Price paid: $ 479
Purchased from: musiciansfriend
Sound — 7
This guitar sounds great. The pickups (especially the neck) can get a bit muddy, mainly on the fifth and sixth strings. With the single coil and five way selector switch, it is very versatile. You can play anything from blues to straight up death metal. I play a lot of shred type things. Tapped arpeggios are very easy because of the jumbo frets.
Overall Impression — 8
This guitar is a good match for any style of playing. I play mainly metal stuffs. This guitar was an upgrade from my GIO RGA and it just completely leaves it in the dust. I started to look at some RG350s, but then I found this RG450MDX. Do not go for a 350 because its a couple bucks cheaper. 50 dollars more is not a lot of money to spend on such a beautiful instrument. I play it through a cheap Orange practice amp. Even through that, it sounds pretty decent. I'm not saying that this guitar will hold up with a prestige or anything, but for the price, the value is great. Once I put in some DiMarzios that I ordered yesterday, it will sound as good as a $1000 dollar guitar. I highly recommend this guitar to intermediate players. Happy shredding everybody!
Reliability & Durability — 8
Without a doubt, this guitar will withstand live playing. You don't have to worry about it going out of tune. I have had it for over a month already and have not had to retune it yet. The only thing as far as reliability while playing live is that the trem bar comes a bit loose and swings downward instead of staying horizontal while I'm playing. It's no big deal. It's just that I like it to be right next to my hand for when I need to grab it.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
When I got my guitar, the locking nuts were not secure so the guitar was all out of tune. It kind of pissed me off a little. The pickups were too high and sounded bad. Once I tuned it and adjusted the pickups, the guitar was in perfect shape. The finish is absolutely amazing. It looks like a red you would see on a farrari and the red sharktooth inlays really pop against the maple fretboard. There were no finishing flaws at all.
Features — 8
My guitar is a 2011 model made in Indonesia. It's got a 3 piece maple neck with 24 jumbo frets, maple fingerboard, and red sharktooth inlays. It comes in a candy apple red finish that looks amazing. It has an Edge Zero II trem system that stays perfectly in tune and is easy to tune because of the wheel that adjusts the spring tension. The pickups are Ibanez made V7, V8, and S1 pickups. The S1 is a single coil in the middle position. They are half way decent, but are a bit muddy.