NAMM 2011: Ibanez Premium series

Ibanez introduced the new Indonesian-made, high-quality RG Premium range at NAMM this year, available in two models: RG870 and RG920QM. These guitars are made to a very high standard, demonstrating Ibanez’s faith in their Indonesian operations. Further demonstrating Ibanez’s confidence in Indonesia is the fact that the company part-owns the factory these are built in – an unprecedented move for a company that has previously contracted all their manufacturing to outside companies like Fujigen, Cort, Samick and World.

I got to spend quite a bit of time with these axes and the workmanship is great. The fretwork is great (certainly better than 90% of off-the-line axes I’ve seen) and the finishes are beautiful. The necks feel quite fast and shredworthy and very comfortable. The only little niggle I could find was a little bit of shielding paint overrun from the pickup cavity but nothing that’d ruin your day or make to march the guitar back to the store in a huff. Hardware is the Edge-Zero II (I’d prefer an original Edge but what can ya do?), with either DiMarzio or special new Ibanez pickups. And get this: the RG920QM is available in fivecolours.

From the Ibanez website:

For 2011, we offer the new Premium series of guitars designed for hardworking musicians. These guitars are for players who push their guitars to the fullest every night on stage and who demand real professional quality instruments, both functionally and visually.

RG PREMIUM SERIES BASICS
Made at Ibanez Premium factory, built to Prestige model quality standards
Specially rounded Premium fret edges for smooth play and comfortable neck grip
Premium grade, select woods
Wizard Premium neck has same construction and thickness as Prestige Wizard
High-end DiMarzio and CAP-VM pickups
Ultimate tuning stability with Edge-Zero II bridge/tremolo w/ZPS 3