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tjon901 08/11/2011

Ibanez RGA121H : tjon901's user review

« Mahogany body hardtail shredder »

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The RGA121 was one of my favorite RG models. I love the feel of the arch top RG bodies. This guitar had a ton of features I liked. Recently Ibanez started making more hardtail guitars and this was one of the first in the line of them. This guitar has a mahogany body with a maple top. The bolt on neck is a maple wizard prestige neck with a rosewood fretboard. The neck made up of 5 pieces of maple and walnut to give it stability. The fretboard has 24 jumbo frets and a super flat radius. The hardtail bridge is Ibanez's Gibralter design. It has a set of stock junk Ibanez pickups which is the only thing bad about this guitar in my opinion. It has a master tone and a master volume with a 3 way blade switch.


These guitars play great and have superb stability. The hard tail means you do not have to worry about adjusting springs and whatnot whenever you change strings or tunings. The wizard prestige neck is one of the thinnest necks you can get on a guitar nowadays. With a thin neck your fingers have more space to move about the fretboard instead of wrapping around the rest of the neck. The radius is super flat and that combined with the big frets mean it is very easy to get a super low action if that is what you want. Even with bolt on construction the heel is rounded off so it is comfortable to play up on the high frets.


The stock pickups in this guitar are a let down. The mahogany body helps the tone a bit compared to the basswood bodies most Ibanez guitars have but the pickups just kill any tonal potential this guitar has stock. Ibanez puts pretty dull pickups in all but their highest end guitars. These pickups are weak and dull and I would recommend a swap immediately. The bridge pickup is lifeless and does not have the output you want on a guitar like this. The neck pickup is muddy and sour sounding. It is not very smooth either. Overall the pickups in this guitar from the factory are pretty unremarkable. Some hotter and clearer aftermarket pickups can really make this guitar sing. Since it has a mahogany body you will be able to get a thicker sound than most Ibanez guitars once you put some good pickups in it.


With a swap of pickups these guitars are great. They have a mahogany body which is much much better than the normal basswood body. The hardtail bridge gives you a bit more sustain and tone thanks to the body not having to be cut out for the springs. It also means you can change tunings and strings whenever you want without taking forever to adjust the spring tension. This is a good solid guitar that just needs one upgrade to make it really a top shelf guitar. Once you put some worthy pickups in this guitar it will really be up there with the best of them.