RG5121 Review and Comparison
Just picked up a used RG5121 and thought I'd offer up some opinions and comparisons.
I want to start with the neck profile. I have an Uppercut RG6UCS. Both guitars say they have Super Wizard HP's, but they are definitely not the same profile. I believe they have moved to a new profile as this one is similar to the RG5020M I played at GC. After playing the Uppercut and RG5121 back to back I can say without a doubt I like the new shape better. It's slightly meatier and has more of an elliptical shape than a D shape. The offset fret inlays and the luminous black ringed side dots make these fret markers the easiest to see out of any guitar I've tried.
In my opinion, the new neck profile and fret markers are a huge improvement over previous Prestige RG's. Unfortunately, the maple neck models still have barely visible fretboard inlays. I'm not sure if the new profile made it to the regular Prestige lineup, but hopefully it did.
With the fixed bridge, African mahogany body, and Fishman Fluence pickups, I expected a nicely resonant guitar with great sustain. I was surprised to find that it was only slightly more resonant than the bassword/LoPro equipped Uppercut and the sustain was about the same. My JS1600 is about three times louder unplugged and has a great unplugged tone. I was hoping for more of that tone with this one, but I guess I can't have everything I want. I assume the JS1600's thicker neck, different neck construction, and tilt joint have a lot to do with that. It seems the thin, stiff Super Wizard necks just aren't going to resonate as well.
I didn't find any significant improvement with the African mahogany fixed bridge combination over others, but I do prefer the tone of mahogany body guitars over basswood. I've yet to have an ash body, but I want to try one.
The Fishman pickups are fun. I was hoping for more versatility, but you just don't find metal pickups that do cleans well, so my hopes were a bit high. Fishman does seem to have some other offerings that may fill that request. I left my amp set the same as for my other guitars for initial testing. Voicing 1 is a nice balanced high gain and Voicing 2 is a darker slightly less gain, but still high gain. The cleans were acceptable, but left me wanting to see if I could coil split them. Chords ring out in a unique sort of hifi, holographic, layered way that sounds very cool. I found that lead work didn't make me want to move to the neck pickup like it does on some guitars. I could play the bridge pickup on voice 1 all day long. They also look completely BA, so they have that going for them as well.
These pickups do provide a significant improvement over stock. Whether or not they're your cup of tea is another story.
On one hand it's just a Prestige RG with Fishman pickups. But on the other, the new neck profile I find to be more comfortable and playable. It also has the best fret markings on any guitar I've seen which has been a complaint of mine. I really like it.
If I had any request, I'd say let's get that Frozen Ocean treatment in a Dark Tide Blue or some other more menacing color and offer a LoPro version with the Mahogany and Ebony.