RG4EX1 Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 10/27/2008 category: Electric Guitars
Ibanez: RG4EX1
24 frets on a C-shaped neck with rosewood fretboard. Solid top with quilted maple finish, done in the Strat style.
 Sound: 9.9
 Overall Impression: 9.7
 Reliability & Durability: 9.7
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.1
 Features: 9.4
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (7) 21 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.4
RG4EX1 Reviewed by: richard_edwards, on october 27, 2008
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 120

Purchased from: eBay

Features: Right then! Review! This is my Ibanez RG4EX1 that I purchased off eBay in April '08. It has a bit of a story, so it's not just 'a' guitar, it has character from the start! I bought it off eBay with the headstock snapped off right behind the locking nut (so, weak neck joint, a bad point) but it was salvagable, so I decided to buy it. I sent it to my luthier friend Who, in a week (! ) managed to get the original headstock glued back onto the original neck using the break. And it's never felt weak since. It's like new! You can't even see the crack. Anyway, it's a 2006 model made in Indonesia, in transparent grey with a gorgeous flame maple top (I got the pick of the bunch, as everyone says when they get a flamed maple top). The super-Strat shaped body is also bound with a cream binding, as is the neck and the headstock (yes, he managed to save the bind! ). Maple neck with beautifully set-in sharktooth inlays on a 24-fret rosewood fingerboard. The fingerboard looks great, there's some lovely dark lines in there that are parallell (sp? ) with the edges of the neck, they make the fingerboard look like a landscape with mountains and hills, etc. 3 Ibanez pickups, the Inf4 in the bridge, the single coil InfS3 in the middle and the Inf3 at the neck with the humbuckers surrounded by metal (not the plastic crap they use on 1500 Les Pauls... ). One Volume and One tone, metal knobs and a 5-Way pickup selector with a black plastic tip (there is such a thing as too much metal hardware! ). Die-cast Ibanez metal tuners at the top, above the amazing locking nut, and to finish, the crown jewel of this guitar, the famous, the faithful Edge III IBZ Floyd bridge. Which never goes out of tune. Ever. // 8

Sound: This, to me, is the ultimate in versatile guitars. The configuration of two humbuckers and a single coil that can work together is just sublime. I'm looking to install a piezo pickup on here, but for now this does just fine. I've got amazing metal sounds, Strat sounds, a brilliant 'Yellow Ledbetter' sound, something that's quite similar to 'Layla', a great Punk/Brit rock crunch, Blues, Acoustic, it just does it all. And I try and play it all. Well, you have to get your money's worth don't you? The bridge is superb, divebombs, harmonic Dime-style squeals (put loads of Reverb in there, lovely! ). Heavy yet gentle humbuckers, a creamy middle and neck pickup, my only qualm is that Ibanez could have rounded the tone on the neck pickup a bit more, Michael Angelo style. The bridge pickup is bright and twangy, but not so much that it sounds like a Telecaster, and that's just fine! This guitar has been used with Line 6 Spiders, cheap Laneys, Matamps (the guys Who used to build Orange amps), through Cubase and it all sounds great. Strange, really. There is a little bit of buzz from my surrounding area (I Live on a farm, so there's electric fences, lights everywhere, and my room is an electronic cave so there's plenty of interference to get in the way). Despite this, it works. I know this guitar retails for around 250ish and I can't think of anything that'll do all this for that price. I'm a happy man. Later, I may get some new pickups in there. Maybe a Fender Texas Special for the middle and some Seymour's for the crunch. I'll have to see. I'm very picky about pickups. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Well, from the start we know that the headstock joint can't withstand shipping. Which is as bad as an SG. So Ibanez, thicken it up. I know it COULD ruin the feel of the Wizard II neck, but it's worth a try and any critcism should be accepted. Apart from that, the action's as low as it'll go (very low, so we're all happy), but Ibanez, again there's a problem! I've read about the same/similar problems and that is that around the 14th fret, there is horrible fret buzz and a note just won't hold there. Mine is on the 14th fret on the A string area, still looking at getting it sorted. Will have to call in Super-Luthier and get HIM to look at it. Hmph. You've damaged your reputation Ibanez! Where were quality control when this happened? Eh? Well, after getting the neck fixed, I set it up, set up the Floydanez and gave it a whack. The bridge is phenominally good. Needs a little more routing when you want to bend the pitch up, but I'll sort that later. It's easy to restring, not that I have to very often as I use rustproof Elixer strings that stay bright after 3-4 months. Constant use. Yes, it was a plug and you should go out and buy some. Ditch your Ernie Ball and d'Addario's, get some rustproof strings. You won't go back. The bridge stays in tune even after constant whacking and diving, the fine-tuners are accurate as ever and the locking nut is just amazing. It's like Fort Knox up there. Nothing gets past without my say-so. The paintjob and laquer is like nothing I've ever seen. It's thick (although Fender think that thick finishes are the Devil's work, but they last longer! ) it hasn't chipped once even though this guitar lives with it's bottom end on the floor (wooden, not carpet) and there are minor MINOR scratches that disappear when they come into contact with car scratch remover (the best thing for your guitars finish). The flame top is perfect. Perfectly bookmatched. Perfectly aligned. It just looks so delicious. Almost edible. It looks as good as it sounds. Although, in the back where the springs are, that cavity is crying out for a sand-down. It's as rough as a tramps arse in there. The pole pieces on the pickups has rusted from my sweaty mitts, but it's only superficial. Nothing a wire brush won't fix. The pickups are fine where they are. And that is where they were when I got the guitar. Other than all that, the guitar is how you would want it. Solid as a rock. No microphonic feedback amongst the pickups and the electronics. Nothing. // 7

