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Rating and Reviews: Ibanez RG920QM Guitar

Combining jumbo frets on a rosewood fretboard and DiMarzio pickups, this guitar delivers the ultimate in crushing metal tone and playing comfort.

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"Mid-Range Stunner" submitted November 2, 2011

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Musical Background: Musician
Music Style: prog metal
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Sound: Still trying to dial in the DiMarzio® IBZ ceramics after a couple weeks. Not that there is anything wrong with how they sound, just that they are not the same as Alnico V Seymour Duncans. Very much a bright punchy solo tone. Great clarity. Still, it is possible that these PUPs will eventually be swapped out. Feature: Bridge and hardware seem very well put together. And all guitars should come with the little Ibanez multi-tool hex-nut thing. Not totally sold on the 5-way switching though. Coil tapping just the bridge (or the neck for that matter) is not an option and the parallel neck setting really does not seem to change the tone all that much. Wish it had shipped with a fitted hardcase though. Oh well not at this price point. Ease of Use: Extremely fast and playable. That was the instantly attractive thing about it. Neck and fretboard are very comfortable. Quality: Here's the thing, this example is supposedly a blem. CAN'T FIND the blem. Multiple people have looked for it. MIGHT be a knot in the top wood on the back. That's it. Fret work is outstanding, the blue body color deep without being goofy. The fit and finish is really on par -- or past -- $1500 and up guitars. Value: Kinda hard to judge value. Ibanez is doing things sorta backward in this mid-range segment, putting a ton into fit, finish, and detail while a lot of a other lines are spending on brand-name components. Ibanez would of course say that their Ibanez components ARE brand-name. Still a hard shell case WOULD really set the RGs apart, especially considering that the target market seems to serious players who would see the value in such an add on. Manufacturer Support: Don't know so let's 50/50 it. The Wow Factor: It is a very pretty guitar, but there are a ton of very pretty guitars out there. Overall: So far. Might edge higher. Your take might vary. Boils down to playing one and deciding if the feel is one of those gotta have things.
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"Ibanez Premium in Liquid Inferno" submitted December 17, 2012

By Richard C in Springfield, OR
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Musical Background: Semi-pro guitars, keyboards 40+ years
Music Style: Rock, electronic
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Sound: Again, the guitar is best for clean sounds which are quite good. It's my "go to" guitar for clean tracks. The 2nd and 4th position tones drop the volume off dramatically and I don't use them much, preferring a USA Strat for those "out of phase" tones. But the neck & bridge humbuckers, alone or together, sound very nice and clear. Feature: Best features are the edge tremelo and the finish. The light basswood body lends itself well to clean sounds but detracts greatly from sustain and articulation in high gain applications. I prefer mahogany as a tonewood. Ease of Use: Easy to get good sounds, not so easy to play. Biggest drawback there is that string height - at least on mine - can't be adjusted close enough to the fretboard without fret buzz and bottoming out, no matter what you do to the bridge and neck. Falls short of a top quality USA-made instrument in this regard. Quality: Workmanship is quite good, notwithstanding the neck issue noted above. Finish (liquid inferno) is beautiful - looks like a far more expensive instrument. Have had no problems with it, with the neck exception noted. Even with the string height issue, the neck is fast! Value: It's worth the money...but if it were stolen I wouldn't replace it with the same thing. Manufacturer Support: I have not dealt with Ibanez directly The Wow Factor: I'm a sucker for beautiful finishes and have purchased several instruments in my collection on that basis alone - including this one. Overall: Good workmanship, gorgeous finish, fast neck. Edge tremelo very stable. Best sounds are in clean mode where the 5-position switch gives versatility. Light weight and comfortable, but that also results in poor sustain and lack of bottom end "chug" through a high gain amp. Articulation leaves much to be desired.
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"Amazing!" submitted December 8, 2013

By Heather Herrington
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Musical Background: Jamming at home for 11 years
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Overall: This purple beast plays beautifully! I absolutely love it and would recommend it to any player that appreciates a good quality guitar.
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"Ibanez Premium Guitar" submitted March 25, 2014

