In the realm of electric guitars meant to play with the greatest of intensity, Ibanez has been one of the leading brands for the last several decades. With strong endorsements from huge names like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert, Head and Munky from Korn, Fredrik and Marten from Meshuggah, Noodles from Weezer, and a host of others, you should have a clear picture of what Ibanez is all about. These are high-performance instruments that are absolutely perfect for full-on rock and metal playing. If that’s your cup of tea, the RG450DX model, in particular, is a fantastic entry into the lineup.
The great thing about the Ibanez RG450DX guitar is that it gives you a taste of all of the great specifications that make a higher performance “super Stratocaster” style guitar capable of facilitating such aggressive playing. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also incredibly gorgeous! Whether you choose the electric white, metallic deep violet, or starlight blue version, this is a guitar that’s going to turn heads and absolutely impress all of your musician buddies as soon as you take it out of the case. It also has it where it really counts, however: the sound quality and playability!
The RG450DX marks an affordable entry into what is essentially Ibanez’s biggest signature model. The RG series has been dazzling audiences for over three decades now. Various versions of RGs have passed through the hands of all of the amazing players mentioned above, and they have been a major favorite among casual players and independent artists as well. There’s a fantastic mix of quality construction, professional grade and truly ear pleasing tones, and price that’s really hard to beat here. The RG450DX sits at just under $400, a price that you’ll know is completely worth it once you have one in your hands.
The Ibanez RG450DX guitar is comprised of a basswood body that will help your notes and power chords easily ring out as long as you need them to. The neck is made of maple, with a rosewood fingerboard. The shape itself is the patented Wizard III, which has come to be absolutely renown for its ability to help you play as fast as you possibly can. Your soloing and lead melodies will fly by effortlessly with this neck, and the sizable shark tooth inlays will ensure that you never lose your place.
The neck is also slightly extended in a range from your garden variety super Stratocaster models thanks to its inclusion of the 23rd and 25th frets. The extra frets will definitely come in handy if you’re a fan of the likes of Vai and Satriani. The frets themselves are jumbo frets as well, allowing for a bit more comfort when contorting your fingers into all sorts of different positions and allowing a bit more freedom with your note bends and vibrato.
You’re also going to be able to get a lot of tones out of this guitar despite it having been made for rather an extreme playing. There are three Quantum pickups: a humbucker in the bridge and neck, and a single coil between them. You can change to either of the three or even in between thanks to the five-way selector switch. Quantum pickups break up the sound nicely, giving you some strong bass frequencies for your rhythms and helping your leads soar above the mix without much of a hassle. The hardware is rounded out with an adjustable tremolo bridge for wild whammy bar tricks and stud locks to help the guitar stay in tune no matter how hard you happen to play.
The only downside to a guitar like this is that you can’t change the tuning quite as easily. You can take the stud locks off of course, but the adjustable bridge means the intonation will be best suited for whatever tuning the guitar was set up with. From the factory, that’s usually standard tuning. Putting the strings on is a bit more involved as well since you have to snap the ends off with wire cutters and place each one inside of saddles rather than simply placing them on the body and over the bridge. You’ll need tools such as an Allen wrench on hand as well. It’s not so bad once you get used to it however, there are just a few more steps to stringing and tuning overall.
The bottom line here is that the Ibanez RG450DX guitar is a fantastic value that might be the best possible way to ease into the world of more extreme playing. If you love heavier music or acrobatic lead guitarists whose fingers fly all over the fretboard with the greatest of ease, this is precisely the kind of guitar you should be playing. With gorgeous looks, great sound, and some wonderful components, this guitar is easily a keeper.