GRG121 Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 04/07/2011 category: Electric Guitars
Ibanez: GRG121
24 frets (medium frets), basswood body, neck scale 648mm/25.5, colored black/red, fixed bridge, humbucker/humbucker, 3-way switch. 1 volume knob, 1 tone knob.
 Sound: 9.6
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 9.4
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (5) 42 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.8
GRG121 Reviewed by: syn_g8s, on march 03, 2008
7 of 9 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: VJS

Features: 24 frets (medium frets), basswood body, neck scale 648mm/25.5, colored black/red, fixed bridge, humbucker/humbucker, 3-way switch. 1 volume knob, 1 tone knob. Simple and a plain guitar, good enough for me as my 1st guitar because I don't want anything complicated or else my head will spin with all those tremolo stuff plus I wanted a simple, powerful guitar with great sustain and my friends say a tremolo system will hinder the sustain so I chose this! // 8

Sound: I play metal, rock, heavy rock, punk and Instrumentals. I play through a 15 watt amp made from a local compay, a Zoom 505(which was stolen). For the price it's a pretty decent guitar. The pickups are good but not that crunchy, that's not a big problem for me because I just started playing and besides I'm getting a Dimarzio (XN2, Super Distortion or D-Sonic) pickup coming sometime this March so I think this will sound like a like a decent RG, I'm not going to buy another guitar for a very long time, I'll just customize this one. I chose this over a GAX70 because I think this is better for metal bands like Avenged Sevenfold, so it's up to you. For the price it's good! // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: When I bought from the shop the guys there already had the pickups adjusted ang everything, so I didn't have any problems with my GRG121. I think the only flaw were some minor scratches, nothing too serious. When I got this thing the strings were a bit high though so I asked the guys to fix it for me and then there, problem solved! // 9

Reliability & Durability: I performed live a few time in school. I used this guitar, so I think it can withstand Live playing. The strap buttons were perfect for me didn't have any accidents. I would personally bring a back up during Live gigs not because I can't rely on it, it's because you'll never know when you might break a string or something. Oh and it's very lightweight! // 9

Overall Impression: As I said before I play metal/rock: Avenged Sevenfold, Red Jumpsuit and stuff like that. I had this guitar for 1 year now and doesn't show any signs of serious wear and tear, maybe a few scratches here and there but nothing serious. I love this guitar and if it were stolen I'd report the guy Who stole and have him mobbed! My favorite thing about this thing is it's simplicity and decent pickups for a budget guitar. If I'd be given a Squier, Epiphone or even another GIO to trade for it, I'd say no, simply because I love this guitar. I even chose this over a GAX. // 9

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overall: 10
GRG121 Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 07, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 152

Purchased from: Fair Deal Music via Amazon

Features: 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. // 10

Sound: 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. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: 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! // 10

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. :) // 10

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overall: 8.4
GRG121 Reviewed by: 6Tab6Man6, on june 02, 2009
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 170

Features: Ok first off, this is actually called the GRGR121EX, not the GRGR121. There is no GRG121 on the Ibanez website, and if you type in GRGR121EX on Google shopping, it will say "did you mean GRG121" and when you click on it nothing comes up. Not sure what year it was made in, although I know it was made in Indonesia along with most of the other guitars in the Gio series (either made in China or Indonesia being the budget versions of more pricey Ibanez guitars). It has 24 frets (medium frets) with dotted inlays and a GRG1 maple neck. Basswood body with in "Candy Apple" colour, for me it was a decision between Black Night and Candy Apple, and seeing as black guitars are seen way to much these days I thought I'd go for something different. When I got the guitar though it was a darker colour to what I saw on the internet, but was still a beautiful looking guitar. It has a regular string thru body and fixed bridge which makes changing strings a walk in the Park unlike Floyd Roses. It has a three way pick up Switch, one volume knob and one tone knob which came loose the other day, so I opened the back plate thing behind the knobs and worked out that it was pushed against the wall of the inside, so I pushed it back up against it again and it wasn't at all loose after. Only problem was when I had it on clean and turned the tone knob all the way round the volume went down, when I did it with distortion on it sounded like I was using a 5w starter piece of crap made in Thailand, yet I use an Orange Tiny Terror (30W... I think) which sure can rock the house. The Ibanez website says the pick ups consist of a PSND3 (H) neck pick up, and a PSND4 (H) bridge pick up which give quite a nice crunch when using the right settings on your amp/distortion. // 9

