Submitted September 27, 2015 by Tim P in Valparaiso, IN
zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
This is the nicest playing guitar I have ever owned. I have been a pawn shop hunter for years and decided I really wanted something new. After weeks and weeks of research and then research on particular Ibanez models, I chose this one. I usually would stay away from RG bodies because I am short and felt like they dwarfed me. This particular RG with no pick guard and no pick up rings just felt slimmed down and the ash body makes It nice and light. The neck joint and contour on the back of the guitar is perfect.
It has a birds eye maple neck on it, on mine, the neck is covered in birds eye from fret 9 to fret 24 and its beautiful looking. The maple is tight, fast and poppy, it has a very clear tone. The pick ups were new to me, air Norton, tone zone, I have never tried these before but I am impressed. I found this guitar doing exactly what I wanted it to with stunning results.
I am usually | Bridge pup, knobs on 10 - that's it. This guitar offers several awesome tones, I think because of the pups, ash body and that birds eye neck is the coolest neck I have ever seen on an Ibanez. (This is my 5th and final, finally got one made in Japan!) The bridge pup is harsh and warm at the same time, its hard to put into vocabulary, this pick up screams, has killer sustain and clarity and is easy to shape with the controls on your amp.
The neck pup is super clear, when your playing a chord, you hear the chord and you hear all the notes in that chord, which is awesome. The guitar on a whole is very juicy and harmonic.
The 5 way switch, usually part of a guitar that is dead to me, this guitars 5 way is like having 5 distinct guitar tones at your finger tips. I learned how absolutely clear this guitar sounds because when it was delivered, I was working and wanted to get cleaned up before even touching the guitar, I did open the case and put my hands on the neck like playing it like a piano. When I did this, the notes jumped off the neck. This is a very dynamic, clean and clear guitar with a lot of tone, sustain and the ability to be easily manipulated. I never use a single coil in the middle position so this guitar made a lot more sense in that respect.
The finish is unique, the birds eye on the neck, again, coolest neck I have ever seen on an Ibanez. I like the flower inlay thing but it isn't me. This guitar is extremely stable, you can lift the trem 2.5 steps, shake it, dive it, wiggle it warble it, the guitar does not come out of tune. The tremolo finds itself back in the same place weather your pulling up or pushing down, its in tune. The ash body makes it light and the contouring on the back looks and feels great. I just want to mention the binding is beautiful and perfect. The prestige fret edge treatment is so nice compared to some of the Indonesian Ibanez guitars I have had. You never feel the frets, the edges of them feel tucked down and never interfere.
Ease of Use
It almost plays itself for me because of the neck, its thin, flat and very responsive. I have been playing for 30 years and working with my hands for the same number of years. I have arthritis and carpel tunnel syndrome, playing my les paul is out of the question for me. I also have a 73 strat that is getting increasingly harder to play for me. This guitar is so easy to play that in 3 days of practicing for about an hour a day, I can feel and hear vast improvements in my playing and my hands don't hurt or feel tired after 45 minutes of solid playing. For this reason, I will have this guitar for a very long time. The sound being what it is , just a bonus and I really appreciate getting an instrument that looks awesome, plays awesome, sounds awesome and all I have to do is play the hell out of it. Thanks Ibanez!
The quality of this guitar continues to blow me away when I compare it to some other stuff at this price range and even above this price range. I REALLY wanted one Made in japan and I am glad I got this guitar.
Some other things need mentioned that are not mentioned by the zzounds description or other reviews.
1. I cant stress enough how awesome this birds eye is, the pictures don't show nearly how cool the neck on my guitar is.
2. The case it comes with. WOW, nicest case I have had a long long time and the case is light. It is a deep case, has 2 really nice accessory cabins, plush thick case liner that keeps the guitar very snug and safe, its like sticking your guitar in a padded cloud.
3. The set up tool that comes with the guitar is very cool. It is like the Swiss army knife of guitar tools.
4. The owners manual covers everything you'll need to know to take care of the guitar properly.
5. My guitar came set up perfectly, all the tags were taken off it and it was packed with a check list of things they checked and set up before they shipped it.
6. Zzounds shipped it to me for free.
I really did a LOT of research on 36 different guitars, I called people, I emailed people, I asked myself a lot of questions and had a list of must haves. I sold 4 other guitars to get this and I would do it all over again if I had to, as long as I got this exact guitar back. I had up to 2k to spend. Ibanez and Zzounds got me what I needed, wanted and then some for less than I honestly anticipated. It came down to this and 2 other Ibanez guitars honestly and I was prepared to send this back and try one more but this is the 1st one shipped from Zzounds and it isn't leaving my side for a long time. I have a lot of work to do and I intend on using this guitar for all of it.
I emailed them twice, got a response pretty quick, considering how nice and stable this instrument is, combined with the quality of its parts and build, I really don't see me needing them for anything so I gave them 5 stars on this.
The Wow Factor
I am just extremely pleased with this purchase and I know I have only had the guitar for a few days but I have done my research and this isn't my first rodeo. For me, buying a new guitar is like buying a new car, its a real pain! This has been a seamless and ultimately very fast transfer / integration of this new instrument. It has basically taken over my playing time. I know its new but the honeymoon was over before it got here as I just wanted to almost close and open my eyes and be adjusted to this guitar and it happened almost that fast.
One tiny thing, I have used ernie ball super slinky .009s for over 12 years. I know they sent this to me with .009's on it but they weren't slinkys, not a problem because it isn't an option and I like to throw a fresh set of strings on anyway. However, this was shipped with .009's so I figured I would live with them as long as possible. I put on my super slinkys last night and OH MAN... its even better. I played for an additional 35 minutes. I couldn't put the thing down.
Made in Japan
extremely stable tremolo
tuners on the trem are tight and accurate.
perfect tone woods,
nice tools provided
nice owners manual
unique awesome clean tone all the way to modern metal tones
sustain, clarity, versatility
It has it all.
Guitar - 30 years - professionally -
I track everything from rap hooks to metal rhythms and progressive (whatever that word means now) ambient doom metal to very cle
62 of 62 people (100%) people found this review helpful. Did you?
Thanks for your opinion!