Played one of the new RGAs - Jemsite
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post #1 of 54 (permalink) Old 05-02-2005, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
 
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Played one of the new RGAs

One of the Jemsiters i chat with fairly regularly called my attention to this new line of RGs with an arched top. I thought i'd give a hands-on review of the RGA321FSPB I played the other day at Scam Cash.

Aesthetics:
The RGA had the same blue maple top as my JC 8670 and rivaled it in beauty. The veneer looked like it was thicker on the RGA than on my JC.

The dots were MOP, but small...chintzy if you ask me.

Playability:
Had a nice fast ibanez neck - I'm not sure i've ever met one i didn't like. Rosewood fretboard was a little light, but I'm partial to maple and ebony.
I didn't take notice of the weight of the guitar but it didn't seem to be outstandingly heavy or light. It's mahogany under the veneer.

Sound:
This is where it all ended for me. The DiMarzio/IBZ pickups were crap. I tried 3 or 4 different amps, including the new Joe Satch amp and couldn't get anything remotely decent out of it. Eventually I plugged it into the same Peavey Transtube that I own because i know where that amp sounds good. Still didn't cut it.

Price:
$1,447! For that much money they should have put better pickups in it. Anything that says 'Prestige' on it should have better pickups in it...unless these ARE the better pickups and thier lower lines are absolute crap. The Prestige logo seems to be stamped on anything that's MIJ.

The problem is that Scam Cash sees the word 'Prestige' and puts them out of reach and behind a counter, so Average Joe Guitar Player has to approach a salesperson to play anything above an rg370. We all know what fun approaching retail music salespeople is. How will Average Joe Guitar Player be able to take Ibanez seriously when all they have access to is the low-end stuff?

If Ibanez is going to stay competitive in the business they have to find a way to compete on the same level as Fender's USA line. A USA strat is around $800 these days...There should be an rg550 (or 1550, whatever) right next to it. Their pricing and branding doesn't seem to allow for that. It's too bad.

~K
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post #2 of 54 (permalink) Old 05-02-2005, 08:10 PM
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Re: Played one of the new RGAs

Maybe the managers at Scam Cash just see the Fender stuff for what it is, average.

You think you'd call 17mm of solid flame maple a "top", not "veneer".
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post #3 of 54 (permalink) Old 05-02-2005, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Played one of the new RGAs

top, veneer, potayto, potahto.

The RGA i played was better than average until it came to the pickups. Worth $1450? MAYBE if it had a TZ/AN combo in there... THEN i'd consider it a 'Prestigious' guitar.

I always looked at the 550/570 as "average"...but they're being touted as 'Prestige', so they get put out of reach of a person looking to buy a Strat or strat-type guitar. In terms of business and product placement, I think they should be on the same wall.

I'll meet you halfway and say that Sam's Ass management is at fault for not putting the Ibanez $700/800 model with the $700/800 USA Strats....but Ibanez is at fault for putting a high-end label on an average guitar with average pickups.

I love Ibanez guitars and I don't play anything else...and frankly, i don't want to. I'd love to see them continue to be in business for many years...but their marketing & pricing seems to be a bit out of whack.

~K
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post #4 of 54 (permalink) Old 05-02-2005, 11:02 PM
 
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Re: Played one of the new RGAs

Thanks for the review.

I was shocked too when I saw the specs for the 2005 guitars and the high end Prestiges had the IBZ pickups. The RGA321 is the one I was most interested in of the new guitars, but at that price, I don't want something where I'm going to have to replace the pickups.

It looks like every single RG this year has the IBZs or V7/V8s. It's pretty nuts that you have to go to the signature models to get real Dimarzios. (And actually, with the exception of the Jems, the signature models are cheaper than the high end RGs. (I'm talking about solidbodies, here. Not the jazz guitars, which are over $2000.))
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post #5 of 54 (permalink) Old 05-02-2005, 11:23 PM
 
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Re: Played one of the new RGAs

Kenny,


Was that in carle place? if so I saw that.....that store sucks my ass....and I have friends that work there....I made an offer on the Jem7VSBL thats in there and it was dinged to eff and they wouldn't cut the deal....eedjits!

Late!

Jon Z.
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post #6 of 54 (permalink) Old 05-02-2005, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Played one of the new RGAs

Yes, the Carle Place one. They had a bunch of 'Prestiges' hanging up there. All had the DM/Ibz pickups.

I don't know what their excuse is for skimping on the pickups...the neck-thru they came out with a couple of years ago (3120?) had PAFs in it...and it was in the same price range. Makes no sense from a business standpoint...pennywise, pound foolish.

