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  • Ibanez RG 7-string comparison

    I'm not sure how many RG 7 string models there are, but I've noticed a lot of people saying that the RG7421/7420 and RG7621/7620 is FAR superior to the cheaper RG7321.

    However, I was looking at the comparison of the specs on jemsite:
    http://www.jemsite.com/articles-menu/7-string-specs-rg-fixed-bridge/

    and noticed that the specs are pretty much identical!


    Other than the stock pickups (which many of us would probably switch out anyway), does anyone know why the RG7321 is inferior to the others?

    I guess it makes a difference that the RG7321 is the only one made in Korea/Indonesia, but other than the slightly more inconsistent workmanship, aren't they all made of the same ingredients?

  • #2
    I've been looking at 7 strings of late and compared a bunch of Ibanez, although I've not tried one with an amp though. What I noticed is the cheap ones feel cheap. The bodies are pretty much slabs with very little by way of comfort cuts, top carves, etc. The necks also don't feel as nice.

    That said, if you're on a budget and don't mind the cheap feel, I'm sure they will do fine. As far as tone goes, electric guitars are really about the electronics and if you're not happy with what comes stock, there are plenty of after-market pups, etc. to be had.

    My 2 cents FWIW.
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    • #3
      I've been looking at 7 strings of late and compared a bunch of Ibanez, although I've not tried one with an amp though. What I noticed is the cheap ones feel cheap. The bodies are pretty much slabs with very little by way of comfort cuts, top carves, etc. The necks also don't feel as nice.

      That said, if you're on a budget and don't mind the cheap feel, I'm sure they will do fine. As far as tone goes, electric guitars are really about the electronics and if you're not happy with what comes stock, there are plenty of after-market pups, etc. to be had.

      What do you mean the necks don't feel as nice? Are they cut a little differently?
      From my experience, cheap necks usually have a little bit of fretwire sticking out or uneven frets, but there's nothing you can't fix yourself if you already have the tools

      I'm actually more concerned about tone. Let's just say I've got $900 to spend on an Ibanez, and can't spend a single cent more than my budget.
      Would it be better to pay $500 for the RG7321 and spend the remaining $400 on new electronics?
      Or would it be better to pay $900 for the "superior" RG7621 and keep the stock pickups?

      Just out of curiosity, are there different grades of basswood that contributes to the huge difference in price?

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      • #4
        Don't get any of the ones with the Ibanez-made active pickups that run on 2 AAs. They sound like absolute **************** for the amount they cost. They have tone that would barely be acceptable in a guitar half it's price.
        <div class="signaturecontainer">Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer.<br />
        <br />
        <a href="http://www.myspace.com/pennanggalan" target="_blank">Pennanggalan</a> is my band. You should listen to them, if you like metal.</div>

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        • #5
          What do you mean the necks don't feel as nice? Are they cut a little differently?
          From my experience, cheap necks usually have a little bit of fretwire sticking out or uneven frets, but there's nothing you can't fix yourself if you already have the tools

          I'm actually more concerned about tone. Let's just say I've got $900 to spend on an Ibanez, and can't spend a single cent more than my budget.
          Would it be better to pay $500 for the RG7321 and spend the remaining $400 on new electronics?
          Or would it be better to pay $900 for the "superior" RG7621 and keep the stock pickups?

          Just out of curiosity, are there different grades of basswood that contributes to the huge difference in price?


          Necks: radius, fretwire and general fit and finish are different. It's like the difference between a Fender Starcaster strat and a Fender American Standard.

          Can the cheap one be dressed to play nicely? Yes.
          Will the cheap one ever feel like the more expensive one? Maybe, but with way more time and money put into it that it's probably worth.

          Bodies: The cheap one is more like a telecaster - a slab of wood with little contouring and pretty rough around the edges.
          Will the cheap one ever feel like the more expensive one? Same answer as above.

          Electronics: I'm not a big fan of electronics on sub $800 guitars. You may luck out, but I find I end up replacing the pickups/wiring/pots on most of my guitars anyway so I go into a purchase with that understanding.

          Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of getting a cheapo and fixing it up. I've just found the cheap 7-strings to be really cheap and there isn't that much of an up-charge to get something that's actually a fairly nice platform to build on.

          Take a look at Schecter as well. They seem to be priced around the same, even a bit less, and look to be much better crafted. I say this without actually being able to handle a Schecter - I'm going by how they look on the various websites.
          <div class="signaturecontainer"><div align="center"><a href="http://www.VerneAndru.com" target="_blank">VerneAndru.com</a> | <a href="http://www.oKee.com" target="_blank">oKee</a>.<a href="http://okee.com/WebApp/Downloads/420-001-Comic_Book_Sampler.pdf" target="_blank">ComX</a> | <a href="http://www.danedetto.com" target="_blank">Danedetto Guitars</a><br />
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          • #6

            Take a look at Schecter as well. They seem to be priced around the same, even a bit less, and look to be much better crafted. I say this without actually being able to handle a Schecter - I'm going by how they look on the various websites.


