RGA42 Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 02/25/2014 category: Electric Guitars
Ibanez: RGA42
Superstrat style body, but with trademark Ibanez cutaways (much sharper and deeper) and a gently arched mahogany top.
 Sound: 9.3
 Overall Impression: 9.6
 Reliability & Durability: 9.7
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.4
 Features: 9.4
 Overall rating:
 9.1 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.5 
 Users rating:
 8.7 
 Votes:
 133 
reviews (7) pictures (3) 66 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
RGA42 Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 01, 2009
13 of 13 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 450

Purchased from: Axe Music

Features: Made in 2009 in Korea, solid mahogany body. It has a 3 piece Wizard II bolt on neck which is exceptionally fast and comfortable. The heel is designed very well, which allows easy access to the upper frets on the bound rosewood fretboard with 24 jumbo frets. Fixed bridge and string through provide endless sustain. Superstrat style body, but with trademark Ibanez cutaways (much sharper and deeper) and a gently arched mahogany top. Finished in a high Shine solid black with "Cosmos Black" (burnished chrome) hardware; this beautiful guitar has a distinctly metal feel without an extremely radical body shape. Equipped with a very comfortable fixed bridge, 1 volume knob, 3 position pickup selector, onboard active EQ (Bass boost/Treble Cut and vice versa) and two active Ibanez humbuckers. // 9

Sound: This guitar suits my music style (metal and hard rock in various forms) perfectly; the 3 different configurations of the two active humbuckers provide a relatively wide range of sounds, which sound fantastic with any amount of distortion ranging from light blues rock overdrive to skull crushing death metal distortion. Only complaint is the amount of fiddling I had to do to achieve a sparkling clean sound, but once you've found it, clean tones can Shine as well. Perfect for music with large amounts of distortion. Pickups are not noisy at all, and have quite a high output for stock. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Guitar was set up quite well at the factory, just had to fiddle with the intonation a bit. Pickups were adjusted just like I like them; low enough to not interfere with my picking technique yet high enough to create good sustain. No flaws were evident, and the tuning heads are especially precise for stock tuners. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The guitar is extremely solid and would have no difficulty playing Live. I would play it without a backup, as the fixed bridge drastically reduces the chance of string breaking. All the electronic components work perfectly. Strap buttons are solid, but I would still add straplocks to make sure it doesn't drop. Finish is very tough, but being high Shine black it shows every fingerprint, which is just something you have to sacrifice for such a beautiful finish. // 9

Overall Impression: I've been playing for about a year, and this guitar is an excellent match for me. I play mainly metal and hard rock, ranging from Zeppelin, Judas Priest, Savatage, Children Of Bodom and Circle II Circle. This guitars fits me perfectly both sound and stylewise. I would definately buy this guitar again if it was stolen, it's amazing for the price I paid. My favorite feature is the Wizard II neck; it's extraordinarily fast and comfortable to play for hours. The stock pickups are surprisingly good; not EMG 81/85 level but better than the "made by EMG" actives I tried in a number of LTD guitars. I tried out a number of others guitars, including other Ibanez models but chose this over an Ibanez tremolo equipped guitar because of the ease of tuning (and changes to drop tunings, which I do quite frequently) and the far superior sustain. I kind of wish this guitar had sharktooth inlays, but that is simply an aesthetic quibble which does not change how excellent this guitar is. // 9

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overall: 9.4
RGA42 Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 08, 2010
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 499

Purchased from: Route 62 Music Ebay

Features: Made inindonesia in 2009, 24 jumbo frets, extremely fast and comfortable 3 piece wizard 2 neck, easy access to all frets. String through fixed bridge provide endless sustain, mine is finished with a purple coloured finish not sure what it is called, 1 volume noob, 3 way pickup selector, active eq for bass boost or treble cut and two active pickups running on AA batteries. // 9

Sound: I play it on a Crate FW212 through my Boss ME-20 and play everything from chilli peppers to Slipknot and Parkway Drive, so it handles any genre of music perfectly. The pickups don't make noise at all and can take any amounts of distortion and effects with endless sustain. I am upgrading the pickups to EMG 81/85 for better tone, but if this guitar was equipted with them it would be perfect. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Out of the box it was set up pretty well, I just had to adjust the action a bit lower to what I'm used to, which was made really simple with the gibraltar bridge all you have t do is turn one screw. No flaws, everything was made very well and is top quallity (what you can expect from Ibanez). // 10

Reliability & Durability: I would definatly play without a backup, thehard looks like it will last for years to come, the strap buttons are solid but I use strap locks just to make sure I don't drop it, the finsh is great and doesn't mark that much by fingerprints. I could withstand live playing easily just remmber to bring spare batteries cause the pickups run on them and as they loose there power the tend to cut back on tone. // 10

Overall Impression: I've been playing for about 3 years and play everything from blues to hardcore with my Boss ME-20 and Crate amp and sounds perfect for anystyle you throw at it. If it were stolen I would definatly buy another one. I also own an Ibanez S320 (which I now only use for drop b and a) and fell in love with the RGA42 as you can quickly and easily change tunings without having to unscrew everything and re tune like you would with a floyde rose. My favourite feature are the neck and bridge witch are both extremely comfortable. Everything about this guitar is perfect the only thing you could improve on is the pickups to maybe EMG's DiMarzio's // 9

