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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any comments about whether the old-style neck plate on this model gets in the way of playing the high notes? I assume they changed it to the modern sculpted “all-access” joint on other models for this reason but I don’t have an RG521 at my disposal to check (otherwise it looks like a good model for my purposes).
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Never bothered me and doesn't seem to bother a whole slew of insane 80's/90's shred players. The neck heel is not what limiting one's playing ability.. time and commitment are what matters.
Same. The only one I have is on a JS. It never seemed to hold Satriani back, and I can't say I notice it. I prefer the AANJ, but it isn't that big a deal to me.
 

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The RG original block joints are slightly more obtrusive than the JS ones I think. As JS have the tilt joint with neck plate. I'm not familiar with the RG521 to know if it's the tilt version or the original block heel.

All the original JEMs and PGMs have the block heel. They're my favorite Ibanez period.

I've owned lots of Ibanez All Access, old school block joint and tilt block joint.

I've sold all my All Access ones including a J Custom. I've never found the block ones restrict anything I want to play. AANJ does give slightly better access and you might feel the difference more if you have smaller hands (I don't). But as you can tell with the guitars that ended up as my favs the neck joint was never a factor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks for the insights. A couple of facts: first, yes the RG521 (which is made in Japan) has the tilt neck joint as well as the plate. See new attached pic here (Sweetwater says “a classic-style tilt neck joint provides classic RG feel.”) I read that the tilt is supposed to be easier to play than the earlier block joints but less so than the even thinner All-Access (which I’m familiar with and is great). Second, I’m not Joe Satriani (guys like him could shred on anything!). Third, I do have small hands. I’m not saying this neck would be a big issue, just wondering whether it would be significant enough to think twice. Thing is, they’re offering this model at about half the price of the more modern design Japanese-made RGs and it has what I’m looking for (hard tail, good quality parts etc) except the pickups which are the Ibanez V7 and V8 (never heard them but I read they’re pretty mediocre and I’d probably end up swapping for 3d party pickups). The alternative newer Japanese models would seem to be the RG5221, except it’s fluorescent orange which is not my thing, or RG5121 which has Fishman pickups but again a lot more expensive (even factoring in swapped pickups on the RG521). So this neck question is the only concern.
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Oh that's a better picture. Yes looks more similar to the JS. I've always found them really comfortable to play.
You'll feel a bit of a difference when you go above fret 15 vs the all access version. But I doubt it's much issue, you just get used to a slightly different hand position.

Ultimately the only real correct answer is you need to try it yourself. But i guess that's not an option?

If you're getting a really good price then I'd err towards getting it if all other factors are positive. If it's really something you don't get on with you can probably sell it on again without losing much given the way gear prices have been lately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I should have mentioned I think the reason this model is a lot cheaper, besides the fact that it’s discontinued, is it has regular (nickel I assume) jumbo frets instead of stainless steel like the Prestige models and also has a basswood body instead of mahogany. From what I hear basswood is not necessarily inferior to mahogany but isn’t as beautiful so they don’t leave it exposed in the back. I think steel frets are better but I’ve always had nickel in past and never found a problem with them. Oh and the Prestige models come with a case but this RG521 doesn’t. Still, it’s a Fujigen made guitar with Gotoh tuners and Gibraltar II bridge etc.
 

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I have an RG521 and it's my main player. The square neck joint is a little less comfortable than an aanj but I don't notice it now. I love that it's MIJ, is fixed bridge, and has the sustain of the square heel, which imo affects sound. I guess the best way to compare is also to check out an RG550! Genesis and an aanj RG550-ish guitar. Same contrast.
 
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