RGA32 Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 05/06/2011 category: Electric Guitars
Ibanez: RGA32
My overall impression of this guitar is that while it suits my style of playing mostly metal it may not be for everyone without a pickup change.
 Sound: 8.3
 Overall Impression: 9.1
 Reliability & Durability: 9.1
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.6
 Features: 8
 Overall rating:
 8.1 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.6 
 Users rating:
 7.5 
 Votes:
 65 
reviews (8) pictures (6) 31 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.4
RGA32 Reviewed by: !-twisty-!, on may 28, 2010
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 289

Purchased from: GAK

Features: This 24 fret superstrat style guitar was made in indonesia in 2009. The guitar is made with a mahogany body with a 3 piece maple wizard 2 bolt on neck with rosewood fingerboard with white binding, it features basic Dot inlays nothing fancy but practical. The gibraltar bridge was something new to me (previously always played tune-o-matics) it didn't feel too different however it did feel smoother to rest agaist while playing and provided much better sustain that a tune-o-matic. Features 1 volume and 1 tone knob and a 3 way blade style pick up selector. Standard Ibanez tuners and nut. The model I own is the european only natural mahogany finish and it is beautiful the only downside is that it didn't come with the active eq Switch that other Rga's feature. // 9

Sound: Mostly I play metal, however lately I have been venturing towards pink floyd and other lighter material. The LZ3 active pickups in the guitar are lovely for metal with tight lows and good mids and treble response. However, even after replacing batteries and adjusting pickup height on the guitar I found cleans hard to aquire. I have played this through a Peavey Valveking, a Bugera 6262 and a Vox ac30 it provides a nice warm tone for the most due to the mahogany however the actives tend to push the amps into overdrive/distortion quite quickly. However the guitar is very quiet just not so great at clean tones. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: The action on the guitar was great when it arivved pretty much ready to play with the pickups at a good height. My only gripes about the guitar was that a couple of the frets higher up hadnt been cut properly and where still sharp and some of the finish wasn't applied as thickly around the pick up selector. Apart from these minor defects which where easy to fix the guitar was perfect // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will most certainly withstand live playing and could easily be used as a main guitar preferably with a pick-up change. I have owned the guitar for about 6 months now and the only problem has been scratches on the back due to my belt buckle. It has been dropped a few times as a result of me being clumsy, the strap buttons are huge and easily hold a strap in placce however I may still exchange them for strap locks out of preference. I do not see this guitar failing on me anytime soon or in the projected future. // 9

Overall Impression: My overall impression of this guitar is that while it suits my style of playing mostly metal it may not be for everyone without a pickup change. I have been playing 3 and a half years and played bass 4 years previous to that. I wish I had looked at Jackson a bit more before buying this guitar just to compare the feels however I took a risk and I'm very pleased with it. If someone stole the guitar I would definately buy a new one if I had the chance as it is a delight to play. The only the I could say is I wish the cleans where better. // 9

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overall: 9.6
RGA32 Reviewed by: Lopez El Tigre, on july 08, 2010
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 299.99

Purchased from: Rimmers Music

Features: This 24 fret superstrat style guitar was made in indonesia in 2009. It's a mahogany body with a 3 piece maple Wizard 2 bolt on neck with rosewood fingerboard. It has basic Dot inlays. The gibraltar bridge has great sustain, and is extremely comfortable for resting my hand on. Features 1 volume and 1 tone knob and a 3 way blade style pick up selector. Standard Ibanez tuners and nut. I have the European only Mahogany Oil finish. // 8