Reliability & Durability: Again, the headstock joint will knock the marks down, but it's as reliable as the Swiss rail service. Can't really fault the sheer strength of it once its all together and working. It'll do more than withstand Live playing. It'll go out to war, crawl through mud, get shot, get gassed and still come home clean. And then it'll do your housework. I did what I do with all my guitars once I've set them up, and that is take out the strap buttons, put a bit of wood down there to make it solid and screw them back in again. And it's held. The neck heel joint is great, solid, and it fits in your hand for easy access to high areas. This guitar will last longer than me. I've already described the amazing finish, and I'll say it again. It's the best! But I'm afraid an 8/10 will pursue as that headstock joint is weak. // 8

Overall Impression: If it's like a car, lets think a mid-range Porsche. Not the full-on Carrera GT, but an accountants Boxster. It gets you where you want to go, quicker. Not top-end, but does what it's meant to do better than anything else for the price. This guitar is something to behold, and it's not even the top of the range model. Ibanez have done it, a guitar for everyone, just like the Model T Ford. Inexpensive, reliable and does exactly what it says on the tin. I'm thinking of this guitar as a V8 Range Rover. Solid, reliable, fast, comforting and practical. With a great sound. It has everything you want, exactly where it should be. No nonsense, but it has an underlying insane split personality just waiting to be unleashed the moment you turn up the gain. Buy this guitar, and you won't be disappointed. Top notch value for money. // 9

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overall: 10
RG4EX1 Reviewed by: CkY freak, on october 04, 2006
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: This guitar is awesome. I'm not quite sure what year it was made in, but it's mostly likely a late 2005, or early 2006. It has a bolt on maple neck with 24 jumbo frets, and sharktooth inlays. It's got a Wizard II neck profile. It has the usual RG shape. It has this awesome quilted maple top. I got mine in blue, but it also comes in a charcoal greyish color. After purchasing my first Ibanez a few years ago, I couldnt buy another guitar without a whammy bar. The bridge on this guitar is much better than my other guitar, which is an Ibanez RG470. This guitar has an Edge III bridge, while my other Ibanez has a Lo Pro. It's got a string thru body construction, which I like. It's got a 5-way toggle switch, and 2 Ibanez Inf 4 humbuckers (neck and bridge) and one Inf 3 (middle single coil), and the standard master volume and master tone knobs. It came with a few allen wrenches for the string lockers. // 10

Sound: I play mainly hardrock and progressive stuff, such as CKY. I also play a little bit of metal, just a few Children Of Bodom songs, and I also play blues. I honestly think this guitar suits them all. I running this guitar through a B-52 AT212 all tube amp. I was using a DigiTech GNX4, but after I got my new amp, I really liked the amps natural distortion. it's a tad noisy on the single coil, but that's to be expected. The 5-way toggle switch, which is another thing I can't live without, really lets you get any sound you want out of this guitar. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: This is the first guitar I've owned that I haven't had to adjust the action, it was perfect. I did have to raise the humbucker when I got home to produce more output, but that's just preference. The way they came stock works well too. I checked over the guitar and could not find anything wrong with it. it's perfect. The finish looks pretty thick, so I don't think it will be coming off any time soon. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've played this guitar a couple times live and it held up really well. I did buy some strap locks with it, so my strap wouldn't fall off. I would use this guitar without a backup, but you never know what can happen, so I always bring my Ibanez RG470 with me as well. I was a bit worried, since this isnt exactly the most expensive guitar that using the whammy bar a lot would knock the guitar out of tune. I was wrong, I haven't had to tune it since I got it. // 10

