Second 7-string guitar?

Akartacs

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Hi all,
Somewhat long-time lurker, first time poster, pre-intermediate player here.

I'm looking for advice from the community here for my second 7-string, this time an Ibanez.
I've had a great time with my Jackson Dinky JS-22 7, but I'm looking for something maybe nicer.

I tend to gravitate towards the RG shape (not the RGD, though).

These are the ones that I've been looking into so far:
* Used RG7321 (preferably RG7321FM if I can find one)
* RG7421 (preferably PB-SBF because a lot of people report that the paint on the WNF is wearing off quickly)
* RGIXL-7 (I know that this is longer scale and there is some debate going on about its price-to-value ratio / QC but I like the overall look and the branded pickups)

What I need help in is: are there older versions that are worth researching and realistic to find on the used market (in Europe)?
I'm somewhat lost in the Ibanez nomenclature and the discontinued series.

To give you some context:
I'm into learning/playing rhythm parts of Nevermore, Dream Theater songs and similar.
A seven-string guitar would probably replace my current RG421-HPAM, because I don't have the room for this many guitars.
I prefer a fixed bridge but I wouldn't rule out a decent floating unit.
 

Akartacs

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Thanks! I would say 700 EUR tops, including used guitars. Especially used guitars!
 
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The RG7421 MIJ from early 2000's is a strong bet. The RG7321 MIK from mid 2000's is also a good bet, but with worst hardware than the previous. It's neck, however is nicer than the one on my 7421. I have both of these super modded and they have been delivering since ever. Both can be found bellow the 400€ price tag in fairly good condition.

Some hard-tail Saber models can also be a good bet, but they're Indo made which may imply some fretwork for them to deliver properly.

... and how about a "Used Prestige"...? This is one of the SSO's motos, however, post CoVid have raised their prices quite a bit and it's harder to find one in good condition for a fair price.
 

bostjan

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Could you provide a little bit of detail?

What do you like about the JS22-7?

What do you dislike about it?

Is the scale length okay for you? Pickups? Is the tuning stable enough? Do you like the tone you get out of it? If not, what would you change?
 

Akartacs

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Thank you all for the suggestions so far, I'll check them out!

What do you like about the JS22-7?
It was a good foray into 7 strings.
I got it for a good price used.
I like the bridge (the fact that it's fixed and not TOM).
What do you dislike about it?
It feels like it's not my type of guitar, as if a friend lent it to me. I look at it and it does not inspire me.
The pickup selector switch got faulty soon after buying it, the pots are scratchy. I don't like the 3+4 tuner arrangement and the headstock (this is subjective and shallow, I know). I don't like the satin finish.
It is a bit neck-heavy.
I could use split pickup options.


I think I'm after a solid 6-string RG that I'm familiar with the feel of plus a 7th string
(so the 25½" scale length would also be nice).

I tried a red RG7321 some time ago and I liked it. It's a strong contender now, but I wanted expert opinion for other, less obvious options.
 
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If you still have access to that red RG7321, go for it. it should be relatively cheap and with the remaining money you can upgrade it to your taste and have a great guitar.

Things I'd mod in an RG7321 in order of importance (imo, obviously)
1 - Fret level, crowning and polishing
2 - Pickups and pots, switch and jack are ok-ish.
3 - Tuners and nut
4 - Bridge or bridge saddles only keeping the base-plate.
5 - Bypassing the 1st point and do a Stainless Steel refret instead
6 - A new paint job if you don't like the actual color.

The first 2 points will give you good to great playing and sounding guitar
The 3rd will improve tuning stability,
The 4th will improve a bit the feel at the picking hand and again tuning consistency and, depending on the choices you make, maybe a bit more of sustain and better tone (whatever this may mean)
The 5th will give you peace of mind regarding fret wear. If made professionally, it will give butter feel frets all over the guitar and again and again and again... it's like a brand new guitar every time you pick it up.
The 6th point is merely cosmetic, so go for it if you feel like it.
 

Crungy

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I would highly recommend any 7321 you can get whether it's the red one or a black one. They're generally very solid guitars and @odibrom have a very good list of what can make a good guitar even better.