Sound: I play all kinds of stuff: metal, blues, classic rock, etc, and it seems to handle all of them great. Clean sounds are a little tricky to get just right, because the LZ3 pickups do seem a little more focused on metal, and don't really give warm or soft sounds unless you really play around with amp settings. Distortion sounds are great on this guitar (because like I said, the pickups do seem to focus on the heavier music genres). It gives great treble, bass and mid sounds, and the bridge and mahogany body give it great sustain. Personally, I play a lot of Muse songs, so harmonics are hugely important, and they are really easy to make. Overall, a great sound, just a little difficult to clean up. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Almost flawless build quality. Only problem was that the last few frets were sharper than the rest, but that just took a little bit of filing, no biggie. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Playing live with this is a breeze. I haven't had a single electronic flaw since I bought it (a couple of months ago), even after accidentally dropping twice. It's super light so if you're a very mobile player it's perfect, and everything about the way it's built seems solid. I haven't seen a single flaw in the finish so far, even after gigging. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall, I love this guitar, especially at the price I paid for it. I've even put a Fernandes Sustainer in it, which makes it even better. I can't really pick a bad thing about it, and would definitely buy again if lost/stolen. // 10

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overall: 8.8
RGA32 Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 26, 2010
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 250

Purchased from: DV247 - Digital Village

Features: Bought it as nearly new 2009 model from Indonesia. It was pretty much unplayed and it its original packaging so I managed to save a good 50 quid. I won't bore you with the details but I was in the market for a Hard Tail, twin humbucking guitar to complement my 2002 Korean RG320FA and featurewise, it's a lot more simpler, but more versatile. Fixed bridge allows me to change tuning whenever without having to worry about setting the tension on the floyd rose. First guitar I've played with active pickups so they're growing on me. Overall, I won't really say that this is the most versatile guitar, nor is it packed with the most features. There IS some degree of tone manipulation that can be had from the 2 pots and 3 way Switch so I don't think pickup configuration is as bad as people make it out to be. Tuners are great with a smooth action that keeps the strings in tune every time I pick it up. Came Standard with D'Adarios. Neck feels fast and flat, but feels different to the RG320 despite both of them being Wizard 2's. The RGA's neck feels a bit squarer. Needless to say the binding is very smooth and the frets are finished well. Mahogany body with stained finish is simplicity in itself! For features I'll give it a 8 because my RG320 has more flexibility in terms of tone and has a Floyd Rose (not that I use it much) // 8

Sound: Played through a Line 6 TonePort GX and Pod Farm. Amp models are pretty much of the nu-metal/pop-punk/metalcore ilk - Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier through Line 6 4x12's with tube screamer. Bridge pickup provides fat tone that also allows triplets to sound out individually even when palm muted. Perfect for metalcore. But for outright chugging, there's very good clarity in the pickups. I think my batteries may need replacing because my Schecter Blackhawk w/Seymour Duncan Invader bridge as well as the RG320 sound louder. Neck pickup isn't as bright as say a passive powersound on the RG320 but is thick nonetheless. I've played it through clean settings and don't get ANY noise from it whatsoever. In short, I was impressed with the sound. The sustain is just as good as the RG320 but would have enhanced if it wasn't an archtop. The guitar, despite being mahogany is deceptively light! For my sort of music (Pop Punk/Screamo/generic metalcore/metal and the odd clean classical) it does the job VERY nicely. The right guitar fro the right job. Need to see how well it sounds through a proper tube amp though. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Neck and hardware on the whole was very good but wasn't impressed with the body. The cutaways weren't finished properly with the edges looking rather chamfered rather than straight when looking at it face on. Form a distance it's not noticeable but when I'm looking at it side by side against my korean RG320, it's in a slightly lower league in terms of body finish. Being from Indonesia myself, my dad's got furniture made from teak and mahogany back home - this guitar's finishing is similar to the furniture. Some few minor rough edges that slipped through quality control - I suppose the rejection rates are a lot lower for readily produced mid-range guitars like this. I wish the shape and forming was as good as the koreans which stopped this getting a higher mark. Neck, however is impeccable. Smooth, blemish free. The binding looks and feels smooth. The nut is cut nicely (unlike my Schecter blackhawk which was cut too low causing annoying fret buzzing on 1st -3rd frets!) and the frets themselves are nicely rounded off and finished. Battery cavity is finished well as is the holes for the strings. Hardware - Faultless. The minor imperfections with the craftsmanship on the body is what holds this from getting an 8 or a 9. Mahogany oil finish was the main reason why I got this guitar - I love the natural looks but unfortunately doesn't mask any workmanship flaws. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I don't really play live but I think it ought to withstand a live performance with everything seemingly sturdily built. I know the electroplated finishes on the hardware wear off after 2-3 years as it oxidises or reacts with the salts in your skin so I'll be expecting it. It's a relatively simple setup with the guitar so as long as I treat it with oil (I've resorted to using olive oil purely because it's what I have at home on the body) and replacing the batteries for the pickups every so often, I'd have no qualms about its durability or reliability so I'll give it a full 10 marks - I don't think ANYTHING WILL go Wrong with this. // 10

