The JPM was the first Ibanez I got (back in 1996), and it was my favorite guitar for several years. It was followed by a UV777, a Parker Fly, a Steinberger, a PRS, a JS1000, a Strat, and probably a couple others, but the JPM continued to be my favorite without a doubt. Then I discovered the RG3120, which I bought as a backup to the JPM. Over time, it became my favorite guitar over the JPM and everything else I own (including Jems, J-Customs, USA Customs, etc.--perhaps the RGT3120 will be able to dethrone it). Now, with all the guitars I currently play, I actually have two 3120's because I like them so much. Compared to the JPM, in a nutshell...
1) It's got better tonal versatility due to the 5-way switch.
2) The JPM seems to be voiced a little more for metal, and I think the 3120 has more of a "exceptionally loud but still usable for classic rock" feel. Could be due to the mahogany body--I really love the solid feel of it.
3) Although I love the JPM finish, the 3120 really has a more tasteful and universally appealing finish.
Only downside of the 3120 (to some people, at least) is the thinner wizard neck. Personally, I don't get too hung up on different neck profiles, but it is pretty different from the JPM neck. Also, some people don't care for the stock pickups, but they really did grow on me. Depends on the type of music you're playing, I guess. I've played various neck pickups in mahogany RG's (Air Norton, FRED, PAF Pro, Breed neck, Super II) and various bridge pickups (Steve's Special, Super III, Tone Zone, Breed Bridge, Super Distortion, and EMG's)--each sounds good in its own way. I'd give it a chance stock before rushing out to replace the pickups.
The USRG's are pretty nice guitars too, but I think they have a pretty drastically different sound due to the alder body. They're a lot brighter, and to me, sound a little "mushier" on the distorted channels. The necks (PBC tension free) are amazing. These guitars are getting harder to find, and some have been catching ridiculous amounts of coin on e-bay. Chances are you'll be able to get a much better deal on a 3120 in better condition.
Anyway, hope this helps... if you have any doubts, just remember...
:loco: :loco: :loco: :loco: :loco: Buy a 3120!
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