RGR08LTD review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.6 (40 votes)
Ibanez: RGR08LTD

Price paid: £ 250

Purchased from: GAK (instore)

Sound — 10
This guitar does one kind of sound well - metal and all it's variants; consider that the one pup that this guitar has installed was designed by Dino Cazares and Seymour Duncan to replace the Livewire active pickups made by SD, and to outdo EMG in the active pickup market. I think that they managed it very well; the Blackout is the direct competitor to the EMG 81 and it kicks it's ass in terms of tonal quality and charcter imo. The Blackout (like most SD pups) sounds more organic, has more mids, doesn't have that silly, vacant "scooped" sound - which only sounds good if you are playing alone. Dino himself acknowledged this and changed all his EMG 707 pups to SD 7-string blackouts. I'm uselss at describing the sound of a pickup, but if you want to hear what the Blackout in the bridge postion sounds like, listen to any of the recent Alexi Laiho, Mick Thomson, or Dino Cazares (for the 7-string version), videos on Youtube. On a side note - this pickup is sooooooooooooo quiet - absolutely no noise when you're not playing which lends itself perfectly to tight low-end riffing. in terms of variety, this guitar can only make the sound of this pickup fully cranked (bcoz it lacks a tone knob), so forget nice neck-style cleans or any sort of twang or subtlety. Basically it's so good at what it does, that even though it can only do one thing.

Overall Impression — 10
This is a perfect match for any sort of metal; I've been playing for 5 years and I also own an american made deluxe fat Strat; I love this guitar because it just exudes metal! gives a much more powerful sound than my Strat, and of course the killer feature is the absolutely banging SD Blackout! I compared this thing to various alder body Jackson superstrats with EMGs in them, I played them on the same day as this, and well, they sounded sterile and lifeless. I don't wish this guitar had any other features, bcoz the simplicity of this guitar makes you focus on your playing (nothing to piss around with).

Reliability & Durability — 8
I plan to use this live, and as long as I check the 9v battery powering the pup, it should be fine, even without a backup; change the strap buttons, just so that you have piece of mind (choose Dunlop or Schaller or something), I might install schaller locking tuners - bcoz my Fender american hss has them and they keep that in tune perfectly. The ibnez non-locking ones are ok, but just not as good as locking Schallers imo.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
It came with thin ass D'Addario 9-42s, which I switched to Ernie Ball beefy slinkies, and tuned the thing down to drop c, but even so the guitar was well set up from the store with minimal fret-buzz. Finish was flawless - does get grimy easily tho. A note about the neck -if you are used to playing any neck thicker than that on a Fender strat/tele then this will not suit you; it's soooooooooo thin it's untrue. I personally love the Wizard II for this reason bcoz it facilitates FAST playing, with predominantly, single note riffs, but not very useful for playing extended chord progressions (what I use my Strat for); I would reccomend Schecter superstrats to those used to playing Gibsons and the like, but wanting something more metal.

Features — 8
2008 model, Indonesain made, 24 fret wizard II neck (bolt on), black basswood body, reverse headstock, white binding on body, neck and headstock, Ibanez own string thru body bridge, 1 Seymour Duncan Blackout (active) bridge pickup, 1 volume, 1 toggle killswitch, non-locking Ibanez tuners, all hardware black barring the killswitch (chrome)

13 comments sorted by best / new / date

    about it sounding messy. When you play through a cube ofc it'll sound messy. It's not the guitar's fault. It's because you run it thru a cheap amp. Try playing thru a tube and you'll see the difference.
    terrorbite wrote: Yay, someone commented But yeah, it's hard trying to explain why I don't like the pickup. I think it's that when you play a single note, it's not 100% clear (bassy and buzzy, but not actually "buzzy" if you know what I mean) and playing an arpeggio for example just sounds messy. I wish it didn't have an active pickup though. I'd rather replace it with a passive one, but I dunno how complicated it is (never really messed with guitar electronics before).
    maybe it sounds bad because your playing through a roland cube.
    Blackouts are sweet, but I'd still prefer having two pickups of a lesser grade. More versatility and better sound.
    koalabacon wrote: maybe it sounds bad because your playing through a roland cube.
    Actually, I was an idiot and realised it was just cause the volume was too high (on the guitar itself). Turning it down a tiny bit removes any buzziness.
    one pickup = you play better Not great tbh, i mean it's ok, but it just favors, fast riffs/ rhythm stuff And the volume knob being near to the strings isn't a problem unless you play like a spazz. + it allows you to do "violining"
    about the whole 1 pup versus many pups debate; i've got a strat and this guitar, and frankly the amount of time i spend dossing around on the strat w/ the tone knobs and 5-way pickup selector, and NOT PLAYING is absurd. having one (good) pup is the way to go to help you concentrate on ur playing. Esp. an active pup in the bridge position; if you are shit at guitar then this pup lets u know about it pretty soon, and forces you to tighten up ur right hand technique a lot + evryone know that soloing on the neck pup is forgiving, hence having only a bridge pup, makes you perform better, coz u know ur mistakes will be amplified for all to hear - and subsequently laugh