RG5EX1 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 4
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 7.6 Good
  • Users' score: 7.3 (56 votes)
Ibanez: RG5EX1

Price paid: $ 350

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 9
Well I play a wide range of stuff, from Blues to Thrash Metal, but mostly Thrash Metal. I have a Line 6 Spider Jam and the guitar sounds great on all settings. I admit at first I thought it was going to be purely a metal guitar, but the neck pickup has a very rich and full sound that sounds nice on a clean setting. The bridge pickup sound is bright but can sound a little tinny and almost weak. I get around this by using some reverb though. I typically use the bridge pickup when I play thrash because it fits my distortion settings which I modelled after the "Kill 'Em All" sound. My only complaint in this section would be that the middle pickup buzzes a little bit, but it's really not that big of a deal. The tremolo system is very good. I use it a pretty decent amount and I find myself having to tune my guitar maybe once every few weeks (with my previous one it was once a week minimum). As far as variety goes, this guitar can play almost anything.

Overall Impression — 8
Again, I play mostly thrash metal, and this guitar fits that genre perfectly, but it has a wide range of genres that it is more than capable of playing. I've been playing guitar for almost 2 years now, and my only previous guitar was my Squier. If it were lost or stolen, I would definitely get it again. I love how it looks and how perfectly it fits my style. If I had to pick one thing I hate about it, it would have to be the wiring in the cord jack. To me it just seems like an unforgivable thing to mess up on an electric guitar. My favorite feature is the tremolo system. I was a little skeptical at first because it took so long to tune it, but now I barely ever need to tune it, and the tremolo allows me to experiment more with my playing. Originally I was looking at an Epiphone SG standard, but then I played this guitar and since I liked it a lot more, and it cost basically the same amount, I settled on this one. Honestly I can't think of anything more I would want on this guitar.

Reliability & Durability — 4
This guitar will definitely withstand live playing. It feels solid as a rock (although it looks like it's made of metal or something so that might be contributing to it, haha). The hardware seems okay, except for the cord jack. Twice one of the wires came loose and I had to solder it back on, which was a pain. This seems like a pretty important feature, and my experience has left a lot to be desired. I am still getting some sound problems (like with iPod headphones, sometimes when they get old they only work if you hold them in a certain position) but I believe this is actually the cord's problem, not the guitar. The cord jack is also placed on the bottom curve of the guitar, so when you play sitting down, the weight of the guitar rests on the cord. So unless you have an L shaped plug, it will put stress on your cord and has caused two of them to stop working for me. Next, (and this is partially my fault for bumping it into stuff in the first place) I also noticed that the finish seems to chip rather easily. There are now two tiny dents in the finish where you can see the wood underneath. They're both the size of a pin head, but they bother me. It might seem unfair that I rated 4/10 just for the one problem, but they basically failed at designing the most important part of an electric guitar. The connection to the amplifier.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar was set up nearly perfectly when I got it. The action and intonation were great. I was getting some noticeable fret buzz early on but that was an easy fix. The only flaw I could tell from the start is that the cap for the pickup selector switch keeps falling off, which gets annoying, and the switch is slightly bent.

Features — 9
I am not sure of the year on this guitar, but it was made in Indonesia. It has 24 Jumbo frets with a Rosewood fingerboard. I got mine in Pewter, which looks very nice, I think. It has a superstrat body and a reversed headstock. The bridge is an Edge 3 tremolo system and the guitar has active electronics. There is a 5 way pickup selector along with one tone knob and one volume knob. There are 3 pickups: The bridge pickup is an INF4 humbucker, the middle is an INF3 single, and the neck is an INF5 humbucker. It has locking tuner pads. It came with a set of allen wrenches for the tremolo and tuner pads, but nothing else.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    Glad you enjoyed your birthday present, but I think you rated it a bit high. Maybe you were still on your birthday high when reviewing, but the Edge III trem is not great, and even with a proper setup--doesn't stay in tune well.