By Jerry R in Springfield, OR
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Musical Background: 40+ years, semi-pro. guitars, synths, producer-engineer
Music Style: For playing it's classic rock & celtic. For listening it's European female-fronted symphonic metal.
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Sound: This guitar shines on clean sounds through some chorus and delay. The second and 4th pickup selector locations rob a lot of volume and clarity and I don't ever use them. Through a high gain amp the lightweight body translates into poor sustain and articulation, but records power chords well. Feature: Most useful: Bridge and Neck clean sounds. Least useful: see previous comment. The DiMarzio pickups are very bright sounding. I'd have preferred a heavier wood, e.g., mahogany for better sustain and fullness in crunch mode. Ease of Use: Very easy to get great clean sounds. Because the sound is "thin" compared to a heavier instrument it actually records power chords well in mixes that rely on other instruments for "thump." The strings have to be relatively high off the fretboard to avoid buzz which detracts from ease of playing. Quality: The body workmanship is superb. The neck leaves something to be desired. No matter how much tweaking is done, I have to run the strings high off the fretboard. It's still a fast neck but overall workmanship falls short of a high end USA - made guitar. Value: It's a good guitar for the money, especially since high end USA guitars have attained nose bleed price levels. Manufacturer Support: I have not had any interaction with Ibanez and have only one other of their products (an old AD-80) The Wow Factor: I'm a sucker for beautiful finishes which is the main reason I bought this instrument. Overall: Good but not great.
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"Ibanez RG920QM" submitted January 20, 2014

By David Gaudette in Whiting, IN
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Musical Background: 15 Years into guitar, only play Ibanez and Schecter guitars. Teaching guitar from home studio.
Music Style: Rock, neo classical, progressive rock - balanced
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Overall: Excellent product. excellent sound, excellent service from zZounds!
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"Ibanez Premium Liquid Inferno" submitted September 16, 2012

By Jerry R in Springfield, OR
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Musical Background: Semi-pro, guitars/bass/keyboards. 40+ years.
Music Style: Mostly rock, some celtic & classical
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Overall: Beautiful wood, diverse tones - really shines on the clean sounds, fast neck. Probably the best tremolo currently on the market, light weight & comfortable On the downside, poor articulation on notes, can't get strings low enough on the fretboard without buzz, poor sustain due to light wood. Falls short compared to a well-made American guitar.
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"Well..." submitted May 2, 2013

By Antonio A in Longmont, CO
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Musical Background: i've been playing for 5 or 6 years now, music is my soul
Music Style: rock, blues, psychedelic rock and roll, soul, blues-rock, hard rock
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Overall: So i bought this guitar thinking it'd replace my Fender Telecaster. Wrong. It's a nice guitar, i just don't like it, it sounded weird paired with my Marshall amp. Something was wrong with the pickups so i bought some new ones, and yet, nothing i liked. It's okay if you're into heavy shreadding metal, or super hard stuff. i just was not happy with the craftsmanship of it either, it felt like i paid too much and it felt cheap. i've payed Gibsons and Fenders and Taylors and this guitar isn't even in the top 15 best guitars. i'mnot trying to put it down, it just wasn't for me. i sold it and bought a Gibson Les Paul =)
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"Ibanez Has Done it Again!" submitted August 2, 2011

By a customer from comcast.net
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Heavy Christian Rock
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Sound: I have played Ibanez guitars for many years. Started years ago playing the “S” series models mainly because Joe Satriani played I guess but eventually moved to the “RG” series as my guitar of choice. I find the “RG” series more comfortable and the neck is perfect for my style. I read about the new Ibanez RG920QM Premium Series and decided that it was time to step up to one of these models. I chose the Liquid Inferno color which is a bit brighter in person that I expected but never the less beautiful. On first try, I did not notice a big difference between this model and every other “RG” I owned but after a couple days, the details that went into this instrument started to shine through. The hype is correct about these guitars. Mine was perfectly set up and plays fast and effortless. The Zero Point trem system is a bit harder to push but once you get use to it feels much more stable than my previous Edge trem. In fact, the entire guitar somehow seems more stable and well built in every way. I play heavy rock but could see this guitar being used for just about any style of music. I am planning to purchase a second one of these in the Black Ice color. I read a review stating that this is no more than a standard “RG” and the upgrades are not worth the money. In my opinion, that is far from the truth. The RG920QM is a true road worthy guitar that you will be seeing on many professional tours. Spend a few more bucks and purchase this model. It is worth it! Feature: I wish they sold the H-S-S version in the US. They sell this model in Europe. The guitar comes with a very nice Gig Bag. Ease of Use: The pickups give the perfect balance of crunch, and clarity. They have better definition even on the heaviest settings than the standard Ibanez pickups. The 5 way selector allows a great deal of versatility in sound. I use the 2nd position for cleaner sounds and in this position has a sparkle strat type vibe. Quality: These guitars I understand are made in a special factory that only builds the Premium models. The choice of woods use had a deep flame design and the mine came in flawless condition. Value: I purchase mine from ZZounds on the "Name you own price" deal and was very pleased with the value. I would purchase another one at this price.
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"Not so great!" submitted September 13, 2013

