RG8520 TRD review by Ibanez

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (18 votes)
Ibanez: RG8520 TRD
0

Price paid: $ 1920.47

Purchased from: Guitar Connection

Sound — 10
This guitar is surprisingly versatile, being able to play everything I've tried very well. From blues-rock to Thrash Metal to funk to pop. It excells at anything rock/metal oriented because of the solid sounding pickups. I run it through a Marshall JCM2000-DSL401 and my effects are a Reverb, Compression-Sustainer and a Wah and when using the amplifiers in-built distortion this thing sounds absolutely amazing. I usually play with Mid treble and bass and high mids and the tone is absolutely heavenly. The sound is not so much bright as it is extremely full. It sometimes becomes noisy if I turn the gain to 9 or 10 but this is very minimal and only sounds when nothing is playing.

Overall Impression — 10
I have been playing for 5 years and play mostly Prog-Rock/All metal and this guitar is a fit for everything I've tried. I still get in a lot of time with my Strat when I play Alt-Rock/pop/RHCP/Pearl Jam stuff but The J-Custom can definitely play them. If it were ever stolen or lost I'd buy it again in a heartbeat but that would be difficult as this guitar is quite rare. I have a Fender Strat and once owned an LTD and this guitar blows them both out of the water when used to play Rock or Metal. If there were one thing I could add to this guitar it would be a Sustaniac or a killswitch as I'm an effects junkie. This guitar is an absolutely amazing guitar and you can not go wrong with if and if you can find and afford it I highly recommend you buy it.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I've dropped this guitar a few times and it has only received a few scratches. The strap buttons are solid and the hardware looks like it would rust. The finish has not even worn at all even this crazy Singapore weather and its extreme humidity. I recently gigged with this without a backup which while nothing happened was still a mistake. You should ALWAYS gig with a backup. My only worry is that since the bridge is floating and locked if you break a string the tension will adjust and every other string will go out of tune and changing strings is very slow. This has happened to me before in practice when I hit the strings too hard but thankfully never live.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
When I got it this guitar was set up perfectly, action was very comfortable and no adjustments were needed to the pickups, bridge, neck or top. This may be because of the amazing Ibanez Custom Shop or because the guy at the store I bought it from is meticulous perfectionist who used to be a guitar tech for several professional bands such as RHCP and the Foo Fighters. To my eye I could not see any visible flaws. Its setup was perfect. I would caution newer players as setting up this guitar is not easy for those who have never worked with Floyd Roses and thus only recommend this is intermediate/advanced players who know how to change strings without csusing your bridge to sink in. Or if you want to pay money to get someone to do it for you go right ahead.

Features — 10
This guitar was made in 2002 in Japan and is now one of the rarer J-Custom models around as it is no longer in production. (This particular model has the Serial Number: 17024) This guitar, like most Ibanez RG models, has 24 Frets and they are Custom Jumbo (SBB 216-195). Its neck has a 648mm/ 25'5 Scale made of 5pcs Maple/Bubinga and the fingerboard is Rosewood w/White Binding. The neck is 42mm wide at the nut and 56mm thick at the last fret.Its neck is also extremely thin at only 19.5mm at the first fret which makes a great guitar for shred. The body top is made of Flame Maple and the back of Honduras Mahogany. As previously mentioned the neck is made of 5pcs Maple. It had a very sexy looking Transparant Red Burst finish as it is the TRD model. The LA is in Flight Amber. The body style is similar to that of most RG's with a double cutaway that allows full access to the higher frets on the neck. The bridge is an Ibanez Lo-Pro, one widely regarded as one of the, if not the best Floyd Rose Licensed bridges. It is also a floating bridge. This guitar has two pickups, both humbuckers that are laid out in the H-H style. They consist of a DiMarzio Air Norton in the neck slot and a DiMarzio Tone Zone in the bridge slot. The Pickup selector is a 3-way that allows one or both pickups to be selected at the same time. The guitar has 4 Knobs, 2 for each pickup that control volume and tone. The guitar has a double locking system, with a lock at the nut and one at the bridge. This helps to stop the guitar from going out of tune no matter what is done with it. When I bought this guitar it came with a hard case and a certificate signed by Yuji Wakazono of Ibanez to prove it came from their Custom-Shop. What particularly stands out are 4 knobs which allows an unprecedented amount of control over your tone without touching your amp and the very reliable tremolo which, when set up right will mean that this guitar never goes out of tune.

