RGD320Z review by Ibanez

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  • Features: 8
  • Sound: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.7 (3 votes)
Ibanez: RGD320Z

Price paid: A$ 750

Purchased from: Derringers Music

Features — 8
Made in Ibanez's Indonesian factory. Serial number quotes 2011.  24 jumbo frets, 26.5" semi-baritone scale. 3 piece maple neck with rosewood fretboard. White binding. Standard black hardware. Standard tuners. Solid basswood body - no top. Gloss black finish. Standard Ibanez RG shape with RGD cutouts on most front edges. Extremely comfortable. Ibanez Edge Zero II with zero point system. Fantastic stability. When counter springs removed, flutters tastefully. Locking system works well - very few tuning problems.

Stock pickups are passive, and reasonable. Lacks clarity when tuning below C# - which is what they're designed for. Plenty of power, however. Sounds flat when dropping to G# and lower. Coil splitting sound is rather underwhelming. Hum/hum with a 5 way selector - Ibanez "Super Switch" which gives the coil splitting function. 1 vol 1 tone. Came with trem bar, some hex spanners. No other accessories.

Overall this guitar boasts some amazing features for a very affordable price. The only thing that lets it down - in my opinion - is the gloss finish and the pickups. This shows a lot of dust, finger prints and general dirt. However, when clean, it does look very good.

The pickups are a let down for 2 reasons - the down tuning capabilities are not as good as they could be given the way the guitar is marketed. Combine this with a general lack of upgradability without routing the cavity as the cavity only suits uncovered passive styled pickups in a trembucker configuration. I have routed and swapped mine to EMG 81/85 combo and this fixes the pickup problems.

Sound — 8
As it is a semi-baritone, it is designed for metal. And this guitar definitely lends itself to it. Thick, sharp, yet balanced tones combined with a great scale length for using as a lead or rhythm guitar. The scale length is extremely easy to create pinch harmonics with, and they simply fly off the guitar. The pickup selector switch is quite noisy from factory, however can be cleaned up with some electronic cleaner spray.

Overall, the guitar is mostly a metal guitar. However the clean tones and crunch sounds would be good enough for a player who wants a longer scale length for other music styles - if they are willing to use metal styled instrument.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar came setup reasonably well considering it had been in storage for over a year. Every component was installed correctly and nothing felt sharp or out of place. Other low-end Ibanez guitars I own have fairly sharp fret edges, however this had nice frets to play - not rolled or filed like the high end models, but definitely good.

The guitars overall finish is excellent. The paint and clear coat are very thick - upon chipping the finish down to the wood, it is easy to see this and the thickness is about 1-2mm. This would take a very long time to wear compared with vintage guitars where the "weathered" style tends to appear.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I have gigged this guitar many times and it is rock solid. Floating bridges don't usually lend themselves to live rhythm playing, but this one is fantastic. I believe even upgrading to an Ibanez Edge Pro or higher would not achieve better results due to the Zero Point system the Edge Zero II comes with. Only regular strap buttons are included, and once swapped to a locking strap, this guitar is a stage workhorse. I would highly recommend this guitar - and the fixed bridge version - to players that want a solid, reliable stage guitar who can't afford multiple guitars.

Overall Impression — 9
When I first acquired it, I used this guitar using a Marshall Valvestate amp. This amp - while not a metal amp - definitely sounded good with this guitar. However, upgrading to a Randall high gain head, the tones this guitar can produce are balls to the wall metal. Almost anything you could want to do can be achieved with this guitar at an extremely affordable price - these can be found for around $400-500AUD second hand. If it was lost or stolen, I would definitely fight to get it back, and failing that, get another one just like it. But maybe in white. Absolutely massive guitar with a relatively small price tag. Well worth trying out if you see one in a store or on a used forum.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    Please more impressions and comments from users of this guitar. Im interested in getting one of these.