|Body And Neck:|
Full disclosure – we love Ibanez guitars. So there was no way we were going to leave out the RG7421 when discussing the best 7-string guitars on the market. At under $400 it strikes a great balance between affordability and performance, so it should appeal to the majority of guitarists making the move to 7-string guitars, or even those completely new to the instrument.
Heard of the RG Series? Of course you have! It’s undoubtedly one of heavy rock and metal’s best-known and most loved guitar shapes, that spans super-budget electrics right up to high-end signature models. This mid-range RG7421 sports the familiar superstrat body shape, with sleek curves and defined edges, and a deep double-cutaway for excellent neck accessibility.
The body itself is made from mahogany and finished in a choice of several colors, including black, brown (which nicely shows off the grain), and a very cool metallic fade, available on some marketplaces only. Aside from the paintwork, there’s no other body decoration – quite a simple look. The maple neck, as you may expect from an RG, is a joy to play, with a super slim and fast Wizard II-7 shape, a rosewood fretboard, and 24 jumbo frets. It comes well set-up, so you’re ready to go out of the box!
The RG7421 is equipped with two Ibanez-designed pickups – these are Quantum passive humbuckers, fitted at the bridge and neck positions. For stock pickups, they are actually pretty hot in output, and in a solid configuration for metal playing. Sound shaping isn’t particularly versatile, but two chrome-dome control knobs allow you to adjust tone and volume from the guitar. Elsewhere, this axe features a five-way pickup selector switch, a set of standard die-cast tuners, and – oddly for an RG – a fixed bridge. But this gives added tuning stability, which is a good trade-off.
For the mid-range price, the sound on offer from the RG7421 packs a good punch for heavy metal and rock styles. Perhaps not as deep, dirty and complex as some of the higher-end models we feature, but the humbuckers still provide plenty of meaty low-end with enough clarity as the volume is cranked up. Solid.
The RG7421 offers serious playability, with a superb neck that is one of the quickest around. The pickups are great for the price and certainly offer a stage-worthy sound, although upgrading to something with a hotter output would turn this into an absolute beast. As it stands, for a smooth 7-string playing experience, this RG is hard to fault.