RGR321EX review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 7.6 Good
  • Users' score: 8.6 (160 votes)
Ibanez: RGR321EX

Price paid: £ 250

Purchased from: Music City - Worcester UK

Sound — 7
I mostly play metalcore but sometimes pop punk and as said before, such a common mistake with Ibanez is the scale length, I have big hands and require something more substantial such as an 8 string baritone. I run the RGR321EX through a rubbish 25w Marshall practice amp simply because money is short, it's all down to the pickups but I reckon anything is possible on it. Great thin neck is easy to navigate, I've used effects like DigiTech multi effect RP50 I think and DigiTech heavy metal pedal before and they mostly sound "fuzzy" through the stock pups and lack the crunch I'm looking for, without effects is quite bright even with ages old strings and never feedbacks even at high volume, I still think the scale length hampers my playing leaving me at the top of the neck and resigned to chords.

Overall Impression — 6
For what Ibanez have on offer, I get the impression that it's just a "taster" guitar, they give you some of their great features but not all of them, to persuade you to spend more, it seems much more suited to "secondary school metal/hard rock band" than serious, full time metal/rock band that could dominate a stage. I didn't search for this guitar, I got it when asking the shop assistant a good "metal" guitar at a good price, I don't really pick it up anymore because I hate 6 string, I hate standard scale and I hate inlays and if it had 7/8 string, bigger scale and no inlays I would have no problem. I've never owned any other guitar so there's nothing to compare to. If stolen or lost I wouldn't care that much, I'd care about lost investment more and I could have waited to get a budget 8 string, I wish I had more money to get more spec for what this lacks but as said before, if you like 6 string, I would recommend to those people.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I've had a noticeable crack in the lower horn for a reason I don't even know so I worry how durable it could be, the hardware is very solid and does the job, the strap buttons don't look like much but are strong, its not going anywhere in the strap. I've never gigged and if I was, I would not be using this in its original state because some little things just annoy me to hell and I think its a shame because it has a lot of potential being an already classy guitar I feel it just needs some modding, the finish although elaborate, is on there forever even when its scrathed and greased, it still looks great and never stops being smooth.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The action fit and finish couldn't be better, I have no concerns in this area, nothing was loose or technically out of place, stock strings were too thin for me but tuned perfect, it never goes out of tune which is really good. It was a solid unit and was in the best possible condition when I got it from the shop, I can tell just looking at a guitar where the flaws are and this has none for what it is. Tuning pegs are a welcome change from my previous Stratocaster, basswood is well balanced with rosewood neck, balanced weight, sits well even when standing, frets were levelled to a billionth of a millimeter, I was quite excited by such quality, definitely the strongest element of this guitar.

Features — 6
I'd rather talk ABOUT the features than what they are (find it HERE), came with soft gig bag. I will start form bottom-up. The strap holder - excellent. Hipshot bridge - excellent, very sturdy and thank God no trem, looks killer, piano black finish is a dream, so shiny almost like a mirror but scratches easy but with nice white binding effect. The body shape is my favourite ever RG and molds perfectly on my knee. Pickups are mediocre Fake EMGs and scale length is the generic 25.5 scale I find ridiculous SHORT! I hate the look of 2 pickups, inlays and I only use bridge pickup, the features are great but could be better, it is a 10 only my preference has lowered the score, for a 6 string enthusiast it doesn't get better than this in this price range.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    @joopbox Good to see a more realistic review in terms of it not being all 10's. But there's a lot wrong with it too, mainly to do with the features. For a start, the bridge is not a hipshot bridge it is one of Ibanez' own Gibraltar bridges. The pickups (depending when the guitar was made) will either be active pickups designed by EMG but made by Ibanez or Ibanez' own INF 1 and INF 2 passive pickups. Then there's the scale length, 25.5" is not a short scale length in fact its one of the longer scale lengths before you go into baritone. I don't see how the RG can be your favourite of a very generic super-strat style shape, since most guitars of this shape will feel similar if not the same. Then why the hate for tremolos? They can often stay in tune better than fixed bridges if set up properly. Also, why do you hate the look of two pickups on a guitar? Thats like saying you hate The majority of guitars out there since a lot have two pickups. And the neck pickup will always give you a good sound if you take the time to use it and find a sound that you like. Next thing, why hate the inlays? again, another thing which appears on a lot of guitars are dot inlays like on this one. Then in another part of the review you say the sound you get through your marshall practice amp and your pedals sounds fuzzy. Of course its going to sound fuzzy, you can't just take a guitar and a couple of pedals (one being a multi-fx) and expect it to sound good. The next thing that annoys me is where you say about the crack in the lower horn, all this says is that you haven't been taking care of it and it probably got cracked from a fall when you weren't looking or weren't around. Then the final part of the review is even worse. You go on about how you hate inlays and you'd only get a guitar with just the bridge pickups and it'd be a 7 or 8 string guitar since you say you hate 6 strings. It seems to me that if you hate this guitar then you'll only find more to annoy you on 7 and 8 string guitars. Why not just save up and get a custom-built guitar to your specs? It'll annoy you less!
    To continue what RedEyeShred was saying. You also say that you have never owned another guitar and therefore cannot compare it to anything, yet you seem to be comparing it to a lot of guitars that you therefore have no experience with (obviously you could have tried other ones at the store, but you say you have nothing to compare to and if you knew what you liked it only makes sense to have bought one of those instead of this).
    I just bought one of these second hand and put an EMG 81/85 set in it. It's now my premier death metal axe for endless br00tulz and chug chug.
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