Replacing RG7621 Bridge

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by Kashmir, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Kashmir

    Kashmir SS.org Regular

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    I recently purchased a '99 RG7621 as my first 7 string and I'm liking in a lot! There's a lot of value for the price paid of the 90s RGs.

    The pickups have already been replaced with a Guitarmory Polaris in the bridge and Dimarzio Blaze in the neck. I've replaced the failing volume pot with a new one. For some reason the volume pot was only ~300K, replacing it with a 500K CTS pot has made the guitar more lively. Lastly I replaced the stock switch with a 5T4P switch for Neck series, Neck parallel, outer coils, inner coils, and Bridge series. After these mods I'm very happy with the guitar but it could stand further improvement.

    I'm not impressed with the quality of the stock Ibanez bridge and intend to replace it. Eventually I want to swirl this guitar so a direct fit is not important for me. I don't have any experience with 7 string bridges (this is my first after all) so I'm seeking advice for a quality replacement.

    The four I've narrowed it down to are:
    -ABM Modern
    -Hipshot Contour
    -Hipshot Flatplate
    -Hipshot Gibralter

    I like the look of the contour the best and it is the least expensive. What do you guys think? Which is the best bridge for articulation and note clarity?
     
  2. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    I think you need to learn how to do a proper setup with that bridge (meaning the LoPro Edge). I is simply the best around, but don't take my word on it, everyone +1 here thinks de same... considering it is in good shape that is.

    Nevertheless, you should give it another chance. Read some things here and there, eventually swap its block for it will arguably improve its performance. Please note that if you were expecting the bridge to flutter, well, 7 stringers do flutter a little less than 6 stringers (about 50 to 70% in my experience, depending on setup, strings, springs, tuning)...

    Now that I looked into your links I noticed that you are looking only at fixed bridges. Don't waste money in modding that guitar from a trem to a fixed bridge, sell it and get an RG7621 / RG7421 (MIJ models that is). You'll probably get the same value you got it for and that will pay for the replacement one...

    ... but these are my 2 cents, obviously, do as you see fit.
     
  3. Kashmir

    Kashmir SS.org Regular

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    My mistake, there's a typo in my original post. The guitar I own is an RG7621, the fixed bridge model. It would be a fools errand to modify a 7620 when the same model already exists as a fixed bridge. As far as vibratos go though, I'm a Kahler man!
     
  4. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Hey, I fixed it in the thread title and OP. :yesway:
     
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  5. Kashmir

    Kashmir SS.org Regular

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    Thank you!
     
  6. cwhitey2

    cwhitey2 BlackendCrust Metalâ„¢

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    Imo if you truly want to replace the bridge, get the Gibralter one. Just personal preference, but I feel that design is superior to the others/ more comfortable.
     
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  7. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    Damn, then just ignore my previous post...

    About those bridges... the 2nd Hipshot is equal to the original minus the material it is made of. Personally, I don't find that bridge bad (I have an RG7421 MIJ), so... the ABM is pretty cool looking and also is the last Hipshot one. I have no experience with any but I kind of dig Hipshot products.
     
  8. Floppystrings

    Floppystrings No like the floppy

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    I have a RG7621 and the stock bridge is great, it's actually a Gotoh GTC107 BK bridge.

    Other than replacing the screws with stainless ones (the later versions have this), I don't see how it could be much better. They go for $75 new.
     
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  9. I play music

    I play music SS.org Regular

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    Slightly off-topic: Do you know why Ibanez changed away from those bridges? I also think they were good. Don't see anything wrong with them.
     
  10. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    The need to show something new moves worlds in the marketing department... New doesn't really mean better...
     
  11. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire despair ahead

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    +1 for hipshot. gibraltar is the comfiest ime, and then contour/flat.
     
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  12. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    When the RG7621 was discontinued for 2003, they no longer had a fixed bridge, MIJ 7-string, so there was no need for that bridge to be kept.

    It's no secret that the Gibraltar, which are made by an OEM in China, are much cheaper to source. Combine that with the overall negative perception of simple "Fixed Strat" bridges in the market and it's a double win for them to use the Gibraltar.
     
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  13. Floppystrings

    Floppystrings No like the floppy

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    They made a few changes to save some cash. The RG7421 has a lighter weight generic bridge, just like the RG7620 has an Edge Low-pro, and the RG7420 version has a much cheaper trem. The RG7621 was a pretty expensive guitar when it was released, and only higher end bridges were an option back then.

    They also made the pickup routes wider where the pickup screws in for different pickup brands. Is OP sure it's a RG7621? They started out with maple for the all neck wood but I think later models and the RG7421 have a bubinga stripe.
     
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  14. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    My MIJ RG7421 has a darker wood in the middle of the neck, bubinga probably... I think it's from '99 or early 2000s...
     
  15. Kashmir

    Kashmir SS.org Regular

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    Well I'll be, this thread has been full of surprises. Upon reading the responses and learning that the RG7621 shipped with a Gotoh bridge stock, I did some more research. Taking the neck of the body reveals the neck is indeed a '99 RG7621 neck but it is on an RG7421 body, apparently this happened in the first year of RG7421 production while Ibanez was discontinuing the RG7621 model. This accounts for the bridge discrepancy, it was a case of misidentification. Were this a Gotoh bridge, I'd likely not replace it.

    I know the Hipshot contour bridge has stainless saddles, does the Gibraltar one as well?
     
  16. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    All RG7421/RG7420 models received the RG7621/RG7620 necks. Ibanez only ever had a single part number for the trem model and fixed bridge model 7-string MIJ RG necks.
     
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  17. DistinguishedPapyrus

    DistinguishedPapyrus SS.org Regular

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    Hipshot products are like a workhorse, solid, dependable, can't go wrong. I have used multiple versions of the contour bridge in either 0.125" or 0.175" floor height. They make for a great bridge. I personally would go with that one, my second choice just because it is specifically an Ibanez would be the Gibralter.
     
  18. Floppystrings

    Floppystrings No like the floppy

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    The way to tell the difference for sure is by looking at the pickup routes, RG7621's have a round almost triangular route for the pickup tabs, the RG7421 has a more rectangular route.

    The Gibraltar bridge doesn't have any stainless parts like the Hipshot. A standard Hipshot 7 string bridge is probably your best bet, not the Gibraltar replacement, just standard one. If they come in two plate thicknesses I would go with the thicker one, so your saddles would be lower, but I would do lots of measuring to make sure.

    Like this one:

    https://reverb.com/item/2034859-hip..._tkamtDtuURU4UIDPug0ZxhbrQaAtsIEALw_wcB&pla=1

    The Gotoh bridge is so rare an expensive (the think the black ones were brass) I wold just get a Hipshot.
     
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  19. Moltar

    Moltar SS.org Regular

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    Years ago on my MIJ 7421 I replaced the saddles and screws/springs that hold them with a better quality set(can't remember what they were) because the original ones stripped after a while. The bridge plate itself seems fine though, I've actually used it on another guitar as well as the neck. Might be cheaper just to replace the saddles.
     
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  20. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    Gibraltar +1
    Best hardtail bridge design ever (aside from evertune)
     

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