RG-3120-RD Prestige - A Player's Review
* * Ibanez has raised the bar when it comes to entry level guitars and it seems they have applied this to the Mid-High level guitars as well. The RG-3120-DR demonstrates the attention to high quality and workmanship in the $1000 - $1500 guitar market that will be the bench-mark of other companies.
* * I took delivery of my new RG-3120-DR and at first glance could tell that I was in for more than just an RG in kings clothing. The weight of the guitar was the first thing that hit me when I opened the UV-1000-MC case it was shipped in and wrapped my clumsy paws around it. Remarkably light for a mahogany bodied guitar. Giving it my hawk-eye inspection found no finish flaws at all....NOT ONE. What I thought was a natural body binding turned out to be the edge of the flame maple top. The edge of the maple top was masked to prevent staining. It is evident by the small amount of bleed through that occurs with all masking. I'm not going to grade it with a bunch of meaningless A's, but it is one of the best flamed tops I've come across. It does, however, have a multi-piece mahogany back.
* * The neck is also much different than your standard RG in that it has no scarf joint and the addition of the elegant volute. The finish is satin and feels very nice. It isn't one I would sand. The fretboard is rosewood, but you need to look close...I thought it was ebony....it's that tight. The frets are jumbo...big...huge...making playing very comfortable. The abalone offset dot inlays are hard to see from a distance but are easily visible while playing. The neck is in the pocket tight and has no visible gaps...neck bolts needed no tightening (my new DBK did). *The nut bolts did need to be snugged up, but were not loose. String retainer and tuning machines were solid. The absence of a truss rod cover is interesting. Cleaner look to the headstock, harder to kill the dust bunnies that can accumulate. The logo is also abalone as is the "Prestige" moniker.
* * The hardware is a powder gray finish, but does not have a texture to it. Smooth semi-gloss is about the best term to describe it. The Lo-Pro edge works like any other. The arm socket was tight and needed no adjustments. The volume and tone knobs were installed too low and were touching the top of the guitar but that was no problem to adjust. The output jack is chrome...should have matched the rest of the hardware. Black pickup switch cap also should be a different color...but I can't think of what. Until I do...black is the best choice.
* * The pickup selection is about the best you can use for this type of wood configuration and are direct mount. The Tone Zone bridge pickup sings with harmonics and sustain without giving you the muddy booms. The Paf Pro neck pickup speaks for itself. This is an extremely versatile pickup that (imho) works best with the mahogany bodies. The switching is 5 way with position one being the neck, two being the neck in series, three being both pickups, 4 being the inner two coils tapped and five being the bridge. This configuration gives the guitar the same tonal qualities as a H-S-H configuration without the annoying single coil getting in the way of heavy picking. Pole pieces are chrome and should have been black.
* * The guitar rates very high on my "Dude...you gotta' get one of these..." list and is second to my Jem7DBK in pliability. The finish is simply stunning...clear and crisp with the flame being deep and fluid. Hardware is same ole same ole with a different color. Neck is very playable and should accommodate many different players and styles combined with the electronics. Ibanez did some great work on this model and should see sales rise again to warrant a wider color choice in the future.
It's been officially christened...."Hook"