I would swap #2 and 3 for importance on the above list, in my experience. The nut on these can be a pain in the ass for tuning stability. I've updated one of mine to locking tuners for making string changes that much easier but the stock tuners are decent in my opinion.

The stock electronics aren't terrible either but there are a lot of options you can try for reasonable amounts of money. Or if you can solder you'll save money on having a tech do it.
 

Thesius

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Lotta work when you could just get an RG762X for less and change the pickups 🧐
 
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Lotta work when you could just get an RG762X for less and change the pickups 🧐

At this point in time, those may also need fret work and eventually some hardware replacement besides pickups. If OP goes for the LoPro loaded ones, a LoPro replacement is not cheap if needed...

An RG7620/1 is not found bellow 600€ while an RG7321 can be found at 300€or even less (I got mine for 250€ about 13 years ago). The difference can pay for the changes if done smart and going for used gear locally.

... and modding guitars is part of the fun, right?
 

bostjan

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If you still have access to that red RG7321, go for it. it should be relatively cheap and with the remaining money you can upgrade it to your taste and have a great guitar.

Things I'd mod in an RG7321 in order of importance (imo, obviously)
1 - Fret level, crowning and polishing
2 - Pickups and pots, switch and jack are ok-ish.
3 - Tuners and nut
4 - Bridge or bridge saddles only keeping the base-plate.
5 - Bypassing the 1st point and do a Stainless Steel refret instead
6 - A new paint job if you don't like the actual color.

The first 2 points will give you good to great playing and sounding guitar
The 3rd will improve tuning stability,
The 4th will improve a bit the feel at the picking hand and again tuning consistency and, depending on the choices you make, maybe a bit more of sustain and better tone (whatever this may mean)
The 5th will give you peace of mind regarding fret wear. If made professionally, it will give butter feel frets all over the guitar and again and again and again... it's like a brand new guitar every time you pick it up.
The 6th point is merely cosmetic, so go for it if you feel like it.
Yes, the older RG7321 was a great mod'ing platform.

But I'd totally second a few things here - the fretwork on them could be sometimes lacking. The nut on mine was terrible - I thought I was going to have to replace the tuners, but it turned out that the tuners were 100% acceptable once the crumby old nut was replaced with a graphtec. Pickups are okay, but uninspiring, so at least a new BPU. I thought the original bridge was fine, but I'm not as picky as most people here (although I'm still fairly picky - don't like TOM-style). The Ibanez paint can flake off, especially on older models, so, if you want it to look cool, it'd be the perfect guitar to strip, sand, and recoat.

But with the super stable thin D neck, and nice RG body styling, I think you'll be off to a great start.

Or, if you are lucky, maybe you can find a used one that already has had all of this done.
 

Crungy

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There's a good chance to find modded/upgraded ones. 3 of the 8 Ibanez guitars I've gotten in the last couple years were stock, the rest had a different bridge pickup at the very least.


To @Thesius's point, you could get a nicer RG7621. It will definitely cost more than a 7321 but it would be a nice instrument that might not need any work. Hard to say how much better it may feel and play for you vs a 7321.

I have no experience with Schecter or ESP/Ltd 7's but I'm sure there are decent ones out there. Agile made some decent 7's, I had a Septor Elite neck through that was nice but I generally prefer 25.5" Ibanez necks.
 

Akartacs

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Thanks again!
This RG7620/1 recommendation is a good example of what I was hoping for on this forum!
I'll check if there are any around near me.

The RG7321 I played was modded indeed: it had SD Blackouts. Unfortunately, my friend / then-band-member sold it in a different country, so it is gone. But used 7321s appear from time to time, usually black ones.
 

KentBrockman

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Agree with this 100%

BTW - Ibanez paint jobs have never been great. THeir paint always comes off if you're within 10 feet of a hard surface.
I’ve bought plenty of used and some new Ibanezes (mainly Prestiges but a few Indonesians) in the last 13 years. I’ve managed to keep the ones I’ve bought new in great, non-chipped condition but it’s like the previous owners of the used ones drag them along the floor or something.
 


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