            I've played a Schecter 7 string. They're MASSIVELY superior to Ibanezes in the same price range.
            <div class="signaturecontainer">Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer.<br />
            <br />
            <a href="http://www.myspace.com/pennanggalan" target="_blank">Pennanggalan</a> is my band. You should listen to them, if you like metal.</div>

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            • #7
              What do you mean the necks don't feel as nice? Are they cut a little differently?
              From my experience, cheap necks usually have a little bit of fretwire sticking out or uneven frets, but there's nothing you can't fix yourself if you already have the tools

              I'm actually more concerned about tone. Let's just say I've got $900 to spend on an Ibanez, and can't spend a single cent more than my budget.
              Would it be better to pay $500 for the RG7321 and spend the remaining $400 on new electronics?
              Or would it be better to pay $900 for the "superior" RG7621 and keep the stock pickups?

              Just out of curiosity, are there different grades of basswood that contributes to the huge difference in price?


              For $900 I would think you could get a used Universe.

              I've had a few and paid $910 for my UV7PWH (White), $645 for the UV7BK (Black w/green pups), and UV777PBK for $805 (Black). I also had a UV777GR (Green) for $980, which was a little more...

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              • #8
                For $900 I would think you could get a used Universe.

                Man...you'd have to be really lucky to get one though. I've never seen one close to a grand, let alone under a grand. Honestly not a big fan of tremolos as well.

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                • #9
                  I just got an RG7321 last month, after I was gassing for a cheap 7 for months. It's the first year of manufacture, 2001, so it's one of the Korean-made models. I haven't played any other 7s to compare it with, but I was really surprised by the level of quality for an entry-level guitar. Maybe the first-year guitars were very well made, I don't know. It's very playable, well set up, and more fun than I expected. I never forget it's a 7-string, but it's comfortable and light.

                  Interestingly enough, I like the neck pickup, but the bridge pickup is really blah on the low strings. I want a much bolder, tighter low end. Maybe I can adjust the pickup height to improve things. The bridge pickup is really the only drawback I've noticed.

                  The advantage of shopping for an RG7321 is that they can easily be found used at good prices.
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                  <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>csm</strong>
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                  </div> <font face="Book Antiqua">&quot;You know, once you've had that guitar up so loud on the stage, where you can lean back and volume will stop you from falling backward, that's a hard drug to kick.&quot; — David Gilmour</font><br />
                  <br />
                  <font face="Tahoma"><div align="center"><font size="1"><b>Fender</b> :: <b>Gibson</b> :: <b>Epiphone</b> :: <b>Ibanez</b> :: <b>Yamaha</b> <br />
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                  • #10
                    Other than the stock pickups (which many of us would probably switch out anyway), does anyone know why the RG7321 is inferior to the others?
                    The quality of components (both wood and hardware) is superior. An MIJ Ibanez is a pro level guitar; a 7321 is a nice 7 string for the price (used).

                    I've been looking at 7 strings of late and compared a bunch of Ibanez, although I've not tried one with an amp though. What I noticed is the cheap ones feel cheap. The bodies are pretty much slabs with very little by way of comfort cuts, top carves, etc. The necks also don't feel as nice.
                    The necks on the MIJ Ibanez are thinner. The bodies are contoured the same on the RG7321 and the MIJ 7 string RG models. Both have tummy cut, forearm relief and AANJ. No Ibanez RG model has a carved top (Maybe you're thinking of the RGA or RGD?)

                    Don't get any of the ones with the Ibanez-made active pickups that run on 2 AAs. They sound like absolute **************** for the amount they cost. They have tone that would barely be acceptable in a guitar half it's price.
                    Ibanez is notorious for shafting you in the pickups department lately. I haven't tried those, and am disappointed but not surprised to find that they stink.

                    In general I think that the RG7321 is a nice guitar for the used price (new it seems steep). I don't like Schecters because it's like someone strung up a Sycamore and put abrasive soudning pickups in it.
                    <div class="signaturecontainer">Good trades with: Torgeot, JoeGuitar717, Djfrank (x3), MorgMetal666, Dark Aegis, jdr94, newbuilder, Deerslayer, Arkery, 1960LesPaul, guitar_addict, dmc69(x2), Magh8<br />
                    Also have good deals on Jemsite</div>

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                    • #11
                      I've got a 7420m, and I've swapped pickups on them. I think the biggest difference is the necks on the 7420 and 7620. I also think that the 7620 has a better bridge than the 7420 (not sure what's on the 7320, likely the low TRS). I had to do some work to mine to get those pickups in (shimming the neck), but it plays pretty damn good. A lot of people like the 7420 because you can snag a used one for pretty cheap, so there's good bang-for-your-buck.

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                      • #12

                        The quality of components (both wood and hardware) is superior. An MIJ Ibanez is a pro level guitar; a 7321 is a nice 7 string for the price (used).

