2010 Ibanez Compliments & Criticisms
Much of this post is actually a reply I sent in another forum (albeit edited to try to be more constructive). Here are my thoughts on the current status of Ibanez guitars:
As we all know, Ibanez has released a LOT of new RGs at NAMM this past winter...
-RGs with an arch (RGA series), RGs with beveled horns (RGD series) look SICK!
-More and more of their guitars are being made with mahogany bodies, which is so great from a craftsmanship point of view
-They added trems to the RGA (archtop RGs) series and made them more like traditional RGs; which, in my opinion, makes them much more relevant in the market
-All of this shows that Ibanez is making guitars that people want and that they are forward thinking
-they are still making the same mistakes (they NEVER totally nail it and make a guitar that is burning on ALL cylinders):
-Aside from a select handful, the Prestige series guitars all have either boring or HIDEOUS paint finishes (and I mean GROTESQUE).
-All the nice looking paint finishes are put on the bottom-of-the-line Indonesian models w/ mediocre stock pickups, basswood body, POWDER cosmo (which rubs off), and the sub-par Edge III bridge.
-The new RGA series (RGs with an archtop, ala PRS) ONLY comes with active pickups. Why? Please make a couple of models with more traditional DiMarzios
-The new RGD series (RGs with bevels along the top and horns, ala JP's EBMMs) has a long scale neck made specifically for drop tuning and has only ONE KNOB. I understand the whole point of this guitar was to make it long scale- but its the new body shape that makes this guitar shine. Please make some standard scale models with this body shape, complete with TONE KNOB.
Edge III Bridge:
I didn't want to post this at the beginning and be written off as negative, so here is my biggest criticism. This bridge has some serious shortcomings. If I was to describe the Edge III in one word, that word would be bad. It simply does not stay in tune. Since the day I bought my guitar, the trem does not stay in tune - it never returns to full neutral...it always returns sharp or flat, and even then the strings go out of tune with eachother.
I since replaced the studs and nut pads and spent $75 on a SERIOUS set up. That did help, but the tremolo still does not return to full neutral. In other words, I am always at least slightly out of tune. This is simply UNACCEPTABLE. That might be THE most important thing for a musician to do - ALWAYS be in tune. And if my sources are correct, the body routing for a guitar equipped with an Edge III is NOT capable of retrofitting an Edge Pro. So even if I wanted to make it a better guitar, I can't.
I understand that it is what it is- the lower end bridge for the cheaper Ibanez guitar, but still - Ibanez can and should do better. Playing out of tune should never be an option. Why should someone have to spend double the money simply to have the 'luxury' of playing in tune (which should be not a luxury at all)?
Anyways, to close, Ibanez is making great progress in many areas, but there is much room for improvement.