Being the first mass-produced 8 string, you’d think that the RG2228 would be a little rough around the edges, but the countless users of this instrument – an ever-growing list including Fredrik Thordendal, Misha Mansoor, and of course Tosin Abasi (who we recently did a Geared piece on) – would beg to differ. Ibanez now offers 3 models of 8-strings, but as a part of the Made In Japan, Prestige series, the 2228 is still the pinnacle of their offerings.

Let’s take some time today to do a review of this beast of a guitar!


– Solid Basswood Body
– Galaxy Black Sparkle Finish
– 5-piece Maple/Wenge Neck w/ KTS Titanium Rods
– Ultra-8 Prestige Neck Profile
– Rosewood Fretboard
– 27’’ Scale Length
– 24 Jumbo Frets
– Pearl Dot Inlays
– FX Edge III-8 Locking Hardtail Bridge
– Locking Nut
– Gotoh SG381 Tuners
– EMG 808 Pickups
– Volume and Tone Controls with 3-Way Selector

This guitar has the thinnest neck of the 8 string models Ibanez makes and while I am not a fan of uber-thin shred necks, the Ultra-8 Prestige neck profile perfectly offsets the added difficulty of a wider neck. It gives the illusion of a thicker neck profile while still increasing playability. The added Galaxy Black Sparkle finish is a subtle, yet pleasing change from the copious amounts of gloss black guitars being made these days.

Ibanez RG2228


The combination of Basswood body, Maple neck and Rosewood fretboard makes for a very balanced sound and works well as a blank slate, allowing the pickups’ voicing to come through transparently. We talk more about this in our Ultimate Guide to Tonewoods.

While active pickups are very divisive pieces of electronic equipment, the clarity on the lowest two strings from the EMG 808 set is very hard to argue against. With a quick response and some added compression for balance and sustain, the tone is crisp and clear without sacrificing the full body and thickness of even the lowest notes.

With Alnico V magnets, these pickups offer a high output that complement high gain amps extremely well and allow you to keep the gain knob on your amp lower than expected for a clearer, more defined tone straight from the guitar itself. This means that no matter what you plug into you can expect a well defined low end without struggling with amp settings. Combine that with the 27’’ scale length, and you’ve got all the clarity and pitch stability you could ask for.

Build Quality:

Unlike the more affordable RG8 model, the RG2228 is in fact a MIJ model, so it’s no surprise that these guitars are well built. The issues that plague so many budget guitars including sharp fret edges, uneven fret jobs, neck pocket gaps, etc. are non-existent on this model.

The finish on the guitar was immaculate, and there were no bubbling, dust, or other paint mishaps you might see on lower end instruments.

All parts were secured properly, all holes were drilled straight and accurately, I was extremely hard pressed to find a single flaw in the construction of this guitar. Being a practical, straight-forward model that doesn’t flaunt fancy finishes or finicky tremolo systems means that there’s a better chance of avoiding issues, so it’s not surprising.

You get precisely what you expect from a Prestige Ibanez model, the quality is significantly higher than their other lines. As soon as you pick up the guitar you can feel the solidity of it – it feels like one single piece of mass. There’s no loose parts or odd weighting, it’s a balanced and cohesive feeling guitar.

Final Verdict:

It’s hardly shocking that this guitar was universally so well received. Comfortable fit, great sound, and high quality craftsmanship makes this simplistically designed, 8-string guitar a great choice for any player looking to extend their range a bit.


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This article was written by Connor Gilkinson, our editor located in Canada.

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