Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige Review & Prices

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Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige Review
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  • From Ibanez's 2023 RGD series
  • Made in Japan
  • 6 strings
  • 26.5"'' scale
  • 17" Fretboard Radius
  • Basswood body
  • Maple/Wenge neck
  • Macassar Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fishman Fluence Modern (Humbucker/Active)
  • Neck pickup: Fishman Fluence Modern (Humbucker/Active)
  • Mono-rail bridge
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Wizard HP Bolt-On neck
  • 24 Jumbo frets
  • Gotoh MG-T locking machine heads tuners
  • Compare Specs >
  • From Ibanez's 2023 RGD series
  • Made in Japan
  • 6 strings
  • 26.5"'' scale
  • 17" Fretboard Radius
  • Basswood body
  • Maple/Wenge neck
  • Macassar Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fishman Fluence Modern (Humbucker/Active)
  • Neck pickup: Fishman Fluence Modern (Humbucker/Active)
  • Mono-rail bridge
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Wizard HP Bolt-On neck
  • 24 Jumbo frets
  • Gotoh MG-T locking machine heads tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Verdict: is The Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige a Good Guitar?

Made in a country with top quality control, which means you should get a high-quality instrument made with good materials and excellent attention to detail. It's a guitar with good playability. It comes with excellent pickups with good sound and provides tons of sustain. It favors playing solos more than chords. You can find other models with valuable features (locking tuners, stainless steel frets, etc) for a lower price. Overall, a good guitar for the price.

Final Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 82
Sound 80
Build quality 75
Value for money 69
Overall Score 79
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige
  • Locking Tuners
  • Made in Japan
  • Expensive Wood
  • Black Tusq XL Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Multi-Voicing Pickups
  • Luminescent Inlay
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

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Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige Prices

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Is the Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige a Good Deal?

Its average competitor's price is $2210, which means that the Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige costs around 9% 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 guitars of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in Japan.

Explore All Ibanez Guitars >

Is The Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige Easy to Play?

The Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige meets 6 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.

Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige
New Player Friendliness
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Locking tuners
  • Tall frets
  • Wide nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Short scale

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige'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
Balance
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 RGD3121 Prestige's 26.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige Scale Length Comparison
Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This scale is close to the popular 25.50" length, but adding an additional inch allows you to tune your strings lower while keeping the action low without causing fret buzz. This is useful for lower tunings, 7-string, or even classical guitars.

You want to avoid such a long scale if you don't plan to play in low tunings since the longer scale also means the frets are more separated, making it harder to play fast, especially for small hands.

More guitars with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige Neck Profile
Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige'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 RGD3121 Prestige's neck thickness is approximately 0.709'' (18mm) at the first fret, and 0.787'' (20mm) 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.

More guitars for different hand sizes

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 RGD3121 Prestige has a 17" fingerboard radius. Here's an image comparing this guitar's fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige's fretboard radius compared to other guitars

Even compared to Les Paul guitars, this is a fretboard with a very flat curve. This means that this neck was made for playing single notes. This doesn't mean you can't use it for playing 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 RGD3121 Prestige has the same radius across the board.

More guitars with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

26.5'' Scale Length
Wizard Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
17'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige Nut Width
Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige Nut Width

The Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige has a nut width of 43mm (1.693''). This size is also known as 1 11/16'' and it's the most common size. 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.

More guitars with the same nut width:

Frets

The Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige 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 guitars with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige Fret Size Comparison
Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige'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 RGD3121 Prestige'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 guitars with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
Chord Playability 70
Solo Playability 90
Playability 82

Does the Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige Sound Good? Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar. 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 Used in the Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige

Basswood wood pattern used for guitar building
Basswood Body
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Neck
Ebony wood pattern used for guitar building
Ebony Fretboard

Basswood Body: This is a soft type of wood that is very light and easy to work with. It's cheaper than many other kinds of wood used for guitar building, but it doesn't mean it's low quality. In terms of sound, it accentuates the mid-range, which matches the frequencies that a Humbucker produces.

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.

Ebony Fretboard: This is one of the most expensive woods there is, which is why it's mostly used for fretboards. It is dense, heavy, highly resistant and comes in a really dark color that gives any guitar a classy touch. Tone wise, it helps the high side of the spectrum and provides good sustain.

More guitars made with the same wood:

Pickups

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

These are active pickups, so you can expect a lot of output with a highly compressed signal that will give your tones more distortion while retaining a clear, defined sound, which is what many Heavy Metal guitarists need. However, they have the disadvantage of lacking a fully clean sound when playing without distortion.

The Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige'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 guitars with the same pickups

24 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Fishman Fluence Modern Bridge Pickup
Fishman Fluence Modern Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Evertune Bridge
Fishman Fluence Modern Bridge Pickup
Fishman Fluence Modern Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Floyd Rose Bridge
Fishman Fluence Modern Bridge Pickup
Fishman Fluence Modern Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Evertune Bridge
Fishman Fluence Modern Bridge Pickup
Fishman Fluence Modern Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Evertune Bridge
Fishman Fluence Modern Bridge Pickup
Fishman Fluence Modern Neck Pickup
More guitars with the same pickups:

Versatility

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

It has a Multi-Voicing option. This means the pickups can change their output, tone, or sound.

More guitars with the same mods:

Diagram

Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige's switch options

What music genre is the Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with HH configuration and Active 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 kind of guitar.

Sound Score

Pickups 85
Sustain 90
Versatility 65
Tuning Stability 80
Sound 80

How well is the Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige Built?

Where is the Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige Made?

Knowing where the guitar 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 guitars 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 RGD3121 Prestige is made in Japan. You should expect a high-quality guitar with excellent quality control. It can be compared to guitars made in the US, which is why they're also expensive.

More guitars made in Japan

Bridge

Mono-rail: 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 guitars with the same type of bridge:

Tuners

The Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige comes with locking tuners, which helps with tuning stability and makes changing strings a lot faster and easier. As long as they're high quality, these are the best tuning machines you can have. The only disadvantage is that they are a bit heavier than normal tuners.

More guitars with locking tuners:

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 the guitar stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige has a Black Tusq XL nut. It's not made of plastic or low-quality materials. They're made to resemble the sound you get from bone and ivory nuts, but with slippery materials so the intonation and tuning are stable. Also, each nut is carefully cut to ensure you won't have tune stabilization problems.

More guitars with the same nut material:

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 guitars with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 61
Features 70
Quality Control 95
Build Quality 75

Most Popular Comparisons With The Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige

Ibanez RGD3121 Prestige Specs

General
Brand: Ibanez
Year: 2023
Configuration: HH
Strings: 6
Made in: Japan
Series: RGD
Colors: Purple
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Basswood
Bridge: Mono-rail
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Gotoh MG-T locking machine heads
Fretboard: Macassar Ebony
Neck Material: Maple/Wenge
Decoration: White Dot
Scale Size: 26.5"
Shape: Wizard HP
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.709'' (18mm) - 12th Fret: 0.787'' (20mm)
Frets: 24 Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 17"
Nut: Black Tusq XL
Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'')
Electronics
Switch: 3 Way
Knobs: Dome
Pickup Mods: Multi-Voicing
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: Fishman Fluence Modern (Humbucker / Active)
Neck Pickup: Fishman Fluence Modern (Humbucker / Active)