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Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335
Ibanez RG421G
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Playability
73
Sound
71
Build
66
Value
75
Score
70
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Playability
75
Sound
66
Build
52
Value
74
Score
64
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Side to side spec comparison >

Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 vs Ibanez RG421G

Reasons to Get
Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 over Ibanez RG421G

Decorative Top
5-ply Layered Maple; AAA Flame Maple Veneer vs None
Finished with beautiful natural wood patterns
Release Year
2023 vs 2020
From a more recent year
Type of Frets
Medium Jumbo vs Jumbo
You'll feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings
Neck Profile
60s SlimTaper, Rounded C vs Wizard III
Comfortable neck that works for most people
Nut Material
Ivory Tusq vs Plastic
Resistant, good tuning stability and rich tone
Pickup Mods
Multiple vs None
Body Type
Semi-Hollow vs Solid Body
Lighter and allows more gain than a hollowbody
Volume Knobs
2 vs 1
More volume control
Tone Knobs
2 vs 1
More tone control
Locking Tuners
Yes vs None
Easier to change strings
Scale Length
24.75'' (628.7mm) vs 25.5'' (647.7mm)
Easier bending, shorter fret separation and warmer natural tone
Fretboard Radius
12'' (304.8mm) vs 16'' (406.4mm)
Easier to play chords without muting strings
Value Score
75 vs 74
Better price/quality relationship

Reasons to Get
Ibanez RG421G over Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335

Country of Manufacturing
Indonesia vs China
Built with higher quality standards
Frets Height
Taller vs Shorter
Easier to press down strings and bend them
Type of Frets
Jumbo vs Medium Jumbo
You won't feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings
Neck Profile
Wizard III vs 60s SlimTaper, Rounded C
Thin neck for playing fast
Neck Joint
Bolt-On vs Set
Allows you to detach and swap the neck
Body Type
Solid Body vs Semi-Hollow
Feedback free
Switch Positions
5 vs 3
More tone options
Number of Frets
24 vs 22
Allows to reach higher notes
Scale Length
25.5'' (647.7mm) vs 24.75'' (628.7mm)
Lower action and brighter natural tone
Fretboard Radius
16'' (406.4mm) vs 12'' (304.8mm)
Flatter fretboard makes it easier to play single notes and bend

Other Key Differences
Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 vs Ibanez RG421G

Bridge Pickup
Alnico Classic PRO vs Quantum Humbucker
Different Bridge Pickup
Neck Pickup
Alnico Classic PRO vs Quantum Humbucker
Different Neck Pickup
Body Wood
Flame Maple vs Meranti
Different Body Wood
Neck Wood
Mahogany vs Maple
Different Neck Wood
Fretboard Wood
Laurel vs Jatoba
Different Fretboard Wood
Headstock
3-3 vs 6
Different Headstock
Nut Material
Ivory Tusq vs Plastic
Different Nut Material

Shared Features
Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 vs Ibanez RG421G

Strings
6
Same playing style
Pickups
HH
High output without hum
Nut Width
1.693'' (43mm)
Same string separation at the nut
Paint Finish
Poly
Resistant paint that ages well
Bridge
Fixed
Good sustain and needs no set-up
Pickups Power
Passive
Cleaner sound and no battery needed

Common Weaknesses

  • Stays in Tune (Evertune)
  • High-Quality Frets
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Luminescent Sidedots
  • Strap Lock
  • Top Pickup Brand
  • 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • Active/Passive Preamp

Price History Comparison

SET PRICE ALERT

Ibanez RG421G Prices

SET PRICE ALERT

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Which One is Better for Beginners?

The Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 meets 5 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, while the Ibanez RG421G meets only 4. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players.

New Player Friendliness

Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Locking tuners
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale

New Player Friendliness

Ibanez RG421G
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale
  • Locking tuners

Nevertheless, when it comes to choosing an instrument, you should pick the one more compatible with your personal style. Still, below we'll try you to give you our results as objectively as it's possible to help you decide.

Sound Quality Comparison

The wood used in an electric guitar or bass is not as important to determine the final tone. However, some people prefer specific wood types, so we'll take a look at those first. Then, we'll take a look at the electronics to determine the versatility and sound quality of each instrument.

Woods Used in the Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335

Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany
Laurel wood pattern used for guitar building
Laurel
Flame Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Flame Maple

Mahogany is a fairly rare wood nowadays. It's used mostly for bodies due to its relatively lightweight. Gibson popularized it with their Les Paul guitars during their golden years, so this wood has a lot of good reputation behind it. The most expensive type comes from South America and it's still used by Gibson even today. Find out more about Mahogany.

