Ibanez GRX40 Review & Prices

Ibanez GRX40 Review
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  • From Ibanez's 2020 RG series
  • Made in China
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Poplar body
  • Maple neck
  • Jatoba fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Infinity R (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Middle pickup: Infinity RS (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Infinity RS (Single Coil/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Bell knobs
  • 5-way Switch
  • T106 bridge
  • GRX Bolt-On neck
  • 22 Medium frets
  • Ibanez tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 70
Sound 64
Build quality 52
Value for money 72
Overall Score 62
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Ibanez GRX40
  • Tremolo
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in China
  • 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 Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $260, which means that the Ibanez GRX40 is around 23% cheaper than the competition. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Tremolo bridge that are made in China.

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Videos

Ibanez GRX40 Demo by Nico Schliemann
Ibanez GRX40 - Detailed Review Part 1
Ibanez GRX40 (Is The GIO Series Good?)
Best beginner Guitar? Ibanez GRX40 Review
Ibanez GIO GRX40 demo (Metallica riffs only)
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Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

Weight

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Fret edges

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Ibanez GRX40 meets 5 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. 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 to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

Ibanez GRX40
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Short scale
  • Locking tuners

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Ibanez GRX40's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Ibanez GRX40's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Ibanez GRX40 Scale Length Comparison
Ibanez GRX40's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the same scale length used in Stratocaster guitars, and it's one of the main reasons they have such a bright sound. It's considered a long scale when compared to most non-baritone guitars.

Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, you'll need to give the strings more tension to get them in tune. This higher tension will allow for a couple of things. First, you can get a lower action (get the strings closer to the fretboard) because the strings won't 'wiggle' too much when pluck and won't cause fret buzz. This can allow you to use lower tunings without increasing your string gauge, and it will make it easier to press down the strings fast.

However, the frets will also have a wider separation between each other, which can make it harder to play, especially if you got small hands. The higher tension will also make the strings feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Ibanez GRX40 Neck Profile
Ibanez GRX40's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

The Ibanez GRX40's neck thickness is approximately 0.77'' (19.6mm) at the first fret, and 0.85'' (21.6mm) at the twelfth.

These measurements were taken either from the official Ibanez website, or, in case this information wasn't provided, by researching multiple online marketplaces and forums where owners of this model have posted their measurements.

It has a GRGR type neck. This neck is used mainly in Ibanez's mass production guitars, and it's very similar to the Wizard profile in terms of shape and thickness. It's thinner than the C profile that most people prefer. The idea is to give players the least interference from the neck when playing fast. It's the type of neck that shredders love. However, some people might prefer a thicker neck that allows them to wrap their hands around it for resting while playing.

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Ibanez GRX40 has a 12" fingerboard radius.

Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Ibanez GRX40 Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Ibanez GRX40's fretboard radius compared to others

This is the same radius that Gibson uses in most of their guitars. When compare to the other popular radius of Fender Stratocasters, you can see that it's a lot flatter. Guitars with this radius are usually made to bring a good balance between single-note and chord playing.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Ibanez GRX40 has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

Ibanez GRX40
This model
25.5'' Scale Length
GRGR Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
26.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.614'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Ibanez GRX40 Nut Width
Ibanez GRX40 Nut Width

The Ibanez GRX40 has a nut width of 42mm (1.654''). This is considered a narrow width for a 6-string guitar. This means that this guitar will have a narrower string separation at the nut, which will affect your fretting hand.

If you are a player with big hands, you might find it difficult to play chords without muting strings. However, this is good for players who have smaller hands, as it will allow them to reach each string more easily at the nut.

Frets

The Ibanez GRX40 has 22 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Ibanez GRX40 Fret Size Comparison
Ibanez GRX40's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Ibanez GRX40's frets are Medium size. With medium frets, you can feel the fretboard more than with jumbo frets, but it's still easier to press the strings cleanly than with small frets; notes might change their pitch just slightly if you press hard on the fret. Also, if you need to do some fret leveling after years of playing, you'll have some room to sand them down without having to replace them.

More with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 70
Chord Playability 70
Solo Playability 70
Playability 70

Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar or bass. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood

Poplar wood pattern used for guitar building
Poplar Body
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Neck
Jatoba wood pattern used for guitar building
Jatoba Fretboard

Poplar Body: It's similar to Alder in terms of tone as it has a fat low-end with strong mids, but it's a lot cheaper and softer. It's a bit heavier so it's mostly used for tops.

