Price paid: C$ 300
Sound — 8
I was quite impressed with the quality of the V7/V8 pickups in this badboy. Before I even bought the guitar I was planning on swapping in some DiMarzio's, however, I know now that I can wait a few months before I get bored with the stock pickups. I play everything from Metal, to Progressive (Dream Theater), hard rock, modern rock, and metalcore (Killswitch Engage), also neoclassical Jason Becker/Yngwie Malmsteen type stuff, and it does all of these styles well. I do lean more towards heavy music, and its perfect for that. Also the cleans can be really nice from the middle position of this guitar. I run the guitar through a Marshall Valvestate VS100 and a Boss GT-8 processor, and it sounds great. Also, sounds fantastic straight from headphones plugged into the GT-8. I've also tryed it straight though the Marshall amp and with stompboxes such as the DS-1 without disappointment, this guitar seems to deliver good tones, and you get a nice diversity of sounds between the 5-way pickup selector. However, it is more geared towards heavy and modern rock sounds I believe, which is perfect for me, but maybe not for everyone. I rate the sound an 8/10.
Overall Impression — 9
What a buy! I paid $300CDN for a rare Japan Made Ibanez RG421 with a nice hardshell case and it is literally brand new! I'm not saying this is the last guitar I'm ever going to own in my life, but I am never going to sell it. I've been playing for over 10 years and I can't wait to bring this sexy guitar on stage and melt some panties. If this guitar was lost of stolen, I would never be able to find a made in japan model in perfect condition at that price ever again. I got VERY lucky, however I would certainly look to replace it. I love the look and playability of this guitar the most. What I didn't like at first is the volume knob actually gets in my way a bit when I'm playing the high strings, so I had to adjust my playing style a bit. The V7/V8 pickups surpassed my expectations for stock pickups, however I do plan on upgrading them in the future. The only thing I wish it had would be a trem arm but this guitar doesn't support them. Overall I give this product a well deserved 9/10. Thanks for checking out my review!
Reliability & Durability — 9
I trust this guitar for live playing. I would bring a backup of course, just in case. The hardware seems solid, the Gotoh tuners keep the guitar in good tune even after live playing abuse. It has huge strap buttons, so I don't even need my strap locks with this baby, so thats a huge bonus. I think the finish is beautiful and tough at the same time, I can't imagine it wearing on me anytime in the near future. I take very good care of my guitars so I haven't chipped the finish yet and I would probably cry if I ever damaged this beauty.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
When I bought this guitar it was set up quite well. Nice low action, and quite possibly the fastest neck I've ever played, and I've owned many guitars over the years. My only complaint, is the high frets were going dead during bends and vibratos, and I was getting some noise from other strings during the bends. This is totally unacceptable for me, so I had to raise the action a tad, and the problem was solved. Let me say one thing about the finish, this is one SEXY guitar. Mine is in deep blue, not a scratch of flaw on it, and it is absolutely gorgeous. I have always loved the curves and shape of Ibanez guitars, and this one does not disappoint in the looks department. In terms of action, fit & Finish I will give this category a hard 9 since my problem was an easy fix.
Features — 9
2002 Ibanez RG421. Rare Made in Japan model. 24 Frets Fixed Bridge H-H Setup with 5-way switch Scale: 25.5 in. Wizard neck Basswood body Jumbo frets Gotoh Tuners V7 neck pickup V8 bridge pickup I bought it used with a "Carvin" brand hardshell case. I rate the features at 9/10 because despite some great features, this guitar unfortunately does not support a tremolo arm.