Ibanez RG4EX1 One Year Anniversary & Review!

On October 31, 2013 I purchased my very first Ibanez RG guitar: an Ibanez RG4EX1 that was my dream guitar at the time (especially the sharktooth inlays)…

The Ibanez RG4EX1: One Year Later

Now, in this Hangout video, I’ve decided to do a “one year later” broadcast on my Ibanez RG4EX1.  I can’t believe I’ve had this guitar for a year now, and I STILL LOVE IT!  (Scroll below to see a link for my “‘New Guitar’ Hangout & Initial Review” video I created one year ago.)

In the video above, I’ll be discussing some of the pros & cons of this particular model, which is very similar to the Ibanez RG350DX & the Ibanez RG470FM (see link below to shop for Ibanez RG Guitars).  I’ll also be demonstrating the great features of the Ibanez RG4EX1 and what I think about the various aspects of these features.

Topics of Discussion

  • Tuning stability during dive bombs & bends
  • An experiment I tried for additional tuning stability
  • My opinions of Floyd-Rose style bridges (an Edge III on this guitar)
  • Playability
  • My thoughts and recommendations for purchasing similar guitars (accessories, changing strings, which strings have worked best for me, etc.)

This is going to be a great show!  I’m just going to kick back and enjoy playing and talking about my awesome RG4EX1 guitar.  Here’s hoping you will join me!

Additional Resources

Check out my pics of my Ibanez RG4EX1 guitar below:

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Question: Do you own an Ibanez RG guitar?  What are your thoughts about them compared to other guitars?  Leave a comment below and tell us all about it. 



  1. I’ve owned an Ibanez RG5EX1, and I currently owned an Ibanez RG4EX1. I bought the RG5EX1 from GC because I liked the pickup configuration (H-S-H)– this offers a lot of flexibility if swapping out pick-ups– it has a Floyd-Rose-type tremolo, and it has a 5-way selector with a control cavity opens up at the back of the guitar (vs. most Fenders, where the control cavity is accessed by removing the pick-guard)– this is good if you want to install a superswitch (5T4P pickup selector), which is a very deep selector switch– too deep for my Yamaha Pacifica, which is a stratocaster-type guitar.

    I bought the RG4EX1 (and sold my RG5EX1) because I didn’t like the tone of the RG5EX1– too plain and trebly; the RG4EX1 has a far bassier tone. The only differences between the RG4EX1 and the RG5EX1 that I can tell are the woods (maple+basswood vs. all basswood), the finish (transparent grey burst vs. solid pewter grey), hardware (chrome vs. powder cosmo grey) and the headstock (normal vs. reversed– reverse headstock was cool-looking); otherwise, they’re pretty much the same guitar. So I think the tone difference is probably due to the maple top.

    I prefer the unplugged tone of the Yamaha Pacifica over both of the RGs, but the RG4EX1 is still good, though on the bassy side of the things; the RG5EX1 was a little too trebly and too plain. I don’t like the tone of the RG4EX1 through the pickups, because it tends to come out muddled and overly bassy; but I think this is correctable, b/c tone is there when unplugged. I normally use positions 1 and 5 on the guitar; the middle pickup is too noisy for me, and positions 2 and 4 aren’t interesting enough.

    My first electric is a Yamaha Pacifica (I don’t know which model), and I quickly swapped out the pickups w/ Seymour Duncans: JB Jr. in the neck, Duckbucker in the middle, Little ’59 in the bridge. I liked the sound of all three pickups by themselves, but I found out the hard way that the Duckbucker does not mix well with the other two pickups– must be some serious impedance mismatch. If you’re wondering, I found the JB Jr. to be more of a Jazz/rock/bluesy type of pickup, the Duckbucker lives up to its name as a single-coil replacement w/ quack, and the Little ’59 has a twangish country sound that is also useful for certain genres of rock. Unfortunately, the control cavity is too shallow for a superswitch, so I couldn’t make the mods I wanted to make to bring out the different ways of combining the pickups; that’s why I bought the Ibanez RG.

    There are some things I wanted to experiment with in the near future to improve the sound of the Ibanez RG:
    1. Replace the tremolo claw and/or tremolo block w/ a brass or titanium version, to see if that will brighten the tone.
    2. While I’m at it, replace the tremolo springs w/ a noiseless spring and replace the strings w/ half-rounds (to eliminate noise when moving up and down the fretboard).
    3. Replace the middle pickup with the Little ’59 and rewire the pickups to use the superswitch (plus some other wiring mods).

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