Price paid: $ 399
Purchased from: eBay dealer (new)
Features: The Ibanez RG471AH comes in two separate finishes, the natural flat or walnut flat. I ordered the natural flat because at the time I didn't realize the walnut flat finish was available. I believe mine was manufactured in 2011. The body is ash and the neck is 3 piece maple. The RG471AH has a Wizard III neck with 24 jumbo frets and a 400 mm neck radius, which translates to 15.74 inches. You also get the standard sharktooth inlays that come with the Ibanez RG series on a bound rosewood fretboard. The bridge is a Gibraltar standard bridge, which is a non-tremolo bridge with separate saddles for each string to get the string intonation dialed in exactly right.
The strings are through body before feeding into the bridge which gives great sustain. The Ibanez Infinity pickups (which are passive pickups) are two humbuckers with a single coil in the middle. The bridge and middle single coil pickup in the middle are alnico, and the neck humbucker is ceramic. You also have a 5 way pickup selector and one volume and one tone knob. The features I would have liked to have seen on this guitar are some coil splitting switches or a push-pull pot. Also, I would have liked to have seen some other finish options and a pickguard. // 8
Sound: I play a fairly wide variety genre-wise, but probably mainly I play overdriven blues, post-grunge, and old style thrash metal. I also will occasionally play classic rock, outlaw country, and assorted other genres that might catch my entrance for a few months at a time. The RG471AH is pretty versatile in matching whatever genre I need it to perform for. I play through a Peavey Transtube 212 EFX, a Blackheart Little Giant, an Orange Crush series, or through my Vox JamVox or Line 6 TonePort UX2 with Gearbox software. As effects with my amps, I use an Electro-Harmonix Germanium 4 and a Big Muff pedal, as well as an Ibanez ToneLok delay and occasionally use a Vox Tonelab ST multi-effects processor.
The majority of the time I am only using my amps' distortion and reverb, and go to pedals when I am chasing a specific tone. The Ibanez RG471AH has the same 'weakness' that most of the Ibanezes I've owned have had, which is that the pickups are mediocre. They aren't necessarily bad, but they just don't have the character that a set of DiMarzios would have. I don't have any problem getting as heavy as I want with the Infinity pickups that come stock, can easily get pinch harmonics, and can easily get good clean tones as well it is just they sound a little flat to me. Again, I may be being a little picky, but I believe I'm going to replace the humbuckers with some DiMarzio Breeds. Just to be clear, the stock pickups aren't bad, they just sound mediocre and plain to my ears. I have this guitar tuned to C standard and have been using it mostly for post-grunge type music, as well as some desert rock at the moment as that was one of the most recent music genres to catch my attention. // 7
Action, Fit & Finish: The action was pretty low when I received this guitar, but after putting some Ernie Ball Not Even Slinkys on here, I re-adjusted the intonation and neck and got the action even lower Probably close to 1/16th of an inch and no fret buzz. I'm very happy with the action and the neck as being the best qualities of this guitar. The pickups were adjusted properly and no adjustment was needed to their height or angle. I'm not sure what kind of sealant was used on the ash body, but it doesn't really feel like it is giving much protection. It is maybe a very thin matte finish, but I'm not sure. The Ibanez website does not say for sure.
I do know that I've heard someone say they've had one of the Ibanez RG471AH's that had spilled some things on it, and it had dyed the wood, which really makes it sound like there is no type of sealant at all. I know the body feels smooth, and I'm not going to spill anything on it to see if it will absorb it and dye the wood. The weight of the guitar isn't bad it isn't extremely heavy and isn't extremely light. The jumbo pickups with this neck profile are great and chords and single notes are extremely easy to fret. As much as I feel nervous about the finish, I am so impressed with the action, neck profile and frets that I have to give this an 8. // 8
Reliability & Durability: Unfortunately, this section is where the RG471AH has to lose some points. The finish is very thin, and while I've been very careful and haven't damaged it yet I live in a constant state of anxiety about it. I did not find any imperfections on the guitar when I received it new, but just waiting for it to happen. In the past I've had problems with Ibanez RGs with the hardware oxidizing but so far that hasn't occurred with this specific guitar, so that is a good sign. As far as playability I would trust this guitar for a gig, though I'm not really a gigging musician, I do jam with friends and don't think anything would happen to make this guitar non-functional. I do, however, see a likelihood of damaging the guitar with dents and dings, which I guess if I relax and let it happen then over time it will give the guitar character instead of just look bad. Having only owned this guitar for 3 months I can't give much more detail for durability yet. // 6
Overall Impression: I've been playing approximately 5 years or so, and I own several other guitars. I currently own a G&L S500 Tribute Series, an Xaviere XV-599, Ibanez AXD83P, and an old Ibanez RG with the original Wizard I neck. I've recently owned and either sold or traded an Epiphone G400, an Ibanez RG370 and an Ibanez RGD. My overall impression of the RG471AH is that it is very versatile, it has a great neck and frets, the pickups are mediocre and bland and that the finish is dangerously thin.
Before I bought this I wish I had realized there was a walnut flat finish because it looks much better to me than the natural flat. If this were lost or stolen I might get the same guitar if I was restricted to the same price range. Honestly, I've been looking at replacing this guitar with a Carvin which is, of course, in a whole different price range. I think this guitar would be ideal for neo-classical shred for the guitarist who doesn't like tremolo bridges. It takes low tunings and alternate tunings well, but would benefit immensely from a pickup upgrade. // 7
- Brandon East (c) 2012