26 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Im_Broken
    $lightly$ober wrote: rip out the licensed flyod and put an original in
    Ibanez have their own system. its not a licensced floyd. based on the same design, but different. if you're gonna take out an Edge-3, you put in a Edge-Zero w/ZPS3
    RockInPeaceDime
    Ghost Dog wrote: I said "a bit overpriced", they certainly have great value for money but you have to admit, you do pay a bit for the name too. In any case, it's nowhere near as bad as in the case of Fenders or Gibsons. The conclusion is still that the guy who made the first comment has absolutely no idea what any Ibanez is capable of, besides the Gio series which are just that, budget guitars, though still decent enough.
    err name a credible guitar company where you don't pay at least a slight amount for the name? hell, tell me a credible, name-brand product in our society that doesn't have the "trademark" built into the price?
    Emmanuel200
    Dude, be more ****ing carefull. This guitar is worth more than my entire collection and you say you've dropped it a few times!
    Hahaha. That made me laugh! But I agree.
    MonsterOfRock
    The^Unforgiven wrote: Ghost Dog wrote: Have you ever even touched a J-Custom Ibanez, let alone play one? Nevermind that, have you at least played a Prestige series Ibanez? They are great guitars, a bit overpriced but any Ibanez that is Prestige or made in Japan is going to be an excellent guitar. Hell, even the cheaper ones are damn good, I own an Ibanez MTM2 made in Indonesia and it's a hell of a lot better than many guitars out there, so either have something constructive to say or go wave your virtual dick around somewhere else. Oh and just so you know I'm not an Ibanez fanboy, I also have a Jackson DK2 with Seymour Duncan pickups and honestly I still prefer the Ibanez. While I almost completely agree, I don't really see how any Ibanezes are overpriced. In my opinion, Ibanez's value-for-money -ratio is very, very high, and as said, even the more expensive non-prestige models are excellent. Compare Ibanez's prestige or J-custom series to ESP, for example, and Ibanez takes the points when it comes to the pricing of their instruments.
    Check out some ESP Edwards. THATS value for money. Having said that, J-Customs and Prestiges are indeed worthy instruments.
    OldEscape
    TheMarrtyr13 wrote: This is making me want an Ibanez more and more, too bad they don't have a custom shop available to the public, cuz I would sell my left nut to have a white Destroyer with an ebony fretboard, block inlays, EMG's with 18v mod, neck thru, two vols and tones, black binding, almost like the Nick Hipa of AILD Destroyer he's been gigging. Btw, why haven't they made him a production sig?!
    Dunno about Nick, but I can tell you that Dino Cazares has been sporting Ibanez for ages, I think he has a hush-hush sig that'll be out here relatively soon, look how long it's taken him to get a signature though if it is true, Ibanez are picky with their roster so it may take Nick some time to get in the door as well. & Yep, custom shop only if your an endorser, you might be able to get a custom from the Ibanez LACS (Los Angeles Custom Shop), they sneak people in there for custom jobs every now and then I believe, people that aren't recognized or even endorsers of Ibanez. That in itself is still a long shot, I'd rather have it MIJ, which is even more of a long shot, J Custom is about as close as most of us will get to the utmost high quality, sucks you can't change the specs on them, they are sick guitars though.
    TheMarrtyr13
    This is making me want an Ibanez more and more, too bad they don't have a custom shop available to the public, cuz I would sell my left nut to have a white Destroyer with an ebony fretboard, block inlays, EMG's with 18v mod, neck thru, two vols and tones, black binding, almost like the Nick Hipa of AILD Destroyer he's been gigging. Btw, why haven't they made him a production sig?!
    W>O
    Ghost Dog wrote: Have you ever even touched a J-Custom Ibanez, let alone play one? Nevermind that, have you at least played a Prestige series Ibanez? They are great guitars, a bit overpriced but any Ibanez that is Prestige or made in Japan is going to be an excellent guitar. Hell, even the cheaper ones are damn good, I own an Ibanez MTM2 made in Indonesia and it's a hell of a lot better than many guitars out there, so either have something constructive to say or go wave your virtual dick around somewhere else. Oh and just so you know I'm not an Ibanez fanboy, I also have a Jackson DK2 with Seymour Duncan pickups and honestly I still prefer the Ibanez.
    wow,, you like guitar which made from Indonesia ? i don`t know that my country made good guitars..
    Snowman388
    Daaammmnnnnn So much better than my Ibanez. If I had this I would not stop playing.
    OldEscape
    Damn! Look at that neck, gimme, gimme, gimme! J Customs are wicked guitars. Straight up, they aren't toys, they're tools. I'd definitely take this guitar in a heart beat, & when's the last time you've seen Ibanez do two volume/two tone on a body like that?! Slap some super 58's in that sucker & you'll be groovin'! They need 7 string J customs like this in 2011, I'm still trying to get the new 2010 7 string Ibanez RG8527Z, oh man if they did them like this with 7's, dunno what I'd do with myself.
    Ghost Dog
