Ibanez RGA742FM Review WiredGuitarist November 13, 2018 Articles, Ibanez Guitar Reviews, Uncategorized Features: – Ibanez Fixed Bridge – Wizard II-7 Maple Neck – 24 Jumbo Frets – Quantum Pickups – Dragon Eye Burst Flat Finish – Black Hardware – Jatoba Fretboard – 5-Way Pickup Selector The RGA742FM looks absolutely stunning, it’s great to see Ibanez offering more flashy and varied finishes in this budget price bracket. The transparent finish on the back blends beautifully into the front, a very classy look which reminds me of the same rear finish on my old RGA121’s. It’s not too often that the Prestige lineup has anything in common with the entry level instruments, but even if it’s just in looks I’ll take it. Tone: There’s nothing special here when it comes to the tone of the instrument, you’ve got a fairly bland set of pickups to start with. The Quantum pickups are more or less a standard medium-high output pickup with a lot of low end removed to keep it tight. Great for faster music, not great if you’re into doom or sludge metal. The sound is passable, no major muddiness or harshness, but the lack of remarkability is its downfall. There’s no real positives or negatives. The only real plus side is a decent amount of attack, if you’re fond of that quality like I am. My guess would be that’s part of why it’s not quite as muddy as other stock pickups, the attack compensates for it in a small way. The clean tones are a bit more likable, especially when using the 4th position on the pickup selector for some very harp-like sounds. They don’t get perfectly clean, however, but not as dirty as an active pickup would be. Again, very bland sounding, but at least in the 4th position they do open up more and add more sparkle and interest to the sound overall. I would definitely swap these out at my first opportunity, but if you’re on a budget and that’s not an option for you these are perfectly acceptable as they are. If I was touring, broke a guitar and this was all that was left at the local guitar store, I wouldn’t be upset. No one would compliment my tone, but it wouldn’t be criticized either. Build Quality The major issue here is sharp fret ends. We’re not at a level of getting your hand cut open, but there’s a lot of sharp ends on these that really need to be rounded off by an experienced guitar technician. Unfortunately, this is just a reality of any guitar in this price range. In truth, I will admit that I’d much rather have more features and better tone in a guitar and have to pay for a full setup later, as opposed to an under-equipped and mediocre guitar without any build issues. Still, not ideal. Besides the fret ends there are no issues that I could spot after giving it a once-over. The finish was free from any blemishes or inconsistencies, there was no gap between the neck and the body, it felt solid in my hands and that’s a deal-breaker for me. The more important elements of the build quality are covered. Snug fit in the neck pocket, no loose screws or hardware, it’s ready to go right out of the box. Final Thoughts This guitar is a cheap workhorse. It’s built to take a beating without making you feel bad, and it certainly accomplishes that. There are no significant improvements here to their current lineup except for slightly improved pickups and much better aesthetics. I’m not impressed by this guitar, but it’s exactly what I expected and I’m still very happy with it. It’s a solid budget offering that manages to improve its aesthetic and offer a good amount of features without raising the price from what we’re used to with Ibanez’s entry-level instruments. This one is a solid 7.5/10.