RGR521EX1 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (37 votes)
Ibanez: RGR521EX1

Purchased from: Russo's

Sound — 8
The guitar sounds great both clean and distorted. With good distortion you can get an awesome metal sound, and getting pinch harmonics to scream is easy, even for someone new to guitar. With an array of pedals and a nice amp, this guitar sounds as good as any higher priced model that I've played.

Overall Impression — 9
I enjoy playing Steve Vai songs, such as For the Love of God and The Attitude Song, and while the 24 frets makes all notes possible, the lack of a whammy bar is a sad affair. For the first electric guitar I have ever purchased, it has exceeded my expectations, but as I become a better guitarist I will have to upgrade my equipment. In conclusion, this guitar is a great buy for a beginner-intermediate player, and it will last a lifetime.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar does not yet have one scar on it from playing, and I imagine it would fair well in a Live show. It loses tune slightly faster than a few of my other guitars, but can easily be retuned during breaks in playing. I have yet to snap a string on this guitar, and I frequently use bends as well as pulling the strings off the fretboard.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I bought this guitar off the wall, so any misgivings can potentially be because of other players handling the guitar. It had a little bit of fret buzz when I first got it, but I took it in for a free setup courtesy of the store and the buzz went away. One of the tuning pegs was a bit rough and cut through my.10 E when I first strung the guitar, but I was able to string it once I knew to be gentle on that peg. Once again, this guitar had been played before I bought it.

Features — 9
This Ibanez guitar comes with 24 frets which makes playing music from high pitched artists possible. The barbed wire inlay looks awesome, and the black swirled body matches well. The fretboard is rosewood and looks wonderful as long as you keep up with your cleaning. I have had this guitar since last Christmas and it still looks like the day I bought it. The two EMG humbuckers work great and give a nice tone. My only regret is that this beautiful guitar did not come with a whammy bar.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I have an RGR521EX2 which is just like this but maybe a LITTLE better if at all. probably the biggest plus is the reaper and barbed wire inlay for the neck. it's a sick guitar, the EMG's are amazing, great clean tone on the neck pickup, equally as sick when distorted an detuned for the heavier sounds. Ibanez is amazing and made two more sick guitars. It's never let me down, stays in tune well, has lasted a long time and shows no sign of deterioration at all, very durable, versatile, completely problem free i haven't had to make any adjustments whatsoever other than to tighten the jack maybe twice at most. If you can find someone willin to sell theirs TAKE IT!!! I got mine for $600 brand new in the store, but i'd be willin to pay over $1000 for it if i knew it'd do as well as it has for me
    i have the ex2 version of this (its the same thing but it has a reaper on the fretboard and then the barbed wire is accually the tree of life as it is on steve vai's guitar) but these guitars are amazing! mine ran about 500$ but it was definently worth it!!!
    It's such a Badass Guitar!!! I just got it and I've played on some great guitars. This thing whoops them all.
    I tried this guitar it didn't feel right for some reason. The bridge stabbed into my hand.