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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I played guitar for a couple years in high school but never really got anywhere with it and lost interest in uni due to time constraints and listening to a lot less guitar-based music. Lately though I have been getting back into black metal and punk with a vengeance and feel a very strong urge to pick up where I left off. 90% of the music I will be playing will be black metal and punk, so I need something that can sound good with both. I will not be getting an amp for now, but instead one of the Line 6 pods or something similar... Even though I played guitar before I am still more or less a total newb on technical aspects of it... I know the pickups have a big impact on the sound... so I need good suggestions on the guitar itself, aftermarket pick-ups, and what pod or multi-effect pedal to use. I will only be playing through HPs due to my schedule (I work at night) so an amp is out.

I don't want to spend a ton of money but my budget is flexible. The tone I'm looking for black-metal wise is Emperor, Immortal, Watain, Marduk etc. Punk-wise think Nofx, Propagandhi (early), Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. I am pickier about how my BM sounds though so focus on that though I really want to be able to get both (hence the versatility of the Pod hopefully...)

Basically I'll be playing lots and lots of power chord riffs and tremolo picking.

Guitar wise the only thing I absolutely DO NOT WANT is a floating floyd rose bridge. I regretted having that on my old RG550 immensely (I no longer have access to the 550 so I can't use it). If I can get an RG without that though that'd be nice (I'm open to anything though) -- so I am looking primarily at 321 and 421 series. Is one better than the other and are all the 421s made in Japan? (which would make it the obvious choice right?) Also -- why are both so much cheaper than used RG550s? Was there some huge drop in quality or something? Lastly, is the neck on the 421/321 thicker than the 550?
 

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I would highly suggest an RG921 if you can find one used for a good price. It's my current player and I gig with it too. I have an RG3EXQM which is similar to the RG322 or 421. It's an okay guitar. The stock pickups aren't very good though. You can find many of them already upgraded to Dimarzios on the net for cheap. And, yes, the neck is thicker than on an RG550.
You can also find a lot of good RG570's or 550's used and just block the trem.
I use a Line 6 Pocket Pod to practice at home. GREAT headphone amp with lots of effects and an input for an MP3 player to jam along with stuff.

Also another option if you're cool with active pickups are the fixed bridge Iron Label RG's or the RG6005 Guitar Center / Musicians Friend spec model. Both have EMG's. I've only played the RGIR20 but for its price point it was a solid guitar.
 

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So you don't want a floating trem at all? If its just the floyd rose then id get an edge equipped rg 550 or similar. Ridiculously cheap of the internet and amazing to play.Black metal sound wise I'd suggest dropping Seymour Duncan black winter ( which I currently use) or nazgul pickups for those nasty sounds. If your not overly picky you could get a very good giggable set up for not a lot of money!
 

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It would be easier to help if we knew your location. Every sales region gets different guitars i.e......Europe gets different guitars than Asia gets which, in turn, are different from the US.....etc. The last I knew, Ibanez doesn't sell to the nation of "secret"....LOL.


FWIW, The RG3xxx and RG4xxx guitars are all Indonesian standard line. Thats why they're so inexpensive. They aren't bad guitars at all, but you DO get what you pay for. If you want MIJ- You have to buy Prestige or above.
 

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I thought i've already posted here but anyway, have you considered a 7 string? i think the RGIF7 looks really cool for metal, or an RG752FX if you like a more classic look.
 

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It would be easier to help if we knew your location. Every sales region gets different guitars i.e......Europe gets different guitars than Asia gets which, in turn, are different from the US.....etc. The last I knew, Ibanez doesn't sell to the nation of "secret"....LOL.

FWIW, The RG3xxx and RG4xxx guitars are all Indonesian standard line. Thats why they're so inexpensive. They aren't bad guitars at all, but you DO get what you pay for. If you want MIJ- You have to buy Prestige or above.
You mean the RG3xx and RG4xx. :)
I agree with all of this though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I hadn't really considered 7 string just because I'm still a newbie more or less so it seems excessive to go for that when I need to get 6-string down first. Does having a 7-string complicate any other aspects of playing or it basically just only an added positive?

Regarding the floyd rose I'm trying to stay away from floating bridges all together.

So should I not worry too much about MIJ vs MII? I'm not experienced in guitar shopping having only owned my old RG550 am I taking some sort of risk buying a cheaper guitar?
 

