RGA32 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.5 (65 votes)
Ibanez: RGA32

Price paid: £ 310

Purchased from: Dawsons

Sound — 7
I play a range of music from punk rock to blues and metal. The Ibanez pick-ups are really high output, which you would expect from an active pick-up. Together with the mahogany body they give a really fat sound. The bridge give's a really crunchy, well rounded sound, where as the neck gives a deep warm tone. Both pick ups together can sound quite muddy with a lot of distortion, and might have benefited from independent volume and tone controls. I'm playing through a Line 6 Uber Metal pedal, into a Roland Cube 80x. The Line 6 has a noise gate which stops any noise from the pick-ups but even when you turn it off, they're as quiet as you like. When it comes time for cleans it handles them really well, nice and warm and rich, but not so much for the bluesy stuff, but I bought it to play metal, so it's all good. Thanks to the bridge, and the active pick-ups it sustains for days. I have trouble keeping it in tune lately, but I dare say that's down to the strings needing changing. Can't fault it when it comes to metal, but it's not the most varied sounding guitar you'll ever come across. As a rhythm player in a rock/metal band, it's perfect for my needs. Gunna give it a 7 just for it's lack of variety, and so you all don't go mad at me in the comments for "over-rating" it.

Overall Impression — 8
For the rock and metal stuff that I mostly play, I cannot fault this guitar. Been playing (self taught) for about 7 years now, and this is my second Ibanez and my 5th guitar. I also own a Greg Bennett GT2 Flying V (Very under rated guitars), an epi Les Paul Custom and an Ibanez RG350, although all of these have been somewhat neglected since I bought the RGA. I'm actually looking to sell the LP (wink wink). Spent a good half an hour in the shop playing this guitar before I bought it. Compared it to the RGR321 and one of the Jackson Dinky's (that I can't remember the name of) but this was the one for me. I'd definitely replace it if it were lost or stolen. Another deciding factor for me, was the fact it's white. I mean come on, you've gotta own a white guitar at least once! Haven't regretted buying it once.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Haven't had chance to gig the guitar yet, but it's handling being carted back and forth to practice every week on trains and buses no problem. Solid hardware, apart from the tuning issues lately but I'm hoping that a string change will sort this. Strap buttons are solid, haven't been using strap locks as getting the strap on and off is quite a fight anyway. I'd never gig it would a back up just because there's always the fear of a string snapping. The paint has begin to wear down around the screws where the body is bolted to the neck on the back, and when the battery compartment is, but seems quite thickly applied everywhere else, but only time will tell.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
As people have come to expect from Ibanez, it is built as solid as a rock. Not had to adjust the action, not had to adjust the pick ups, not had to correct the intonation, although all of these a easily adjusted when needs be. Quite disappointed that the headstock is black when the body is white, but this is due to Ibanez saving on manufacturing costs by mass producing these necks for this series of guitars, but it has grown on me over time. The "cosmo black" hardware does pick up oil and such of you hands which makes it go dull, but is easily cleaned off and shined back up. When switching pick-ups quickly you can get quite a horrible clunk sometimes because the selector is quite stiff although it is starting to loosen off. A few scuffs on the binding around the headstock, but something that would probably come off with a bit of polish. Mostly, very well put together to be honest.

Features — 8
2009/10 Made in Indonesia. 24 frets, 25.5 scale. Arched Mahogany body. Mine is the white version. Comes with Ibanez's gibraltar Standard bridge, which is flush to the body to help the strings resonate through the wood. It's string through body. Fitted with Ibanez Lz3 active humbucker Pick-ups. 1 volume, 1 tone. Standard Ibanez tuners. 3pc wizard II maple neck, rosewood fretboard, simple Dot inlays. Comes with alan keys for adjusting the bridge, instruction book and Ibanez side winding jack lead.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i wish I had a penny for every time somebody here said 'I play mostly metal'.
    blackbird51 wrote: Peavey ValveKings are absolute shit, play through a real Peavey like a 6505 or a JSX, not a shitty ass ValveKing. /facepalm..
    Each amp has it's own place
    I played this guitar about two days ago and really enjoyed it. I've never been a big fan of active pickups, but after playing this guitar I saw they have their place. Really felt good.
    Stuntaxe wrote: It looks like a boring guitar and with no Floyd Rose its useless. My 2 cetns.
    Sure, it's always fun to set up a floyd rose bridge.
    Peavey ValveKings are absolute shit, play through a real Peavey like a 6505 or a JSX, not a shitty ass ValveKing. /facepalm..
    blackbird51 wrote: Peavey ValveKings are absolute shit, play through a real Peavey like a 6505 or a JSX, not a shitty ass ValveKing. /facepalm..
    Valveking's have the worst distortion ever. They are so slack. Pretty bad excuse for a tube amp I must say. On the otherhand, if this guitar is anywhere near as good as the RGA model priced at 699.99 (which is discontinued now) I recommend it. Otherwise... just another crappy beginner stage Ibanez.
    Ugh, I hate active pickups, theyre more annoying than a floyd rose, having to change batteries and all. Looks like I did well choosing my baby, rg321mh over this one.
    Changin batteries = annoying ??? You've got to be kidding me ... I didn't change the one in my Jackson since I bought it , 5 months ago .
    Romper Stomper
    I've had my Ibanez with actives for over 6 months and havn't needed to change the batteries yet. I love the way they sound too btw. To each his own I guess....