Price paid: $ 600
Purchased from: Marshall Music
Sound — 9
Typically, I play metal and a variety of other shred-friendly genres, which Ibanez guitars are already famous for being perfectly suited to. This guitar is no exception. When using the bridge pickup (which I rarely do,) it's quite easy to get a nice high powered "sizzly" tone typical to extreme styles of music. But when using the neck pickup, the tone gets very muddy if you're pushing the bass on your amp too much. However, when I kick the mids up and lower the bass a bit, I get a nice percussive sound that goes well with palm muted 16th notes and whatnot, as well as barre and power-chord chugging. When playing through a clean channel, the bridge pickup gives a wonderfully bright tone with a nice bite to it, and the rhythm pickup will give you a good and rounded bassy tone with punchy mids. As far as extraneous noise goes, these pickups are perfect. With the exception of extremely high-gain lead tones, there is next to no buzz or hum at all. All that said, I typically use a variety of 50-60 watt Crate amps, a cheap dist. Pedal, and an Ibanez Tubescreamer.
Overall Impression — 9
I play metal, and this guitar is a perfect match, as are most Ibanez guitars. I have been playing guitar for five years (or so.) I have an Epiphone SG but it's only for emergency backup. If it was stolen or lost, I would cry, Hurt somebody, mourn for a year, and then buy three new ones. But hey, maybe that's just me. My favorite feature is the Ultra-thin Wizard II neck. I myself am satisfied with what it has but other players might want a more reliable neck pickup. All in all though, it's an awesome addition to the RG family.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This is a solidldy built guitar. I've dropped it numerous times and not so much as a nick in the finish. I would (and do!) use this Live without a backup. The strap buttons were solid, but even so, I put Grover straplocks on it. (I'm fond of the guitar acrobatics you often see metal players perform Live.)
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The setup it had when I got it was terrible. The action was far too low, the frets were buzzing, the trem was crap, you name it. Once I put my strings on it and spent about an hour setting it up, it played like a dream. I did lower the pickups a bit, but that was mainly to suit my picking style and keep them from getting in my way. Other than that, nothing really to complain about here.
Features — 7
This is a 2007 model, typically made in Indonesia. However, mine was manufactured in Japan and features Ibanez's blue "arctic frost" finish as opposed to the usual matte black of this model. It has a 24-fret Wizard II bolt-on neck with a bound rosewood fingerboard. The body is basswood and as I said has a stunning "arctic frost" finish, though this may be only on my guitar. The body style, of course, is Ibanez' most common- the superstrat shape. It has the Edge III locking tremolo with a locking nut as well. It came stock with 2 passive EMG's, can't be sure of the model though. It has one volume, and one tone control, as well as a three-way pickup selector Switch. It came with three allen keys and an extra spring for the tremolo. Functional but basic, really.