There are many types of Laurel, but East Indian is the most common for guitar building. Its color can vary from dark to light brown with black lines. Many people find its tonality similar to Rosewood, which favors the warmer frequencies. Find out more about Laurel.

This wood has beautiful patterns only found in specific types of maple.

Woods Used in the Ibanez RG421G

Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple
Jatoba wood pattern used for guitar building
Jatoba
Meranti wood pattern used for guitar building
Meranti

Maple is one of the most popular necks for good reasons. It is a strong wood that is relatively cheap to make and looks beautiful. The highest quality maple is the hardest that comes from North America. Find out more about Maple.

Jatoba is a hard and dense wood that emphasizes the mid-lows, giving a fuller, more round sound than, for example, Mahogany. However, it also has a lot of clarity in the top end. Find out more about Jatoba.

Meranti is an affordable wood used mainly for affordable electric guitars. It's generally lighter and softer than Mahogany. Find out more about Meranti.

Winner: Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335.

Pickup Configuration

Both pickup configurations are HH. Double Humbucker (HH) is the choice for people who want a fuller, more round sound with tons of mids and lows. Humbuckers also get rid of the hum noise that plague single-coil pickups. They can work out for almost any genre going from Djent to even Jazz.

Pickups Quality

The Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 has pickups from a more specialized brand than the Ibanez RG421G. Its pickups should simply give you a better, fuller sound, although it all depends on what type of music you're going to play. We recommend these pickups for Jazz and similar genres.

Both use Passive pickups. This is what's used for most music genres. They have a regular output and will serve you for both high-gain and clean tones. The alternative (Active pickups) offer a higher output that is mostly used for heavy music.

Winner: Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335.

Versatility Comparison

Some instruments offer you more ways to explore your creativity than others. Below you'll find how both compare when it comes to versatility.

Switch Options

The Ibanez RG421G gives you 5 switch options while the Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 gives you 3. This means that the Ibanez RG421G gives you more options to find the right pickup combination for the type of sound you want to achieve

Only the Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 comes with some kind of pickup modification: Coil Split, Phase Out.

Coil Split lets you disconnect one of the pickup coils. When used with humbuckers, it turns them into single-coil with lower output and cleaner tone.

When the Phase Out option is activated, the pickups will ''work against each other'', meaning that they will cancel out their shared frequencies. The result is a very thin sound, instead of a full, rich tone. This is an interesting sound for genres like reggae or funk and has also been used in classic Hard Rock.

The Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 doesn't come with pickup switching options.

Ibanez RG421G pickups switch selector and push knobs diagram
Ibanez RG421G's switch options

When evaluating versatility, we also take into consideration bridge and neck joint type, number of frets, switch options, amount of pickups and more.

Winner: Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335.

Final Sound Quality Scores

Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335
Pickups 60
Sustain 75
Versatility 68
Tuning Stability 80
Sound 71
Ibanez RG421G
Pickups 55
Sustain 80
Versatility 62
Tuning Stability 65
Sound 66

Build Quality Comparison

When it comes to build quality, we like to take into account everything used to build the instrument. This includes materials, hardware and the quality control expected depending on the country where it was built. Let's see how the Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 compares to the Ibanez RG421G.

Country of Origin

The manufacturing country can tell a lot about the build quality of an instrument. The Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 is built in China while the Ibanez RG421G is made in Indonesia.

China has a bad reputation when it comes to building quality. However, times have changed and now respectable brands use China's cheap labor to build good instruments for a lower price. Don't discount a guitar only because it was built in China, but also expect more quality from countries like Korea.

Indonesia is becoming the most popular country for guitar building because they can make good instruments for a low price. Some people think that they're 'the new China' when it comes to build quality. But the truth is that Indonesian guitars are more consistent, although Chinese quality has improved a lot in the last few years.

Winner: Ibanez RG421G

Nut Material

If you want your guitar to stay in tune and sound good, you need a well cut nut. Nut quality can be inconsistent even when comparing two copies of the same model. The best way to make sure you're nut will be well done is by getting a nut made by an expert company like TUSQ or Micarta.

The Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 has a Ivory Tusq nut. Ivory used to be considered the best material for guitar nuts due to its beauty, durability, and the rich harmonics and sustain you could get from a guitar with it. However, the way to obtain it is simply unethical. Enter TUSQ ivory nuts, which are made synthetically to imitate ivory. Technically, it's better than ivory because it is consistent piece-to-piece, while natural materials can vary a lot, even if they're made from the same.

On the other hand, the Ibanez RG421G comes with a Plastic nut. This is a low-quality nut that you might want to consider upgrading soon. Bone and TUSQ nuts are the best for guitars with a fixed or simple tremolo bridge.

