RG421 review by Ibanez

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  • Features: 8
  • Sound: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 6 (22 votes)
Ibanez: RG421

Price paid: € 250

Features — 8
Ok, so this guitar has 24 frets, jumbo style, features a Wizard III 3-piece Maple neck over a Quilted Maple top/Mahogany body and where you'll be applying is a Rosewood fretboard. It has a fixed bridge, which is highly recommended in low budget guitars, tremolo bridges aren't that cheap for a good one. It is a passive guitar. The pickups are Infinity (INF3-neck / INF4-bridge) and it has chrome hardware. The hardware features 1 volume switch, 1 tone switch and a 5-way selector. I really love the finish on it, and the whole junction of a gray/black guitar and a chrome hardware, makes it look really nice!

Sound — 8
Well I bought this guitar about a year ago, and frankly, it didn't go that well with my Behringer VT250, but that was just a matter of messing with the tuning and gain (or else the feedback was really high). Still, I've been using it with Guitar Rig 5 and the results are amazing! My sound modeling skills aren't that great but I've managed to get all kinds of sounds. Although INF3 isn't THAT great, it still manages to give the lows that INF4 needs on center and below switch.

I play a lot of things, mostly improvising jazzy style or making up a few heavy riffs, depending on my mood, and I've been able to suit almost perfectly every kind of tone I want. This guitar might be better suited for metal since you get a pretty good rhythm tone on the bridge pickup (INF4), but when you want to switch to the neck to get that clarity and definition, it still sounds kinda rusty, I'd recommend switching the INF3 - I might be getting a DiMarzio CrunchLab for it soon. It's bolted neck though, so it will cut a bit of sustain of the guitar.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Well I had to lower the strings a little bit but it unleashed the full power of this fast guitar, it felt faster and faster everyday. The pickups were well adjusted, but I messed around with them and put the bridge pickup a bit higher than the neck one so the INF3 wouldn't be too crunchy sounding, and the INF4 had a higher output. It worked fine. This guitar tho, I had to open it twice already because of the jack input, eventually it started to go further and further every time I played until the connection was lost. I really love the neck btw!

Reliability & Durability — 8
Yes, this guitar may withstand live playing, I didn't actually use it yet but it shouldn't have a problem, although you might require an averagely good rig to make it burst out, like I said, with my Behringer it still has a few feedback issues. The hardware, well, I believe it will last for about another year or more if I take good care of it, but the bridge is getting rusty (I don't usually take care of my guitars so if you do, you should be fine). The strap buttons are solid, I would depend on it on a gig without a problem, as long as I maintained it at least 1 week before to see if everything was fine.

Overall Impression — 9
I explore music like scientists look at space, it's a vast culture, almost unknown. This guitar allows me to go through a lot of different experiences just by messing around with the effects and kinds of amps. Like I said, I will change the INF3 for a CrunchLab and see what it sounds, but the stock pickups are not bad at all! I think EMG or DiMarzio might be the pickups this guitar needs to shine through with definition and confidence. Of course it's a low budget guitar, but if you're in for a treat, grab yourself one and find out!

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    The specs have changed quite a lot since the first review. It now comes with a mahogany body and Infinity pickups. Sounds great in online demos, has better tone than most if not all guitars in this price range.
    Hi ! I'm French and just bought one the latest serie with Infinty Pickups. For this price, i don't know any other guitar now with such qualities. Sure i'm not an expert, but this really sounds good for lots of styles. Low price, very good quality.
    I think there are two versions of this guitar. The original version was MIJ, basswood, had v7/v8 pickups, had a Wizard neck, and was probably in production during the late 90s/early 2000s. The second version started in production only a few years ago and is basically a rebadged RG321MH without the white neck binding.
    If you stopped here you know guitars. This little gem is good for beginner to pro. Comfortable and with mixed ranges a lot of variety for 'your' sound. Durable and lasts well in a show but don't let the stage boys handle it, it's still a playing guitar not a work guitar but if the chips were down and you blow a string and must switch; very reliable back up. Enjoy, you made a wise decision for years to come.