RG920QMZ review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8 (23 votes)
Ibanez: RG920QMZ
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Price paid: $ 850

Purchased from: Huber and Breese, Fraser MI

Sound — 8
I play a pretty wide range of music but I focus mostly on rock, instrumental rock, and metal, and this guitar certainly delivers. Through my Peavey JSX and array of pedals I can achieve a huge range of sounds. The DiMarzio IBZ pickups are a little thin compared to actual DiMarzios. The neck HB sounds a bit dull and the bridge a bit thin/bright in comparison, but they still get the job done. I particularly like the neck HB for bluesy leads and of course the bridge pickup for crunching rhythm and more trebly leads. Harmonics are easy to achieve, especially on the bridge pickup. My favorite sound though comes from the 4th position, which is the bottom coil of the neck HB and the top coil of the bridge HB, over a clean channel it gives very chimey, Strat-like tones, sounds awesome with a bit of delay and/or modulation. The 5 way switch really allows for a wide variety of tones. Although the IBZs aren't bad, with a pickup swap this guitar would really be a monster.

Overall Impression — 9
Overall the RG920QMZ is a solid guitar. For the price, you can't ask too much more for the features and overall quality. It's great for the music I play, but I feel with the versatility of the 5 way switch, it could cover many other genres as well. When shopping around I compared it to the new 25th anniversary RGs and Ss and although they're not much different (they are all from the Premium line), I liked the feel of the 920 best. The S had a different neck that I didn't get along with, and the RG didn't have the binding that makes the 920 so comfortable to play. Compared to Prestiges, this guitar stacks up pretty well. I've played the RG1570 and the JS1000 before, and I would say it is about equal with the 1570 but a step below the JS1000. In summary, if you're looking for a versatile, great looking, and player-friendly guitar, but can't afford a Prestige, definitely give the RG920QMZ a look.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar would most likely stand years of wear and tear, I've already bumped it a few times and not a mark was made. It looks like it has a pretty thick topcoat that won't wear easily. The hardware is a darker chrome which means it probably won't stain or show age very easily. Initially I would say that this guitar can stand the wear and tear of gigging/touring, though since it's relatively new, we don't know for sure, only time will tell.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I happened to pick up a demo model, so I don't know how it was set up out of the factory. When I got it, it was set up in D standard with 9s. It played well but I had to perform a setup when I tuned up to E standard. I'm no tech so my setup was modest at best, but even still it plays great. The neck has a very thin satin coating on the back (it is NOT unfinished as it may appear) which makes it very fast in combination with the jumbo frets. The bound fretboard and the fret edge treatment contribute to comfort, important since the Wizard Premium neck is so thin. The only flaws I could find are that the insides of the holes for the neck screws are unfinished and a bit unsightly and that the tone knob is loose, but other than that, the guitar is excellent as far as cosmetics and hardware. Many are curious about the Edge Pro II bridge, so I decided to do a little test. Bear in mind that I set up the guitar personally, so it's probably not perfect and might have had an effect on the results. With the locking nut disengaged I did a series of divebombs and raises, and each time it knocked all strings slightly out of tune (about 1-1.5 bars sharp/flat on my Korg Pitchblack), and even after going a bit crazy it was only a little bit out of tune overall. With the locking nut engaged, I did 10 divebombs. After the second, the B string was 1 bar sharp, other than that it stayed in tune perfectly. With 10 raises, the low E went flat for the first 5 or so, after that everything else stayed in tune. Finally, after some crazy vibrato, the tuning was not affected. Not bad overall, but I don't quite have 100% confidence in the bridge, though with a professional setup it probably would be better.

