So my Ibby RGA420z finally arrived! And man, even as understated as it is in real life, i feel like the pics online really dont do it justice! It really is a sleek and sexy guitar, kinda reminds me of a stealth bomber haha.
Anyways before i review it, i had a few modifications done to it. For one i swapped out the pickups for a Dimarzio Crunchlab and Liquifire set as i have been very curious to try those, i asked for one volume knob and no tone, but for the volume to be in the tone route away from the strings. I had the Edge trem blocked and had locking tuners put on for quick string changes, and dunlop strap locks for the finishing touch!
Now on to the review:
This guitar redefines Ibanez Prestige for me. I have always really loved the Prestige line, and i have owned several Prestiges over the years, but this guitar really takes everything to a whole new level. To think that this was built on an assembly line and came out so good is pretty astounding, the fit and finish are top notch. It came set up amazingly well with very low action, but no buzz or dead spots, and perfect intonation. And the general aesthetic of the guitar is clean and ergonomic. It has a nice maple top with some good flame on it, and natural binding around the body which i love! It is also this dark purple/almost black color that is very hard to pinpoint (im sure my girlfriend would know exactly what its called haha) but i think it adds nicely to the understated look of the guitar!
It sounds pretty damn awesome too, its thick and growly on distortion and very articulate across the fretboard, and it is actually pretty djenty too! But versatility is the key here, your technique will really affect how this guitar sounds for better or for worse because of how expressive it is, especially with the 5 way megaswitch. It sounds great on cleans, perhaps not quite as bright and chimey as say my Blackmachine, but very full none the less. Definitely a thicker sound rather than a spanky or sparkly one. The Neck pickup is the Petrucci sound, moderately full and with lots of pick attack, pretty tight as well, so you shredders out there will love it.
I cant comment on the trem's action as it is blocked, but it is blocked perfectly and so this guitar holds tuning better than just about anything else, which is great as it will allow me not to have to retune constantly live as i am usually forced to do! It is a very comfortable bridge for palm muting and the fine tuners dont get in the way, however for some reason they didnt put any grip on the fine tuners so it can slip a bit, i imagine with sweat it might be annoying, but its not the end of the world. On the plus side, this is a floating bridge that intonates easily with the built in intonation tool (so glad about that!!). I havent tried it yet, but if i understand it correctly you do not need to loosen the strings as you do on a floyd, you can just do it on the fly with the tool which is a really awesome feature.
The neck is thin, but not as thin as Ibanez can go, however it is VERY comfortable. I have learned over the years that thinner does not automatically equal better, the shape has more to do with that than anything, and this neck is incredibly comfortable and fast, i believe it has a compound radius on the playing side, though i cant really detect any huge difference, i just know it is comfortable across the range! (the fretboard radius is standard and consistant, just to be clear)
With the knob setup i have, i have very easy access to the pickup selector, and my hand does not knock into or roll back the volume knob ever, and since i never mess with the tone knob, it is honestly the best kind of setup for me, however that is a mod i did, and it does indeed come with the standard vol/tone setup that you Ibanez guys may be used to!
All in all it really is an awesome guitar, it is on the pricier side but i will say you get what you pay for, and i would take this over just about any other Prestige model i have played. It is great for tracking and has an awesome recorded tone (used it for a new Haunted Shores track yesterday, will try to make some clips of it), and it seems like it will be the perfect live guitar as well with how well it stays in tune.
Here are some pics for the spank bank:
Sleek looking guitar Nice to hear you like it the maple veneer in purple makes that Ibby look very sexy. I wonder would you like the RGA 427 as much?