Ibanez RG721 Premium

 

Part of the Premium line of guitars, the RG721FM sits squarely in the middle of Ibanez' product range, below the Prestige and J-Custom lines concerning price, and above the affordable Standard range and the no-nonsense Iron Label series.

Nick Jennison

Pros:

High end looks and feel
Competitive price
Superb (if divisive) neck
Wide range of tones
Excellent build quality and finish.

Cons:

Lack of colour options
The neck profile will turn some players off
Ibanez RG721 Premium
Ibanez has been producing the RG range now for 30 years, however,  with every new modification, this model continues to remain fresh.  Nick Jennison reviews the RG721FM.

The Ibanez name (and particularly the RG series of guitars) conjures up strong images in the minds of guitar players of a certain age. If like me, your musical upbringing happened between the late 80s and early 90s, I'm pretty sure that you're imagining a hairy young individual tearing up and down an impossibly thin neck with wild abandon. The guitar is menacingly pointy, the licks are bombastic, the whammy bar abuse is plentiful, and perhaps some ill-advised trousers are involved. Considering I've just described myself at 18, I don't need to imagine too hard. The trousers were snakeskin, by the way

In 2017 however, the RG is a somewhat different animal. You might say it's grown up. Embraced by touring metal players and fusion luminaries alike and sporting the kind of elegant appointments one would normally associate with high-end American-made instruments, today's RGs have an aura of class that's distinctly modern. Clean, sharp lines and premium materials with a focus on functionality and playability over retro stylings. If a '62 Strat is a  Jaguar E-type, the modern RG is a Tesla.

Part of the Premium line of guitars, the RG721FM sits squarely in the middle of Ibanez' product range, below the Prestige and J-Custom lines concerning price, and above the affordable Standard range and the no-nonsense Iron Label series. Made in Indonesia, the build quality and fit-and-finish are superb; reminiscent of the J-Customs made in the early 2000s in both style and quality but at a much lower price point. Boasting an American basswood body and flame maple top (not a veneer as seen on many guitars at this price point) and finished in a matte satin black, this guitar is as pleasing to hold as it is to look at.

As with so many Ibanez guitar, the neck is the star of the show. Slick and eminently playable, with a super sturdy 5-piece maple and walnut construction and a thin satin finish. While the neck profile is a hair thicker than the Wizard necks of yesteryear, it's still remarkably thin and fast, with a profile that's just round enough to be comfortable with a 'thumb over the top'

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