Ibanez RG920 - Great Guitar!
This is the first non American made guitar I've purchased since I bought my first Les Paul Studio in '92. Since then I've owned 2 more Les Paul Studios, A Gibson Flying V (Gloss Cherry, not the faded model), an American made Peavey Wolfgang Special, an American made Fender Highway One Strat, and several American made acoustic guitars. This is also the first Indonesian made guitar that I would rate as good as my Gibsons, well, except maybe in the terms of resell value down the road, the American made guitars will always win over the Indonesians I believe anyway. The Japanese made Ibanez's however seem to be doing better in the resell value dept.
I LOVE the pickups, they scream. And with the 5 way switch, it's the most versatile guitar I've ever played. Neck pickup sounds like a Les Paul like, closer than any non-Les Paul I've ever heard. Next position up puts this pickup in parallel, giving a beautiful strat style tone, like when you combine the middle and neck single coils of a nice strat. the middle position activates both humbuckers, which is a position I never like on any guitar, so I don't use it. the next takes a single coil from the bridge pickup and combines it with a single coil from the neck pickup, giving another beautiful strat like tone. The bridge pickup sounds awesome, it has that dimarzio sizzle, is very hot, and sings beautifully, especially on leads. Both pickups exceeded my expectations, and have me considering putting Dimarzio's in one of my Pauls.
OK, what I've been wanting for the past few years was one of the new American made Charvel San Dimas models. I've played several and loved them, I'd been wanting a really hot super-strat style guitar since I've got much of the Gibson tone style covered, and I really wanted something with a nice Floyd style trem because my band is doing some Van Halen covers, and I've always enjoyed a locking trem. I had a Wolfgang Special I traded for, but it just didn't cut it, didn't hold up to the tone of my Gibbys, at least not through my Mesa Boogie Stiletto Trident or my Mesa Dc-3 combo.
It's advertised as a maple top, basswood body. I've no doubt the body is good quality basswood, as the guitar sustains for days and has a really nice resonant tone. I'm guessing the top is actually an extremely thin pc of maple or vaneer if you will, as for this price, I can't imagine that much figuring on a thick maple top. But that's OK, I tend to thing a vaneer top would resonate more than a big plastic pickgard, so as far as sound goes it's a great guitar at this pricepoint. And the quilt looks beautiful.
The neck is amazing, plays like butter. Fretwork is as good as any I've seen, and the maple bound fingerboard is really classy. Songs that made my hands cramp on my other guitars do not on this one, and string bending is sooo easy on the flat neck.
The trem is the best I've ever used, hands down. It stays in tune as well as a guitar without a trem, even with eruption type dive bombing.
Overall it exceeded my expectations, I was hoping to get something equal in quality to my other guitars, and succeeded with this one. i love it, it's a keeper.