Winner: Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335.

Fret Material

Most fret wire is made of nickel silver. This material eventually wears down after a lot of use and most instruments end up needing a complete fret replacement. However, some expensive models come with stainless steel frets. This is what you should aim for if you can afford it.

Unfortunately, none of them come with stainless steel frets.

Winner: Tie.

Bridge

The perfect bridge for you will depend on your playstyle because they all have advantages and disadvantages. However, some bridges are more expensive—like Floyd Roses and Evertunes—and thus add more value to a guitar.

Both come with a similar bridge: Fixed. It's a simple bridge that is very beginner-friendly since it doesn't require any set-up. You can swap strings easily. It might also give more sustain since it doesn't have complex moving parts that make the strings lose vibration. However, it doesn't have the same versatility as a tremolo bridge.

Since we need to be objective, the most expensive type of bridge will be the winner of this section. In the end, this doesn't matter if you're not going to use the bridge for its original purpose, so choose the bridge that fits your playing style better.

Winner: Tie.

Tuners

The Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 has the best tuners of the two because they are locking tuners. They'll help to keep your guitar in tune because they allow you to tune it without wrapping the strings around the posts. This avoids variations in the tuning due to the strings changing position at the post after a bend. They come at the disadvantage of being slightly heavier than regular tuners. Also, it makes it a lot easier to restring.

Winner: Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335.

Neck Joint

Contrary to popular belief, the difference in sustain and tone that some neck joints give to a guitar is simply unperceivable—if they're all well built. However, some of them do have advantages over the others.

The Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 has a Set neck joint. This neck is tightly glued to the body. They give you the least versatility because you can't swap them for a neck that fits your hand better if you want to, unlike bolt-on necks. Some people think this gives more resonance and sustain, but there's no real difference if the bolt-on joint is well built.

On the other hand, the Ibanez RG421G comes with Bolt-On neck joint. This neck is joined to the body by 4 bolts that you can simply unscrew. This allows you to replace the neck or take it off for travel. It's the most common and cheapest way to build a guitar.

Winner: Ibanez RG421G.

Here is the list of features that were considered when choosing the winner in the Features subcategory:

Strengths & Weaknesses
Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335
  • Locking Tuners
  • Expensive Wood
  • Ivory Tusq Nut
  • Coil Split, Phase Out Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • Made in China
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock
Strengths & Weaknesses
Ibanez RG421G
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Final Build Quality Scores

Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335
Quality of materials 68
Features 70
Quality Control 60
Build Quality 66
Ibanez RG421G
Quality of materials 41
Features 50
Quality Control 65
Build Quality 52

Playability Comparison

Let's now compare their playability. Bear in mind that the instrument will feel different depending on your hand size and play style. That's why you should always test before buying. But if you can't or want a second opinion on it, we can still take a look at each of the important measurements of the instrument for you. This way, we can predict how easy a guitar might be to play, or how different it will feel compared to the other.

Remember that, even though the difference might seem small, every inch counts when it comes to feeling of the instrument in your hands. Any variation can completely change how comfortable a guitar feels in your hands.

Nut Width

Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 Nut Width
Both Guitars Have The Same Nut Width

The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, both have a nut width of 43mm (1.693'').

This is within the most common range of nut widths for a 6-string guitar. It offers a good balance of string separation at the nut. It's the size that most guitarists prefer as it gives them just enough space to play open chords without muting the strings, but without spreading the strings too wide and making bar chords difficult to perform.

Scale Length

Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335's Scale Length
Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335's Scale Length
Ibanez RG421G's Scale Length
Ibanez RG421G's Scale Length

The scale length is one of the things that influences playability the most. This is the distance between the nut and the bridge and will affect everything from low action allowance, difficulty to perform bends, fret separation, and even tone.

The Ibanez RG421G has the longest scale: 25.5". The Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 is only 24.75" long. This is a 0.75'' (19.1mm) scale length difference.

This longer scale means that the strings need more tension to get in tune. This is good if you want to avoid fret buzz, which can happen when the strings are too loose and touch the frets while vibrating. This is especially important when playing in lower tunings. This will also let you reduce the gap between fretboard and strings (low action) to make them easier to press down. However, this higher tension will also make it harder to perform bends and vibratos as the strings will feel stiffer.

This also means that the frets have a longer separation between each other, so this will make it harder for people with smaller hands when playing some chord positions.

Another characteristic of a longer scale is that it makes the guitar sound 'snappier' or brighter. This is due to the extra separation between harmonics and overtones produced by the tension. This influences tone more than any other factor (except the pickups).