    RockInPeaceDime wrote: Ghost Dog wrote: I said "a bit overpriced", they certainly have great value for money but you have to admit, you do pay a bit for the name too. In any case, it's nowhere near as bad as in the case of Fenders or Gibsons. The conclusion is still that the guy who made the first comment has absolutely no idea what any Ibanez is capable of, besides the Gio series which are just that, budget guitars, though still decent enough. err name a credible guitar company where you don't pay at least a slight amount for the name? hell, tell me a credible, name-brand product in our society that doesn't have the "trademark" built into the price?
    Umm... Vintage guitars? or [insert name of custom guitar maker here]? How about Cort? Tokai? Need I go on?
    Sakke
    OtherGuy wrote: *sigh* another almost perfect ibanez score!
    It's a J-Custom man. It is as good as any ESP,Jackson or Dean high-end guitar..
    Disturbdkornkid wrote: I love the 'LOL IBANEZ SUCKS' comments on these. I don't understand why people hate on Ibanez, I would much rather pay around $1000 for an awesome guitar rather than buy a $5000 Gibson, plus an Ibanez is more fitted to what I play so that's just me. Don't get me wrong though, I would love to have a Gibson, but Ibanez guitars are a sweet deal and almost always an awesome value. This definitely looks like a great guitar, would be nice if there were a few more pictures for it.
    Quoted for the truth. I was just going to say that.
    Ghost Dog
    Have you ever even touched a J-Custom Ibanez, let alone play one? Nevermind that, have you at least played a Prestige series Ibanez? They are great guitars, a bit overpriced but any Ibanez that is Prestige or made in Japan is going to be an excellent guitar. Hell, even the cheaper ones are damn good, I own an Ibanez MTM2 made in Indonesia and it's a hell of a lot better than many guitars out there, so either have something constructive to say or go wave your virtual dick around somewhere else. Oh and just so you know I'm not an Ibanez fanboy, I also have a Jackson DK2 with Seymour Duncan pickups and honestly I still prefer the Ibanez.
    guitarnoob_100
    You can check my profile for more pics, I've got a few on the gear section. I'll take more if you'd like?
    Disturbdkornkid
    I love the 'LOL IBANEZ SUCKS' comments on these. I don't understand why people hate on Ibanez, I would much rather pay around $1000 for an awesome guitar rather than buy a $5000 Gibson, plus an Ibanez is more fitted to what I play so that's just me. Don't get me wrong though, I would love to have a Gibson, but Ibanez guitars are a sweet deal and almost always an awesome value. This definitely looks like a great guitar, would be nice if there were a few more pictures for it.
    Ghost Dog
    PRS is allright wrote: This isn't better than a SGR junior
    And you're no better than a troll... either say something constructive or shut up and stop wasting our time.
    guitarnoob_100
    Trust me, it's a really good guitar. I'm hoping to get my audio interface soon so I can post some sound clips on my profile.
    Shadow-Michel
    It sounds like the guitar is totally awesome and it looks rather cool too! Ibanez is in my opinion mostly not too overpriced. I was searching for a 700 euro guitar which is not much money if you're searching for a floating trem guitar. But since I'm still in school and I don't earn much money it was my limit. When I tried most 700 euro guitars they rather sucked and weren't worth the price, in the end I tried a rather cool looking cheap-ass Ibanez Gio GRG270-B of 245 and it sounded just awesome. The pick-ups we're perfect, the wood was great of sound, it has a very well built body and an Edge III tremolo. Well the Edge III is very notorious for it's stringchanging and it's quality but I totally abused my Trem and string changing and tuning costs me about 20 minutes so I'm very fond of it. While you are changing the strings just relax and do it string by string if you're having problems with it.
    calires01
    i hate you! I wish i had a guitar that cool, i only have an rg560 from 1991.
    Ghost Dog
    I said "a bit overpriced", they certainly have great value for money but you have to admit, you do pay a bit for the name too. In any case, it's nowhere near as bad as in the case of Fenders or Gibsons. The conclusion is still that the guy who made the first comment has absolutely no idea what any Ibanez is capable of, besides the Gio series which are just that, budget guitars, though still decent enough.
    The^Unforgiven
    Ghost Dog wrote: Have you ever even touched a J-Custom Ibanez, let alone play one? Nevermind that, have you at least played a Prestige series Ibanez? They are great guitars, a bit overpriced but any Ibanez that is Prestige or made in Japan is going to be an excellent guitar. Hell, even the cheaper ones are damn good, I own an Ibanez MTM2 made in Indonesia and it's a hell of a lot better than many guitars out there, so either have something constructive to say or go wave your virtual dick around somewhere else. Oh and just so you know I'm not an Ibanez fanboy, I also have a Jackson DK2 with Seymour Duncan pickups and honestly I still prefer the Ibanez.
    While I almost completely agree, I don't really see how any Ibanezes are overpriced. In my opinion, Ibanez's value-for-money -ratio is very, very high, and as said, even the more expensive non-prestige models are excellent. Compare Ibanez's prestige or J-custom series to ESP, for example, and Ibanez takes the points when it comes to the pricing of their instruments.
    Floyd-Rose
    Dude, be more ****ing carefull. This guitar is worth more than my entire collection and you say you've dropped it a few times!
    ChucklesMginty
    OtherGuy wrote: *sigh* another almost perfect ibanez score!
    This is a J Custom, not a cheap GRG starter pack!