Ibanez RG 2570MZ VBE Guitar ReviewPure Prestige
The large Ibanez RG family starts to be å regular among AudioFanzine's editorial staff. We first received the RG2610 with its single pickup, then the RG420EG-SBK "spider axe." Today, it's the turn of a "prestige" RG called RG 2570MZ VBE. What sets it apart from the 21 guitars which form Ibanez's catalog?
The lime body benefits from the famous "Strat-revisited" shape that made the model famous. So the body was basically inspired on the Stratocaster but it's slimmer, and has a very slim, sharp and very low bottom horn that allows a smooth access to the upper frets, even for guitar players with huge hands like mine.
The finish is quite original–nothing new for Ibanez (just read other reviews). The "Vital Blue" matt finish with a rugged pattern recalls the texture of an old houses' walls...
It feels pretty smooth under your fingers but its look won't be everyone's taste. If the "Vital Blue" is not exactly your type of finish (ha!), the RG2550MZ is a twin sister of the RG2570MZ with the exact same features but in a "Galaxy White" finish and an additional "Cosmo Black" pickguard.
The 5-piece maple/walnut neck has a maple fretboard–definitely the main feature of the guitar. Along with the RG2550, this 2570 is the only Ibanez model with these features, which might prove very interesting for the sound of the guitar, considering that maple is the main reason for the legendary twangy response of the Fender Telecaster for example...
Some last words about the neck: it has a white plastic binding along its whole length, jumbo frets (like all RG models) and nice-looking "sharktooth" inlays.
Hardware and Electronics
The hardware sports a superb black chrome finish called "Cosmo Black." The bridge is a wonderful Floyd Rose-type tremolo system called "Edge Zero." This system is the last generation of the Ibanez Edge tremolo whose reputation overshadows original Floyd Rose systems. And this one isn't an exception: it's perfectly reliable and is packed with really nice and perfectly thought-out innovations that are worth a detailed description.
First: the tremolo has a very smooth feel. All parts are designed so that they feel rough on the surface and you can feel it when you're playing. The tremolo bar sort of clips in the hole and is held tight by a "nut," which you use to adjust the stiffness, like on an original Floyd Rose. Another innovation are the replaceable knife edges: when they are worn out, the tuning stability decreases, and now you can simply replace them instead of sharping them again, which used to be the only solution.
The last innovation, which we already saw on the S5470, is that the bottom side of the tremolo is held by a system called "Zero Point System 3." Both screws, the claw and all three springs of a traditional Floyd Rose were replaced by a pair of springs anchored to a stirrup with an endless screw that allows you to easily adjust the tension of the system. Finally, a rod tightened to the bottom of the cavity by two springs ensures the "zero point" when the tremolo is not used... Thus, the tuning stability is increased. Ibanez claims that the guitar will also stay in tune when a string breaks thanks to the springs maintaining the rod at the "zero point." And let's not forget the time you save when replacing the strings, which can be extremely long with a standard Floyd Rose floating system.
Regarding the unplugged sound: the instrument has a good balance with a better-than-average sustain–certainly due to the Edge Zero tremolo, which doesn't "swallow" the notes like some low-quality tremolo systems do.
Good. Now let's plug the guitar since that's what it's for, right?
clean sound, I added a subtle reverb (G-Lab DR-2).
Let's start by checking the five positions of the toggle switch. You'll hear, in the following order: position 1 (bridge humbucker), position 2 (split bridge humbucker + center pickup), position 3 (center pickup), position 4 (center pickup + split neck pickup), and position 5 (neck humbucker). You'll notice that both extreme positions correspond to standard Gibson configurations while the three others produce a more typical Strat sound. But this comparison is not really useful... The sound sample shows that the RG produces powerful low frequencies and a bright high-end with strong attacks, which are louder than on the other members of the family with rosewood fingerboard. All five pickup combinations produce rather interesting results. Its very clean and versatile sound can match a lot of playing styles (I can easily imagine playing typical funk parts using positions 2, 3 and 4) but it won't be the best solution for music styles the require a strong personality.
This impression is confirmed when playing with distortion. You can hear it clearly in the second sound sample (for an easy comparison, I used the same settings and played the same riffs as in my previous review). In spite of the strong attacks heard when playing clean, the dynamic response tends to decrease and the sound becomes too neutral, almost dull, even though the typical DiMarzio sound character does cut through but on a fairly "soft" way. Could it be the lime body (lime wood is well-known for its neutral sound)? Maybe... It might have been the manufacturer's intention to offer a versatile guitar that matched almost any music style, even if this versatility decreases the instrument's personality, which, by the way, is a widely known characteristic of the Ibanez RG Series.
Compared to the RG family, this guitar offers lots of advantages, and its maple fretboard clearly improves note attacks. Taking into consideration that it's a real Japanese instrument, its price is very appealing. So consider testing it: this guitar is definitely worth it if you're looking for an RG– and to be compared to its cousins!
- Perfect manufacturing and finish
- Edge Zero tremolo system
- Very easy to play
- Stronger attack thanks to the maple fingerboard
- Flight case included
- Rather neutral sound, lack of personality when distorted
- The center pickup can be annoying for some guitarists, depending on your technique
- Finish won't appeal to everyone's taste (choose the RG 2550MZ instead)