Skill Level: Ibanez
I’ve never been one to splash out obscene quantities of cash on musical instruments, and this is coming from someone that plays drums as their first instrument. I’ve always owned guitars that were pretty much entry level, moving up to better models when I thought my skill levels were worthy of doing so. My skill level at the moment is that of a Telecaster, but this doesn’t really reflect much since this is a versatile guitar capable of sitting well in many styles. Guitars don’t come much more versatile than today’s briefly-discussed model though, and the Ibanez RG1XXB is so damn colourful that I think it may be aware of its own outrageous style and appeal. With settings that can give you sounds that will blend sweetly with almost any genre you can imagine (bar acoustic, but this is for obvious reasons), this guitar is seriously worth consideration if you happen to have a some spare cash and a desire to have a cracking axe in your hands.
This lovely lady (as I’m sure all guitars are female) has 24 frets for your fingers to fiddle with a round shape to the neck that allows you to reach comfortably around for tougher finger positions (particularly if using the thumb on the bottom E string). Titanium rods reinforce the neck for obvious reasons, and the body is constructed from basswood with a neck that has a natural finish that feels fantastic. DiMarzio IBZ are the pickups, giving a wonderfully chunky sound if distortion’s your thing or a clean, relatively buzz-free note if you’re a largely clean player. The bridged tremolo allows you the option of having it either locked or floating freely.
How Does it Sound?
While this guitar hasn’t got the sweet distinctiveness of models like the Fender Strat or Les Paul, it does have versatility on its side. If you like to shred, the distorted sound is brilliant with plenty of attack and punch. Playing around with the tone knobs lets you create a sound for every style imaginable.
How Does it Look?
This model comes in ultra-luminous yellow or massively-bright pink. Both look immense when wearing and are obviously as eye catching as a guitar can possibly be. The natural finish on the neck also gives the guitar a more distinctive appearance and as I mentioned before feels great in the hand.
Will it Last?
For around £599, you’re going to want this guitar to last you until your bank account recovers, and I can tell you that it most definitely should. Ibanez’s in general are notoriously long-lasting (my virtuoso guitarist friend has an Ibanez from 2001 and it is still going strong today), and this model is no exception. The titanium rods in the neck eliminate the risk of the neck breaking and significantly reduce warping over time. As long as you’re not immersing this guitar in water and taking it on frequent trips to the sun, it’s going to last you a long, long time.
Ok, so this model isn’t cheap, and it most certainly isn’t a premium guitar of the likes of the Les Paul and such, but what it is most definitely lays safely in the realms of versatility and robustness. The range of different tones that you can get from it before you even start messing around with the amp is quite incredible, and the whole thing just feels like a guitar that will last through the ages. So whether you want to shred ‘til you’re dead or get some grooves going, this guitar will suit you down to the ground.