RG470AHZ review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 6
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.6 Good
  • Users' score: 7.1 (23 votes)
Ibanez: RG470AHZ

Sound — 9
Versatility is what RG's do best! Add a HSH configuration to that, and you can quite literally play anything you wish. I personally play a vast range of styles, generally focusing on bright tones with not too much gain (for clarity reasons). This guitar handles that very well. Shreds sound great on the neck pickup, with lots of power. Rhythms on the bridge pickup sound aggressive with very detailed lower notes. If you put new strings on, they will sound amazingly detailed. I have D'Addario 10-46 strings at the moment. Clean sounds emphasize the detailed nature of the sound, especially on the single coil pickups, sounding very strat-like. Jazz chords sound awesome. Sadly, this guitar has slightly low sustain. This is probably due to the bridge and bolt-on neck. You won't be able to hold a bend for too long, but it'll at least sound good while it lasts. I have played this guitar through a Blackstar HT-5R, and Line 6 Spider III 75w. Both sounded great. The Blackstar of course gives it more detail. When I saw the guitar in the shop, before I played it I was considering replacing the pickups with some DiMarzios. After playing the guitar in the shop I quickly changed my mind. For the amount of money, it's just not worth it. Of course, DiMarzios would sound better, but these infinity's are great already. Overall, you get a versatile sound, with plenty of detail, and single coils and humbuckers. Everything is great in this category, except for the average sustain. Still, I think it deserves an admirable score.

Overall Impression — 8
This guitar is priced in a beginner to almost intermediate level. For what you pay for, you really do get a whole lot, and if you only plan on using this guitar for 5 years then you really can have a great guitar on your hands. There is a possible better option for many players. If you want HOT pickups, the wood finish, no trem bridge, and don't mind not having a single coil pickup, try the RGA32. It's even cheaper, and sounds amazing. If you're looking for a reason to buy this guitar, it should be because of the single coil options. The Edge Zero II is far from perfect, and should not be a buying point. Apart from many flaws, I still feel that this guitar has a lot of character. Because of its versatile nature, it feels like this guitar has a lot to say, and you will want to jam endlessly on it. I've also owned an Epiphone Les Paul, and I immediately missed how versatile an RG is, not to mention how thin the neck is. If you're looking for versatility, or haven't quite found your style of playing yet, or just love playing as many styles as you can, you simply can't go wrong with an RG. I would definitely recommend this guitar as a great entry-level intermediate guitar. It definitely feels and sounds like a more expensive guitar would. I've played many guitars around and below the $1000 range, and the RG's always feel special. I have given this guitar an 8, because of the character that I believe it has, and how I've really become so attached to it. It feels special, and that's the most important thing. It makes me want to play guitar. I've even nicknamed it, Caramel, because of it's beautiful color (funny, I know). I can't give it a lower score, because I love it too much, flaws and all.

Reliability & Durability — 7
Judging from my previous Ibanez RG321MH, which I've owned for 6 years, also built in Indonesia, I have a good knowledge of this section. Firstly, the "Cosmo Black" hardware looks great, but don't be fooled, it will not last forever. From experience, these finishes last less than a year before showing deterioration. Regardless, I think it adds a bit of character. In terms of rigidity, this guitar will not fall apart on you, and will last a very long time. On my RG321MH, I had to resolder the input jack wiring to the jack clip. The soldering lasted about a year, and I expect something similar from this RG470AHZ. For that reason, I would recommend a backup for a gig, unless you have checked the soldering first, which is simple enough. Also, the frets on my RG321MH have worn down a lot over my 6 years of playing on it. In fact that was the reason for me replacing it. The quality of metal was not very good on that 2005 model, and I hope this has changed on this 2011 model. Depending on how long you expect to keep this guitar, and how often you play, expect to do a fret redress in the distant future (under 10 years). Overall, I expect this guitar to last a decent amount of time (10 years or less). The hardware will deteriorate, and it's soldering should be checked before deciding to gig with it. Otherwise, it's awesome for bedroom jams. I feel a 7 is fair, because this guitar will last, but not without some minor shortcomings which could cause disappointment.

Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The guitar was made in Indonesia. It was poorly setup when I bought it. It needed a truss rod adjustment, partially because it was built in the northern hemisphere and I live in the southern hemisphere (temperature change). The level of adjustment needed, though, was too large to put down to temperature change, and I honestly feel that someone in Indonesia didn't do their job too well. The guitar needed a completely new setup. It came with D'Addario 10-46 strings, which are my usual choice, so I was obviously happy about that. Like I said previously, setting up this guitar with its Edge Zero II bridge and locking nut is tedious, so buying it and then fiddling around with the action all day only to find that the truss rod is actually the problem is really annoying. Apart from that, the finish on this guitar is great. The wood is not varnished, and is oiled, making it feel like a slab of wood taken straight from the factory. I love that. The neck also has an oil finish, adding to the rustic feel of the guitar. Pickups were at a good height when the guitar was stock, which was a plus. Overall, the guitar had a terrible stock setup. Most people cannot make truss rod adjustments themselves, making the problem a severe one. Other than that, the guitar looks great. No chips on the wood, no errors in neatness of the build. I believe the finish has made up for an otherwise terrible setup.

Features — 8
This guitar is a 2011 model from Ibanez. I bought mine in 2012 Q3. The ash wood body looks stunning and is the perfect wood to display on an unfinished/unpainted body. This is the second RG I have owned that has infinity pickups, and they are definitely a good choice for inexpensive yet outstanding and versatile passive pickups. The Hum-Single-Hum configuration adds to the versatility. It has a 5-way pickup selection, with 3 of those being single coils. The Edge Zero II bridge is quite complex, and takes a lot of work to set it up. All the time spent on the setup doesn't seem to payoff in the end, because even slightly playing with the trem can kick the tuning out. DO NOT dive-bomb with this guitar. The bridge does, however, have a good feel, making it easy to play on the right-hand. Not sure why. My opinion, though, is that if you can't do crazy tricks with a trem, then it isn't worth the hassle. One of Ibanez's fixed bridge alternatives are better in this regard, like the RGA32 (also a wood finished guitar, active pickups, cheaper price). The neck of this guitar is amazing. Seriously. The Wizard III neck is so easy to play on, and Ibanez has started putting oil on their necks instead of gloss varnish. This makes speedy playing very easy, and gives you more control. These new necks also have a 400mm radius (15.75 inches), which feels only a little different. Sharktooth inlays look great and show that it's a midrange Ibanez product. They look great and are easy to spot while playing, since they're so huge. Overall, this guitar looks and feels amazing, but loses some points for the Edge Zero II. If you don't use the trem, you'll have an amazing guitar. I'll give it a respectable 8. Awesome, but not perfect.

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    I have a used but good condition Ibanez RG470 and a Hughes & Fett 15R Blue Edition Amp that I sadly have to sell before my landlord calls time on me. Comes complete with 2 x 12ft cables & jacks, tuner, case etc, call 07926126226 or email willsletters@googlemail.com