~K
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post #7 of 54 (permalink) Old 05-03-2005, 02:43 AM
 
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Re: Played one of the new RGAs

Good review Kenny . The price tag is a off since the thing doesn't have good pickups but that's Ibanez for you.

Regards

André



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post #8 of 54 (permalink) Old 05-03-2005, 04:19 AM
 
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Re: Played one of the new RGAs

Skimping on the pickups? These ARE real Dimarzios, and are no different to any other Dimarzio pickup - they were made specifically for Ibanez and are modelled on the Super Distortion and the Steve Morse. I've had nothing but good experiences playing those pickups. They're made in the same factory as everyone's beloved Tone Zones and Air Nortons and Evos. Besides, if you don't like them, as some people don't like the abovementioned pickups, just change them. If you liked the way the guitar played, the rest could be changed. People seem to think that just because they may not like the particular tone, they're somehow getting a cheap, inferior pickup. It's not like they're chucking a set of Powersounds in there.
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post #9 of 54 (permalink) Old 05-03-2005, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Played one of the new RGAs

My point was that for $1500, you shouldn't have to swap pickups. The RGA321's biggest weakness was the sound. It's wrong to put below-average stock pickups in an above-average guitar. That's my point.

The Ford Focus comes from the same factory as the Mustang. Doesn't make the Focus a classic sports car. Sorry.
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post #10 of 54 (permalink) Old 05-03-2005, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Played one of the new RGAs

By the way...

I was just looking at Rich's site - he says it comes with a case...the Scam Cash website says 'No case'.

I trust Rich to know what's what before S.A., but do you think they're screwing the customer out of a case to sell more cases? Or is it just a misprint?

~K
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post #11 of 54 (permalink) Old 05-03-2005, 12:58 PM
 
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Re: Played one of the new RGAs

eh pickups are easily changeable. truth be told the only axe i have that's price tag ventures into the 4-digit mark is my white jem. it's a wonderful guitar but i've got a few that are comprable (for what they do) to the jem. Tone is all about your fingers anyways.
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post #12 of 54 (permalink) Old 05-03-2005, 01:00 PM
 
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Re: Played one of the new RGAs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jemwielder
eh pickups are easily changeable. truth be told the only axe i have that's price tag ventures into the 4-digit mark is my white jem. it's a wonderful guitar but i've got a few that are comprable (for what they do) to the jem. Tone is all about your fingers anyways.
Yes they are easily changeable, but Kennys point is that you shouldnt have to change them. For a $1500 guitar you would expect everything to be perfect. Well I would anyways. Buying a used RG550 (for example) and getting new pickups is slightly to getting a brand new Prestige RGA and doing the same thing!
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post #13 of 54 (permalink) Old 05-03-2005, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Played one of the new RGAs

thank you, mr. father, for not making me explain my point yet again.

While i agree that 'tone is in your fingers' that statement holds no water in this case. I take my fingers with me whenever i demo a guitar. That same set of fingers gets great tone out of my guitars with better pickups.

I can honestly say that I A/B'd the RGA to my guitars with the same amp and fingers and, to a lesser extent, woods and found the pickups to be deficient. Theoretically, the RGA should have a bit of an advantage in tone because it's a fixed bridge. All my Guitars have Edge or Edge 2.

~K
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post #14 of 54 (permalink) Old 05-03-2005, 01:23 PM
 
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Re: Played one of the new RGAs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jemwielder
eh pickups are easily changeable. truth be told the only axe i have that's price tag ventures into the 4-digit mark is my white jem. it's a wonderful guitar but i've got a few that are comprable (for what they do) to the jem.
You're actually supporting kennydoe's point here. You payed more for the Jem and it's a better guitar.

I don't understand this attitude that we should just accept crap because it's easy to change. If you're paying that much for a guitar, all the components should be decent quality. The fact that you *could* replace them is irrelevant. You shouldn't *have* to.


Quote:
Tone is all about your fingers anyways.
Then why do you have a Jem? You could have saved yourself a thousand dollars by buying a Cort.
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post #15 of 54 (permalink) Old 05-03-2005, 01:25 PM
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Re: Played one of the new RGAs

There is no doubt that Ibanez made a school boy error by sticking DiMarzio/IBZ pickups in their good guitars.
Even if the pickups were re-badged PafPros or Tone Zones, having DiMarzio/IBZ on them is uber stupid.
At least with normal DiMarzio pickups you could evilbay them (if you didn't like the stocks in your 3120) and change them for minimal cost - now the new pickups will be an added cost.

ilia
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