RGA42 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (136 votes)
Ibanez: RGA42
14

Price paid: C$ 450

Purchased from: Axe Music

Sound — 8
This guitar suits my music style (metal and hard rock in various forms) perfectly; the 3 different configurations of the two active humbuckers provide a relatively wide range of sounds, which sound fantastic with any amount of distortion ranging from light blues rock overdrive to skull crushing death metal distortion. Only complaint is the amount of fiddling I had to do to achieve a sparkling clean sound, but once you've found it, clean tones can Shine as well. Perfect for music with large amounts of distortion. Pickups are not noisy at all, and have quite a high output for stock.

Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing for about a year, and this guitar is an excellent match for me. I play mainly metal and hard rock, ranging from Zeppelin, Judas Priest, Savatage, Children Of Bodom and Circle II Circle. This guitars fits me perfectly both sound and stylewise. I would definately buy this guitar again if it was stolen, it's amazing for the price I paid. My favorite feature is the Wizard II neck; it's extraordinarily fast and comfortable to play for hours. The stock pickups are surprisingly good; not EMG 81/85 level but better than the "made by EMG" actives I tried in a number of LTD guitars. I tried out a number of others guitars, including other Ibanez models but chose this over an Ibanez tremolo equipped guitar because of the ease of tuning (and changes to drop tunings, which I do quite frequently) and the far superior sustain. I kind of wish this guitar had sharktooth inlays, but that is simply an aesthetic quibble which does not change how excellent this guitar is.

Reliability & Durability — 9
The guitar is extremely solid and would have no difficulty playing Live. I would play it without a backup, as the fixed bridge drastically reduces the chance of string breaking. All the electronic components work perfectly. Strap buttons are solid, but I would still add straplocks to make sure it doesn't drop. Finish is very tough, but being high Shine black it shows every fingerprint, which is just something you have to sacrifice for such a beautiful finish.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Guitar was set up quite well at the factory, just had to fiddle with the intonation a bit. Pickups were adjusted just like I like them; low enough to not interfere with my picking technique yet high enough to create good sustain. No flaws were evident, and the tuning heads are especially precise for stock tuners.

Features — 9
Made in 2009 in Korea, solid mahogany body. It has a 3 piece Wizard II bolt on neck which is exceptionally fast and comfortable. The heel is designed very well, which allows easy access to the upper frets on the bound rosewood fretboard with 24 jumbo frets. Fixed bridge and string through provide endless sustain. Superstrat style body, but with trademark Ibanez cutaways (much sharper and deeper) and a gently arched mahogany top. Finished in a high Shine solid black with "Cosmos Black" (burnished chrome) hardware; this beautiful guitar has a distinctly metal feel without an extremely radical body shape. Equipped with a very comfortable fixed bridge, 1 volume knob, 3 position pickup selector, onboard active EQ (Bass boost/Treble Cut and vice versa) and two active Ibanez humbuckers.

25 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Parkesie959
    livingston96 wrote: why cant someone write a review on the rga42fm cuz im thinking of buying one but i cant find any good reviews anywhere!!
    Isn't it exactly the same but with a flame maple finish?
    Laslow
    Parkesie959 wrote: That's why I want an RGA32, us Europeans get an exclusive finish. (Mahogany Oil, I suppose it's our equivalent to your RG321MH.) Instead of a EQ switch there's just a tone knob.
    I put 2 81's in mine and just switched out the mid cut toggle thing for a tone pot
    cybeer237
    Im thinking to buy the RGA42FM, so what u think? and i want to know the difference between RGA42, RGA42T and RGA42FM, anyone can help?
    pwnd
    I've had this guitar for six months and still plays real nice
    Parkesie959
    livingston96 wrote: why cant someone write a review on the rga42fm cuz im thinking of buying one but i cant find any good reviews anywhere!!
    Isn't it just exactly the same with a flame maple top?
    livingston96
    why cant someone write a review on the rga42fm cuz im thinking of buying one but i cant find any good reviews anywhere!!
    Parkesie959
    For someone who has only been playing about a year (Me too, lol.) this is actually a very good review, you seem to know what you are talking about and you have convinced me further than I already am to get this guitar. (I am actually looking at the RGA32 , because it has all the same pickups and stuff, the only difference is that the color (Europeans have an exclusive finish, Mahogany Oil, so it is the equivalent to the USA's RG321MH, and instead of an active EQ switch, there is a tone knob.) Check out the Ibanez UK site to see.
    Parkesie959
    Nick184 wrote: The active eq is the little mini switch on the guitar. It just boosts the bass/cuts the treble when you switch it.
    That's why I want an RGA32, us Europeans get an exclusive finish. (Mahogany Oil, I suppose it's our equivalent to your RG321MH.) Instead of a EQ switch there's just a tone knob.
    ScorpiaV
    is the active eq like the tone? cos this guitar doesnt have a tone knob.
    Nick184
    The active eq is the little mini switch on the guitar. It just boosts the bass/cuts the treble when you switch it.
    gaafaroof
    i tried it in a music shop it's the perfect guitar for me as in pick ups and looks but achieving a sparkling clean sound is important to me .... so what was the tweaks necessary that u made to reach that sound ?
    AfroGuitarNoob
    The newer RGA42FM just came out, it has amazing pickups, I wish somebody would post a review of it here.
    tubby_champ
    good guitar, only problem is the burnished chrome hardware wears off easily with play but the underlaying colour is still very shiny and looks new
    Parkesie959
    I'm looking at this guitar, just wondering, how do harmonics sound, and can you explain the main point of the active EQ is? When can it come in useful? As for sharktooth inlays, I kinda prefer dots anyway, lol. Very good review! Really helpful! =D
    666Pounder
    I agree with the above! Great review, and props for mentioning Savatage. Not enough people know them. Having played these before, I can second this review. Good job.
    TheNinetySecond
    Nice review, good angle of information, and good info on possible flaws/adjustments that you have to deal with. Wouldnt buy the guitar as it does not fit my play style, but i am definetly impressed of the quality of the review.
    Chozodragon
    Stupid question but i didn't find the answer anywhere and I'm more and more thinking about this guitar : Is it needed to have batteries to have the active pickups running or do they behave like passivepickups with no batteries ? Thank you =)