Overall Impression: I basically bought this guitar after only playing it to tryout my new amp. I was at guitar center, and I went to go pick my amp up, and he gave me this guitar to try it out on. I knew then that I'd be back the next week to get the guitar. Bottom line is that this guitar is worth every single penny. I've been playing for about 4 years. I didn't really need this guitar, but I had some extra money laying around, so I decided to get it. Like stated above, I own an Ibanez RG470, and I also own a Fender Deluxe American Strat. I amp really happy with this guitar, it might slowly push my RG470 out of the way and become my main guitar, maybe. I never really compared it to any other products. I just like the way it looked and played so I bought it, no questions asked. It were lost or stolen, I would definitely buy it again, without a doubt. // 10

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overall: 9.8
RG4EX1 Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 21, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: I'm not sure the year it was made but it was made in like Japan or Taiwan or something. It has 22 frets and the fretbord was made of maple or mahogany but it feels really nice. The finish was like simmering blue flames it looks really cool. The body is similiar to a Strat but thinner and lighter, the bridge is a Floyd Rose. The electronics are passive but it still gives a great sound. It gave the standard volume and tone controls, and a 5-way selector. The pickups themselves were very nice, there was a front, rear, and center pickups, I am not sure fo the model or make though. The tuners are non-locking I believe and I am not sure of the brand but they work nicely which is all I give the shit about. // 10

Sound: I play rock, hard rock, metal, and punk and this guitar is awesome at them all. I am currently using a Crate amp (not sure of the watts) and a Vox tube amp and it sounds excellent on them all. I've also tried it out on a Fender G-DEC and Marshall amps and it sounds really good there too. For effects I sometimes use a Boss Metal Zone pedal and it keeps a great tone with it. As long as you don't bang it around a lot it stays pretty quiet, sometimes it gets a little humming sound while using the center pickup by itself but even that is hard to hear. Its sound is really rich and full and it's easy to make sound different to make it lower or higher. It can make just about any sound you want your guitar to make, which is nice for the killer solos on stage. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set up pretty well at the factory the action was a little higher than what I like though. The front and rear pickups were set up nicely I needed to make the center pickup just a little lower though. Everyting else with the finish and bridge and stuff was all perfect, no flaws or anything. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar can deffinetly with stand live playing it's really awesome to play on stage. The hardware will deffinetly last as long as you don't use the wrong tools for stuff, or turn screaw to tight. I'm sure this guitar is dependable, I could diffenitly use it in a gig without a backup guitar. The finish on this guitar is really good and will diffenitly last. // 10

Overall Impression: For the type of music I play this guitar is a great match. I've been playing for about 5 to 6 years and also own a Galveston electric aucoustic, and Washburn X-series. There's nothing you need to buy before getting this guitar, unless you're a beginner and don't have anything. If I lost this Ibanez I would deffinitly buy it again it kicks some serious ass. I really love the Floyd Rose tremolo system and the great sound quality of this guitar. Before purchasing this guitar I had compared it to a Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, B.C. Rich Warbeast, Epiphone Les Paul, and an Epiphone SG. I chose this guitar because it has a really nice feel to it, and the sound is awesome, I do wish it had active pickups but it's easy to install them yourself or just to take it to get them installed at a shop so that's no biggy. // 10

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overall: 9.6
RG4EX1 Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 05, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: 2000's electric made in Indonesia. 24 frets on a C-shaped neck with rosewood fretboard. Solid top with quilted maple finish, done in the Strat style. Floyd rose bridge. 2 controls - one for volume and one for tone, and a 5-way selector. H/S/H pickup config, with standard factory pickups. Came with floyd rose locking tremelo, allen keys and strap. // 9

