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Gold Standard of all Superstrats (IMHO)
So, for quite a while I've been an avid fan of the ibanez S Series guitars. The body was light, the neck felt pretty good, and the sound that came out of the guitar was quite brutal after I've had some modifications done onto it. However, with the demand for a backup guitar on the rise, I needed something that is reliable without having to nickel and dime about repairs and/or modifications.
So, what did I do? I managed to get myself an Ibanez Prestige RG652FX, one of my first high-end guitars I've ever purchased in my entire lifetime. And the difference in quality was astounding - the pickups were very nice (to the point where I didn't have to change them out!), the neck was extremely stable, and the body didn't feel too heavy at all. The truss rod adjustments were minimal at best when I restrung the guitar with 10-46 strings. The 5-piece neck feels rock solid yet very comfortable, and the Gotoh staggered locking tuners were a very nice addition - you no longer have to hassle with string winding when you're changing strings. You just need to get one or maybe two winding on the posts and presto, you can move onto stretching the strings.
The sound of the guitar was very interesting. Compared to my modded S521 which had a crunchy sound with well-defined mids, the DiMarzio pickups (Tone Zone and Air Norton) had a slightly flatter midrange, yet the output of the pickups were still powerful enough to do the job. I'd say that this guitar even makes a perfect studio guitar, especially when it comes to rhythm tracking.
The only mod I had to do on the guitar was changing out the stock strap pins for Schaller strap locks, but other than that, the overall build quality was perfect. The Gibraltar hardtail bridge keeps the intonation rock solid, the strings stay in tune very well and the feel is astounding. A floating tremolo bridge variant (RG655) could potentially bring some possibilities to do dive bombs and surf music, but I personally don't miss it.
All in all, in my honest opinion I think this guitar is potentially the Gold Standard when it comes to superstrats. You do not need to modify anything, you can just pull it right out of the box and do a simple restring and setup, and the guitar will do the job well.
Well done, Ibanez.
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