The Ibanez RGA archtop guitar not only has hot curves but playability. For live performance, its lightweight body gives players more freedom to prowl around stage. The arched top also lets players knock down heavy riffs and power chords without hitting the guitar body. In addition, a wide variety of necks, pickups and bridges ensures that there is an Ibanez RGA that will fit any musical taste. Let's begin by taking a look at the necks.
The necks are an area in which all Ibanez RG guitars really shine. The Ibanez RGA Series is no different. All the Ibanez archtop guitars use a version of Ibanez's Wizard II and Wizard III necks. To begin, the Wizard necks are thin and wide which contributes to effortless shredding and great string bending without having to worry about bending strings off the neck(I've done that a number of times on my Jacksons. It's annoying to say the least to have to stop in the middle of a solo and pry a string back into place - a bit embarrassing as well.) The RGA archtop Series uses 4 necks: the Wizard II-7, the Wizard II-8, the Wizard III and the Wizard III set-in neck.
Like all the Ibanez Wizard necks, the Wizard II-7 is wide and thin with a virtually flat fingerboard. The Ibanez Wizard necks are famed for being an ultra-fast shredder's dream. The Wizard II-7 is the 7 string version of the Wizard II. The Wizard II-7 features a 5-piece Maple/Walnut construction with a bound Rosewood fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets, dot position inlays and a 25.5" scale length. The 5-piece construction technique provides a very strong durable neck because it has two pieces of walnut running the length of the neck sandwiched between three pieces of maple, also running the length of the neck.
The remainder of the Wizard II-7's specifications are: 48mm wide at the nut, 68mm wide at the last fret, 19mm thick at the 1st and 21mm thick at the 12th fret. The fingerboard has a 400mm radius which is about as close to being totally flat as you can get.
The Wizard II-8 is the 8-string version of the Wizard II and Wizard II-7. It features a scale length of 27", is 55mm wide at the nut, 80mm wide at the last fret, 20mm thick at the 1st fret, 21.5mm thick at the 12th fret and has a fingerboard radius of 400mm.
The Wizard III set-in neck is the same as the Wizard III as far as its physical specifications go. The difference is that the neck is glued into a recess in the body of the guitar rather than being bolted on. The set-in construction has the advantages of a warmer tone and better sustain as well as providing better access to the higher frets. Its disadvantages are that it's a more expensive construction method than bolt-on as well as being much more difficult to change out the neck if it's damaged. You pretty much have to take the guitar to a skilled luthier whereas with a bolt-on you can just take unbolt the damaged neck, bolt on a new one and reset the action and intonation. Regardless, I prefer the set-in method. To me, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
The Ibanez RGA archtop guitars use four of Ibanez's innovative bridges: the Fixed Edge III-8, the Edge-Zero II with the ZPS3Fe spring system, the Gibralter Standard fixed bridge and the Gibralter Standard 7. Let's take a quick look at each of the bridges.
The Gibralter Standard 7 is the 7-string version of the Gibralter Standard.
The Ibanez LZ series pickups are high putput ceramic magnet humbuckers designed to put out a fat sound but are tweaked produce a low noise, balanced clean sound. The Ibanez RGA guitars use three variants: LZ8-N and LZ8-B in the 8-string guitars, LZ7-N and LZ-B in the 7-string models and LZ3-N and LZ3-B in some of the 6-string models. The designations N and B stand for neck and bridge, respectively.
Typically used in the neck position the EMG 81 uses powerful ceramic magnets and close aperture coils to produce a blistering high output tone with great sustain. The EMG 81 is one of the most powerful and effective pickups that you can use for fabulous lead tone.
Typically used in the bridge position for rhythm work, the EMG 85 is a powerful pickup with exceptional tone and versatility. Featuring close aperture coils loaded with Alnico V magnets, the 85 provides a muscular growl and smooth lead tones to enable you to play the muddiest of blues to the most extreme metal.
Finally, the Ibanez RGA series provides two options for pickup switching and tone control. All the RGA models offer a 3-way pickup selector switch with master tone and volume controls. Some of the RGA models also offer an On/Off EQ switch to further help you shape your tone. Since it's easier to get a mental picture of the way the switching works if you look at a diagram, I'm going to provide you with a diagram of each rather than try to fully describe them.