Price paid: $ 350
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 7
The sound of this guitar is awesome for the price. The pickups suit the guitar very well, and have great attack and sustain. I almost always have the tone dial all the way to the treble side and the five-way selector set on the bridge pickup, for this provides a great treble sound for leads without cutting the bass too much to sacrifice the chuggy-rhythm some guitarists crave. This can be achieved even moreso by turning the tone dial the other way, and getting a more Slipknot-esque vibe.
Overall Impression — 9
This is a great metal guitar for intermediate players who don't need to spend huge money. Since I started playing guitar, about 70% of all my playing has been on this guitar. If you're a beginning who is buying his first guitar, I recommend a cheaper model, but for an intermediate looking to take the next step, this is for you. If you want quick leads, great rhythm, and awesome tone at a decent price, consider this guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar has stood its ground against the test of time very well. I have had it for over a year and a half, and aside from the problem with the input jack, there have been no major problems (The wires came loose from the jack because I twisted it while attempting to tighten the nut; very easy fix). The strap buttons were very, very solid when I received the guitar, but I must say I replaced them with strap-lock buttons for my own convenience (highly recommended for any guitarist!) This guitar is very reliable. The finish scratches from hard picking, but this is barely noticeable and the finish does not wear off.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action on this guitar could honestly not be better. It is very low but not so low that it buzzes against the frets when strummed. The pickups are adjusted well, and the bookmatched top was done very well. The intonation is amazing for the price, and there have not been any flaws that I have noticed, except for one problem I had with the input jack (this was my fault, however, so don't take it into major consideration). The finish and fit are great for any intermediate guitarist who doesn't feel the need to spend big money.
Features — 8
This RG3 model has a great look to it, no matter which color you purchase it in. Mine is in the black, which I personally love. The finish scratches slightly over time with rigorous strumming, but this happens with nearly all guitars, and tends to only be seen by the guitarist. The body style is similar to that of a Fender Strat, but with sharper edges for a more metal look. I remember when buying it that Ibanez had similar models with a Floyd Rose Tremolo (Whammy Bar), but my model does not. The pickups are not active, but are very good for the price. They have great attack and decent sustain. There is two potentiometers, one for volume and one for tone. There is also a five-way selector to choose between different combinations of the two humbucking pickups. The neck of the guitar has awesome shark-fin inlays, and is probably one of the best necks I have ever played on. The neck doesn't have that thick Gibson-style feel to it, so it allows very quick response and feel. For an intermediate guitarist itching to let lightning-fast leads come into play, this guitar was great, and as I have become slightly more advanced, it has still provided me with everything I need.