Sound: The sound, well let's just say it packs a punch and suits my style of music very well. I play pretty much any kind of Rock or Metal, including Punk, Alternative Rock, Death Metal and anything else. I use a set of 11s usually which are good for Standard tuning but can keep the tension if I want to detune. The only tunings I really use are Standard, D Standard, drop D, drop C and drop B. To get my head punching tone I use a DigiTech Death Metal Distortion pedal played through (like I said before) an Orange Tiny Terror 30W amplifier. It can have a variety of tones though, the bridge pick up with quite a lot of treble on the distortion and some mids and low can give it quite a somewhat "venom"-ish sound as I like to call it. If you want rhythm, you can adjust the tone knob (unfortunately mine is messed up as I said before) and maybe Switch to the neck pick up and add less treble on the pedal. As for the noise, the guitar is actually rather quiet when you have your hands on the strings although some people like to put hair bands and things like that on the head to touch the strings and stop them from buzzing. But then again you're going to be touching the guitar if you wanna play it so why does it matter? // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: As far as I can remember, there were no problems what so ever when the guitar got here, nothing badly built or put together badly, no scratches or marks, no weak areas, nothing. Only damage on the guitar is thanks to me haha (which isn't anything major). Only thing that was SLIGHTLY not 100% was the plate thing on the back, if fits the guitar fine but if you want to be a bit of a moaner they're not exactly the same shape. But Who cares, it's hardly noticeable and not hurting anyone. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar has remained pretty solid, except where I adjusted the bridge when I got new strings, as everyone knows, thicker strings rattle and the bridge may need to be raised slightly. So I tried messing around with it when I was actually just moving the bridge pieces back and forth. Still, it didn't affect the guitar itself, but the screws or whatever you call them behind the low E wore down quite a lot. I chipped off a tiny bit of one of the tuning peg things when I was clipping excess string off after the guitar's first string change which is only my fault and is hardly noticeable. I would definitely trust this guitar not to konk out on me at a gig, though I've never played at any gigs before, but it's still very reliable. The finish is good enough, although when you rub a cotton wool bud thing around the bolts on the back of the neck, some of the paint comes off even though it's dry which is rather strange. // 8

Overall Impression: As said before I like to play Punk, Alternative Rock and Death Metal with this guitar, this guitar is a perfect match with the amp and pedal I use. I've been playing for just over a year now and have owned about 4 guitars including this one, and not including my bass obviously, and this is probably the best out of the lot. It's even better than my BC Rich JR-V Platinum Pro Series which is, to be honest, a piece of crap. I sold it on eBay but the guy hasn't picked it up yet the thing I love about this guitar is that it's just so comfortable to play with, I mean you can pick it up and play anything on it, and string changes are a walk in the Park. If I had to pick out something I didn't like about it, it would be... the fact it has a Gio thing ontop of the Ibanez badge on the head, I mean, it's a great guitar and could easily have fooled me as being a more expensive Ibanez if it weren't for the Gio badge. I will admit I am getting kind of bored with it, and by that I mean I don't love it as much as when I first got it, but that's the same as everything in life. The only thing that might have made it a bit more attractive would be different inlays, like the ones on the GRG250DX. Also more colour options would have been nice as a pose to just black and red, I remember when I was buying the guitar there was a blue option but now there are none on the net and there isn't a blue one on the Ibanez site. Also, the fixed bridge means I can't use a whammy bar on it which is a bit of a bummer, but a Floyd Rose tremolo would be a pain in the arse. // 8