Lastly, remember that you can also affect the tension of the strings by changing your string gauge. You can use a thicker gauge for more tension and a lighter one for less tension.

Neck Profile

Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 Neck Profile
Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335's neck profile
Ibanez RG421G Neck Profile
Ibanez RG421G's neck profile

No single neck shape is better than others. However, most people tend to prefer a thinner necks because it doesn't get in their way when playing fast and most hand sizes can adapt to it pretty well. However, some people still prefer thicker necks for a better grip, especially if they have big hands.

In this case, both have different neck shapes:

The Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 has a C type of neck. This is what you'll find in most modern guitars. Most people feel like the thickness of a C neck is simply the less intrusive one for playing fast, while at the same time allowing you to grab the neck easily for resting if you want to.

The Ibanez RG421G, on the other hand, has a Wizard neck. This is thinner than most C-type necks. It won't get in your way if you want to play fast solos. It's not as slim as 'Super Wizard' necks, so it might fit you better if you don't like ultra-thin necks.

Fretboard Radius

Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 Fingerboard Radius
Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335's Fingerboard radius
Ibanez RG421G Fingerboard Radius
Ibanez RG421G's Fingerboard radius

Most guitar fretboards are not flat; they usually have a curve or arc across their width. A curved fretboard will make it easier to perform chords without muting strings, while a flatter one will make it easier to play single notes, which is good for bending and soloing in general. The best fretboards have a compound radius that varies across the fingerboard, but they're not common since they take a lot more work to build.

In this case, the Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335's fingerboard radius is smaller, which means it's more curved than the Ibanez RG421G's. This extra arc will make playing chords easier in this model. You won't be as likely to mute the strings, especially if you have big hands. However, playing single notes and bending will be easier on the Ibanez RG421G.

Still, both tend to favor soloing over chords, so if you're looking for a guitar for playing rhythm, you might want something else with a radius closer to a Stratocaster's 9.5''.

Hand Size Comfortability

Everyone has a different hand size, and that's why it's recommended to try a guitar before buying, even if others tell you that it's comfortable to play. However, we can know whether a guitar favors small or large hands just by knowing its exact measurements.

After taking into account the scale length, nut width, neck profile and fretboard radius, we can conclude that both in this comparison favor small hands .

Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335:
Big Hands
Small Hands
Ibanez RG421G:
Big Hands
Small Hands

Fret Size

Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 Frets Size
Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335's Frets Size
Ibanez RG421G Frets Size
Ibanez RG421G's Frets Size

The Ibanez RG421G has Jumbo frets, which should be taller than the Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335's Medium Jumbo frets.

Some people prefer taller frets because they result in more sustain since the strings get pressed cleanly without interference from the fretboard. However, if they're too tall—like Jumbo frets—, you might change the pitch of the strings accidentally if you press too hard because you won't be touching the fretboard with your fingers. This is also why some guitarists with a heavy grip prefer smaller frets. They like to feel the fingerboard to avoid pressing down too hard and getting out of pitch.

Final Playability Scores

Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335
Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
Chord Playability 65
Solo Playability 70
Playability 73
Ibanez RG421G
Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
Chord Playability 50
Solo Playability 90
Playability 75

Specs Side-by-Side

Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 vs Ibanez RG421G
General Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 Ibanez RG421G
Brand: Epiphone Ibanez
Year: 2023 2020
Configuration: HH HH
Strings: 6 6
Made in: China Indonesia
Series: Artist RG
Colors: Red Blue
Left-Handed Version: Yes No
Body
Type: Semi-Hollow Solid Body
Body Material: 5-ply Layered Maple; AAA Flame Maple Veneer Meranti
Bridge: LockTone Stop Bar F106
Neck
Neck Joint: Set Bolt-On
Tuners: Grover 502C Roto-Grip Locking Rotomatic Ibanez
Fretboard: Indian Laurel Jatoba
Neck Material: Mahogany Maple
Decoration: Pearloid Small Block White Dot
Scale Size: 24.75" 25.5"
Shape: 60s SlimTaper, Rounded C Wizard III
Frets: 22 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver 24 Jumbo Nickel Silver
Fretboard Radius: 12" 16"
Nut: Ivory Tusq Plastic
Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'') 43mm (1.693'')
Electronics
Bridge Pickup: Alnico Classic PRO (Humbucker / Passive) Quantum Humbucker (Humbucker / Passive)
Middle Pickup:
Neck Pickup: Alnico Classic PRO (Humbucker / Passive) Quantum Humbucker (Humbucker / Passive)
Switch: 3 Way 5 Way
Knobs: Bell Dome
Pickup Mods: Coil Split, Phase Out None
Volume Controls: 2 1
Tone Controls: 2 1