They are hard to find locally, and mostly in bad condition. Many [email protected]
products only ship in the USA. And some look too cheap to be true. Other than the trem, in what way is the rg5xx better?
El Man, in order to understand WHY the RG5xx series is far superior you must understand the world, American Culture, and what was going on in the late 80's and 90s. It was the height of Guitar Domination in Music. Imagine opening up an Ibanez catalog to see a couple of young, new guitarists by the names of Steve Vai and Joe Satriani. Then you look at the next page and it's Alex Skolnick with his legendary 540PII. Page after page you see the cutting edge of guitars in the world. Although many folks were obssessed with Jacksons, and they certainly are worthy, Ibanez's contain a mojo all their own.
In today's world, company's have no pride, no culture, they just want money. But back in the 80's and early ninety's Ibanez had something special: Pride and Vision.
The RG5xx series are superior in every conceivable fashion to an RG350. The newer Rg's will offer some cool options like sharfin inlays, bounded everything, and cool paint jobs, HOWEVER, here is a list of why a MIJ RG is superior:
1. The Edge Trem remains a solid, reputable, for some coveted trem. Why? Because the damn thing stays in tune. No, it isni't sexy, but if you actually use the trem, and you've been through the pain of tuning a floating trem, you will quickly appreciate the original Trem, for me, above all others. It sells alone for 100 bucks on ****.
2. Original Wizard neck: simply the best. Well, the new Wizards, like on an RGA121 are really nice too. But an RG350dx has a Wizard II, which is bulkier, thicker, and not as "fast". The original Wizard neck remains the standard for "shredding" and playability. I prefer Original Wizards over the Jackson's of the same era, which were as thin or thinner. Again, remember, Ibanez was making these guitars for perhaps the best guitar players of all time. Again, this neck is worth 100 bucks alone on ****.
3. Gotoh Tuners: I believe these are better than the new stuff.
4. Pickups: S1, V2, V1, V7, V8 pickups are very good made by Dimarzio pickups, I believe. They really sound good. THe INF series are usable, but the single coils sound tinny, the humbuckers sound ok, but not as rich as say, a V2.
5. Overall assembly lines in the Japanese factories was and still is superior to the Korean and Indonesian ones. I have owned 2 Korean, and 1 Indonesian Ibanez. The Korean ones aren't bad, I have a s2075fw, and a s470fm, both of which are constructed VERY very well. But the Indonesian factory was pretty weak. One pickup pole stuck out, and the first RG5EX1 I played had a fret that was too tall and muted the guitar, this was fresh out of the box too.
In the end, you need to play a Japanese made Ibanez and decide for yourself. Whatever floats your boat is what you should buy. If you don't see value in all this stuff I wrote, then get the darn RG350!!! I'm sure you'll love it.