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overall: 9.4
GRG121 Reviewed by: m0y86, on september 10, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 200

Purchased from: Local store

Features: First of all, this is my first review so don't be cruel XD This guitar was made on China, don't know when. Mine is GRG121EX White model with 24 medium frets, basswood body and maple bolt-on neck. The bridge is fixed, passive PSND3 neck and PSND4 bridge humbuckers, 3 way pickup selector, 1 tone and 1 volume knobs. As a budget model suggests it has no accessories but the basic: allen keys, user manual and cable. And for the same reason it has some cheap plastic parts (volume and tone knobs, pickup selector switch) but is something you can live with. This is the first guitar I bought but not the first I own. After my first second-hand guitar was stolen I began an intensive search on local stores of here (Mexico) and on the web, it took me about a month to decide what guitar I was going to buy (always based on budget) and found that this guitar is the best piece you can buy under a 200-250 USD price. // 9

Sound: I'm about a year and a half on guitar lessons but only about 3 months on serious playing (several hours per day) and this guitar has amazing tuning stability on my music style (which is rock, from old heavy to nu metal/metalcore and everything in between). On Ibanez website it says this guitar was made for metal, and sure it is. With this pair of humbuckers it gives and excellent "big" sound than suites the metalheads ears. I completed my gear with a Laney LX35 and a Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff and man, this is The budget package! My other two pieces were carefully chosen as well as the guitar and I had the opportunity to check 'em on several stores and with other configurations (like the Ibanez with the Boss MT-2 and ML-2, the Ibanez and a Orange Crush 10, a Vox Pathfinder 15, a Roland Cube, etc.) and this was the best for me and some other guys who were with me in my expedition. The humbuckers are noisy by default but there are some others that on clean channel buzzes a lot and this is not the case of the GRG121EX, obviously when you overdrive the amp it produces some noise but that's a matter of nature. The clean channel is very powerful on the three settings, traditionally I didn't used the middle pickup option on other guitars I played but in this case it gives a special warm sound that perfectly combines both pickups and sounds great for soloing and for rhythm. The variety of sounds on distortion really comes from the Metal Zone stomp box but the 3 elements of my gear make a good and versatile combination for playing the rock you name: Metallica, Slipknot, Led Zeppelin, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns N' Roses, Disturbed, Bullet For My Valentine, Korn, etc. The only sin this guitar has is the absence of a floating bridge, and because of this you cannot make too much vibrato effects but the ones that you finger does. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action is really good, I am playing it intensely for about a month and I must say it came with a decent factory setup. Maybe it deserves now a string chance and a little setup but nothing big. I love the fact that the pickups are covered, this gives a much better look and because of this I have no problem with adjusting them of even damage them on a heavy riff. The machine heads are strong and keeps the guitar's tuning for many many time no matter how many bends you do. It supports also heavy detuning (I mean drop A) with almost no trouble but the natural ones. I think that's one of the strongest features this guitar has, the versatility of playing many styles and the ability to stay in tune for a long time. The finish is great, I preferred the white finish over the black for 2 main reasons: the first is the black was almost like a mirror! And I really don't like the fact that it Always will have fingertips all over the body. The white is a little reflective but not like the black, besides, the white looks nice! The only problem I see with the white is that dust and any kind of dirt, hair, anything, it became easily noticeable so you must keep this cleanest as possible. I feel that the pickup selector someday (not so far) will fall, it seems a little weak. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I've played live with my Ibanez 2 times and no problem, I can totally trust on this and play without backup. On a maybe-near future I will upgrade this and keep it as an excellent backup, I thing it will last me for a long time. The hardware seems on, it will last for a while. As I said before, the pickup selector cover and the volume and tone knobs maybe not last forever but is something normal with budget models and it isn't something that affects the playing of the instrument. The strap buttons are very, I mean very solid. It's the strongest hardware part for me, I play for hours daily with it and they are just like new. // 10