Overall Impression: I bought this guitar because I always loved the shape and playability of the RG's. However, I also like natural guitars as well as archtops. I remember playing on some SZ's S and SA's in the past and fancied it if they did an RG in an archtop! This fitted the bill... and for the price, it's an absolute bargain! In my arsenal, this guitar is set to replace the Schecter Blackhawk in its duties because it plays well and is better finished. After 5 minutes of playing with it, I was impressed and instantly took a Shine to it. It plays very nice sitting down or standing up and was surprised as to how light it is compared to the RG. The archtop IS thinner than Standard RGs, but the denser mahogany brigs back some of that lost sustain. I wasn't expecting much by way of features but was overwhelmed by performance. Anybody LOOKING for a dual humbucking, active pickup 24 fret guitar to play contemporary metal/hard rock etc ought to seriously consider this. It's got more cards up its sleeve than what people make it out to have. 2 thumbs up from me. // 9

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overall: 7.6
RGA32 Reviewed by: WashburNiels, on july 08, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 289

Purchased from: Feedback Rotterdam

Features: My RGA is the 2010 model in white, I believe only availeble in Europe. It's made in Indonesia, mahogany body, 3pc maple neck (bolt on), 2 Ibanez LO-Z active humbuckers and a Gibraltar Standard bridge. Further it has a volume and tone knob and a 3way switch. // 8

Sound: Mostly I play metal and hardrock. This guitar suits my style perfectly. I get lots of gain from the humbuckers but when I need clean sounds, it does that perfectly too. I don't use any effects, I plug the guitar straigt into my Peavy Valveking. I get a full, deep distorted sound especially on the bridge humbucker. The pickups are really quiet, I get almost no noise when being plugged in but not playing. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: From the factory the set-up was just fine. The action was a little high but nothing I couldn't fix. The bridge pickup needed to be raised but the rest was fine. The intonation was spot on. I checked for flaws and the only thing is that there is a very small chip out of the back of the headstock. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I always fit my guitar with straplocks, you never know.. I would play without backup just because it feels realy sturdy. The only thing I worry about is the finish of the bridge, maybe with a lot of palm muting the chrome could get less. Time wil tell... // 6

Overall Impression: Overall I'm in love with this guitar, it suits my style perfectly. The neck fits my hands perfectly and play's like a dream. This is my third guitar, I own an old Ibanez Saber 540 and a Washburn MG 74, I got this guitar because of the fixed bridge. I've been playing guitar for 6 years now. I love the fixed bridge en the sound I get from the stock pickups. In the shop I played this guitar and a Epi G400, RGR 321 and a Dean Evo and this just blew the rest out of the water. // 8

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overall: 8
RGA32 Reviewed by: Trauma138, on november 16, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 310

Purchased from: Dawsons

Features: 2009/10 Made in Indonesia. 24 frets, 25.5 scale. Arched Mahogany body. Mine is the white version. Comes with Ibanez's gibraltar Standard bridge, which is flush to the body to help the strings resonate through the wood. It's string through body. Fitted with Ibanez Lz3 active humbucker Pick-ups. 1 volume, 1 tone. Standard Ibanez tuners. 3pc wizard II maple neck, rosewood fretboard, simple Dot inlays. Comes with alan keys for adjusting the bridge, instruction book and Ibanez side winding jack lead. // 8

