The RG5EX is a solidly built shred machine with a D shaped neck that is a pleasure. The jumbo frets are set perfectly on a rosewood fretboard. I also really like the inlays. The pickups that came stock with this guitar are actually quite nice using various gain settings and have a high output.
Like all floating bridges, tuning is a bit of a bear with NEW STRINGS. Be patient and strech your stings well and once they are broken in though, it will stay in tune really well. Even after dumping the strings to fully loose with the bar.
made of basswood, 24 jumbo frets, Edge III tremolo bridge
Pickup choice : 5-way switching
Bridge: Ibanez Infinity 4 bridge humbucker with an alnico magnet
Neck: Infinity 3 humbucker with a ceramic magnet
Middle: Infinity Single3 single-coil with an alnico magnet
I love this guitar. It plays fast and sounds great live or recorded. At $399, I will likely buy another one.
I am a professional guitarist. I have been playing for twenty years. I play rock, jazz, and classical. I am an experienced session guitarist. I have also recorded numerous solo CDs.
I bought this guitar at Guitar Center. I paid $380. I wanted a quality hard rock guitar.
The pickups sound fine. I like the overall design. The fretbaord is nice and flat. It has quality hardware. Aesthetics are great.
The tremolo is whacked. If you barely breathe on it, it goes out of tune. Tuning is a nightmare. I've tried numerous set ups. This thing is hopelessly detuned.
The construction is solid. However, when considering the tuning problems, I have to question Ibanez's ability to build a reliable guitar.
Don't buy this guitar!
Buy a Fender, or a Jackson. I am going to sell my Ibanez.
Soon, I'll have some money from the sale, or exchange of this poorly made instrument.
Then, I will know never to buy another one of its kind. Sadly, I have wasted a lot of time trying to make this investment work for me. In retrospect, had I spent my money on a a cheap hooker, and some barbituates it would have worked out better for me.
The Ibanez RG5EX1 is a Guitar Center exclusive RG. You do not see this guitar in catalogs and it is kind of rare. It is basically an RG370 with a reversed headstock and matte finish. Other than that it has the same basic features. The guitar is the classic RG shape. It has an HSH pickup configuration with Ibanez pickups in all 3 positions. It has Ibanez's famous Wizard neck. This guitar has the Wizard 2 neck which is slightly thicker than the normal Wizard neck. The neck has a rosewood fretboard with 24 jumbo frets on a super flat radius.. It has the Edge 3 tremolo which is not the best Ibanez tremolo but it is better than most cheap Floyd Rose knock off's. The matte finish wears off like most matte finishes will. Where you touch the guitar a lot you will polish off the matte finish and create shiny spots. The neck has Ibanez's version of sharkfin Inlays. The inlays on this guitar are darker than on other guitars with sharkfin inlays. They go well with the dark rosewood and give a clean look.
With the deep cutaways on the RG body it is very easy to reach all the frets on the neck. The fretboard is nice and flat with jumbo frets so it is easy to get a good action and the jumbo frets let you play easily. The neck is super thin so it is easy to handle if you have smaller hands. The reverse headstock might annoy some people. Like on all RG's the tuners are close together if you are use to a 6-6 style headstock configuration. Your fingers may hit the other tuners while you are tuning. The Inlays are a dark and I find when playing looking down at the fretboard it pretty much looks like there are no inlays because the are so dark. This might be a problem for some people but I think it gives a cleaner look and there are still side markers. The tremolo will stay in tune once it is setup or you can block it like any other tremolo. If you change tunings a lot you should block the tremolo and leave the nut unlocked. Changing tunings with a full floating locking tremolo setup takes a long time and can be frustrating.
Like all mid to lower end Ibanez guitars it has Ibanez brand pickups and the pickups are pretty weak. When I first plugged it in I had to check twice that the volume was not turned down on the guitar. Going from a guitar with high output aftermarket pickups to this reminded me how weak a lot of pickups are. The tone from the stock pick ups are not great. The bridge position is pretty fuzzy and muddy and the neck position is not as smooth as I would like. It is a shame that most RG play so good but come with such bad pickups from the factory. I plan on changing the pickups for some EMG's or Dimarzio pickups. EMG's will get me a better tone for metal. The active battery powered preamp in the EMG pickups mean the pickups can retain clarity with even the highest gain settings and lowest tunings.
This guitar is basically a normal midrange Ibanez RG with a special finish and reverse headstock. It is a little different than most of the Ibanez RG guitars you see out and about. It has all the great playability of an RG with cooler looks. With a pickup change this guitar can be a real beast. Even with the stock pickups its a great guitar for practice and you can still play it live if you can use the stock pickups. If you are looking for a kinda rare cool looking RG you should check this one out.