But then other days, I'm riffing and shredding my way through some 80's Metal? And that's when this guitar REALLY excels. So it's not just a Metal axe, but it's a great Metal Axe, You know?
Overall Impression — 10
I play a wide variety of music, and this guitar really does a great job at everything I've tried. After being played through a Line 6 Spider IV, a Randall combo, and a friends' Fender Frontman? I'm sold that this guitar sounds great in everything it does. For the price of $350? It's an absolute steal! If it were stolen, I'd definately get it again! I love the neck, and the versatility of this Guitar, but I hate that I had to replace the stock pups to get a clear clean and punchy distortion. But thats to-be-expected when it comes to stock pickups on guitars. I would reccomend this Guitar to anyone looking for any intermediate player looking for a great axe to explore their potential on.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I've used this baby at all kinds of Gigs, from battle of the band at the local high school, to a low-key coffee shop set. And it really held up great. The Hardware is good as it was on day one, all I had to do was tighten the tuners because I use Beefy Slinkies. I would gig this without a backup, I have total Faith in this guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The factory set-up wasn't terrible. I lowered the bridge a little bit, to bring the strings closer to the fretboard and it was perfect for me. Some people prefer otherwise, and in such case, you might want to tweak it a little to your taste. The Passive Pickups were adjusted to a good height out of the box and required no adjustment, and they were wired perfectly. No hum, No Buzz, Just right. The Guitar had no visible flaws, not scratches or dents, and even today, two years later, after dropping it, gigging with it, and putting it through hell? The finish still looks great!
Features — 7
Made in Indonesia, this Guitar is an absolute steal for the price. The Gutiar has 24 Jumbo frets on a Rosewood fretboard; fashioned with Ibanez style Sharkfin inlays. The Neck itself is a 3 peice maple Wizard II bolt-on neck, and it rocks! It's really sleek, and thinner than normal guitar necks, thus allowing comfortable shredding and riffing. The Body is made from basswood with an intense looking Grey Transparent Burst. The paint looks great, but the finish is VERY susceptable to fingerprints so, polish often! The Bridge is a thru-body that comes in a dark grey metallic color, which matches the knobs and tuners. The whole color scheme of the guitar is very dark, almost ghostly. As far as Electronics go, It came with the 5-Way selector wired into the stock V7&V8 pickups (Dual Humbuckers), which aren't bad at all. But, they are stock pickups nonetheless, and I replaced them with DiMarzio's. All in All, The Hardware has held up to everyday abuse for over 2 years now, and besides the change of pickups? It still looks brand new!