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

Ibanez has always offered the best guitars. For numerous guitar series, lines, sub-brands, and different ranges, Ibanez is popular all over the world. But at the same time, the guitars have differences between the series. Hence, often people ask for a discussion on Ibanez RG vs RGA.

Well, these are two different guitar series of the brand Ibanez. They offer guitars of different configurations and distinctions.

Ibanez RG Vs RGA

Major Differences in Short –

RG and RGA guitars come with different types of body shapes. RGA guitars are more comfortable to play than RG guitars. Because of the contours, RGA guitars offer this privilege. Moreover, RGA guitars produce a warmer sound whereas some RG guitars sound thick and heavy. Again, all previous models of RG guitars are featured with floating tremolo bridges.

However, knowing this little won’t let you come to a proper decision. Hence, an overall elaborate discussion is given below with a short comparison table.

Comparison Table:

FeaturesIbanez RGIbanez RGA
WoodSome have a mahogany bodyMahogany body, maple top
ToneCrunchy, heavyPunchy, aggressive, sharp
NeckWizard maple neckWizard maple neck
String 6, 7, 86
Playability Less playableHighly playable
PriceExpensiveLess expensive

Review of Ibanez RG and RGA Guitars –

We have found many users of both RG and RGA guitars. They have given mixed reactions since some have switched to RGA from RG and vice versa. However, to make things clear to you, let’s have a detailed discussion on individual series.

Detail Discussion of Ibanez RG:

Ibanez RG Review

Among all Ibanez guitar ranges, the Ibanez RG is the most popular one being many professionals’ favorite. The RG stands for Roadstar Guitar. The series offers a convincing electric guitar range with a very unique body shape.

After the foundation, the brand Ibanez came up with the RG series in the year 1987. First manufacturing the RG550, the series has offered many guitars till now. However, initially, the series was created to manufacture budget-friendly alternative JEM guitars which is the signature one of Steve Vai.

Now, the Ibanez RG series also adding its models to the Prestige, J.Custom, Axion Label, Premium, Standard, and even to the sub-brand GIO. Also, the series offers guitar models with even 6, 7, and 8 strings while providing other features as well.

Overall, with some exceptional features and versatile efficiency, the Ibanez RG guitars are superior.

Things We Liked About / Pros:

  • Offers a wider range of models and versatile features.
  • Built and equipped with high-quality materials.
  • Comes with a playable neck and produces warm and thick sound.
  • Provides quality hardware and sustainability.

Things We Didn’t Like About / Cons:

  • Comparatively expensive.
  • Some face problems with the pickup holder.

Detail Discussion of Ibanez RGA:

Ibanez RGA Review

After Ibanez RG, the RGA comes with the same RG iconic body shape but with more popularity. The RGA guitars are famous for their added contour to the edges. Starting the journey in 2005, the series is only improving and offering more and more.

Its very first guitar was a prestige model with a fixed bridge. Gradually, the series has been introduced to other sub-brands as well including GIO, Standard, Axion Label, and others.

However, the Ibanez RGA guitars are exactly what a metal or rock player might want. The guitars have a crazy tonewood combination. The tops of RGA guitars are intensively thick. Moreover, the guitars have enough mass to sustain almost forever.

Overall, with a unique carve, the RGA guitars are very convincing both in look and efficiency.

Things We Liked About / Pros:

  • Built with an excellent tonewood combination.
  • Extraordinarily comfortable for contoured edges.
  • Produce a punchy, thick, and aggressive sound.
  • Offers lots of sustainability and is inexpensive.

Things We Didn’t Like About / Cons:

  • Locking terms do not feel good.
  • The setup process is not liked by all.

Differences Between RG Vs RGA Guitars-

Yes, there are differences in the shape and features of Ibanez RG and RGA guitars. Let’s get to know them.