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I hadn't really considered 7 string just because I'm still a newbie more or less so it seems excessive to go for that when I need to get 6-string down first. Does having a 7-string complicate any other aspects of playing or it basically just only an added positive?

Regarding the floyd rose I'm trying to stay away from floating bridges all together.

So should I not worry too much about MIJ vs MII? I'm not experienced in guitar shopping having only owned my old RG550 am I taking some sort of risk buying a cheaper guitar?
Well it can be a little bit confusing at first but nothing to complicated, plus you could benefit from the extended range of a 7 string, most black metal bands use alternate tunings that could sometimes be avoided by having a 7 string there, and some like satyricon and Emperor plays with a 7 string, saving you the hassle of downturning your guitar.

The thing about MIJ vs MII is if you want an instrument that can be your main axe basically for life get an MIJ, MIIs are not THAT bad either but you do get what you pay for, if you are planing on getting good at this, a good guitar is always a good investment, even more than a good amp IMO since you can worry about that later when you found what tone you like etc.

And yeah definitely agree with you on not getting a floating trem, is just one way to overcomplicate things for beginners for a feature that you're probably not gonna even use anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Does having a 7-string affect the play-ability at all? Make certain riffs harder etc.? Or is it purely positives if you want to spend the extra $$?

Just at first blush I'm thinking the taller (or should I say wider?) neck would make things a bit more difficult.

EDIT: Also -- the RG421EX-BKF on Amazon is sold by a Japanese vendor, so I contacted them and they told me it is MIJ --- is that possible??
 

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My opinion would be go to a good and preferably large ibanez stockists and try out every single ibanez they have there! find out what sound you want,what wood in the body and fretboard, the look you want (ie rg,s series etc) whether u want 6-7 strings etc. As mentioned above buy the best you can afford. Also don't forget late 80s early 90s secondhand guitars. Some are ridiculously cheap and very good build quality. You also might want to check out the fixed bridge pgms some of those are lovely.
 

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Does having a 7-string affect the play-ability at all? Make certain riffs harder etc.? Or is it purely positives if you want to spend the extra $$?

Just at first blush I'm thinking the taller (or should I say wider?) neck would make things a bit more difficult.

EDIT: Also -- the RG421EX-BKF on Amazon is sold by a Japanese vendor, so I contacted them and they told me it is MIJ --- is that possible??
AGAIN- what country are you in????

No, the 421 is Indonesian...they lied to you. There may have been a Korean 421 back in the day, but NEVER an MIJ.
 

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Mate, you must be slipping! There was an MIJ RG 421 in like 2002 or something. A couple members here have had them. ;)
I know there were the '03-'05 MIJ 450's and 470's with the EP bridge ( I sent you one...LOL) but, IIRC, there were no 421's in those years. Any years prior to that would have been MIK and the "new" '08 and up 421's have all been MII.
 

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I thought I might have seen an MIJ RG421 here and there but I might be remembering wrong. My instinct says they're all MIK or MII - unless maybe they're spot models or something.
I've been playing a long time and I have to always mentally remind myself that 7 strings is really 6 strings + one on the top. I tune sevens to standard E, which some may say is a waste, but the guitar overall sounds heavier by virtue of simply having an extra string and a wider neck.
 

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There was definitely a late 90's early 2000's Japanese 421. I've owned a couple. Tight end bridge, neck binding, dot inlays. I think they only came in one color, or at least every one I've seen has been dark blue. They pop up for absurdly cheap prices in the sub $200 range regularly enough in guitar center's used section. Great guitars for that kind of money.

As to OP's original post, if you want to get authentic black metal you've got to go BC Rich. The pointier the better. If you can find an Iron Bird, you've got all the cold northern troo kvlt grimness you could ever need. I'd recommend a Seymour Duncan SD1 or a Duncan Invader. Doesn't sound like you want a super hi-fi sound, so more expensive pickups aren't something I'd recommend for your use case. Only marginally kidding about this. Those early albums were recorded with pretty cheap gear.

If you're set on an Ibanez, I'd say an RG471ah would serve you nicely. Can get them pretty cheap and they're pretty stripped down, no frills, and solid. I generally prefer the ash body to basswood.
 
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