Ibanez RG7421 Review WiredGuitarist April 4, 2016 Articles, Ibanez Guitar Reviews, Reviews Ibanez RG7421 Walnut Flat Review The RG7421 is a cornerstone of modern guitar. This budget 7 string has gotten thousands of guitarists started on their Extended Range journey in recent years. Ibanez has a long history of catering to experimental guitarists, being the first guitar company to release both production 7 and 8 strings on a large scale, and that has extended to their import line. In recent years, they’ve made some changes to this model (originally the 7321, phased out in favor of the 7421 in 2013) so let’s see how it is! Features: The full specs of this guitar are as follows: Mahogany Body with Forearm Contour Ibanez Fixed-7 Bridge 3-Piece Maple Wizard II-7 Neck Rosewood Fretboard with White Dots 24 Jumbo Frets Ibanez Ceramic Humbuckers 1 Vol / 1 Tone Controls 5-Way Blade Switch 25.5” Scale All Access Neck Joint Bolt On Construction Satin Walnut Finish I always thought it was cool that even on their inexpensive instruments Ibanez doesn’t cheap out and use a normal bolt on neck design with a plate. The AANJ is a standard for a reason and upper fret access is great on this guitar as usual. The “walnut” treatment on mahogany looks great. Definitely preferable to plain mahogany or a solid finish for an instrument like this. The bridge definitely doesn’t look like anything fancy but it’s actually really comfortable. I’m a big fan of hardtail Strat-style bridges. They get the job done and have a wide intonation range. Tone: Ibanez has done a good job of making sure that guitarists can get a useable metal tone even on a $400 guitar. Mahogany is a classic tonewood for thick, aggressive tone that still feels balanced and punchy due to the maple neck with bolt on construction. I think baritone scales are better for 7 strings most of the time, but I think it’s good that they’ve kept it 25.5” so people looking to experience 7s for the first time or do a lot of soloing feel more at home. It’s a compromise that has to be made, and on an entry-level instrument, they made the right choice, you’re just not going to get the ridiculous clarity you’d find on a $2,000 baritone swamp ash 7. The pickups obviously aren’t name brand, and could be better, but luckily they’re both ceramic, which gives you the cut you need to maintain definition in low-tuned standard scale length situations. The 5 way switching makes it suitable for cleans as well, and even percussive split-position tones that are really popular right now. Overall I’d say it thrives in rock and metal lead playing. This is of course, talking about the guitar plugged straight into an amp. Overall, I think a nice Overdrive in the front of your signal chain really livens up this guitar. Your pickups will have a little more cut for distorted tunes, you’ll gain clarity on the lower strings, the neck pickup will gain a bit of harmonic saturation for soloing, and your split position low/mid-gain tones will gain attack. This would be a really good route for an aspiring metal musician to start building a rig: 7 with decent specs, a budget-friendly amp, and an Overdrive to get a pedalboard started. Build Quality: The build quality was a pleasant surprise. To be honest, I am a corksniffer, and had low expectations from a $400 RG… When it arrived at our store and I had a chance to look at it up close…I was taken back a bit! There are no obvious flaws on the guitar. The body finish is well executed, and the satin back of neck finish feels nice. Nothing about the fretwork inhibits playability, but obviously the fretwork here isn’t as good as something like a Prestige. All the wiring is actually really clean. Normally I change out pots and switches on cheaper guitars but there’s no scratchiness anywhere. The machine heads are stable and as I said earlier I actually really like the bridge. Everything is routed and aligned properly, and there are also no issues at the neck joint. The neck joint is something I’ve seen many boutique brands struggle with, so seeing no issues on a $400 Ibanez with the neck joint is very refreshing. Final Verdict: Essentially, this is the way to get into 7 string guitars. There are a lot of other budget (and even cheaper) 7 string options but they simply cut too many corners to be even a playable instrument. If you’re an advanced player that prefer 25.5” scales on 7s, this would even be a good candidate for a pickup swap to be an inexpensive workhorse. It’s not a Japanese guitar or a boutique guitar from Europe but you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck with these. My first 7 was actually the older version of this, the RG7321. Are you looking to buy an RG7421 or any Ibanez? Check out our Ibanez Selection! We are happy to work with you and give you any advice you’d like before investing in a new instrument.