We’ve received countless requests for this review, and it’s finally here…

Ibanez brought you the first mass-produced 8 string in the world, and in keeping with that innovation, they bring you the Ibanez RG9QM 9-string electric guitar!

Let’s jump right into this one!


– Solid Basswood Body/Quilted Maple Top
– Black Ice Finish
– 5-Piece Maple/Bubinga Neck
– Wizard-9 Neck Profile
– Rosewood Fretboard
– 28’’ Scale Length
– 24 Jumbo Frets
– White Dot Inlays
– Gibraltar Standard II-9 Bridge
– Graph Tech Nut
– Ibanez Quantum Pickups
– Volume and Tone Controls with 5-Way Selector

The guitar plays extremely well, which is not a new experience with Ibanez guitars. As I said in our Ibanez RG2228 review, the neck is extra thin, but in a good way. Like many of you, I’m not a fun of ultra-thin necks, as they can cause muscle cramps and discomfort, but the neck thickness is there to balance out the width of a 9-string neck. What might seem too thin on paper actually sits at a nice medium feeling thickness. 9-string necks are already an endeavor in themselves, but Ibanez seems to have crafted a way around it, and rather effectively at that.

Ibanez RG9QM


Let’s not kid ourselves here…  Ibanez stock pickups, we all know what to expect: they’re nothing special, but they get the job done. However, in the case of the RG9, there is a bit more to offer than your typical stock pickup. The tone is fairly standard sounding and nothing to write home about, but the clarity and versatility of these pickups are quite surprising!

On the lowest note of this guitar (a whopping low C#!) the instrument maintains a consistently tight and clear tone compared to other stock pickups. While it delivers a pleasing overall modern distorted tone, the pickups are not hurting when it comes to clean tones either. The versatility of the 5-way selector balances out the higher output, giving you glassy cleans with a hint of spank when you want it.

The pickups are voiced more towards the modern side of distorted guitar tones, but not in a “mids-more-scooped-than-an-ice cream-parlour” kind of way. It’s tight, focused, and full sounding, if a bit lackluster overall. While the pickups themselves might not be anything revolutionary, with a good amp and a good player you can dial in some pleasantly surprising aggressive tones, and still have a side order of crisp cleans for your prog band.

Build Quality:

Keeping in mind that this guitar is priced as a mid-level instrument, the build quality is more than adequate. While there are a couple small issues with fret ends sticking out, they aren’t sharp, which is the bigger concern anyways. The guitar feels solid, as a 9 string should. It feels like a cohesive whole as opposed to a bunch of parts – that indescribable feeling when everything on a guitar is “just right.”

While there are no flaws in the finish on this guitar, the quilted maple top is not anything too fancy. The design is not detailed and intricate like you might find with upper tier J Custom or even Prestige models, but it certainly does not look cheap either. The top has no issues with being too thin, to the point of being able to see the wood underneath it. It’s not a work of art, but it’s a pretty gorgeous top for the price.



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

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