RGIR20FE Iron Label review by Ibanez

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  • Features: 8
  • Sound: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.7 (6 votes)
Ibanez: RGIR20FE Iron Label

Price paid: € 560

Features — 8
My guitar is a Ibanez RGRIR20FE which made in Indonesia, date of produce is 2014. It has got basswood super strat style body, beautiful black finish, polishing is perfect, nitro wizard 3 pc maple/bubinga neck (dimensions are 648mm/25, 5" scale, radius: 400mm, active pick ups) which is very thin, 24 jumbo frets, rosewood fretboard, Gibraltar standard 2 bridge (fix bridge), active pick ups (bridge: EMG 81, neck: EMG 60), Ibanez non-locking tuners, one volume knob and kill-switch to controlled strobe effects (slicer effects etc). Guitar came with ibanez cable and wrenches.

Sound — 10
Nowadays I always listening Andy James, Mark Tremonti so I wanted guitar sounds harder than my strat. This guitar is suited for perfectly. In the bridge EMG 81 sounds like a monster from the hell with muscle. I love it. In the neck EMG 60 clean sound surprised me. With chorus and little reverb sounds very good. Use this guitar on a Carvin Nomad 1x12 full tube combo, my overdrive pedal is a Marshall Jackhammer, use it full gain and freq and contour at twelve o'clock. Marshall Regenerator pedal is used in chorus mod. Reverb is my amplifier's srping reverb at nine o'clock. This presets sound like rich, fat sound. This guitar has got very strong mids and long sustain. So perfectly for metal and hard rock music. But I think this guitar with other presets suit for other music style. It depends on guitarist. Finally pick ups ain't noisy.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
It's a very playable guitar. Neck is comfortable, perfect for the 3 notes per strings licks and legato runs. The factory set-up is correct. I had to make some little changes because I got used to it. Strings are higher, the neck pick up lower than factory settings. But it's for my crazy things. Finish is perfect. Don't contain any flaws. Glossing is perfect. Beautiful black finish with white binding. Binding is painted, but doesn't matter because did it very well. All knobs fit very well no one are loose, tunings pegs also work well. Fretting is correct. Pick up selector and kill-switch ain't noisy. I have to say Ibanez did correct work with this guitar. Yes Ibanez can work better than like it but in this price range it is perfect.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is good for practicing, gigging, studio working etc... Very reliable, tuning pegs holding the tuning very well. However I didn't use it on a gig, because I don' have this guitar for a long time. But I think it will come through very well on a gig. Use it on a gig without a backup? No. Accidents can happen at anytime. So you have a backup guitar always. Are the strap buttons solid? I don't know because I bought Schaller strap locks. I think the strap locks very useful for everybody (hobby musicians or professional players).

Overall Impression — 10
I have played on guitar for 10 years. And I usually play blues music, but nowadays play modern rock and metal music. And I mentioned it this guitar fits my new playing style very well. My other guitars are a Fender American Series Stratocaster HSS, and a Squier Affinity Strat. I love about this guitar which miss in my other guitars. Sound very well with high gain. Not lazy not powerless. If it were lost/stolen I will buy it again. I compared it with LTD MH-350NT and Jackson SLATMGXQ3-6 guitars and it doesn't sound worse however it's cheaper than LTD and Jackson. In my view RGIR20FE sounds better than Jackson

P.S. Sorry for my English... :) But I want to write a review, because it's very good guitar in this price range.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    The Iron Label series is the best idea Ibanez has had in ages. They're fantastic instruments; sort of "one trick ponies" in the sense that they are %100 built for and marketed towards metalheads; but if you are a metal player there's nothing better. All are roaring, chugging, screaming shred machines.
    I have a local dealer that sells the Iron Label series for more than that (it's around 1k). However, if you can get it cheaper, more power to you. No one says you have to go for extra features, such as a burst top (it plays and sounds the same without the features). I'm talking about a base model vs. a base model and there is no comparing the two for around the same price point.
    I have the (almost) same guitar, but with tremolo bridge (RGIR20E). Its really good too, and i would just like to add that the tremolo is really reliable, it almost never goes out of tune (it only happened a few times with new strings, but it was my fault i didnt stretch them enough)
    Nothing better? For the same price try a Carvin DC800.
    Same price? Hardly. In Canada, the no-trem IR's are going for $600 - $800. For a Carvin with similar specs, you'd be paying $800 at the very least, plus you'd have to pay for shipping and whatnot. On top of that, if I were to buy a custom guitar, I't be safe to assume that I'd be prepared to spoil myself a little with more pricey features. When you have the power of choice and options, you're probably not going to settle for a guitar with basic, generic specs. That kind of ruins the point of custom, don't you think? Side note, though: Carvin is AMAZING. I've played my friend's DC600 and it absolutely blew me away. I've also browsed their website and while it is true that they're WAY better priced than other custom shops are, they still aren't cheap; not pre-premium series Ibanez cheap, anyway.
    I'm saving up for a new axe that I can rely on for the sole purpose of playing death metal. Planning to use it for playing Death, Blood Red Throne, Malevolent Creation, etc and I most probably will be abusing the hell out of it so I don't need a 'pretty' guitar with flamed maple tops and stuff. Perhaps this axe may be the one I'm looking for. o.O
    I picked on of these up in walnut flat and it is a great guitar. You can pick one up from Long and McQuade in Canada for $699. Best money I ever spent on a guitar.