Sound: I play a range of music from punk rock to blues and metal. The Ibanez pick-ups are really high output, which you would expect from an active pick-up. Together with the mahogany body they give a really fat sound. The bridge give's a really crunchy, well rounded sound, where as the neck gives a deep warm tone. Both pick ups together can sound quite muddy with a lot of distortion, and might have benefited from independent volume and tone controls. I'm playing through a Line 6 Uber Metal pedal, into a Roland Cube 80x. The Line 6 has a noise gate which stops any noise from the pick-ups but even when you turn it off, they're as quiet as you like. When it comes time for cleans it handles them really well, nice and warm and rich, but not so much for the bluesy stuff, but I bought it to play metal, so it's all good. Thanks to the bridge, and the active pick-ups it sustains for days. I have trouble keeping it in tune lately, but I dare say that's down to the strings needing changing. Can't fault it when it comes to metal, but it's not the most varied sounding guitar you'll ever come across. As a rhythm player in a rock/metal band, it's perfect for my needs. Gunna give it a 7 just for it's lack of variety, and so you all don't go mad at me in the comments for "over-rating" it. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: As people have come to expect from Ibanez, it is built as solid as a rock. Not had to adjust the action, not had to adjust the pick ups, not had to correct the intonation, although all of these a easily adjusted when needs be. Quite disappointed that the headstock is black when the body is white, but this is due to Ibanez saving on manufacturing costs by mass producing these necks for this series of guitars, but it has grown on me over time. The "cosmo black" hardware does pick up oil and such of you hands which makes it go dull, but is easily cleaned off and shined back up. When switching pick-ups quickly you can get quite a horrible clunk sometimes because the selector is quite stiff although it is starting to loosen off. A few scuffs on the binding around the headstock, but something that would probably come off with a bit of polish. Mostly, very well put together to be honest. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Haven't had chance to gig the guitar yet, but it's handling being carted back and forth to practice every week on trains and buses no problem. Solid hardware, apart from the tuning issues lately but I'm hoping that a string change will sort this. Strap buttons are solid, haven't been using strap locks as getting the strap on and off is quite a fight anyway. I'd never gig it would a back up just because there's always the fear of a string snapping. The paint has begin to wear down around the screws where the body is bolted to the neck on the back, and when the battery compartment is, but seems quite thickly applied everywhere else, but only time will tell. // 9

Overall Impression: For the rock and metal stuff that I mostly play, I cannot fault this guitar. Been playing (self taught) for about 7 years now, and this is my second Ibanez and my 5th guitar. I also own a Greg Bennett GT2 Flying V (Very under rated guitars), an epi Les Paul Custom and an Ibanez RG350, although all of these have been somewhat neglected since I bought the RGA. I'm actually looking to sell the LP (wink wink). Spent a good half an hour in the shop playing this guitar before I bought it. Compared it to the RGR321 and one of the Jackson Dinky's (that I can't remember the name of) but this was the one for me. I'd definitely replace it if it were lost or stolen. Another deciding factor for me, was the fact it's white. I mean come on, you've gotta own a white guitar at least once! Haven't regretted buying it once. // 8

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overall: 8.4
RGA32 Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 14, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 319

Purchased from: Just Music-Loughborough

Features: As features go the guitar has enough to get by - but as ever there's no point in giving ten points to a double-humbucking, fixed-bridge guitar. The pickups are the much disputed Ibanez LZ3's. They're active, though only powered by three volts (2xAA batteries). Ibanez explain this away by stating that AA's are more readily available than 9v batteries - although I'd argue they could sell them on their own merit. They're very versatile pickups, with a master tone and volume (passive, not active EQ). Other features include the Ibanez Gibraltar bridge, which as hard-tails go isn't too bad. The tuners are Ibanez standards, which are also (as the trend seems to be) just fine. There's no tremolo with which to abuse them, so they're more than adequate. The finish is an arched top in Oiled Mahogany, a finish exclusive to the European market, and I must admit it looks rather nice (though upon my return home my mum did remark 'it's very brown'... So go figure). // 7

