Monday, February 6, 2012

Review: Ibanez RG471AH

Well, I'm pretty busy lately and try to squeeze in time for my blog whenever I can. I should be able to return to my normal blogging routines pretty soon though. In the meantime, enjoy the review! Oh, and tomorrow's review will be and acoustic so look out for that.

Features: The Ibanez RG471AH comes in two separate finishes, the natural flat or walnut flat. The body is ash and the neck is 3 piece maple. The RG471AH has a Wizard III neck with 24 jumbo frets and a 400 mm neck radius, which translates to 15.74 inches. You also get the standard sharktooth inlays that come with the Ibanez RG series on a bound rosewood fretboard. The bridge is a Gibraltar standard bridge, which is a non-tremolo bridge with separate saddles for each string to get the string intonation dialed in exactly right.

The strings are through body before feeding into the bridge which gives great sustain. The Ibanez Infinity pickups (which are passive pickups) are two humbuckers with a single coil in the middle. The bridge and middle single coil pickup in the middle are alnico, and the neck humbucker is ceramic. You also have a 5 way pickup selector and one volume and one tone knob. The features I would have liked to have seen on this guitar are some coil splitting switches or a push-pull pot. Also, I would have liked to have seen some other finish options and a pickguard. // 8

Sound: The RG471AH is pretty versatile in matching whatever genre you need it to perform for. I don't have any problem getting as heavy as I want with the Infinity pickups that come stock, can easily get pinch harmonics, and can easily get good clean tones as well – it is just they sound a little flat to me.// 7

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was pretty low when I received this guitar, but after putting some Ernie Ball Not Even Slinkys on here, I re-adjusted the intonation and neck and got the action even lower – Probably close to 1/16th of an inch and no fret buzz. I'm very happy with the action and the neck as being the best qualities of this guitar. The pickups were adjusted properly and no adjustment was needed to their height or angle. I'm not sure what kind of sealant was used on the ash body, but it doesn't really feel like it is giving much protection. It is maybe a very thin matte finish, but I'm not sure. The Ibanez website does not say for sure.

I do know that I've heard someone say they've had one of the Ibanez RG471AH's that had spilled some things on it, and it had dyed the wood, which really makes it sound like there is no type of sealant at all. I know the body feels smooth, and I'm not going to spill anything on it to see if it will absorb it and dye the wood. The weight of the guitar isn't bad – it isn't extremely heavy and isn't extremely light. The jumbo pickups with this neck profile are great and chords and single notes are extremely easy to fret. As much as I feel nervous about the finish, I am so impressed with the action, neck profile and frets that I have to give this an 8. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Unfortunately, this section is where the RG471AH has to lose some points. The finish is very thin, and while I've been very careful and haven't damaged it yet I live in a constant state of anxiety about it. I did not find any imperfections on the guitar when I received it new, but just waiting for it to happen. In the past I've had problems with Ibanez RGs with the hardware oxidizing but so far that hasn't occurred with this specific guitar, so that is a good sign. As far as playability I would trust this guitar for a gig, though I'm not really a gigging musician, I do jam with friends and don't think anything would happen to make this guitar non-functional. I do, however, see a likelihood of damaging the guitar with dents and dings, which I guess if I relax and let it happen then over time it will give the guitar character instead of just look bad. // 6

Impression: My overall impression of the RG471AH is that it is very versatile, it has a great neck and frets, the pickups are mediocre and bland and that the finish is dangerously thin.

Before I bought this I wish I had realized there was a walnut flat finish because it looks much better to me than the natural flat. I think this guitar would be ideal for neo-classical shred for the guitarist who doesn't like tremolo bridges. It takes low tunings and alternate tunings well, but would benefit immensely from a pickup upgrade.// 7


  1. My husband puts a can of dehumidifier in each of his cases to prevent oxidation or warping from occurring. He's also fanatical about wiping down immediately after playing. Ibanez makes a pretty good product for the money I think.

  2. I like the woody-look of this one.

  3. Doesn't seem like a bad one, not sure I like the overall wood look of this one though.

  4. I'd have to give this one a try. The lack of thickness on the finish might not work for a gig-guitar, but for practice sessions, I might rock out on it. Love the blog, I'll follow along.

  5. Must be something in the air- I had my old Fender Strat out for some jamming this weekend for the first time in ages. Great blog! Following you now!

  6. Post a video playing these guitars!