RG655L Review WiredGuitarist April 18, 2016 Articles, Reviews Ibanez RG655 Prestige Review: Lefty Love! Welcome to the Wired Guitarist Ibanez RG655 Prestige review! Lately we’ve covered the history of Japanese Ibanez guitars, as well as reviewed another fantastic modern Ibanez model, the RG652AHM (as well as many of their high performance budget Iron Label series). Today I thought I’d review the RG655, because it’s one of the models that Ibanez offers in a left-handed variety! Left handed Ibanez lovers have always had a bit of a hard time, and it’s great to see Ibanez expanding their offerings. What great quality lefty guitars are out there for not much money? Let’s see if this is one of them! Features: RG655 specs are as follows Basswood Body Rosewood Fretboard Super Wizard HP Profile 5-piece Maple/Walnut Neck All Access Neck Joint Bolt On Neck Construction 17″ Radius 25.5” Inch Scale 24 Jumbo Frets with Prestige Fret End Treatment Original Edge Tremolo Cosmo Black Hardware Dimarzio Tone Zone / True Velvet / Air Norton Pickups 1xVolume, 1xTone Controls 5-Way Blade Pickup Switch Cobalt Blue Metallic Finish Satin Neck Finish Locking Nut This is an RG-lover’s RG. Classic Ibanez appointments all around. Very lightweight as well! The Super Wizard HP Profile is very nice. Classic Ibanez around the thinner side, at 17mm. I also really like Ibanez’s thin-striped neck. It looks really classy and the 5 piece construction is great for stability. The finish is awesome. Ibanez’s metallic finishes have a really subtle flake in them that just shines perfectly under the light. The Edge is a ridiculously stable bridge and is absolutely perfect for soloists looking to flutter and dive and rhythm players looking for comfort and ease of mind alike. I always like to bring up how nice Ibanez’s cuts of rosewood are too. Very dark, chocolatey, and smooth. On every one I’ve ever owned; and this is no exception. Tone: This guitar is loaded with classic RG tone for high performance shredders that also need versatility. The bolt on maple neck construction provides punch, while basswood is neutral, a great blank slate to build tone upon, with a pronounced midrange that helps keep the guitar full-sounding even after its been routed for a floating tremolo. Check out our article on basswood if you’re still curious! The pickups have been an eminent combination for years. The Air Norton is one of my favorite neck pickups, great for soft cleans and liquid leads. The air technology gives it additional sustain and a really unique full sounding clarity. The True Velvet is slightly hotter than vintage to pair well with the humbuckers while retaining sweet strat tone. The stagger on the pole pieces does a great job of maintaining clarity and string separation. It is a true single, so you will have 60 cycle hum while in the middle position. The Tone Zone requires its own explanation. It’s a very harmonically saturated pickup, great for searing leads. Famously used by John Petrucci, there was a point in time in which if you looked at the list of Dimarzio artists and which model they played, 80% of them used the Tone Zone. It cleans up relatively well and just sounds huge. However, the mid response is squarely centered around the bass. This leaves it with a low end that personally isn’t tight enough for my tastes. Then again I’d say the same about the Crunchlab so take what I say with a grain of salt. An overdrive in front of the amp will make almost any pickup tight enough for modern metal use, but it’s still not my favorite. That being said, it covers all the shredding, fusion, and clean ground a classic RG is expected to cover extremely well! Build Quality: Made in Japan Ibanezes have been an industry standard for value for 30 years. The perfect overlap between cost-effectiveness and high end quality. There are in fact guitars with slightly better fit and finish, though they cost 2-3 times as much. As a long time player of many of those extreme high end brands such as Mayones, I still wind up owning and playing Ibanezes more frequently than almost any other brand. You won’t find any amateur flaws on these guitars. The AANJ heel is the metric against which all modern bolt-ons are measured. It provides the ultimate in fret access while maintain a very tight and secure neck pocket. One of my favorite things about this guitar is the fretwork. Prestiges require zero fretwork out of the box and actually rival some boutique luthiers. Ibanez has really stepped it up in the last few years. Any Prestige you buy is going to play like a Prestige: amazing. And the last few paragraphs read like copy/paste because I haven’t been able to find any issues on any 655 I’ve played, or any modern Prestige for that matter. Final Verdict: The RG655 is an amazing way to get a brand new take on the classic ’87-’93 Ibanez. Even better, left hand players can finally rejoice as they have a great option. The Cobalt Blue Metallic finish that the left handed model comes in is flashy and classy, and the pickups and wood choice deliver pro-grade Ibanez tone for all genres. For the tightest of tight modern metal tones, running an overdrive is recommended. This plays fantastically right out of the box, and the stripped down function first-specs bring it in at a bargain price! An especially great value guitar for a left handed player looking for a sleek, high performance, shred guitar. After an RG655? Remember, we are dealers for Ibanez and can hook you up. Check our selection out here. Tone – 4.5/5 Build Quality – 4.5/5 Features: 5/5 This article was written by Kyle Karich, our editor located in Florida.