Sound: I bought the guitar in order to play in irregular tunings more frequently. For the average player, this may be a problem - but my issue was one to do with tremolos. My other two guitars are a Carvin DC127 and a modified 1994 Japanese Fender Stratocaster, both of which are Stellar guitars - but both feature two point floating trems (the Strat is modified, like I said) which can be a complete pain in the arse when it comes to a re-tune. So, this guitar was a cheap guitar I picked up in order to explore broader musical avenues. My playing style varies - though it is founded upon the tunes of Pink Floyd and Radiohead, but my playing has taken me through the music of The Fall of Troy, Reuben, Thrice, The Beatles, Minus the Bear, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Satriani, Tool etc., etc. Recently I've been working my way through an entire book of 'this town needs guns', a band which rarely use the same tuning twice. This guitar, though people may not believe it, is perfect for playing such things. The pickups are quite clean when run through my rig (Marshall DSL401 [w/Celestion V30], Boss CS-3, EHX nano small stone, Boss OD-3, EHX Little big muff, and a Boss DD-7 run through the loop), and yet still retain their clarity when the amp's overdrive is kicked into action. The stock parts did prove to lack somewhat in the hi-end range, and when the volume or tone was laid back, the guitar completely loses its edge - losing all the clarity previously mentioned. These issues lay not in the pickups (which are also Standard in the prestige range), but lay instead within the import electronics, a problem that is frankly unavoidable when confronting guitars from such a price range. Recently I have replaced the stock 25k ohm pots with CGS 50k pots (the increase in value allows for much better hi-end response), an oak selector, and sprague 0.1 drop-caps. The result was subtle, but worth the effort. The pickups retained the clarity they displayed before the mod, but maintained them throughout any alterations to the tone and volume controls. The guitars range is truly phenomenal - with a clear, but prominent bass response, a subtle mid range response, and now (after the mod) a broad, clear treble response. Don't get me wrong, this pales in comparison to my US made Carvin - but for the price, you can't go far wrong. The mark mentioned is relevant to stock parts, and after the mods I would judge it bumped up to a nine. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was great upon purchase - though I always immediately swap my guitar strings out for 11's, so I had to alter the action regardless. The neck is wonderful, but then again Ibanez necks always are - and their international quality control makes other, more prominent, manufacturers look stupid. Despite the change of electronics previously mentioned, the stock electronics were still installed just fine - and there's nothing for me to complain about. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've not smashed it into anything, nor have I attempted to burn it, but it feels just dandy. // 9

Overall Impression: A great guitar, to be frank - exceedingly good bang for your buck... Or, at least, your quid. // 9

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overall: 9.4
RGA32 Reviewed by: tarrei, on january 17, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 400

Purchased from: musicstoregdc.de

Features: The typical Ibanez sharpened Strat body is finished (MOL version) with a very nice wooden look. well, it's oiled mahagony after all. It is very light, lighter than for example the RGR, and still provides - in my opinion - a fuller sound. The guitar has the fixed "Gibraltar" bridge that's especially useful when one changes tunings from time to time like i do. it's a smooth feeling when palm muting. Also the Bridge transfers the string vibration very well and makes the sound very full. It has the active Ibanez LZ3 pickups. they do the job and provide a very heavy distorted sound. They are powered by 2 AA batteries. Also there is a 3 way Switch for the Pickups. You can choose between: -Bridge Humbucker -1 Bridge coil + 1 Neck Coil -Neck Humbucker You won't hear a sound while changing pickups. Also the bag and strap that come with it are the Standard Ibanez, the strap sits tight around the knobs and doesn't come off quickly. the bag has lots of room in it. Definitely useful. It has a tone knob that I got cranked up anyways. Wouldn't care if it were gone. It doesn't make too much of a differnce. // 9

