Ibanez RG421HPAH Review & Prices

Ibanez RG421HPAH Review
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  • From Ibanez's 2020 RG series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 16" Fretboard Radius
  • Ash top
  • Nyatoh body
  • Roasted Maple neck
  • Jatoba fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: DiMarzio Fusion Edge (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: DiMarzio Fusion Edge (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • F106 bridge
  • Wizard III Bolt-On neck
  • 24 Jumbo frets
  • Ibanez tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 75
Sound 75
Build quality 58
Value for money 74
Overall Score 69
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Ibanez RG421HPAH
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Coil Split Pickups
  • Luminescent Inlay
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $850, which means that the Ibanez RG421HPAH costs around 18% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in Indonesia.

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Videos

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The NEW Ibanez 2020 Collection Has Landed & Pushing Far Beyond What's Ever Gone Before!
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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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Tuning stability

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Neck access to high frets

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Neck profile shape

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Fret edges

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Ibanez RG421HPAH meets 4 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not bad for beginners, but it could be better. 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 RG421HPAH
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • 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 RG421HPAH'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 RG421HPAH's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Ibanez RG421HPAH Scale Length Comparison
Ibanez RG421HPAH'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 RG421HPAH Neck Profile
Ibanez RG421HPAH'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 RG421HPAH's neck thickness is approximately 0.75'' (19.1mm) at the first fret, and 0.83'' (21.1mm) 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 Wizard type neck. This is a neck profile invented by Ibanez in the 90s and perfected throughout the years. It's thinner than the C profile that most people like. It's not as thin as their 'Super Wizard' version, so it's a good option if you like thin necks, but like to have a bit of thickness for resting your hand 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 RG421HPAH has a 16" fingerboard radius.

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

Ibanez RG421HPAH Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Ibanez RG421HPAH's fretboard radius compared to others

This fretboard radius is really different than Stratocasters, but it's also a lot flatter than Les Paul fingerboards. It'll heavily favor soloing over playing chords. This doesn't mean you can't use it for chords, but it will be more comfortable to play chords without muting strings in a more curved fretboard. Bending and sliding without losing sustain will also be more likely in a flat fretboard like this one.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Ibanez RG421HPAH has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

25.5'' Scale Length
Wizard Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
16'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.625'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
Multiscale Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
Wizard Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
15.75'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Ibanez RG421HPAH Nut Width
Ibanez RG421HPAH Nut Width

The Ibanez RG421HPAH has 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.

Frets

The Ibanez RG421HPAH has 24 frets. A lot of people mistakenly believe that having more frets will always be better because it gives you a higher octave. This is certainly an advantage, but there's also a disadvantage to this.

Since the fretboard will be longer, the neck pickup will need to be placed closer to the bridge. And as you may know, the further away the neck pickup is from the bridge, the warmer it sounds. This means you'll have a brighter-sounding neck pickup when using a 24-fret guitar, even if you use the same pickup on a 22-fret guitar.

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 RG421HPAH Fret Size Comparison
Ibanez RG421HPAH'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 RG421HPAH's frets are Jumbo size. This is a tall fret size that is becoming increasingly popular because it makes it easier to press down the strings cleanly. With this fret size, you won't feel the fretboard when playing, so if you press down too hard, you will get the notes out of pitch. However, this is something you can overcome by getting used to the taller size.

More with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
Chord Playability 50
Solo Playability 90
Playability 75

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

Nyatoh wood pattern used for guitar building
Nyatoh Body
Roasted Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Roasted Maple Neck
Jatoba wood pattern used for guitar building
Jatoba Fretboard

Nyatoh Body: It's a wood type found mainly in Indonesia. It's fairly hard and durable and is becoming popular for building guitars because it isn't expensive.

Roasted Maple Neck: Similar to simple Maple, but even stronger, darker, and more stable to temperature changes. This is thanks to the treatment process that consists in using high temperatures to drain the water, sugar, and resins from the wood.

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

This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: DiMarzio. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

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

The Ibanez RG421HPAH's configuration is HH. With this pickup combination, you'll get warmer tones and more output than using single coils. Humbucker pickups cancel the noise that single-coil suffer from, which also results in a warmer tone. This pickup combination isn't only for high-gain music like Hard Rock or Heavy Metal. Their warmness is also popular for Jazz, Indie, R&B, Blues and more.

More with the same pickups

24 Frets
Fixed Bridge
DiMarzio Fusion Edge Bridge Pickup
DiMarzio Fusion Edge Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Lo-Pro Edge Bridge
DiMarzio Fusion Edge Bridge Pickup
DiMarzio Fusion Edge Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Edge Zero II Bridge
DiMarzio Fusion Edge Bridge Pickup
DiMarzio Fusion Edge Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Fixed Bridge
DiMarzio Fusion Edge Bridge Pickup
DiMarzio Fusion Edge Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Fixed Bridge
DiMarzio Fusion Edge Bridge Pickup
DiMarzio Fusion Edge Neck Pickup

Versatility

It comes with the popular 3-way switch that is present in most guitars. For more versatility, players tend to prefer a 5-way switch, although it all depends on what you want to use your guitar for.

It has a Coil Split option. It allows you to 'split' or turn off pickup coils to get even more tones in combination with the pickup selector. When used with humbucker pickups, it'll reduce the output and increase their clarity, turning them essentially into single-coil pickups.

Diagram

Ibanez RG421HPAH pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Ibanez RG421HPAH's switch options

What music genre is it good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with HH 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 85
Sustain 80
Versatility 69
Tuning Stability 65
Sound 75

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 RG421HPAH is made in Indonesia. Many people prefer the quality of an Indonesian guitar over a Chinese. Respectable brands like Epiphone, Ibanez and Schecter are building in this country because of the great quality and lower price. Some people like to compare them to the ones built in Japan during the 80s, when Japanese guitar makers made a name for themselves.

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

F106: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

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 RG421HPAH 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 45
Features 60
Quality Control 70
Build Quality 58

All Specs

Ibanez RG421HPAH
General
Brand: Ibanez
Year: 2020
Configuration: HH
Strings: 6
Made in: Indonesia
Series: RG
Colors: Blue
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Top: Ash
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Nyatoh
Bridge: F106
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Ibanez
Fretboard: Jatoba
Neck Material: Roasted Maple
Decoration: White Dot
Scale Size: 25.5"
Shape: Wizard III
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.75'' (19.1mm) - 12th Fret: 0.83'' (21.1mm)
Frets: 24 Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 16"
Nut: Plastic
Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'')
Electronics
Switch: 3 Way
Knobs: Dome
Pickup Mods: Coil Split
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: DiMarzio Fusion Edge (Humbucker / Passive)
Neck Pickup: DiMarzio Fusion Edge (Humbucker / Passive)

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