School me on the "low end" Ibanez RGs please!

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by marshall2288, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. marshall2288

    marshall2288 Member

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    Ibanez. A company for whatever reason I thought I would never have any interest in, has just really surprised me during my recent George's Music trip. I'm curious in the "shredder" Ibanez guitars. I sustained a finger ingury recently and the guitar I played allowed me to play almost as good as i could before. I'm thinking its the super slim neck and jumbo frets??? Anyways, I know nothing about any of the models. Tell me about the under $500 models. I have made some hefty studio purchases lately and for my wife's sake I'm trying not to NEED another guitar but.....lol why am i explaining this to you guys? You understand me :banana
     
  2. Honk

    Honk Member

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    Good rule: at that price, look for older used made-in-Japan models (RG5xx and up) rather than new low-end Indo/Korea etc. models. Every day of the week.

    Almost all are basswood body, Ryvita-thin maple neck, flat (16" I think) rosewood or maple board, with the same body shape, hardware, and good Edge or Edge Pro tremolos. After that you're just picking cosmetics and pickup layout between the model numbers. 550 (later 1550) is the classic HSH front route. 560 is HSS rear rout. 570 (later 1570) is HSH rear rout. 565 is HS rear rout etc. The basic model is the same.

    There are exceptions – you could snag an early RGA 121, which is mahogany bodied with a fixed bridge – but 95% of them fall into the category above. In every case you'll likely want to swap out the plasticky sounding pickups.
     
  3. marshall2288

    marshall2288 Member

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    Dude, thanks for the quick late night info. I tried Google to see differences between RGs but with them all being numbers I ended up giving up. Very informative post. Thank you.
     
  4. sixesandsevens

    sixesandsevens Member

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    The Ibanez wikia has pretty good details about the models although I found it easier to read after searching than for just browsing. Ibanez Rules and Jemsite are other good resources about Ibanez models, history, setup, etc.

    Honk's response echoes what I found in most cases: the older MIJ models are a fantastic value and should be your first consideration. There were recently two 89-91 RGs (in well-worn shape) in a local music shop listed at $399 and $299 respectively - you probably could walk out with the pair for $500.

    Apparently the wizard neck profile used on most RG models has been getting thicker over time, so try to get your hands on the specific guitar you're thinking about buying first if you can. If you happen to get a newer model that has the edge pro trem, you may want to consider getting locking studs (like $45 or something from Rich at Ibanez Rules) to improve the trem stability. The earlier edge and lo-pro edge tremolos you'll most likely encounter shouldn't have that issue.

    If you've never set up a floating trem before, the Ibanez Rules site has some good info about the process. It's a PITA if you're impatient and used to hardtails and Fender style bridges, but it's totally do-able. In particular, the gauge strings you choose really dictates how many springs (or which size) you'll use and the ideal angle of the bridge at rest changes from model to model and what's "right" isn't always what looks flat.
     
  5. partsocaster

    partsocaster Member

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    RG550 is a killer guitar and has what has to be the best locking trem system on the planet, the Edge. What you have to watch for when buying one of the older RGs is the neck pocket gets finish cracks and if someone was over anxious with a hex wrench, the locking nuts can go crack and split the neck, the depth of the original Wizard neck is 17 MM (it's 19 now probably because of this issue).

    To get a real RG, avoid, at all costs, the ergo neck pocket, you want the standard, 4 bolt plate with an actual heel. The counter sunk, offset pattern destroyed some of the mojo the original 550s had.
     

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