Sound: I play mostly hard rock and punk with a little metal thrown in, and this guitar is excellent for my style of playing. I'm running it through a Crate XT15R right now, and the sound can be a bit fuzzy at times, but I've checked this on my friend's Marshall and I'm pretty sure it's only the amp. It's rarely noisy, and then it's only on very loud settings. Despite being factory-installed, the pickups are actually good at producing a good range of sounds, from throaty, rumbling lows to screaming loud highs. The bridge pickup is great for a heavy sound, while the neck pickup provides a warm mellow tone that's great for playing clean. I tend not to use the single-coil, so I can't comment on that. My one complaint is that the strings sometimes inexplicably go out of tune, even when the locking nuts are securely fastened. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The set up on this one was perfect, the action was not too high and not too low, and (once again) the pickups were suprisingly well adjusted. Everything was properly routed, the bookmatching on the top was spot on, and there were no other problems or flaws of any sort. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar would definitely withstand live playing, and I've already played a couple of shows with it. The hardware is solid as stone, as are the strap buttons, unlike my BC Rich, where the damn things came loose every time I picked it up. I've used it on a gig without a backup, although that was purely out of nessecity (always have a backup). The finish is at least 3 millimeters thick, and I have yet to see a single scratch on it. // 10

Overall Impression: I absolutely love this guitar! I've been playing for a little over 8 months now, and this is my new pride and joy. I have a B.C. Rich Bronze Warlock that now sits moldering away in the corner of my room because of this baby. I wish I had asked for instructions on how to tune it, as it's my first locking nut tremelo guitar, but it's actually pretty intuitive. If it were stolen, I'd break the widow headstock off my Warlock and jam it up the guy's ass and take my baby home. I love everything about this guitar, but I wouldn't mind trading out the pickups for some Seymour Duncans. I compared this to a Fender American Strat and a Schecter Omen, and it outperformed the two of them, so it's really solid. // 10

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overall: 9.4
RG4EX1 Reviewed by: Highwaytohell, on december 14, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: It's a 2006 model, mine was made in indonesia. This guitar has a large neck with 24 Jumbo frets on a 25 1/2" scale. It has a maple neck with a rosewood fretboard. The neck is extremely thin and wide. It has an Ash body, and a Transperant Grey finish (sweet) on a Quilted Maple Top, however, mine seems to be defected, because it doesn't seem to be an even quilted maple top so i'm not sure about it, its more like a wavy flamed maple top. It has a Standard Strat-style body with larger cutaways on both sides. The bridge is what I believe to be a floyd rose licenced trem, however it may be an EdgeIII bridge. The pickups are H/H/S/H/H, in super-Strat Tradition, an INF3 in the neck position, an INFS3 in the middle position and an INF4 for the bridge pup. I am told that these are EMG-Designed, perfect for rock tones. There are simple controls, a single volume knob and a single tone knob, with a 5-way pickup selecter. The Tunere are non-locking (the tuners them selves, there is a locking nut at the top) but I do not know the exact producer. This guitar has freaking amazing features for the 300-800 dollar price range! // 9

Sound: This guitar isn't tailored to my exact needs (I play blues, classic rock, and classic metal) but it is extremely versatile. The only problem I have is chording, because I am not used to such a wide neck (so I kind of have to hook my hand). I am using this with a Roland Micro Cube, a Yamaha G100-212-II, A Traynor TC-10 and a Vintage Fender Princetone. This guitar produces no hum (at least that I can hear) and it has a wide variety of tones, bright to hot, dark to full, it's amazing the sounds you can get out of this thing. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set up perfectly. It needed minor tuning when I first played it. The action is preety good (I would lower it a bit, but I do that on all my guitars). The pickups were finely adjusted, and there are no visual flawa at all. There seems to be some little white funk around the frets, but that is perfectly normal I suppose. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar can definitely withstand Live playing. I intentionally received this for taking it to and fro from school (without it costing as much as an SG). I put it to the test this week and it definitaly withstood anything. I would still use a backup at gigs, but then again, at gigs, I use 2-3 different guitars so It really wouldn't matter. The finish seems like it will stay shiny, clean, and good looking for a long time. // 10

Overall Impression: I play classic rock, classic metal, and the blues, and this is a decent match (like stated before, not as good for chording). I have been playing for 2 years, and I also own a 65 Modified Gibson Les Paul SG Junior (this guitar is not supposed to compete with the SG, but to serve as a guitar that I can use as a workhorse.) If this thing were stolen, I would probably kill myself or find the person Who stole it and utterly destroy them (yes, it is that good). I love the speed of the neck, and the sweet finish, and the pups, and the trem. I just love this thing! My favorite feature would have to be the trem, because this thing bends to the ends of the earth! I compared this to a Jackson Dinky (which was 200 dollars more), a PRS SE Custom (100 dollars more) and a Fender MIM Standard Strat (50 dollars less). The only thing I wish it had was authentic EMGs instead of designed by ones. // 9

