Sound — 7
Before I go into the details of the sound of this guitar, I'll mention the amps that I've played this guitar through (No effects plugged in): Mesa Triple Recto, Marshall JVM, PRS SE 30 and a Roland Cube 30 & 60. First it's important to mention that the pickups have very well balanced bass and treble frequencies, with a slightly higher midrange; Considering these are the Ibanez Infinity range of pickups. Combined with the the Ash body of this guitar, the string clarity and dynamics are really amazing. I play a few genres; Metal, Classic rock, Blues, Pop, and there really is nothing you can't do with a little EQ tweaking. However, getting pinch harmonics to really scream is rather tough unless you crank your gain knob and find the proper sweet spots. Also, the single coil can get a little rough sounding when used on its own. It's best to use the single coil combined with the humbuckers for a better sound, basically the single coil is there to add more tonal variety to your playing, and a nice way to dial your sound down a bit and make it cleaner. All in all, it's a really versatile guitar, and does Metal really well for all you concerned UG-ers.
Overall Impression — 8
MY conclusion? This guitar is extremely good for the price. You get absolutely bang for the buck for all it's feature. I have the utmost love for this guitar and would most definitely recommend this guitar to anyone out there with a budget for a beginner/intermediate guitar. HOWEVER, my next few points will the buying point for those who are more experienced with guitar playing. The Edge II bridge combined with Zero Point System (ZPS) makes for an extremely stable bridge for the price. It holds its tuning well even if you break a string and even with a little whammy bar abuse. Another plus point is you can use almost any kind of string gauge with various tunings and still have this bridge hold on its own. I used lower tunings and even dropped B on my 6th string (with the other strings in standard tuning), DADGAD, DADF#AD, etc etc. This is a major plus point for those of you who love the feel of doing bends, vibratos and palm muting on a floating trem without the hassle of sticking to one tuning and one set of string gauges. With the added thumb screw to adjust the spring tension at the back, it makes it easier to switch tunings and adjust the springs without the need of a screwdriver in your hands. The downside to this is for people who love their trem arms to move more freely or more easily I should say. With the ZPS springs on, the trem arm is a little tough to push around. Also for those who love doing flickers with their trem arms, it's almost impossible if not extremely difficult because of all that added to tension to keep things in tune. Want your trem arm to feel more like a natural floating trem? Fret not, you can deactivate the ZPS by removing those added springs and your trem arm will have that same familiar feel like all those other floating trem designs. The screwed up downside to this, you can only use one string gauge, most probably the 0.09s tuned to standard. Using any heavier gauge with the ZPS turned off is impossible, from 4 springs, you have now reduced it to 2 springs; No matter how much tighter you turn those springs with 0.10s, it ain't gonna balance that bridge. So, ZPS on: Good tuning stability, able to hold various string gauges and tunings, easy to fiddle around with. If you're the type to have the ZPS off and use various string gauges and tunings, you're better off with the traditional spring cavity setups. So, with that I'll rate this section based on how I use this guitar and play with. Which is with the ZPS on. How you rate this section will depend on how YOU will be using this floating trem design. As I stated in my conclusion on top, this guitar is absolute bang for the buck, good design, good sound, good feel.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I have gigged with this guitar numerous times and must say it can withstand whatever I have given it SO FAR (It's only been 10 months since I bought this guitar). The ZPS system holds the guitar in tune really well and the strap buttons are nothing to worry about. You can definitely depend on it without a backup. Will the hardware last a long time? With my super-corrosive-sweaty-palms, it's tough. Rust can easily build up on the bridge, especially on the spot where you rest your palm for muting. Also the cosmo black hardware can have sweat and other fluids make it look old fast. To prevent this, always make sure to wipe the guitar down thoroughly and lubricate metal parts, no exceptions, or you will notice the difference the very next day.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar was set-up surprisingly well from the factory as I was testing it before buying. The neck and string action was really well done and comfortable to play with. However being me, I don't really care for the factory set-up. As soon as it was in my hands I switched the string gauge to 0.10-0.46 and adjusted the pickup and string heights to my liking. The next thing I'm very happy to mention is there were no flaws on this guitar what'soever. In my experience it's really rare for an Ibanez in this price range to be crafted really well. The only explanation I can come up with is it's because of the natural finish on this guitar, which would make flaws really visible, thus pushing the manufacturers to put extra care. Even the spring cavity is really well cut and finished. 10/10 on this section.
Features — 8
My particular guitar was made (mid-2011) in Indonesia. It comes with 24 jumbo frets and the new Wizard III neck with a scale length of 25.5". If you're wondering what's the difference between the new Wizard III and the old one, it isn't much. The newer Wizard III's width at the nut and width at the last fret are just 1-2mm wider. It's made with a solid Ash body, 3-piece Maple neck and a bound Rosewood fretboard with Shark-tooth inlays. The body comes with a natural finish, which is really beautiful. Also, the new RG470s now come equipped with the Edge II bridge and the Zero Point System in its cavity (more on this in a later section). Pickups are passive and configured as HSH. One volume and one tone knob, with a 5-way pickup selector. The locking nuts and tuning heads are standard Ibanez hardware. The one difference with this guitar compared to other floating trem designs is that it doesn't come with the retainer bar above the nut, because the headstock is angled in such a way making the addition of the bar unnecessary.