Overall Impression: I like metal, all kinds but I play also more softer music and this guitar is as versatile as my musical tastes so we make a very good team. I've playing for about a year and a half but the last 2 or 3 months became serious and today I play for many hours daily. I own a Laney LX35 and a Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff and like I said before, it's one of the best (if not the best) budget package you can buy for playing metal and all kinds of music really, because right now I'm on a band that plays more pop-like music (No Doubt and stuff like that) and my guitar does the job quite good. If it were stolen/lost right now yes, I would buy it again because I can't afford a more expensive model but I expect to upgrade it in a medium term. I compared this with some other models like the Epiphone Les Paul Special II, the Yamaha ERG 121 and some other and this was the best choice for the materials, the brand, the music style it was oriented, the reviews, and of course my personal taste. Maybe a floating bridge would be ok but that may caused to be more expensive so no, no complaints about this. // 9

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overall: 9.4
GRG121 Reviewed by: beaufingers, on march 14, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 350

Purchased from: Dale Cleves Music

Features: Made in China in 2009 (I'm pretty sure - apparently it has an irregular serial number), 24 medium frets, maple neck and rosewood fingerboard, basswood body. It's a Strat style with a volume and a tone knob, as well as a 3-way pickup selector. It's got two Ibanez-made covered humbucking pickups which look great and hum a bit, but not nearly as much as my old guitar. It didn't come with anything, but the guys at the shop gave it to me with a gig bag and a strap as well as an electronic tuner. // 9

Sound: I mainly play classic/roots rock, blues and funk, although I dabble a bit in rock and punk from time to time. It suits these all really well. I run it through an Ashton GA10 10-watt ($100) which isn't too bad, but I much prefer running it through my Yamaha MW8CX USB Mixer, and using the amp modellers in the likes of GarageBand. With the neck pickup it can make a nice twangy CCR-like sound with both pickups and the Bridge pickup. Despite Ibanez guitars being stereotypically "metal guitars", this guitar is very versatile. The clean sound can go from thin and bright to dark and full, while the distortion is pretty much whatever I can dream of. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was very well set up at the factory - action was perfect and the intonation was only slightly out, and only on the top two strings. The pickups are great for what I need. The only slight problem is that, out of the box (or should I say off the wall?) the strings aren't the best I've seen - however I got some D'Addarios cheap and I'll put them on sometime in the future. This was my second electric guitar (the first one - a different brand - had died within a month) and I'd been warned about Chinese-made guitars. Well there's hardly anything wrong with this - certainly nothing unfixable! // 9

Reliability & Durability: I think this guitar would definitely survive a gig. I was a bit apprehensive about this guitar when I first picked it up, due to its very light weight - I felt that I'd drop it very easily. Well that hasn't happened yet, mostly due to the strap buttons on the thing - they're very solid and the strap hasn't broken free yet. (And I'm not using the most expensive thing in the world - a crappy $5 strap that would break on any other guitar). The hardware seems like it'll definitely last - this is what I call *quality*. I'd use this at a gig without a backup. For the price this is an amazingly good quality guitar. // 10

Overall Impression: Like I said earlier, I play classic/roots rock, blues, funk, rock and punk and this tackles all of them with the greatest of ease. I've been playing guitar on and off for about three years (mostly self-taught) and I also own a Livingstone Acoustic guitar which I picked up from a local department store for $70. If this were stolen or lost, I'd buy another one straightaway!!! What can I say? I LOVE this guitar. It was a toss-up between this, a Squier Bullet Strat and an Epiphone G400. I chose this due to the weight, cost and bad reviews that I'd heard of the Epiphone and the amount of humming from the Squier. Once I move on from this guitar, I'll either get the Epiphone or another Ibanez. But I expect I shall be playing this guitar for years to come. // 9

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