Features — 9
The Ibanez RG920QMZ is from Ibanez's new Premium line, designed to deliver the performance of a Prestige at a price slightly higher than the standard RG line. This is made in Ibanez's Premium Factory in Indonesia, not in Japan like the Prestiges. It has 24 Jumbo frets, American basswood body with a quilt maple top, 5 piece bolt-on maple/walnut neck with bound rosewood fretboard, and two DiMarzio IBZ humbuckers with a 5 way (yes 5 way) switch. My particular guitar has the Black Ice finish, which actually has a bit of a green tint to it (the stock pics don't do it justice). It also features the Edge Zero II bridge with ZPS3, standard for the Premium line. Unfortunately this does not come with a hard case, it does however come with a nice deluxe gig bag and a really cool swiss-army type tool that includes hex wrenches, screwdrivers, and even a ruler.

15 comments sorted by best / new / date

    acdc51502112
    the 25ths aren't from the premium line, and are garbage. I have the original that the S is based on and i was extremely disappointed playing the anniversary version. I played this guitar and just as the poster states, extremely good for the price, just not as great as the Jap guitars.
    sephiroth952
    acdc51502112 wrote: the 25ths aren't from the premium line, and are garbage. I have the original that the S is based on and i was extremely disappointed playing the anniversary version. I played this guitar and just as the poster states, extremely good for the price, just not as great as the Jap guitars.
    The Rg 25ths are premium. The sabers are not. And they are pretty far from garbage.
    Nickpocalypse
    NightEmbers wrote: i waiting for the review of the 7 string, but this good enough for me to say, yep im gonna buy it
    I bought the 7 string version last week, and it's amazing!
    NightEmbers
    i waiting for the review of the 7 string, but this good enough for me to say, yep im gonna buy it
    potatoguitar
    The only thing that irks me about this guitar is the tremolo, notably the fine tuners. They haven't any grip on them. ;m; Good review, very fair and well written.
    edbert
    potatoguitar wrote: The only thing that irks me about this guitar is the tremolo, notably the fine tuners. They haven't any grip on them. ;m; Good review, very fair and well written.
    Appreciate it man, I did forget to mention the fine tuners but I just use a rag to get a grip on them and it works fine.
    grungelive72
    Hows the quality of the basswood on these? I know Ibanez is notorious for having crappy basswood - my own RGT is a prime example.
    SoA_Joseph
    I couldn't agree more with this review. Mine was from the factory directly, though, so I can say that the setup from there was very well done. The pickups are definitely going to be replaced eventually, but I'm not entirely sure on the set I want. I have my eye on John Petrucci's signature set for the most part.
    grungelive72
    SoA_Joseph wrote: I couldn't agree more with this review. Mine was from the factory directly, though, so I can say that the setup from there was very well done. The pickups are definitely going to be replaced eventually, but I'm not entirely sure on the set I want. I have my eye on John Petrucci's signature set for the most part.
    Petrucci's signature Dimarzios are amazing! I didn't really love the crunch lab but the liquefier is in my ibanez and its phenomenal!
    edbert
    grungelive72 wrote: Hows the quality of the basswood on these? I know Ibanez is notorious for having crappy basswood - my own RGT is a prime example.
    I'm no expert on tonewoods, but here's my two cents. According to Ibanez the body is American basswood, which apparently is higher quality than the stuff used in most lower end guitars, so I doubt it's the same cheap stuff in your RGT. And FWIW I compared the resonance on my RG920 vs my LTD H-51 (also basswood) by pressing my ear against the body and strumming, the RG920 was WAY louder (yes I'm comparing a $200 guitar to one that's almost a grand but you get my point). It sounds better acoustically as well.
    smasher711
    Piece of junk. I really liked my RG 270 so when my wife supprised me with this I was speechless. after I found out what she paid for it I was pissed. The pick-ups are worthless. edge zero 2, just another Floyd rose wannabe, cheap version of the edge 1. Locking nut was loose, had to take apart and glue down. with what this costs you could buy a BAD MF Schecter. I will never buy another Ibanez. plain and simple , this guitar is a rip-off
    abt1834
    I just recently bought this guitar and it's awesome! I would highly recommend it. The quality is great, the tremolo is good, it's very versatile, and it plays very well. The pick-ups aren't extremely great, but they still sound pretty decent. They can always be swapped.