Price paid: $ 474.8
Purchased from: Tom Lee Music
Sound — 10
I play mostly heavy metal, rock, and sometimes blues and soft rock and this guitar can pull off the exact tone I want for the song I want, which is great, because I thought that this guitar was made for metal but it turns out it's made for almost any genre of music. From Children of Bodom to Metallica to The Beatles, my guitar owns. Unfortunately I have a very bad amplifier which was working fine before but ever since I bought a distortion pedal which was a Boss MT-2 Metal, it sort of screwed up the sound coming out of the amplifier when I use the distortion, so I'm guessing that maybe my pedal was way too 'over the top' for my amp. On the other hand, the distortion is enough for what I play but I'm sure that if I had a better amp the distortion would be greater. However, with my RG450LTD, there's hardly any noise or feedback coming out of the amp when I stop playing with my distortion on, which is great beacuse with my old guitar, even the slightest pause would make me go nuts. Not only is my RG great with distortion but it's also awesome when it's clean, so it can be also very ideal for just strumming chords to more gentle songs and finger picking, and it's best to use the neck pickup for that.
Overall Impression — 10
Again, I play metal, rock, blues and this guitar does the job well. I've been playing for about a year and a half and this guitar is probably going to be my main guitar for the next year(s) or so, along with my trusty mt-2 metal zone, I'm all set. The only thing I'm probably not happy with this guitar is the annoying bridge! I just found out right after I purchased the guitar, how painstaking it's going to be to just tune your guitar or tune your guitar to different tunings. But in the end it's all worth it, mainly because you'll find it almost impossible to make this bad boy go out of tune and spazzing out with the whammy bar is far beyond fun. If this guitar were to get lost I'd hunt down the thief and obviously get my guitar back, no violence here. In the future I might get another Ibanez but one with a fixed bridge, mainly because I can't stand the frustration I get when I try to tune my guitar, but the bright side is that your guitar won't go out of tune even if you all sorts of crazy stunts with it (not that I've tried), but yeah it's a fanatastic guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I'm definately sure this guitar will last live playing unless you're planning to go crazy with the whammy bar, because I've broken at least 10 or more strings in the first 3 weeks of having my guitar by just pulling the bridge back a little too far, but if your planning to only do some whammy work, that's fine. The hardware's going to last a while for sure, unless I probably get tired or fed up with taking care of my guitar. The strap buttons are dead solid and there's no way your strap's going to fall off, unless the materials are bad or something, because I've never had any problems with my strap. I would depend on my guitar a lot but I'd probably bring my extra guitar with a locked bridge, should a string break or go out of tune, because tuning a string on a floyd rose system will take ages if you're unexperienced (like me). The finish is good enough to last and the paint is probably a centimeter thick on my guitar, so no wearing off paint for me (not really a centimeter, but you get me right?)
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
I had a lot of problems with this guitar when I got it, in fact the salesman dropped the price by another 10% (the guitar was already on a special discount sale (10% off), because of the bad condition it was in, I got it for a total of 20% off). To be brief, the metal fret pieces were rusted, the action was much too high, there were slight scratches already, when I moved the whammy bar a bit, there was a loud clicking sound but most of all the problems are fixed now, so I guess the price I got the guitar for, was reasonable. I'm pretty sure this guitar's going to last a long time.
Features — 10
I'm fairly sure that this guitar was made in 2003 and it was made in Japan. It had 24 jumbo frets which made it much easier to play real fast due the to low action as well. It's body was made out of brasswood, average Strat sharp but a little sharper at the edges. It had a really nice and comfortable neck, which is essential to every guitar player if he/she wants to be playing for a prolonged amount of time without any strain, so yeah this Wizard II neck suits me well. It had a Floyd Rose double locking system which is real fun to screw around especially if you want to make your guitar scream, squeal, divebomb, and best of all it won't go out of tune if you lock the strings near the top of the neck, which isn't a problem at all. It had 3 passive, H-S-H pickups but I'm planning to change my pickups for a higher tone, because I think that the bridge pickup doesn't have enough tone or EQ for very heavy metal. It had a volume and tone knob and a 5 way selector but I only use the the neck and bridge pickups the most, because simply all the other selections are rather dull or 'flat'. On top of all that, I had a lot of problems at first but I'm beginning to get used to the floyd rose tremelo system and how to configure it and stuff.