Ibanez RGA7
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Ibanez RGA7

RGA7, Electric solidbody baritone or 7/8 string guitar from Ibanez in the RGA Standard series.

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King Loudness 10/11/2011

Ibanez RGA7 : King Loudness's user review

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The Indonesian Ibanez RGA 7 is a modern and streamlined seven string guitar that is one of the company's more recent offerings. It features many common traits with standard RG 7s like the 7321 or the upper tier 1527, but it also features some updated features such a carved top, updated electronics and the very cool Gilbraltar hardtail bridge. At it's core, it features the standard compliment of a mahogany body and maple neck, the infamous Wizard neck profile, a bound rosewood fretboard with 24 frets and dot inlays. As stated before it has a Gilbraltar bridge, as well as sealed tuners. The electronics consist of a pair of Ibanez LZ7 humbuckers wired to a single volume control, a 3 way selector switch as well as a boost switch.

UTILIZATION

I definitely prefer the updated carvetop design of the RGA series as a whole here. Even setting aside the fact that it looks classier, but the feel is easily superior and at first I thought I was holding a Prestige model Ibby. The general design of the guitar makes it more player friendly to me than the flat top RGs. This is likely due to the fact that my picking hand has a good and comfortable resting position due to the sloped surface on the body. Otherwise it feels like a standard Ibby - very light, slick, fast and agile. The upper fret access is excellent as always, and getting to the 24th fret is no problem.

Getting a good tone out of this guitar is a tad bit difficult to me. Mahogany can be a very dense sounding wood and as a result I found lower notes and rich chords got lost in the mix, especially with distortion applied. The LZ7 pickups do an adequate job in this guitar, but I still can't say I'm a fan per se. They're a bit too buzzy and compressed for my liking and seem to lack definition on the lower strings.

SOUNDS

Plugged in this guitar has a decent set of tones available considering the price point. I've never been a fan of Ibanez pickups and these don't change my opinion, but they do a decent enough job for a set of OEM pickups. They remind me a lot of EMG HZs - very compressed and gainy. This is great in theory, but when coupled with the seventh string and low tunings it doesn't work nearly as well as I'd like. The clean tones are fairly generic and uninspired to me. There's not a lot of chime or sparkle and overtones don't ring out all that well on some of the more shimmering chord tones. The drive tones are passible if you're into a very modern and compressed tone with a tonne of gain. I don't mind the guitar for jamming at home levels, but in order to cut through in a proper live mix I would swap these pickups ASAP.

OVERALL OPINION

All in all I think the Ibby RGA7 is a good value for the dollar. The craftsmanship and hardware are quite good for the price point. The electronics are not my bag but I've never much dug their pickups anyway... oh well. For $575 new I think this guitar is definitely worth looking into. Even with a pickup swap factored in, it would still be a great option for a killer seven string under $1,000.