Price paid: £ 500
Purchased from: Curly Music
Sound — 9
My main musical style is classic rock and metal and this guitar is certainly primarily known as a Metal guitar, however, it isn't the one trick pony some people make it out to be as I also play Blues and '60s music on it. Anything from BB King to A7X really, though it has to be said that it's more comfortable at the metal end of the spectrum. The stock pups are actually reasonably powerful and produce a decent tone for Metal, though I've modified mine a bit. It takes a pickup upgrade very well and is worth doing and it has loads of sustain due to the thru neck design. Without the thru neck this guitar would cost a lot less but overall it's a very impressive instrument for the money.
Overall Impression — 10
I simply love this guitar and there is nothing I would change it for this side of 1000. The main guitar I compared this to when buying was a Jackson and while I liked them, the Ibanez won for 3 main reasons: superior build quality; more varied tone and that gorgeous thru neck. I've changed the Standard 5-way selector for a Vintage American series Fender 3-way as I found that I just didn't need the 5-way options that Ibanez provided. To give me the tonal options I want I prefer a 3-way selector with a 500k push/pull volume control for coil tapping. I've also changed the stock pickups for a set of Bare Knuckle Cold Sweats, which are fantastic pups, giving a rich and harmonic tone that is also capable of handling huge amounts of distortion while also offering great clarity. The best feature of the guitar is undoubtedly the thru neck and I say this because it is something I would never do without again. If I ever replace this guitar it would only be for another thru neck design; that is how good this feature is.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I do use this guitar Live and it is totally reliable. The only reason I take a backup to a gig is in case a string breaks as they're a pain to restring. Having said that, I've never needed to use a backup. Everything on it is rock solid with the only blemish being the volume and tone controls I mentioned previously.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Build quality is impressive. My previous guitar was a Ritchie Sambora Fender Stratocaster and I'd say the build quality of the Ibanez is a match for it in most areas. My only real gripe is that the volume and tone controls discolour relatively quickly. The action can be set very low thanks to a 400mm radius neck and that's exactly how I like it. I use 10-46 strings but Standard the guitar comes with 9-42 so the action can go even lower.
Features — 10
This is a Korean built Ibanez RG model with 24 jumbo frets. The body is mahogany and the neck is a 5 piece construction made from maple and walnut. The neck is a Wizard II so it's very thin, flat and fast and this model is also a thru neck so access to upper frets is easy. It is a H/H pickup configuration with a 5-way selector as standard, one volume and one tone control. The pickups are INF1 and INF2 and it comes with an Edge Pro II floating trem system, though I believe later ones are equiped with an Edge III unit.