Price paid: $ 532
Sound — 10
I play loads of metal (Slipknot, Stone Sour, Rammstein, Linkin Park, Korn) and this guitar is made perfectly for it. I also play a bit of alternative music, such as Franz Ferdinand and Snow Patrol, and it can easily match the sound. I use a Boss ME-50 multi-effects pedal plugged into a Roland Cube 30, and when you swing the distortion up, it handles it excellently, with a little feedback and buzz, but this is hardly irritating. The neck pickup sounds very bassy and mellow, and is great for soloing in clean. The neck pickup is more suited to the rhythmy sounds, and metalheads like myself tend to hang around here. It has a lot of sustain, and it's very easy to get some wicked screaming harmonics out of it. I think this guitar is made to combine lead and rhythm guitar for players, it can play both roles really well. I'll probably end up putting some real EMG pickups into it, for a more metally sound, but at the moment the pickups are perfect. It's just a really versatile instrument.
Overall Impression — 9
This guitar is oriented mainly for the metal crowd, but it can so easily play softer music, such as alternative rock, progressive rock, and even blues. I have no regrets for buying this guitar. I was tossing up between getting an RG1570 in mirage blue, but I ended up getting this because of the security and assurance of the fixed bridge. I can just get a tremolo bar effect on my effects pedal anyway. If it were stolen, I would definitely get another, but I think this is a limited edition model, so it might be hard to get hold of in the future. The pickups are the best thing about this guitar. They're so versatile, and for the price of the guitar, it is definitely worth it just for those. I think the coolest feature is the finish, it's very sexy. The only thing that I wish it had was real EMG pickups and not Ibanez ones designed by EMG. Also, there might be people Who don't like the body shape, since it's more of a metally look, compared to Strat or Tele, which is more conservative. For those thinking that, look past the shape and listen to the sound. You can get more variety of sounds out of this puppy than a Strat. It's just a fantastic guitar worth every dollar. You can't go wrong.
Reliability & Durability — 10
The guitar could handle a gig quite well. I haven't had the opportunity to go to one with it yet, since I've only had it for about 10 days. It will definitely last a long time, I've bumped it against book cases and other things while practicing and it's not scratched at all. You would have to absolutely smash into a brick wall at 100 miles to get this thing out of tune too. The strap buttons are safe, and will never let you down, unless you start fiddling with them and undoing them. I don't think you'd need a backup when you're using it, but I'm a very precautious person, so I probably would bring a backup. And the finish is fine so far, it's withstood my rough playing so far, so it's good.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I got the guitar straight from the box, so it was pretty much all set up for me. Action is awesome, and the pickups are set up perfectly. I don't tend to shred or play incredibly fast, but you can tell this guitar would be capable of such demands, even if the neck is not as thin as a guitar like the RG 1570. I have found no flaws with this guitar yet (except perhaps me). And the finish is absolutely awesome! The flamed top in a very dark red cherry colour is just beautiful. You could easily pick up some chicks just by walking past with this beast.
Features — 9
My RGR421EXFM was made in Indonesia in 2006. It's an awesome guitar, 24 jumbo frets, maple body, flamed top, HardTail bridge, and a very smooth and thin wizard neck. It has a pair of active Ibanez humbucker pickups that were designed by EMG, a 3-way selector, a tone knob and volume knob. No idea what the tuners are, but it's damn hard to knock it out of tune.