RG821 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (4 votes)
Ibanez: RG821

Price paid: € 642

Purchased from: http://www.thomann.de/index.html?partner_id=34435&page=gb/index.html

Sound — 7
I was expecting the pickups to be the weak point of this guitar but I actually like them and I don't think I will replace them. I play mostly Metal (no gigs) and was using an ESP LTD M-1000 before, with EMG 81's. The pickups on this guitar have more bass and I think they offer better clarity on lead tones(maybe in combination with the basswood), probably because they are passive. I use a Peavey Vypyr 30, this guitar is not noisy at all. When switching pickups there is a little static noise created but it's not noticeable (not sure if this happens with all passive pups). The sustain on this guitar is greater than my LTD and the harmonics are also quite nice. The cleans are quite nice with these pickups, and there are some combinations using the 5 way switch selector that give some nice mellow tones. The guitar should be really versatile but I only tried metal for now. One thing to note about the pickups on this model (and the RG721) is that they have used big holes so if you replace them the new ones probably won't fit and will require some tweaking. You can find more info about this on sevenstring forum.

Overall Impression — 10
I play for about 2 years and I have changed 5 guitars. I don't know how good this guitar will last but I can easily say that I much prefer it over my 1 year old LTD on every aspect, which I mentioned all above. For the price of this guitar, you can't go wrong - it's a great value for money and I can't imagine the quality on the prestige models since they say they are even better. I can't believe I paid around 400 more for the LTD like 1 year ago and now I am more impressed with this Ibanez. I totally recommend this guitar to anyone that was questioning the quality of the premium Ibanez series.

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Reliability & Durability — 9
I do not play live but this guitar feels solid enough for anything. With the titanium reinforcement feature they use, I suppose it makes it even better and will probably last longer and hold the setup over temperature changes. The bridge seems solid, tuners are great though I didn't test the strap buttons. Finish is good too. I think you can easily depend on this guitar for live as well, there are professionals that use premium models out there anyway. Can't say much more for now, hopefully hardware will last and bridge/saddles won't decolorate like on my LTD.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
No issues here, no flaws or anything. Fret work seems very good too. The guitar seems pretty well setup, intonation, pickup height and action wise. I didn't change anything. Action is around 2mm on the bass side and half a mm less on treble. The neck is great, really comfortable and it requires less tension/strength when playing in comparison to my LTD. Chords are very easy to play too, thanks to the flat fretboard. Nut seems well placed and cut, pickup selector and controls seems solid so is the bridge.

Features — 9
This is a 2012 Premium Ibanez made in Indonesia. Specs: - Neck Type: 5pc Wizard Maple/Walnut neck w/KTS Titanium Reinforcement - Body: American Basswood body - Fret: 24 Jumbo frets - Bridge: Tight End-R bridge - Neck Pu: CAP-VM1 (H) neck pu - Bridge Pu: CAP-VM2 (H) bridge pu - Hardware Color: Cosmo Black - Scale: 25.5" - Controls: Volume/Tone, 5-way selector - Radius: 400mmR Note that this model has the 400mmR neck, and titanium reinforcement although the 721 model has 430mmR neck and no reinforcement (as per Ibanez website) - Accessories: Ibanez Premium softcase (hardcase size/style), Ibanez GS602LG-SL strap and Multi Tool Hex wrench.

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