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overall: 9.4
RGA42 Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 15, 2010
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 900

Purchased from: Red hot music

Features: Ibanez Rga42, was made in 2009, I think Indonesia. 24 frets, jumbo and wizard neck II. The body is Mahogany with white biding. The neck is 3 piece maple. Finish is a beautiful "Cosmo Black" This Super Strat body, is amazing so comfortable. The bridge is a Edge III Tremolo, but I blocked it because I didn't want it, but still very nice. This guitar is active pickups, and suits is very well! The guitar has 1 volume, 3 way selector, and active pickup selector. The pickups are Lz3's? I think that's what it is. // 9

Sound: The sound is amazing! I play alot of punk, and abit of metal like- Grinspoon, Parkway Drive, Suicide Silence, Blink 182. And its suit them all well. I run it through a Vox VT100, there is absolutely no noise, even when the gain is up, no noise at all. The sound is bright and clean, you can get many tones with it. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Well when I tried the guitar out at Red hot music, I asked if they could order in the Ibanez with no trem, but they stopped producing that, so they blocked the trem for me! The action was still amazing, the pickups were at the right height so I didn't have to adjust anything which was a bonus! The only thing that was a upset is that the input was ab-normally tight, so the lead was stuck alot more than normal, but that's the only flaw. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I've played this guitar in gig's and it does a excellent job. I have this guitar for about a month but already I can see that its solid. The strap buttons are solid, but I'm eventually going to put straplocks on. The guitar itself weighs a fair bit, very solid. I would gig without a backup for sure! The finish is most likely to fade after awhile but would still look amazing. // 10

Overall Impression: This guitar is amazing for all types of music, with the active pickups, thin neck, great finish anything is possible with this. I would buy another one without a doubt! the only thing i hate about it, is that it might be abit heavy for long gigs, which i dont like. other then that its a great buy. // 9

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overall: 9.8
RGA42 Reviewed by: BFMV1995, on december 15, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 288

Purchased from: Thomann.de

Features: It was made in 2009 in Indonesia. Its got 24 jumbo frets with a rosewood fingerboard, mahogany body, a gabraltar Standard bridge (which is goos for tuning to lower tunings), active pickups, 1 volume control, 3-way selector, 2 LZ3 pickups and non-locking tuners. I got a gig-bag, lead and strap included in the package. // 10

Sound: It really suits my playing style (metal). I have a Line 6 spder IV amp and I use dostortion the majority of the time. Its completely silent when I'm not playing it on distortion, and its the same with the clean channel. It produces a very good sound for me. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was a little high, and it didn't come with the correct tool to fix it, so I had to borrow my friends. Other than that it was set up perfect. The pickups were great height, the paintwork was fine, and there was no scratches on it at all. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I think this guitar would be able to withstand playing live, but I would possibly take a back up just incase the strap loacks come of or lose or something. The hardware seems like it will last a very long time and the finish is the same. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall, it is an excellent guitar, which hardly any flaws at all. I've been playing for 5 years and it is a great guitar for metal. If it was stolen or lost, I would definetely buy a new one. // 10

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overall: 9.6
RGA42 Reviewed by: syntheticocean, on december 24, 2010
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 370

Purchased from: American Musical

Features: Manufactured 5/27/09, 24 frets, wizard 2 neck, Mahogony body with a flamed maple top. Bright blue burst kinda looks grey/blue in normal lighting conditions. Gibraltar Standard bridge. Its a bolt on neck. Active LZ3 pickups. 1 volume with a 3 way selector and an EQ switch. Came included with the keys to adjust everything - a screwdriver lol and a instrument cable. For a guitar at this price I couldn't ask for more. // 10

Sound: I'm not too sure about the sound at the moment as I can't plug it in anytime soon. Without an amp it has EXCELLENT sustain. Notes ringing audibly for close to 30 seconds. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Factory setup was alright, minor adjustments and now the action is better than most 2,000$ guitars. The body finish is flawless. The cavity covers however are not. Rough edges not a big deal though. I took care of the problem in 2 minutes with some sandpaper. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I don't see any guitar not withstanding live playing unless you think you should be able to bounce it off the stage. I believe the hardware will last and although solid, the strap buttons will be replaced with locking buttons. I don't depend on ANY guitar enough to not have a backup. // 10

Overall Impression: I play most of the mainstream stuff heard on the radio, along with old metal/rock slowly learning the new metal. If this guitar were lost, I would ABSOLUTELY buy another. Its the best sub 400$ guitar I have ever played, let alone seen. // 10

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overall: 9.2
RGA42 Reviewed by: metfan1995, on august 23, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 400

