After 12 years of playing my Strat and abandoning my tremolo because it simply would not stay in tune, I decided I wanted something with a locking system. I'm 41 years old and have been playing since age 5. At the age of 15 I started regularly playing out in the local clubs and have done this ever since. In all this time, this will only be my fourth electric guitar. I wanted something that I could get a little crazy with and the Ibanez jumped out. Finding anything left-handed is a real challenge and Ibanez had one that suited my needs.
I really like the Wizard neck. I read reviews about this guitar and most said it was very fast. I agree 100% I spent about 10 hours on it this past weekend (for the first time) and I adapted very quickly. After twelve years on my Strat I thought I may experience some cramping but not the case. I would have played longer but the neighbors have to sleep once in a while.
I like the oversized cutaway. I can reach all the way up the neck with ease.
The pickups seem to be twice as loud as my Strat (which has a Hot Rails II at the bridge).
I like the weight, it's very light.
I can pretty much make it sound the way I want, from metal to mild. I play though a RedBear MK120 full stack which is a Russian 120 watt tube head with 2-4X12 cabs, and it sounds very punchy. The feedback seems good with no unpleasant squeals...
What I really like is, no matter what I do with the trem, it stays in tune!!!
The volume and tone pots are a little too stiff. I can't do that "reach down with the pinky and adjust the volume thing...".
I can't get the trem arm to swing freely. I'm not sure if that's just the nature of the beast or not. I've adjusted the torque screw and it made no difference. I plan to call and find out if this should be or if I have a problem.
I don't like the fact that us south paws can only get this guitar in Black. But Ibanez is not alone here, come on folks we left handers are people too and we also like "Colors".
Ibanez only offers 3 models for lefties and that just sucks. But once again they're not alone on this one...
The guitar feels solid, the tuners seem okay. The finish is deep and the smoked looking hardware goes well with the "BLACK" paint. As far as durability goes... we'll see after a few gigs.
I've heard all the horror stories about "Locking Trems" and how hard it is to change the strings, keep it in tune, yada yada yada. My first impression is that's all bull&$%^... Here's why I think so.
I play left handed but I string it like a right hander. (Yup, the big string is on the bottom) There's a few of us out there. So when I brought my new axe home I had to remove the strings (one at a time) and string it my way. I had to set the intonation for each string, which I have never done before. I had to make sure the bridge was aligned properly and go through the delicate process of tuning. I've never worked with a locking trem before and this all took me about one hour. I consider myself mechanically inclined so it didn't seem to be rocket science to me. Will I be able to change a string between songs on stage? NO! but between sets? Sure...
For a long time the best mid-range Ibanez RG you could buy was the RG470. They were made in Japan and reasonably priced. They made these models lefty too which is pretty rare. most guitar companies either only make their super low end guitars and super high end guitars in lefty, leaving a gap in the middle where they do not have any mid-ranged lefty guitars. The guitar is your basic RG. It has the basswood body in the superstrat RG style. The Japanese model have a better quality tremolo than the later Korean ones do but the tremolo is still decent. 24 frets on a super flat Ibanez Wizard 2 neck. It has the HSH pickup configuration with Ibanez pickups in all positions. There is a 5 way blade switch to switch between them in a strat style arrangement.
With Ibanez you know you are getting a guitar that will play well once setup. The Wizard neck is super thin and lets you fly over the frets. The flat fretboard with the jumbo frets means you can really slam the action down low so it plays like butter. The deep cutaways on the body mean you can really get at all the high frets and make your solos sing. People say the tremolos on the Korean examples are not very good but I have found with a good setup any Ibanez tremolo will work fine as long as you are not killing it.
The weakest part of all but the highest end RG's are their pickups. The Ibanez pickups are pretty terrible compared to what is out there in the after market. The fact that they use basswood on their guitars does not help either. The neck pickup is passable for soloing and clean stuff. It can provide a nice smooth sound for solos and a good clean tone for clean passages. The bridge pickup is pretty weak for anything but the lightest rock. It is pretty muddy and dull. Ibanez puts Dimarzio pickups in its high end guitars and these pickups match up well with Ibanez guitars. I would recommend a Dimarzio in the bridge at the very least. If you want something even heavier and dont mind changing out both pickups you could do a swap with some active EMG pickups.
There are not many mid-range lefty guitars out there. Most companies have a big gap in their lefty production due to just making their super high and and super low end guitars left handed. This model is discontinued now and has been replaced by a decent lefty model but it is not as good at the 470. If you are left handed and looking for an RG I would recommend a 470L over any of the new non Prestige lefty models.