By John Page in White River Junction, VT
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Musical Background: Plating off and on 20 years
Music Style: Rock, classic rock, metal, 80's rock/metal
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Sound: Sound very thin even cranked up and isn't very good for tapped harmonics. This isn't a very versatile guitar in my opinion. It sounds just ok clean and too thin on gain. Feature: Most useful is thee multi tool that is included. Adjusting the action you'll need it. Ease of Use: It isn't easy to get anything good from this guitar in my opinion, the pick ups are horrible. Quality: The product is sturdy and made well but not like a U.S. guitar or an E.S.P. Value: NO, WITHOUT QUESTION THIS GUITAR IS NO WHERE NEAR WORTH THE ASKING PRICE. Buy a Fender or something else. My LTD MH-402QM plays WAY better and sound 100% better. Manufacturer Support: hAVEN'T CALLED THEM The Wow Factor: The appeal was what made me buy the guitar and I think that is why most people buy it. Overall: This is the third Ibanez I have ordered from Zzounds in the last two years, This is also the most expensive of the three, I ordered the high voltage violet because I love a nice quilt top. The first guitar I received had a scratch on the back. Zzounds took care of the problem pronto and sent out another, This one came in perfect condition. 1. The guitar is a beautiful instrument and the finish is amazing. I looked it over very carefully and could find no blemishes at all. The finish is super shiny . 2 .It comes with a very handy Ibanez multi-tool and a good gig bag but I ordered a hard shell case to protect it. 3. Plugging it into a Fender Mustang V half stack the sound very thin and sustain isn't too great. It just sound really thin to me. The picks up are not what I would rate worthy of a guitar of this price. 4. I read a lot about how fast the neck is on this model but it isn't so fast to me. The frets just feel weird to me and my s-570 quilt top I got this year has a very fast neck that feels so good. This neck isn't bad, it's just a really weird feel to me. My S-580 was half the price of this and sounds and plays MUCH better. The pick up I will change out as they aren't what I like for sound which is more 80's rock. Clean they sound good but are thin. 5. The action on the first one was a mile high but the next one was much lower but still needs an adjustment. I have read reviews of high action that can't be adjusted to where a guitar of this price range should be but so far I don't see a problem. If I do it will be going back as I prefer a very low action. Overall with the price this guitar is it is not close to what it should be. It should be better adjusted from the factory and owning this guitar doesn't make me want another Ibanez at all. I was thinking about a Prestige but if this guitar is any indication of a Prestige it wouldn't be worth the money at all. This guitar falls VERY sort of any U.S. guitar. I have played many guitars that cost less than half the price of this one and they have played 100% better. I would really not recommend this to a friend as I don't think the quality and playability are even close to the price tag.
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"Amazing...awesome finish work and playability!!!" submitted September 22, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Rock/Metal
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Sound: Overall the Basswood/DiMarzio combination cuts through very well regardless of whether you are playing with distortion or clean. Some of the "joint ventures" between IBZ and DiMarzio over the years have been a little off, but these sound every bit like a pure DiMarzio. I have a Mahogany body RG with an Evo2/PAF Joe combination...great for drop D metal...but this RG outshines it in overall versatility and clarity. The five position toggle is a nice "upgrade" from the standard three position of bridge/neck/both that most dual humbucker's offer. Feature: There are a lot of little things that make this RG really unique. Anyone that has ever adjusted a truss rod will appreciate the switchblade cover that you can swing out with a pick, or a fingernail. The multi-tool is a Godsend...I couldn't tell you how many times I wondered "where the heck is that little allen wrench" when adjusting string height. Again the five position toggle offers a lot more versatility and the adjustability of the Edge Zero-II is another feature appreciated by a life-long Floyd user. Ease of Use: The Wizard neck is (in my opinion) the fastest, easiest to play, neck ever created. I have owned many RG's to date and my current other one has the Wizard II neck...just a tad bit thicker near the nut, but definitely not quite as easy to move around with on leads. It will take some time to get used to...depending on what you normally play with...but take that extra few days and never look back. Quality: I have been loyal to Ibanez for nearly 20 years now and have owned quite a few RG's and S series guitars from them. This RG is THE BEST that I have ever owned and/or played. I have always liked the Prestige series and just about bought one until these came out. The fretwork and finishing are amazing...you would be hard pressed to find an off the rack guitar with this quality for the price anywhere. Value: Regardless of what anyone says this is not just "another non-Japanese RG". Play one in person and you will see and feel the difference...and compare that to guitars costing three times as much. Manufacturer Support: Ibanez has always stood by their products and I have never had a major issue with them. The Wow Factor: The choice of body wood and finish is amazing. I have seen all of the colors in person and the pictures do not do any of them justice. They are a bit brighter than shown...I chose the Black Ice version...I sort of don't like real loud colors for me. Overall: I can't say enough about this RG...I will be buying another one soon for alternate tunings.
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"CANCELLED MY ESP CUSTOM SHOP FOR THIS" submitted October 31, 2012