Maple Neck: This is one of the most popular types of wood used in all kinds of guitars. It's heavy, strong and compact, which makes it great for necks. However, it's also used for fretboards, bodies and tops due to its light color, resistance and beautiful patterns. When it comes to tone, it highlights the mid and high frequencies.

Jatoba Fretboard: It's an exceptionally 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.

More made with the same wood:

Pickups

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with pickups from one of the top brands. This doesn't mean you will get bad pickups, but you might want to consider a pickup upgrade after some time.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a rounder sound and a moderade level of output.

The Ibanez GRX40's configuration is HSS. If you play a lot with humbuckers in the bridge position, but would also love to have pristine cleans, this is a great configuration to have. The bridge humbucker will give you tons of output for playing distorted rhythm parts, while the single coils will give you a lot of tone options.

More with the same pickups

Ibanez GRX40
This model
22 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Infinity R Bridge Pickup
Infinity RS Middle Pickup
Infinity RS Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Floyd Rose Bridge
Infinity R Bridge Pickup
Infinity RS Middle Pickup
Infinity R Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Infinity R Bridge Pickup
Middle Pickup
Infinity R Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Infinity R Bridge Pickup
Middle Pickup
Infinity R Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Floyd Rose Bridge
Infinity R Bridge Pickup
Middle Pickup
Infinity R Neck Pickup

Versatility

It gives you a good amount of tone options with its 5-way switch. You can use it to choose at least 5 different pickup combinations.

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with more options for coil split or coil tapping. This makes it less versatile than some competitors.

Diagram

Ibanez GRX40 pickups switch selector and push knobs diagram
Ibanez GRX40's switch options

What music genre is it good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with HSS configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Hard Rock or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this particular one.

Sound Score

Pickups 60
Sustain 65
Versatility 70
Tuning Stability 60
Sound 64

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Ibanez GRX40 is made in China. So you can expect lower build quality when compared to others made in Korea, Japan or the United States. Guitars made in this country are meant for mass production, which translates into less attention to detail and quality control. This doesn't mean the product is made poorly at all. Chinese products have a bad reputation since long ago, but they've definitely improved a lot the last few years.

Still, remember that we're taking about Ibanez here, which is a brand with good renown. They know how to use cheap labor in this country without sacrificing too much quality. So you shouldn't end up receiving a useless or ugly instrument.

Bridge

T106: This type of bridge allows you to change the pitch of the notes by pulling the bridge with the attached bar, which gives you better versatility. Also, since the bridge is not fixed to the guitar body, the bridge will move as you bend the strings. So you'll have to increase the distance of your bends to reach the same tension (note) compared to a fixed bridge. This allows you to perform smoother bends but will also make you slower. Finally, remember that this type of bridge requires a bit more maintenance than fixed ones, especially when changing strings.

More with the same type of bridge:

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Ibanez GRX40 has 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.

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Bolt-On neck joint. Even though this type of neck was looked down upon for a long time, nowadays bolt-on necks are well built and provide just as much sustain as any other join method. First of all, it's cheap to make because it consists of simply 4 bolts that attach the neck to the body. And you can travel with the guitar more easily, swap out the neck if you damage it, or upgrade to a more comfortable neck later on.

More with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 46
Features 55
Quality Control 55
Build Quality 52

All Specs

Ibanez GRX40
General
Brand: Ibanez
Year: 2020
Configuration: HSS
Strings: 6
Made in: China
Series: RG
Colors: Black, Blue, Green, Red
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Poplar
Bridge: T106
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Ibanez
Fretboard: Jatoba
Neck Material: Maple
Decoration: White Dot
Scale Size: 25.5"
Shape: GRX
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.77'' (19.6mm) - 12th Fret: 0.85'' (21.6mm)
Frets: 22 Medium
Fretboard Radius: 12"
Nut: Plastic
Nut Width: 42mm (1.654'')
Electronics
Switch: 5 Way
Knobs: Bell
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: Infinity R (Humbucker / Passive)
Middle Pickup: Infinity RS (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Infinity RS (Single Coil / Passive)

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