                        The necks on the MIJ Ibanez are thinner. The bodies are contoured the same on the RG7321 and the MIJ 7 string RG models. Both have tummy cut, forearm relief and AANJ. No Ibanez RG model has a carved top (Maybe you're thinking of the RGA or RGD?)

                        Strange enough, on the jemsite link I posted, both the RG7321 and the Japanese ones have "American basswood" bodies. Do you mean there's a significant difference in the grade of wood they use?

                        Are the necks really thinner or just flatter? On the Ibanez website, RG models have similar neck dimensions. Then again, Ibanez necks are already so thin, a slightly thicker neck wouldn't hurt a bit


                        I also noticed that the RG7321 in particular has two different bridge variations. One looks identical to the Fender Strat style bridge, and another is in chrome black which looks a little different.
                        Someone also mentioned that Ibanez fixed the original flaws in the new RG7321 models. Any idea what was different with the older ones?

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                        • #13
                          I also noticed that the RG7321 in particular has two different bridge variations. One looks identical to the Fender Strat style bridge, and another is in chrome black which looks a little different.
                          Someone also mentioned that Ibanez fixed the original flaws in the new RG7321 models. Any idea what was different with the older ones?


                          FWIW, I like the bridge on my 7321. The guy I bought it from said I should look into replacing the saddles, but I don't see the point. I think they're fine.

                          I wanted a fixed bridge, as I knew I'd be jumping around with different tunings. I have no use for a trem on a 7.

                          I don't know exactly when Ibanez changed to the new bridge on the 7321, but I think it's only been in the last few years. I'm not going to speculate on which one is better, but since I like Strats, I'm familiar with the older bridge design, and that works for me.
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                          <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>csm</strong>
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                          </div>
                          </div> <font face="Book Antiqua">&quot;You know, once you've had that guitar up so loud on the stage, where you can lean back and volume will stop you from falling backward, that's a hard drug to kick.&quot; — David Gilmour</font><br />
                          <br />
                          <font face="Tahoma"><div align="center"><font size="1"><b>Fender</b> :: <b>Gibson</b> :: <b>Epiphone</b> :: <b>Ibanez</b> :: <b>Yamaha</b> <br />
                          <b>Blackstar</b> :: <font color="orange"><b>Orange</b></font> :: <b>Vox</b></font></div></font></div>

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                          • #14
                            ESP also makes a reasonably priced 7. Again, I've not had a chance to play one but they look interesting.

                            Are there no stores around you that carry 7's?
                            <div class="signaturecontainer"><div align="center"><a href="http://www.VerneAndru.com" target="_blank">VerneAndru.com</a> | <a href="http://www.oKee.com" target="_blank">oKee</a>.<a href="http://okee.com/WebApp/Downloads/420-001-Comic_Book_Sampler.pdf" target="_blank">ComX</a> | <a href="http://www.danedetto.com" target="_blank">Danedetto Guitars</a><br />
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                            • #15
                              Strange enough, on the jemsite link I posted, both the RG7321 and the Japanese ones have "American basswood" bodies. Do you mean there's a significant difference in the grade of wood they use?

                              Are the necks really thinner or just flatter? On the Ibanez website, RG models have similar neck dimensions. Then again, Ibanez necks are already so thin, a slightly thicker neck wouldn't hurt a bit


                              I also noticed that the RG7321 in particular has two different bridge variations. One looks identical to the Fender Strat style bridge, and another is in chrome black which looks a little different.
                              Someone also mentioned that Ibanez fixed the original flaws in the new RG7321 models. Any idea what was different with the older ones?


                              My understanding is that the woods on the higher end guitars have a better tonal quality; for example two different pieces of basswood may have a different sound or tonal quality.

                              Generally Ibanez gives the Korean/Indo guitars slightly fatter necks; which is a tricky little trick to, as I see it, convince you to spend more money on the MIJ stuff. If you're buying an Ibanez you like thin necks and easy playability, a little bit thinner neck may be worth it to you (For me it is; even 1mm difference is quite obvious to my hand).

                              The thing I've found with both Schecter and LTD (not there is a difference between the two) is that the playing is very compartmentalized between strings. When you sweep something on an Ibanez it feels like it just flows and it's just string to string. With a schecter or LTD it's more of an adjustment between each string; presumably because of the radius differences (MIJ Ibanez near a 17" radius, Schecter/LTD closer to 14" I think).
                              That's just for me though, I'm sure that to another play the LTD/Schecter feel may be more appealing. Overall, the MIJ RG is definitely worth the extra money.
                              <div class="signaturecontainer">Good trades with: Torgeot, JoeGuitar717, Djfrank (x3), MorgMetal666, Dark Aegis, jdr94, newbuilder, Deerslayer, Arkery, 1960LesPaul, guitar_addict, dmc69(x2), Magh8<br />
                              Also have good deals on Jemsite</div>

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