1) Wood:

Ibanez Wood

Both the RG and RGA series of Ibanez offer guitars of unique body shapes and tonewood. The guitars are made of high-quality wood. Many RG guitars have a mahogany body. But some are not mahogany. However, in contrast, all RGA guitars have a mahogany body and other tonewood combinations.

The guitars have a key design. Moreover, they have a maple top. Nonetheless, their tops are also thick. Hence, even after having a carved design, there is still noticeable maple left. Overall, the Ibanez RGA guitars have a more prominent design than the RG ones.

2) Tone:

Surprisingly, the Ibanez RG and RGA guitars produce crunchy sounds. Still, they differ from each other. For heavy rock and metal, any Ibanez RG guitars would be a great selection. Moreover, the RG guitars come with heavy low-end pickups. Thus, the mid-range is bumped up.

However, some RG models produce airer or lighter sound due to removed wood in the tremolo. On the other hand, with a punchy tone, the RGA guitars are extensively aggressive. They sound clear and sharp as well.

For their extra punch, the rock and metal players might switch their choice to RGA. The guitars have comparatively more pronounced or prominent tonal effects.

3) Neck:

Neck RGA

The RG guitars are featured with exceptional multiscale maple necks. The feature is also known as fanned fret. This configuration allows the strings to have different scale lengths. Moreover, all RG guitars are great for having Wizard’s necks.

Nonetheless, the RGA guitars also come with bolt-on maple necks. The necks are slim, flat, super smooth, and fast. Moreover, the RGA guitars are equipped with a Wizard II neck. Also, they do not require any setup.

4) Playability:

According to playability, the Ibanez RGA surely wins the race. The guitars are well-rounded to ensure maximum comfort while playing. Moreover, they are featured with a wider intonation range. Hence, they offer great down-tuning. However, the RG guitars are also convincingly playable.

5) Price:

Compared to Ibanez RG guitars, the RGA guitars are less expensive. The guitars come in at a price range below $200. Whereas, the RG guitars come at a price range starting from $400. Which is not everyone’s cup of tea for sure.

So, Which One to Choose?

Well, now that you know the differences, you should meet your own need. Because in the end, only your taste matters.

However, if you want to play rock and metal with a heavy punch but also want to pay less, then get an Ibanez RGA. Professionals can play the Ibanez RG well. However, to get the utmost comfort while playing, get an Ibanez RGA model.

Difference between Ibanez RG vs RGD vs RGA –

After the Ibanez RG and RGA series, RGD guitars come being a mix of both RG and RGA. Basically, RGD is another series of the guitar brand Ibanez.

However, an RGD guitar resembles an RG iconic shape while having some contours like the RGA at the same time. Like RG, the RGD guitars also have fanned frets.

Again, unlike Ibanez RG vs RGA guitars, the RGD guitars have Fishman Fluence pickups. Moreover, the ‘Drop-tuning’ feature which indicated the letter ‘D’ in RGD makes the guitars more exceptional. Also, the series offers both 6 and 7-string models.


Question 1: Is Ibanez RG a good guitar?

Answer: Ibanez RG is surely a good guitar in terms of quality, tone, features, and everything else. They are best for playing heavy metal and rock.

Question 2: Is Ibanez rga42fm good?

Answer: The Ibanez RGA42FM really comes with excellent function and playability. Moreover, with the best tuners, jumbo frets, and flat necks, the guitar sounds awesome.

Question 3: How good is Ibanez Prestige?

Answer: Well, according to versatility and performance, the Ibanez Prestige guitars are great. Though the guitars are pricy yet they are highly durable as well.

Question 4: Is RG421 good?

Answer: For high gain, the RG21 is in fact, the best. Featuring a neck profile with Wizard III, the guitar is great for all metalhead guitarists out there.

Question 5: Is Ibanez GIO good for metal?

Answer: Well, Ibanez GIO can cover almost any music genre and some models can also play metal if equipped with double humbuckers.

Last Updated on February 20, 2023 by Perry Garner

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