RG920QM review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 6.9 (37 votes)
Ibanez: RG920QM

Price paid: $ 700

Purchased from: Rich Harris Ibanezrules.com

Sound — 10
The stock DiMarzio/IBZ pickups are the best sounding stock pickups I've ever heard. They sound similar to Breeds, but with a little more bite and grind. When played unplugged, the guitar has a nice and warm resonance. There are two humbuckers and they are controlled with a 5-way selector switch, and volume knob, and tone control. In the bottom position, the switch allows the bridge humbucker to operate on it's own. In the second position, the bridge north coil and neck south coil are activated together. In the center position, both humbuckers are working together. In the fourth position, the neck humbucker is operating in parallel mode. In the fifth position, the neck humbucker is operating in it's full power. I tested my RG920QM through my Carvin Legacy head driving two TubeWorks 2x12 cabinets. For the sake of the review, I ran the guitar dry into the Legacy. I tested it in through the clean channel first with all of the amp's EQ knobs evened out at 5. All pickup modes sounded very sweet clean. The bridge humbucker was bright and powerful and the neck was warm and punchy. I especially like the jangle sound of the center position. Next, I switched over to the lead channel to test the guitar out with some overdrive. I had my treble on 8, mid on 6, bass on 7, and presence on 10. Again, all of the pickup selections sounded great! After trying this monster out dry, I just had to hear it pumping my amp with some pedals. I tried my Keeley DS-1, Boss SD-1 (Japanese), Boss SD-1 (Taiwan), and my Ibanez Jemini. I was not disappointed with any of the sounds I got. I was seriously considering swapping the stock pickups out for some DiMarzios, but have changed my mind - these sound as good as the DiMarzios I have in the rest of my Ibbies.

Overall Impression — 10
- What style of music do you play? Is this a good match? Hard rock and metal - this guitar is perfect for that. - How long have you been playing? What other gear do you own? 29 years, and I own 36 Ibanez guitars and too much gear to list. - Is there something you wish you had asked before buying this product? No. - If it were stolen / lost, would you buy it again or get something else? I'd get another just like it - same finish and all. - What do you love about it? What do you hate? What is your favorite feature? I love the stock pickups! I also like the new Edge Zero II trem with ZPS. It's almost as good as the original Edge. - Did you compare it to other products? Which ones? Why did you choose this one? No - I wanted one once I first heard they were coming out. - Anything you wish it had? While the heavy gig bag is nice - a hardshell case would have been nice.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I had one of the very first of these when they were released. I still love it! As with all higher-end Ibbies, I'm sure this one will serve me well over the years. This will be my main guitar, and all of my other RGs just took a backseat to this one... For now.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
My RG920QM came setup from Rich Harris of Ibanezrules.com, so it was ready to go right out of the box. The action is nice and low - like any RG should be. The back of the neck has a light finish on it, but has the feel of an unfinished neck. The neck fits snug in the pocket and everything is lined up straight as an arrow. The finish is just gorgeous - I've got the High Voltage Violet. The quilted maple has a nice 3-D, popping out look to it. The maple body, neck, and headstock binding add a nice touch of class to this guitar - and I'm not usually a fan of any binding. The ball ended frets add another touch of class. I really like the new truss rod covers Ibanez has started to put on their guitars. Gone are the days of removing the three screws to access the truss rod. Now we just slide the cover over to the right to get to it. The Edge Zero 2 is another surprise! I'm a fan of the Origina, LoPro, and Edge Pro models, and was dreading the thought that these Zeroes would be similar to the crappy Edge III - I was wrong. The Edge Zero 2 is built tough, has nice solid knife edges, and stays in tune through the craziest of whammy work. And that brings me to the next feature - the Zero Point System. Most folks scoff at these and say they're junk. Rich told me that mine was the only one he'd seen that actually returns the trem to the zero position. I haven't had to adjust it yet.

Features — 10
- What year was it made? Where was is made? 2011 made in Indonesia. Model is RG920QM HVV - How many frets? Neck/Scale 24 frets, Premium profile - a little thicker than a Wizard. - Solid-Top? Laminated top? Quilted maple veneer. - Body and neck woods? Basswood body, maple neck and bound rosewood board. - Finish: Transparent violet over quilted maple veneer. - Active or Passive electronics? Passive - Which controls are given (Volume, Tone, 5-way selector, 3-way, Tap, etc...)? 1 vol, 1 tone, 5-way lever switch - Pickup configuration? Make and model of pickups? H-H DiMarzio/IBZ - Tuners Gotoh - Any included accessories? Heavy-duty gig bag and a fifty multi-tool.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    the stock pickups in the RG Premium line lack the character and punch that dimarzio pickups and prestige ibanez pickups have. but they are definitely a hell of a lot better than the INF pickups, those are garbage.
    When I got it in that first batch from Rich in Feb 2011, I knew it would be a good one. What I didn't expect, especially from Indonesia--is that this monster holds it's own against all of my other MIJ RGs. Even the stock pickups are the best they've come up with yet. Go get one!
    I think fan-boyism is getting in the way here.... I'm a big, big Ibby fan and my prestiges (which, incidentally do come with a hard case)are feking awesome, but 10's across the board??? Nah, close but nah. The part where the reviewer comments "[I]own 36 Ibanez guitars and too much gear to list" I don't consider a qualification in anything and says very little.....apart from "look how much disposable income I have". Sorry, but I don't think this is an unbiased review. Ibanez still rock the ****ing world though.
    As good as these guitars are, esp the neck finishing, the Edge zero 2 is rubbish compared to the edge zero. I've played this guitar side by side with an RG2550z and the trem stability, feel and construction on that slay the ibby premium's trem. That is the only major upscale that the prestige line has over the premium.
    i own this guitar and it sounds nothing but amazing. thats all i have to say. it blew me away the day i got it.
    @Skuzzmo--that comment is there to show that I've got a considerable amount of different Ibanez models to compare it to. "Disposable income?" No--I'm not a teenage poser like most here--I've been collecting for over 30 years. Do the math.
    Played about 2 of the Ibanez Premium RG920 and RG870 and the quality is subpar. Bad fretworks and finish. I believe the Indo Premium is just hit or miss. The Edge Zero 2 trem is just cheap compare to an Edge Zero or Edge Lo Pro. Really want to like it but didn't compare to my RG1570 for the same price.