Price paid: $ 599
Purchased from: Musicians Friend
Sound — 7
Out of the box the one thing that struck me first was the neck. Compared to the many ESP's I own, the Ibanez neck is very thin. Thin in a good way. Now I own a ESP MHB-401 which is a 27 scale Baritone factory tuned to B, with a 10-58 gauge strings with EMG's. That guitar to me, feels perfect in the tension area for the B tuning. The Ibanez out of the box felt too floppy and almost unplayable with the string set it had on it. Not too mention I wasn't thrilled with the stock Ibanez pickups. Too muddy and undefined. Generally when I buy new guitars if they don't have EMG's in them, I swap em out. For the Ibanez guitar I wanted to try something different, so I decided to try a Duncan Blackout, with a string gauge change to try and correct the loose tension. I installed the Blackout, and went with a D'Addario 11-49 with a 62 for the low A string. The guitar now sounds 100X better. Tension is great for fast chugging and alternate picking. Chords are way clearer. The Duncans blow the stock pickups out of the water, they compliment the guitar well, but at first listen are very similar to EMG's. I'll have to put some time in with the Duncans to see if I can really hear the difference.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall I think this is a great 7 string for the price of $599. I have been playing guitar for 15 years, own about 20 guitars, mostly play metal blah blah blah. I have had experience with seven strings before. This guitar is my first Ibanez, as I am mostly a ESP player. I love the thin neck and extended scale. I do advise changing the pickups, and string gauges. I don't know if I am just a hard picker, but out of the box chords and fast picking sound sloppy because of the tension issue. I mainly will use this guitar to jam on Fear Factory tracks. As I stated earlier, I had great success with the 62 gauge string upgrade. Hope this was helpful.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Features — 7
The Ibanez RGD7421 specs, basswood body, 5pc/Maple/Walnut Wizard II neck at 26.5 scale, with a fixed Gibraltar Standard 7 Bridge. Ibanez pickups. One volume and 3 way selector. Comes factory tuned one step down (ADGCFAD), strung from the factory with D'Addario Reg Light 7string set (10-59).