Ibanez RG Vs GIO [Difference & Which is Better Performing]

Electric guitarists out there must be acknowledged for the popularity of the Ibanez guitar brand. Some of them often ask for the Ibanez RG vs GIO discussion. Though both belong to the same brand respectively yet they differ a lot from each other.

Till now Ibanez has managed to introduce many guitar models, lines, series, and labels to its customers. Thus, many guitarists also get confused among all these different options. Discussion of Ibanez RG and GIO comes on the basis of the same ground.

Ibanez RG Vs GIO

Major Differences in Short –

Ibanez GIO is one of the sub-brands of Ibanez. Whereas, the Ibanez RG is one of the brand’s series. Moreover, there are several series under the sub-brand GIO. However, Both RG and GIO offer different models of distinct features. Nonetheless, offering electric guitar models, RG and GIO come in different price ranges. Also, it is simply because of their different configuration.

We have said only a little. For your better understanding, we are attaching a comparison table with an elaborate discussion below.

Comparison Table:

Features Ibanez RGIbanez GIO
Body ConstructionSolid-body and mahogany woodSolid-body and polar, maple, mahogany wood
SoundHeavyMean distortion, clean
String6, 7, 86
Bridge Tremolo and fixedTremolo and fixed
Neck SlimSlim
Fretboard EbonyPine/Jatoba/Rosewood
Pickups Infinity RDiMarzio

Review of Ibanez RG and GIO:

Since one of them is the sub-brand of Ibanez and one is a brand series, people have got us mixed reactions. So, let’s know in detail about them individually.

Detail Discussion of the Ibanez RG Guitar Series –

Review Ibanez RG

Among all Ibanez guitar series, the Roadstar Guitar (RG) is the most popular and arguably iconic. Most Ibanez lovers surprisingly have RG series guitars. The series includes many guitars of almost similar features and styles. But all the guitars come with a unique shape.

However, all the Ibanez RG guitars have the same Wizard thin neck with 24 frets. Since 1987 the brand is manufacturing the RG series guitars. The guitars were recognized as the budget alternatives of JEM which was a signature guitar from Steve Vai.

The RG550 was the very first guitar model from the Ibanez RG series. Undoubtedly, the guitar got so much response. From then there is no going back. In fact, the series has several signature ranges to offer for covering any music genre.

Things We Liked About / Pros:

  • Comes with a wider range of guitars and unique shapes and features.
  • The guitars are made of high-quality materials.
  • They sound warm and cover rock and modern music genres.
  • Sustainability is also high and high-quality hardware.

Things We Didn’t Like About / Cons:

  • Buzzing may occur
  • The guitars are a bit expensive

Detail Discussion of the Ibanez GIO Guitars –

Review of Ibanez GIO

With immense versatility, the Ibanez GIO guitars offer the best value for money. However, the guitars are not entirely perfect but the features according to the price range are really convincing. Till now this sub-brand of Ibanez has managed to add many models and all of them are worth praising.

Moreover, the guitars have great finish quality. Some of them feature double humbuckers for covering the metal genre. However, the most distinct feature is that the GIO guitars are fun to play. It is because of the slim neck and perfect tuners.

The prominent GIO written on the headstock of each GIO guitar make them special. Being the sub-brand, the customers get to choose from a lot of collections.

Things We Liked About / Pros:

  • The guitars are versatile and offer high value for money.
  • Comes with higher playability and is suitable for beginners.
  • Most guitars feature double humbuckers and deliver solid tones.
  • The neck is slim and the finish quality is also up to the mark.

Things We Didn’t Like About / Cons:

  • The guitars are not perfect.
  • Not suitable for professionals.

Differences Between Ibanez RG Vs GIO Guitars –

Since from the individual discussions we already know that RG guitars and GIO guitars from Ibanez are different, let’s know about the differences as well.

1) Body Construction:

According to body construction, both Ibanez RG and GIO guitars are made of high-quality wood. Most RG guitars come with a Mahogany body. They also have an ebony fingerboard. And overall, they have a solid body.

