GRG121 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8 (146 votes)
Ibanez: GRG121

Price paid: £ 152

Purchased from: Fair Deal Music via Amazon

Sound — 10
The Guitar is very much made for rock, metal and generally heavier styles of music, It sounds amazing plugged into my Line 6 Spider IV 75. I use the effects built into the amp instead of pedals and every single one sounds really really good with it. I like to play it on the "Insane" setting on my amp which is an extra distorted metal sound. It sounds really nice and punchy. The sound is bright, rich, and full all at the same time and you would not guess that it cost what it did. It sounds better than my 52 Tele Strat! The guitar can make all sorts of weird and wonderful sounds, you just have to know how.

Overall Impression — 10
I personally play rock, indie, heavy metal, grunge, alternative rock. So a wide range of heavier genres. The guitar copes perfectly with each one of these. I have been playing for 17 years, the reason I bought this guitar was to teach my friend with but he decided he didn't want to learn after all and I decided to see how it played just out of curiosity (and I'm glad I did) If it was stolen or lost I would be pretty Pi**ed off and would go out and buy a new one. I love the fret board, It's so smooth and easy to play on. The worst feature (and not a big deal) is the inlays could be a bit more exciting than the Standard dots but thats just a small detail I'm really not to fussed about. The reason I chose this guitar (originally for my friend) was because it looked the best guitar for his budget 150. I compared it to the model one up from this which I think costs 179 the cheapest - 200. I chose this one though because the finish looked more neat and the other guitar had a whammy bar which I thought was unnecessary on a beginners guitar and also that it would go out of tune if you use it considering it's not the most expensive guitar around. As I said before the only thing I wish it had were more exciting inlays but hey, who cares about something like that? I have tried not to be bias but I really can't fault this guitar! Especially for a beginner but I love it and I have played it more than my Gibson Les Paul Studio Special the past 2 weeks! Ibanez did a great job. :)

Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar would definitely withstand live playing. I would still take a backup with me incase you have a freak accident like a broken string but I can't see why this would happen if you changed them as and when you need to. The hardware although plastic not metal seems very durable and looks and feels like it could take a beating. The strap buttons are also plastic but also very very sturdy and you shouldn't have any problems. I can definitely depend on it if I made sure I changed the strings correctly as I said before. The finish is flawless and will hopefully last me many years, this is by no means far my first guitar but one I shall treasure and keep and eventually would like to pass onto my son and then grandchildren.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
As I mentioned before the guitar came 100% setup straight from the box. It was fully in tune, neck tightened, intonation perfect, Bridge fully adjusted, there were no faults at all nothing was playing up. The tuning pegs were fine, as were the pick ups and other controls. I can't say anything bad about the factory finish!

Features — 10
The guitar I bought was a Ibanez GRGR121EX in Black Night Colour, I managed to find it for 152 although it usually varies between 170-188. It is a 2010 model made in Indonesia, The guitar has 24 frets and the neck is quite thin which is handy for beginners. It has a maple neck with a solid finish and just plain Dot inlays. It is noticeably lighter than other guitars which in my opinion is nice. It has a fixed bridge, 2 pick ups and active electronics. It has a 3 way selector, 1 volume control and 1 tone control on the guitar. It has a Standard Ibanez PSND3 neck pick up and a Standard Ibanez PSND4 Bridge pick up. These are the flat "soap bar" style pick ups and are finished in a matte black. The guitars hardware is all in black and give it that extra heavy metal look, overall the guitar looks extremely sexy and mean at the same time. When I got the guitar it came very well packaged in an outer Ibanez box. When you open the box you notice the padding in it keeping it safe which is reassuring. The actual guitar is in a polystyrene slip to protect it from scratches and it certainly does it's job. The thing which I was surprised with was when I first strummed it, I noticed the guitar was perfectly in tune! Also it comes with D'Addrio strings already on which is good for a Standard beginners guitar. The guitar also comes with an owners manuel and a amp cable.

13 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I think the GRG121 and GRG121EX two different types. it seems that GRG121EX's humbuckers are covered. The GRG121 's humbuckers has two sensor line. Lot of owner write the review on wrong place.
    I'm looking for a cheap guitar to use in the practise room / for recording demos. Been playing for 6 years. Would this be a good choice? I never picked one up, considering there are no music stores in my proximity. Also, we tune to drop A#, how well would this guitar handle such a low tuning?
    I have the same thing, and I've put seymour duncan 59's on both the humbuckers, and, it screams, but I want ? floyd rose
    I got a camo painted GRG121EX for $100 barely used at a SamAsh. As an instrument, it is a very good value: good feel, plays fast, good pickups (beyond Duncan Designed humbuckers from overseas), decent tuners, and a hardtail Strat type bridge with string-thru-body. It's very plain, squarish, but for a bevel like a Strat. But is balances well and is a natural feeling guitar. What you need done is to get the neck angle right (shimmed) and the saddles raised to make the Allen screws stop chafing the hand, and deepen the nuts slots (best left to a setup guy). then you can set the pickup height and tilt angle. the guitar takes on an entirely new character: versatile, covers rock or country or rock and roll. I have owned and sold easily 130-150 guitars over the years and this is one of the best values I ever came upon. For $100 used, it's almost too good to be true. Buy it! You're Welcome...
    letsROCK147 wrote: seems kinda basic (it sucks)
    Haha, what a shitty comment. For the money this thing is a great guitar. My friend has it and with the right amp you can make it sound pretty damn good. The hardware is fairly faulty though.
    jailhawkk wrote: ibanze with out a floyd rose, tisk tisk tragic waste of wood
    not really, for the price it seems as if its for beginers, and they wouldn't want a floyd rose. Also if you tune down a lot they are annoying too . Look at the RGA42, great guitar, no fr
    Great for the price but of course it's not amazing. A guy in college dropped his once when the strap button came off, and it landed face-down. Two nasty cracks straight from the bridge to the tail-end of the guitar. He sucked anyway.
    This was my first electric guitar and I have been pretty satisfied. Great deal for a beginner with low-budget.
    whats the neck like on this, im looking at it as a cheaper alternative to the rgr321ex
    Logic is hard
    I've heard the pickups are active pickups. Does a battery to power it get included when you purchase this guitar? Or was the information I received wrong. Sorry if this is a stupid question but I'm a complete beginner.
    Maybe mine is defected, but the bridge pick up only works when the tone knob is at maximum and even then it sounds pretty terrible. But the neck pick up is fine.
    No way a Gio Ibanez is a perfect 10, a 6 seems more reasonable. I mean, if a Gio (Ibanez' entry-level guitar) is a 10 then what would the crazy Prestige/Premium guitars be?