A relatively recent addition to the Ibanez lineup, the RGD2127Z is the king of the metal-centric RGD series. After owning this guitar for 3 years, I feel pretty safe in saying that I know this instrument inside and out. It has taken a beating, and turned around and proudly fought right back!

Let’s look at what we’re dealing with:


– Solid Basswood Body
– Invisible Shadow (Matte) Finish
5pc Maple/Wenge Neck w/KTS TITANIUM rods
Wizard-7 Prestige
– Rosewood Fretboard
– 26.5’’ Scale Length
– 24 Jumbo Frets
– White Dot Inlays
– Edge-Zero 7 tremolo bridge w/ZPS3
– Locking Nut
– Recessed input jack
– Ibanez V77/V87 Pickups

Keeping with Ibanez’s reputation, this Prestige line instrument is beautifully made. Not only is it the absolute best that the RGD series of guitars has to offer, but it is finely tuned for delivering great tone and playability with low tunings. The guitar is a simple, straight-forward instrument with no un-needed frills. With just a single volume knob, two humbuckers, a thin neck, and extremely sturdy hardware, it’s a workhorse instrument meant to withstand a beating night after night on the road.

The design is stripped-down and effective, with many small tweaks adding up to a pretty mind-blowing product. One example of these many small improvements is the placement of the volume knob, which is much further out of the way of the picking hand than most Ibanez RG style guitars are, ensuring you don’t accidentally bump your volume knob down a peg during a show. This has the added benefit of removing the need for open-hand pickers to change their hand position and technique when playing on the higher strings. Genius!

For those who love the idea of this axe, but aren’t quite thrilled with this particular model’s specs, you can also get this guitar with a fixed bridge (the RGD2127FX) or in a slightly more souped-up style, with fixed bridge and Bare Knuckle Pickups (RGD7UC).


If we were to take a poll of Ibanez users, I’m willing to bet the majority of us would swap out the stock pickups for an aftermarket set. Personally, I would too, but the pickups in this guitar are among the better sounding stock pickups Ibanez have manufactured. The clarity and definition are not unmatched, but are perfectly acceptable for most uses, thanks in part to the increased scale length. This allows the concept of upgrading pickups to be an option, rather than a necessity which, unfortunately, is the case with many stock pickups.

As one would assume, the guitar is made of Basswood which I always found to excel in its balanced, almost transparent quality. It’s a wood that lets the pickup do the majority of the tone shaping. There is a bit of controversy over whether or not Basswood sucks. We think not, but check out our ‘Basswood – Does it Suck?‘ article and decide for yourself!

The bolt on construction has a bright sound quality and allows for an accentuated attack to each note, which in turn gives a boost to clarity during fast passages or extremely low tunings. These are certainly voiced more for tight, modern metal, so this may not be the best choice for light rock or sludgier styles of metal, but a pickup swap could assist in recovering a good chunk of that ability.

If you must swap the pickups out, I’d recommend checking out our guide on replacing pickups to make sure you do it properly!

The extended scale length is one of the biggest selling features for this guitar, and it is well worth it. Compared to their 25.5’’ models, the clarity and stability in the low B is wonderful. In my opinion, 26.5’’ is the perfect scale length for a 7 string – you get the improved pitch consistency, tighter tone and boost in clarity without sacrificing stretchier licks or having so much tension on the strings that it feels like you’re fighting the instrument.

Build Quality:

The Prestige series quality is nothing short of fantastic. One thing that has always been important to me about certain guitars is the overall feel of the instrument as a single unit. Due to the construction and weighting, sometimes a guitar just feel likes a bunch of parts thrown together, rather than a single unified whole, and that is something that just doesn’t go away. The RGD2127Z feels like it was created as a singular cohesive unit, not a flimsy Lego model. This can be attributed to a few things: balanced weight distribution, a snug fit for all parts, and an excellent attention to detail.

None of the instantly recognizable indicators of a poorly built guitar are present on this instrument. The finish is flawless, all parts fit snugly, all holes were drilled accurately, and there are no sharp fret edges to be seen. I very much expected the toggle switch to be flimsy, as I’ve used a similar style pickup selector on other guitars in the past and they quickly began to come loose and needed tightening constantly. The fact that this one has stayed snug for years is just one tiny testament to the Japanese factory’s talent.

The hardware is one of the most impressive parts of this guitar. Not only is the tuning stability well up to par (especially for a floating tremolo system) and the comfort and dexterity of the bridge among the best, but the Ibanez Zero Point System allows for extremely easy tension adjustments on the fly allowing you to fine tune your tremolo’s response without having to bust out a vast array of microscopic tools to get the job done. This massive plus for any trem lover! If you areMy one objection to this tremolo design is that it does not allow the use of a Tremol-No system, which is very popular with players who like having the option of a fully fixed bridge system by simply twisting a knob.

Final Verdict:

For what seems suspiciously like another boring black 7 string superstrat, this guitar offers a hell of a lot of unique perks that make it something much more special. While the stock pickups might be a bit of a bummer, they get the job done fairly well, and the rest of the features more than make up for this easily-remedied design choice. With a build quality we’ve come to expect from Prestige models, and design focused on practicality and functionality, it’s hard not to find yourself just a little bit smitten with this killer metal machine.


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This article was written by Connor Gilkinson, our editor located in Canada.


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