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overall: 10
RG4EX1 Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 30, 2007
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: This guitar was made in 2006 in Indonesia. The finish is a transparent gray burst quilted maple top, has a 24 jumbo fret 3 piece maple Wizard II neck with shark tooth inlays, The body is an RG style made out of basswood, a locking Edge III tremolo (with locking tuners of course), volume knob, tone knob, and a 5-way selector for pickups. The pickup configuration is INF3 (bridge), INF3S (middle), and a INF4 (neck). As soon as this guitar hit my hands I knew it was the one I wanted. // 10

Sound: This guitar is perfect for death metal. It sounds great playing any other style though, and don't let it's look fool you. You can use this guitar for other styles, but the looks may frighten some people away. I use a Traynor Reverb Master 200W tube head with a Marshall 1960A slanted cab. I use a Boss Metal Zone and a Boss Noise Suppressor. The pinch harmonics on this guitar sound really good and are easy to pull off. Chords and leads sound awesome, this guitar would be good for the lead and rhythm player. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was nice and low. I always change strings after getting a new guitar. I tune my guitar to CGCFAD (drop C) and I had to make some minor adjustments so fret buzz wouldn't accur. No flaws were present at the time I purchased the guitar. The pickups were adjusted to the right height so no problems there. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This is one solid guitar that I highly recommend for gigs, practice, and just playing for fun. I love playing with this guitar Live and it's my main instrument for everything. I could depend on it without a backup, but I always make sure that I have a backup because you never know what will happen. There is only one problem that I had with the guitar. I purchased it in January and the input wiring fried up recently. But it was covered by the manufacture's warranty and I got everything shipped and fixed for free. That still doesn't deter how much I love this guitar. // 10

Overall Impression: This is an overall excellent choice for any type of metal and great for all tunings. I will always use Ibanez guitars because I know I can get the sound that I want out of them and are an overall great product. I wouldn't change a thing about this guitar. // 10

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overall: 9.8
RG4EX1 Reviewed by: dcoslo, on november 21, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: First, I want to say that this guitar impressed me. The model number wasn't in the list so I'll tell you now, it's an Ibanez RX4EXQM1. It is the grey quilted maple top. Recently made guitar. It was made in Indonesia (Still sounds amazing) This baby's got 24 frets with shark tooth inlay. It's got a basswood body with rosewood fingerboard. We got a Ibanez Edge III tremolo. It is wicked. There are two INF4's with an INF3 in the middle. For those of you who don't know the 4's are humbuckers, not plated and the 3's are singles. There are locking tuners which work out pretty nice. Stays in tune no matter how much you dive the tremolo. // 10

Sound: First of all, this guitar has so much variety it's not even funny. You can get an amazing clean sound as well as a crunchy sound. It is the most sensative guitar ever, it makes me mad, you have to keep your palm on the strings at all times to keep it from feeding back or the pickups taking in the vibrations. But the sound you get is worth it. I play all '80s stuff and this guitar is great. I'm using a 100 watt Crate amp, it's a tube so it sounds nice. I got it slightly used for 300. at guitar center. The sound on this guitar is so nice that I really don't even use my other guitar anymore. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action is pretty low, good for tapping. I got it from guitar center and the guy was awesome and set everything up for me. It was great, when I drop the tremolo the strings seem like their gonna fall off. The pickup selecter makes a tinging sound when you Switch and the volume controal gets louse kind of often, but it's an easily fixable problem. All you to is remove the knob by just twisting and pulling at the saim time. And all you need is a pair of plyers and just tighten the bolt, if you don't get what I meen by bolt don't worry, you will know what you need to tighten. I figured this all out by myself. But overall everything was pretty nicely assembled. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Well, I haven't played Live but I think it could take it. I haven't had any trouble with the strap buttons, I've had this about 6 months and my strap hasent popped once. There is a thick layer of finish, I'm thinking like 3 mm's or something. I'm just guessing. But I recently noticed a little kind of a crack like thing near the cord connecter. Not a big deal though. // 10

Overall Impression: I play all '80s stuff, as I said before, this guitar matches my style pretty well. I've been playing about a year now. I wouldn't have asked anything before buying it. I would buy it again if it was stolen, but I'd look around a little bit because it's fun to just see what else they got. I compared it to the Dean Micheal Shenkar Flying V and the RG sounded better. It wish the dumb whammy bar would stop falling out when I bend over, it's the most annoying thing in the world. I wish it locked like the Floyde's. Other than all that, I would definitly reccomend this guitar. I like it a lot and so do all my friends. Plus it's one of the Sexiest guitars I've seen. // 10

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