RGA42 review by Ibanez

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

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: ebay

Features — 10
From what I've been reading I'd guess this guitar was made in 2009 or so. It's not as old as I am, but relatively speaking, it's not new. It has a mahogany body with an arch top, gorgeous black paint with white binding that goes ALMOST all the way around the body (more on that later...) and EMG pickups. Go read about the details somewhere else. I just want to relate my experience with this great guitar. Crap, it looks like I HAVE to fill in 500 characters in this section... It's got a wizard neck (Wizard III?, I have no idea, it's maple, it's Ibanez and it's really skinny with stupidly low action).

Sound — 10
I'm an old guy. I've got Led Zeppelin on the turn table right now. Just like I did yesterday, and a decade ago. I play blues and rock. It pisses off the neighbors if I plug in my Marshall 6100 so I've been playing this guitar through a Boss GT10 for which I've created some very nice sounds, and my Kemper, which I'm still not sure I like. The guitar is amazing though. I record a lot at home in my little home studio and it's hard to escape the ever present 60 cycle hum. These EMG's are dead-a-s quiet.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Years ago I got an Ibanez RG320 that I had rerouted and retro fit with a Edge I and some WCR Darkburst pickups. It's an okay guitar. (Those pickups are incredible though). I realize an RG320 isn't exactly high end but to be honest I pretty much gave up on Ibanez. I know a lot of famous players use Ibanez but frankly, any guitar with a basswood body doesn't work for me. It's got to be ash, alder or mahogany. I own a LOT of guitars. Probably more than you. I'm just sayin'. It was either get married and have kids, or buy guitars. A no brainer. (My girlfriend says as long as she can squeeze by the guitar cases and get to her side of the bed, I can have as many as I want. I LOVE that woman). When I discovered this guitar, I was knocked out by the way it looked (EFFING LETHAL) and when I discovered it had a mahogany body (with an arch top!), I bought it. I have no regrets. I've had a guitar that I retro fit with EMG 81 and 85 pickups before (an Ibanez S1520 and yeah, I know it's mahogany but I didn't like the saber body) and I sold it. Too edgy for my taste. I really love passive pickups, but I have to say, these EMGs really work in this guitar. Turn down the volume a bit and you've got a blues guitar. Crank it up and it bites like a snake. And it's a dream to play. I think the frets could be finished a little better on the ends, but other than that, it's an ass kicker. I really can't put it down.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Since this guitar has a fixed bridge and it's really solid, I can't see why anything should break. The tuners are okay, and... What else mechanical is there? I never play any gig without a backup no matter how durable my main axe is. The finish is black. With white trim. It looks awesome. The only thing that kind of bugs me is that the white trim/binding doesn't wrap all the way around into the cut outs. That's pretty lame. I mean, can you imagine if the binding on your Les Paul didn't wrap around to the inside of the cutout? You'd take it back. Seriously. You'd wonder "WTF?" Did Ibanez really save THAT MUCH MONEY by not putting binding on the last three inches of the cutouts?

Overall Impression — 10
If you haven't figured it out by now and if you still think my opinion matters, you can probably tell I really really like this guitar. In fact, I just bought a second one, but it has an Edge Zero II tremelo bridge on it. (I haven't received it yet or I would bore you with my opinion). I've been playing for over 30 years. I currently own a bunch of Les Pauls, PRS's, and a bunch of frankenstrats and tele's. I love them all. I'd really like to buy a third one (another of these RGA42's) so that I could replace the EMG's with some hi-quality passives just cause I really love passive humbuckers. Since this guitar has been discontinued for a while, you can probably find them relatively cheap. For the money, this is a GREAT guitar. It looks totally BAD A-S, it's easy to play and it sounds really good. This is a surprisingly good piece of work from Ibanez and unless it's completely bad ass appearance wouldn't fit in with your hippy love bands image, you should find one and buy it. It smokes.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    good metal guitar, good stock pickups; great/best metal guitar for the price (with a fixed bridge!) (A really decent tremolo bridge alone costs 200/400 euros) the Gibraltar I bridge takes some time to get used to but ok. I filed the sharp bit of the bridge (where the edgde of the bridge irritates the palm. The Gibraltar II bridge is much better.