Purchased from: Tony's music box

Features: Made in 2008, in Indonesia. This guitar features a jumbo 24 fret wizard 2 maple neck with rosewood fretboard. Very sleek, slender body like that of a cougar. Feature in 2 Ibanez active pickups a LoZ3-n in the neck and an LoZ3-b in the bridge. 1 volume knob, 3-way selector, and an active EQ switch. The bridge is a gibraltor standard string -thru which makes it extremely easy to change strings. // 9

Sound: This guitar sounds like angels singing. I play thrash metal and hard rock/blues rock, and it handles these sounds like a champ. I play through a Marshall MG30FX, which in my opinion is also a very versatile piece of equipment. The guitar handles the highs and lows and everything in between. Great for metal, and good for pretty much everything else. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: It was setup perfectly except for a loose toggle switch cap, but that's just mine. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This is definately a solid guitar I've banged it around a few times and it's even fallen over onto my hardwood floor, and the only thing that happened was a broken string. I would trust this guitar to hold up for years, even with the constant beating from live gigs. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall, this is an amazing guitar. I especially love the very thin wizard neck, there is only one thing I would change on it would be the tuners, I would switch them out with locking ones (just because I'm lazy). Brilliant guitar, brilliant tones, I definately recommend this guitar to anybody who plays any style especially metal. // 10

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overall: 10
RGA42 Reviewed by: jayster2, on february 25, 2014
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: ebay

Features: From what I've been reading I'd guess this guitar was made in 2009 or so. It's not as old as I am, but relatively speaking, it's not new. It has a mahogany body with an arch top, gorgeous black paint with white binding that goes ALMOST all the way around the body (more on that later...) and EMG pickups. Go read about the details somewhere else. I just want to relate my experience with this great guitar. Crap, it looks like I HAVE to fill in 500 characters in this section... It's got a wizard neck (Wizard III?, I have no idea, it's maple, it's Ibanez and it's really skinny with stupidly low action). // 10

Sound: I'm an old guy. I've got Led Zeppelin on the turn table right now. Just like I did yesterday, and a decade ago. I play blues and rock. It pisses off the neighbors if I plug in my Marshall 6100 so I've been playing this guitar through a Boss GT10 for which I've created some very nice sounds, and my Kemper, which I'm still not sure I like. The guitar is amazing though. I record a lot at home in my little home studio and it's hard to escape the ever present 60 cycle hum. These EMG's are dead-a-s quiet. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Years ago I got an Ibanez RG320 that I had rerouted and retro fit with a Edge I and some WCR Darkburst pickups. It's an okay guitar. (Those pickups are incredible though). I realize an RG320 isn't exactly high end but to be honest I pretty much gave up on Ibanez. I know a lot of famous players use Ibanez but frankly, any guitar with a basswood body doesn't work for me. It's got to be ash, alder or mahogany. I own a LOT of guitars. Probably more than you. I'm just sayin'. It was either get married and have kids, or buy guitars. A no brainer. (My girlfriend says as long as she can squeeze by the guitar cases and get to her side of the bed, I can have as many as I want. I LOVE that woman). When I discovered this guitar, I was knocked out by the way it looked (EFFING LETHAL) and when I discovered it had a mahogany body (with an arch top!), I bought it. I have no regrets. I've had a guitar that I retro fit with EMG 81 and 85 pickups before (an Ibanez S1520 and yeah, I know it's mahogany but I didn't like the saber body) and I sold it. Too edgy for my taste. I really love passive pickups, but I have to say, these EMGs really work in this guitar. Turn down the volume a bit and you've got a blues guitar. Crank it up and it bites like a snake. And it's a dream to play. I think the frets could be finished a little better on the ends, but other than that, it's an ass kicker. I really can't put it down. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Since this guitar has a fixed bridge and it's really solid, I can't see why anything should break. The tuners are okay, and... What else mechanical is there? I never play any gig without a backup no matter how durable my main axe is. The finish is black. With white trim. It looks awesome. The only thing that kind of bugs me is that the white trim/binding doesn't wrap all the way around into the cut outs. That's pretty lame. I mean, can you imagine if the binding on your Les Paul didn't wrap around to the inside of the cutout? You'd take it back. Seriously. You'd wonder "WTF?" Did Ibanez really save THAT MUCH MONEY by not putting binding on the last three inches of the cutouts? // 10

Overall Impression: If you haven't figured it out by now and if you still think my opinion matters, you can probably tell I really really like this guitar. In fact, I just bought a second one, but it has an Edge Zero II tremelo bridge on it. (I haven't received it yet or I would bore you with my opinion). I've been playing for over 30 years. I currently own a bunch of Les Pauls, PRS's, and a bunch of frankenstrats and tele's. I love them all. I'd really like to buy a third one (another of these RGA42's) so that I could replace the EMG's with some hi-quality passives just cause I really love passive humbuckers. Since this guitar has been discontinued for a while, you can probably find them relatively cheap. For the money, this is a GREAT guitar. It looks totally BAD A-S, it's easy to play and it sounds really good. This is a surprisingly good piece of work from Ibanez and unless it's completely bad ass appearance wouldn't fit in with your hippy love bands image, you should find one and buy it. It smokes. // 10

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