By Dave T in Columbus, OH
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Musical Background: 12 years on guitar. 14 on drums.
Music Style: Metal.
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Overall: That's right. This thing is beautiful. I had an esp custom shop on special order and I cancelled it and went straight to this when I saw it. I am really not disappointed. It is basically the best guitar ever. Thinnest new kind I have ever seen. I just popped a couple emg's in it and it is everything I need. Been playing for 12 years. 5 stars all day long.
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"CANCELLED MY ESP CUSTOM SHOP FOR THIS" submitted October 31, 2012

By Dave T in Columbus, OH
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Musical Background: 12 years on guitar. 14 on drums.
Music Style: Metal.
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Overall: That's right. This thing is beautiful. I had an esp custom shop on special order and I cancelled it and went straight to this when I saw it. I am really not disappointed. It is basically the best guitar ever. Thinnest new kind I have ever seen. I just popped a couple emg's in it and it is everything I need. Been playing for 12 years. 5 stars all day long.
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"If You Don't Like This Guitar, It's Because You Don't Know How To Play Guitar." submitted July 20, 2011

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist, ex-active musician
Music Style: Rock, Metal , Blues, Pop
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Sound: The tone of this guitar is professional. Useful for blues, jazz, pop, rock, and of course METAL. I play mainly 80s rock and some blues, metal and 60s rock too. If you can tweak with sounds and play electric guitar well, then you will know right away that this guitar can play it all. The pickups are hot and articulate. You'd have to be really dumb to muddy up the sound that comes out of this. When I use a lot of gain, I also like to use a lot of tone robbing noisegate levels; and yet this guitar is still toneful with the noisegate up. I use this guitar with a Marshall TSL and some distortion pedals at decent gain settings. This guitar was especially made for the lead guitarist. But what surprised me was how useful the inbetween settings were and when played at a clean or slightly dirty setting. This guitar has good tone for a professional lead guitarist. And you won't have to change a thing about this guitar. Feature: The gig bag is good. The Ibanez premium multi-tool is excellent and very useful. My only complaint is the tremolo bar keeps getting loose at the threads after awhile. Its a good thing I have O.C.D.(I keep making sure the trem bar is on tight). Ease of Use: If you can't play this guitar; you can't play guitar period. I have a fender strat and a gibson les paul standard, this guitar is the easiest to play and is more versatile than the fender. Quality: This guitar is custom shop quality. This guitar is made by just as good luthiers in Indonesia as the ones we have here in the USA. I have manufacturing flaws on my gibson les paul: paint overspray, ugly crooked binding, high nut. My Fender Strat Deluxe was perfect, but its pretty hard to mess up making a classic strat which was designed for mass production. My Ibanez RG920QM Premium in Red Desert was perfectly made. Those luthiers at the Ibanez Premium Factory should get the job to make all of Gibson's stadard lineup. The average pay in Indonesia is $200 a month!!! I assume that their Premium luthiers get a good $400 a month. Now, consider how much an american luthier is making at Gibson. I have to guess at least $2700 a month. When you put that into equation. If an american luthier made this guitar, the price of this guitar would probably be more at the $2500 range at quality not nearly as perfect. Think about this all you overseas product bashers!!! This guitar is not your typical cheap parts electric guitar. This guitar has world class standard features at less than an american standard price!!! My guitar also has a beautiful quilted maple top. Value: Do I really have to say anything here. This is the Manny Pacquiao of electric guitars. Pound for pound king!!! I know,I know, Manny is from Philippines not Indonesia. Manufacturer Support: I don't know about this because my guitar hasn't given me any trouble yet. I had it for 30 days now and I am definitely gonna keep this one. The Wow Factor: My wife says the Red Desert and quilted top is oozing sexy. This guitar looks more expensive than it is. Thanks to the underpaid Indonesian luthiers!!! Overall: I recommend the person who is looking to buy a sub $500 guitar and then start customizing it and changing pickups and hardware to give this guitar a first look. Play this guitar at the local shop. If you have one drop of guitar talent in your blood, you will know that this guitar is a must have in your collection or for your one and only guitar.
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