Sound: I have a Line6 POD 2.0 and mostly play into my PC. The sound is great - Very crunchy and has a hard attack. Just right for Metal. It might be hard to get a nice clean tone. i was trying around for a while now and I found it best to just set the POD on bypass (tuner). It sounds so great then, similar to an Acoustic guitar through pickup. (D'Addario strings ;D ) I only have a little Marshall MG45 practice amp which I basically use as speaker at times. But I get a very warm clean tone from it and quite crunchy distorted sounds. It's all good. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: As I ordered it through a local dealer it was checked and set up again by them, I can't judge whether there were any mistakes. It's all fine now. The Humbucker frames are were a bit oxidized though. Not too much of a deal in my eyes though. One won't see it over that cool finish anyways. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will definitely last a while. The finish is durable, although I managed to get some scratches from my belt buckle in it on the back. They are barely visible. As the finish is just oil it is not damaged itself though. As far as I can judge: The hardware is solid. Neither the strap nor the buttons will come off easily. I'd use it without backup. Maybe pack an extra pair of batteries just in case :D // 10

Overall Impression: Since i play mostly metal with heavy riffs and deep sounds this is just the right thing. I tuned the guitar down to Drop B and it still sounds very clear and melodious. I've been playing the electric guitar for almost 3 years now, before that i played Acoustic guitar for a bit (not very regular lateron) Of course, this is my first "real" electric guitar. I only have a Squier Strat. I played some other ibanez, Dean and Schecter though and the feel of this guitar is just great. The fingers just walk across the fretboard easily. The XJ frets make it very easyly plyable. If this were stolen or lost I'd buy the same one again. I don't think there's a better choice in this pricing category. I considered some ESPs but it's hard to find a fixed bridge strat. I love the simplicity of the both the look and the hardware. Volume, Tone, Toggle, that's all I need. I might put in some new pickups at some point, but those Ibanez ones are really steaming hot and since I found a way to get a nice clean sound I'm very satisfied for now :) hell, I don't even feel a craving for gear at the moment. I guess you can get it cheaper than I did, but I also payed for the service and consulting I got at the store, so that'S fine. I guess there's no better fixed bridge guitar in this price class. And since most tremolo system guitars suck at tuning stability in this price class anyways... // 10

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overall: 8.8
RGA32 Reviewed by: chord masta', on may 06, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 300

Purchased from: Selinger's Music

Features: This 24 fret beast, made in Indonesia, is great for any type of rock, be it metal, soft rock, or just plain rock, it's fun to play and very comfortable. The 2010 model (RGA32-TYF) features a silver finish, and is shaped like a superstrat. It rarely goes out of tune, although the bottom string does tend to rattle sometimes. It has one volume control and one tone control. It does not come with any accessories // 7

Sound: I think it definitely fits my style, which is mostly rock, and is great to jam around with and practice with. The current effects board I'm using it with makes it sound even better, and it even sounds good without effects, which is one thing I love about the guitar. It has a nice, rich sound to it. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The action is great, and was definitely well made. The default pickup adjustment is ok, although the bottom string does tend to rattle (not sure if it's vibrating on the pickup or not though). // 9

Reliability & Durability: I think that this guitar will withstand gigging, and would probably sound great if someone used it for gigging. The strap buttons are solid and secure. I think that I can depend on it, and would probably use it in a gig without a backup guitar. // 10

Overall Impression: I usually play hard rock/metal songs, and this guitar suits me just fine. It may not be the best guitar for my style, but with the price I got it at, you can't go wrong. The one thing I like about it is the flat neck, it is very comfortable to rest on while playing, and is smooth as heck. That is one my of favorite parts of the guitar. // 10

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