However, the Ibanez GIO guitars also come with a solid body type and double-cutaway. Nonetheless, some of the guitars have polar body wood. Again, some are made of maple, mahogany, or meranti wood. So, they have versatility.

2) Sound:

Surprisingly, Ibanez GIO guitars are great for many music genres. From rock, metal, rock, and blues to classic and funk, GIO can play everything. Moreover, they can produce versatile tones. From mean distortion to gentle or sharp cleans, they can produce all sounds.

Moreover, the GIO bass has the strongest Dynamix bass feature. Hence, you get to hear from thunderous rock to even warm jazz tones and sounds. however, the Ibanez RG guitars offer heavy rhythm and are great for metal style.

3) String and Bridge:

Ibanez GIO Bridge and Pickup

Most GIO guitar models of Ibanez are equipped with a number of 6 strings. However, some models have tremolo bridges whereas most come with a fixed bridge type in GIO guitars.

In contrast, all RG guitar models used to have only floating tremolo bridges. Nonetheless, now, the manufacturers have brought changes and some RG models with below 7 strings have fixed bridges.

Additionally, unlike the Ibanez GIO guitars, the RG series offers guitars with 6, 7, and even 8 strings. Again, some models feature Floyd Rose locking tremolo system.

4) Neck and Fretboard:

Neck with Fretboard

Almost all Ibanez GIO guitars have a maple neck with a slim feature. Additionally, the guitars have bolt-on necks. However, different models come with Pine, Rosewood, or Jatoba fretboards with 22 to 24 frets. Moreover, the frets are mostly medium or jumbo type.

On the other hand, the RG guitars have multiscale necks or fanned frets. That means the frets are placed at a calculated angle to ensure each string has a different scale length. Again, they have Wizard maple neck.

However, their necks are also slim and the original one for shedders has the 43mm thinnest neck. Also, they have an ebony fretboard.

5) Pickups and Playability:

Ibanez Pickup

The Ibanez GIO guitars come with the infinity R pickups of Ibanez for delivering vibrant harmonics. Whereas, the Ibanez RG uses DiMarzio pickups.

Speaking of playability, both RG and GIO are playable. However, the GIO guitars are more suitable for beginners. Additionally, both Ibanez RG and GIO guitars come in a molded hard-shell electric guitar case.

6) Price:

The entry-level GIO guitars are very reasonable. They come in between $200 to $300. However, the most expensive one costs more than $3000.

Nonetheless, the Ibanez RG guitars are more expensive. Their guitar price starts from $400.

So, Which One to Choose?

Well, the answer is very simple. You should go with the one that can meet your need. However, if you want an entry-level guitar, go for the Ibanez GIO one. But if you are willing to pay for some unique features, the Ibanez RG series has many to offer.


Question 1: What is the main difference between Ibanez and Ibanez Gio?

Answer: Ibanez GIO was manufactured for people who wanted an Ibanez guitar but at an affordable price rate. Thus, the features are a bit compromised compared to the original Ibanez guitars.

Question 2: Are Ibanez Gio Guitars Good?

Answer: Even though the Ibanez GIO guitar does not entirely resemble an Ibanez guitar, they are good. They are versatile, playable, and more importantly, affordable.

Question 3: Are RG series Ibanez good?

Answer: RG series Ibanez guitars are great for professionals or advanced players. Intermediate guitarists can also choose them.

Question 4: Is RG421 good?

Answer: If you are looking for electric guitar with high gain then you cannot get any better than the Ibanez RG421.

Question 5: What is the difference between Ibanez RG and RGA?

Answer: They have different shapes. The RG guitars come with flat tops whereas the RGA ones have them curved. RGA guitars also have sharper horns and deeper cutaways.

Question 6: What is the Ibanez S series good for?

Answer: The Ibanez S series guitars are good for soft music genres like blues and at a push, they can go for rock or pop.

Last Updated on February 2, 2023 by Perry Garner

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