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Audiofanzine FR 12/05/2008

Ibanez RG2228 : Audiofanzine FR's user review

4

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(Originally written by belzeb/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
Made in Japan. Superb finish (it's an Ibanez): lime tree body with a thin layer of varnish so the finish is very delicate (the guitar I tested at the store had already two scratches!!).

Two passive EMG 808 pickups (yes!!!).

Tremolo: the same Ibanez tremolo as on all Prestige models. It's a good-quality tremolo but given that it's locked, it's not really a tremolo!!! It's an excellent idea because a tremolo system is more convenient for the string locks than a tune-o-matic bridge.

Controls: tone and volume controls and 3-way toggle switch.

Authentic Ibanez neck: flat, fast and wide. If you like Ibanez guitars, you'll like it.

I give it a 7 because of the delicate finish and the pseudo active pickups!

UTILIZATION

The neck is a typical Ibanez neck so it's flat, well-finished, wide and very comfortable. But you'll need long hands because it's pretty big. Don't expect to play the upper frets for rhythm parts ... On the other hand it's not a problem for solos given the shape of the body (standard SG body)...

The playability is optimal for an 8-string guitar. Regarding 7-string guitars, I've been playing them for several years and the playability and comfort is not as different from a 6-string guitar... But with this 8-string model, you enter a new world... So don't buy it without testing it!

The sound is not surprising: it's extremely powerful... But if you want to get good sounds you have to own a good amp.

The clean sound has nothing special... I understand why Meshuggah uses many effects in clean mode (moreover, they don't play Ibanez instruments when recording). Don't use the 8th string in clean mode because it sounds like a bass guitar with ultra dull strings and a loud fret noise!

Regarding the strings, the string set provided with the guitar is much too light! You make bends unintentionally, even on the E and A strings. It's impossible to control it. So use a heavy string set and take the guitar to a professional so he can adjust it!

SOUNDS

This guitar might be good for my kind of music (progressive death metal)... But I will buy an 8-string guitar when I have enough money!

I can't say anything about the best amp for this guitar because I tested it with a lousy Peavey amp...

The sound is rather fat (as expected), and don't forget the guitar has passive pickups.

Use this guitar with a fat distortion but not with a clean sound!!

OVERALL OPINION

I only tested it.

Pros: playability, weight (not too heavy), neck and distortion sound. Cons: clean sound and very wide neck.

It's the only 8-string guitar available almost anywhere so I can't compare it with other 8-string models... I would like to test the ESP model but I've never seen it in a shop!

The price is too high due to the fact that Ibanez is the only big manufacturer in the 8-string guitar market, but the quality doesn't justify the price. It's the price of originality. But if you want an F sharp you'd better buy a 7-string baritone guitar instead of this RG.

I wouldn't buy it... Save your money and get in contact with Meshugga's luthier. 8-string guitars are very special instruments and it seems they are not compatible with mass production. Perhaps Ibanez will improve this model in the coming years...