I am really looking forward to buying my first Ibanez guitar! After having used a Fender HM Strat ('89 model, the kind of guitar Greg Howe used to play) for quite some time now, I'm on the market for a competent guitar with a floating trem of some kind on my guitar, because the Kahler Spyder on my Fender has begun to act up on me and I think its time to keep myself motivated in the instrument with some GAS. So....
My search for a new axe has shortlisted some potential candidates, namely the RG1820X, RG2550 and Ibanez Xiphos XPT700. For reference purposes, the kind of music I play can be given a listen here:
The order in which I've listed the guitars is pretty much the way I've ranked them in my mind, but there are some rankling issues, like:
RG1820X: The 1820X has become "obsolete", meaning Ibanez just doesn't sell them anymore. Does anyone have any idea other than low sales, which seemed like the logical conclusion, but then again, what caused these low sales? Some feedback from users would be great, cos I can't find any substantive reviews on the internet
This issue also seems to have its reflection at the Ibanez online shop, where the dual control knobs for the piezo bass/treble tonal control on the 1820X are not available for sale... Other than that, I love the tone I can get out of this guitar even with the stock V8 and V7s (which will be replaced) and particularly the piezo bridge, which will be very helpful with some of the softer parts of the kind of songs I write...
RG2550: The RG2550 is a great guitar with a similar neck, but I am a little skeptical about the pricing [in India, it is sold for around $1333 as compared to the 1820X, which goes for $1512, but on which I am getting a 10% discount (mind you the Jem 555 sells for almost $2000 here, so the prices are pretty arbitrary compared to what you would pay in the states)]. It also seems that the augmented price for this guitar vis-a-vis the RG1570 (which costs around $1000+) is solely on account of the Dimarzio pickups, which are nice, but will be swapped for sure... Would it make more sense to go for the RG2550, the RG1570, or just abandon both for one of the other guitars I have listed? I have also read some freaky things about trem bars and the RG2550's volume knobs hitting each other because of the added scratchguard. And is this guitar a worthy successor to the venerable RG550? What happened to the RG1550?
XPT700: This is a real darkhorse contender that I never took seriously till trying out today. I really liked the feel of the neck and the tone of the wood, i think because it was neck-through. The pickups were so-so, the Edge-III trem is a lower version than the Edge Pro trems on the prestiges, so I really couldn't take a call, but I hear can be swapped for an OFR and Dimarzios. What really scared me though is the fact that there are no strap buttons and that means I would have to entrust the drilling job to the shop, which gives me nightmares, considering the very nice finish on the guitar.
Erm, those are my grouses and apprehensions really and I'm sorry it took over 500 words to list them out. To be honest, I just want to be a happy Ibanez customer #1 million or whatever and not have to worry about changing guitars for the next couple of years till I can go custom or very high end, depending on whether I need to at that stage. At this juncture, I thought it prudent to sign up on these forums and ask for whatever help I could get to make a decision based on experienced and knowledgeable opinions of the members here. Your inputs are valued, thanks for taking the time to read this ramble. Cheers.
- Jimmy Rage