I’ve been playing Ibanez guitars for almost as long as I’ve been playing guitar. I’ve owned probably 10 RG style guitars over the years, and most of them I’ve loved dearly. I generally opt for the higher end Prestige models, because I can afford to (by subsisting on a diet of Ramen and fortified ice cubes), but I’ve always been duly impressed by their lower end and mid range models. Sure, the Prestige and Team J Craft/J Custom line are a wonder to behold and to be held, but what about for the player who wants to eat not like a college student?
The Iron Label series is a series of guitars aimed at the metalheads of the world, built as cheaper imports but with higher quality parts and features specialized for the heavy music crowd. The RGAIX6FM I reviewed was a sleek, finely tuned, speedy shred machine that looked like a million bucks. The arch top look with the sort of slate gray satin finish was a classy and winning combination in my book.
The new Dimarzio Fusion Edge pickups were a marked improvement over the EMGs included with the last Iron Label I reviewed, although they were a touch lacking in the high-end department. The neck was very comfortable and fast feeling, as I’ve come to expect from Ibanez, and it was set up low and easy, to my liking. As I’ve dealt with before with the Iron Label series, this guitar had no front dots which is a frowny face as far as I’m concerned, but pretty far from a dealbreaker.
For price of $899, you get a lot of goodies that a lot of brands skimp on, such as high-quality hardware, locking tuners, and a halfway decent fret job. A single volume knob is complemented by the coil split switch that expands your range of sounds from 3 to 6. I only wish they had a standard RG series in this range that looked and played as good, because as much as I love the look of the arch top, (not to sound like a broken record or anything) I can always use a nice forearm contour.
In a nutshell, the Ibanez RGAIX6FM is a yes all around for any shredder on a budget who wants a lot more than they’re paying for.
Neck type – Nitro Wizard 3pc Maple/Bubinga neck
Body – Flamed Maple top/Mahogany body
Fretboard – Bound Ebony fretboard
Frets – Jumbo
Bridge – Gibraltar Standard II bridge
Neck pickup – DiMarzio® Fusion Edge (H) neck pickup (Passive/Ceramic)
Bridge pickup – DiMarzio® Fusion Edge (H) bridge pickup (Passive/Ceramic)
Hardware color – Black
[reverb search=”tuner” product=”” shop=”merch” collection=””]