Ibanez RG465 – review

Ibanez please make something like the RG465 a regular production model!

Since my wife and new-born son were still in hospital, and having a nap I thought I would go into my local music store and try the Ibanez RG465 and a Blackstar HT-1 combo. I thought I might give them both a mini review.

The RG465 is an Indonesian made, special limited run guitar. They come in red and blue, and feature a basswood body, reverse headstock, maple fretboard with colour-matched dots, and a seriously cool humbucker-single coil pickup combo. The bridge is an Edge III, which is probably the only downside to the guitar.

Picking it up, the RG465 had a nice moderate weight just like you would expect from an Ibanez RG. The neck is a Wizard II, and construction on this particular guitar was top-notch. Acoustically the guitar sounded quite nice and full, and wasn’t too muddy, like some guitars with basswood bodies can be.

The playability of the neck was fantastic. The profile is nice and slim, but not too thin. I love the near-flat 400mm radius of the fretboard. The colored markers look awesome too.

Since getting my 20th Ann RG550 maple has been my favorite fretboard material. There is a nice snap and twang to notes. The RG465’s fretboard was particularly nice too, and my fingers just glided over it.

The fretwork on the RG465 was very well done. Not quite as fancy as the Prestige Ibanez guitars, but the ends were nicely finished, and the crowning was quite nice and smooth.

Plugged in the RG465 sounded fantastic. It sports a DiMarzio D-Activator in the bridge, and a DiMarzio Air Norton S (single coil sized humbucker) in the neck. The D-Activator sounded sharp and aggressive, and provided an excellent base for hard rock and metal rhythm guitar tones and blazing fast shred guitar. The Air Norton S gave great thick lead guitar tone, with a nice bit of edge and drive to it.

Flicking through the five-way pickup selector a number of nice combinations can be found too. The D-Activator-Air Norton S combo is definitely geared towards higher gain heavy guitar music though.

I had said earlier that the Edge III was probably the only downside to the RG465. It’s not really a terrible bridge. It moved quite smoothly when using the whammy bar, and is quite comfortable under the picking hand. The long term longevity is the main concern. That, and the tremolo arm holder feels a bit flimsy. It holds up ok though, and I’d probably just replace it with an Ibanez Edge Pro (which wouldn’t need routing), or a Gotoh licensed Floyd Rose once the Edge III’s knife edges or studs wore out.

Overall the Ibanez RG465 is a seriously awesome guitar. It looks so cool with its Humbucker-single combo and colour-matched dots. It’s definitely geared towards guitar players who play heavy guitar styles, although it’s quite capable of other styles. I really hope Ibanez start making a regular production guitar with the same sort of specs as this one. Hopefully with a better bridge though. That would make it perfect.

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