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Guitar Matchup: Ibanez RG421 VS Jackson JS32 Dinky
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Posted by Drop-Tuning 9:38AM CST 9/14/17​

In this brief comparison, we will be pitting Jackson and Ibanez's starter level metal guitars against one another. Because so much of guitar preference is based around the individual player's tastes, and not concrete metrics, much of what you read here will be consensus opinions. We hope this quick comparison will help the beginning metal guitarist select his first weapon.




 Lets meet our competitors  - The Ibanez RG421 and Jackson JS32 Dinky . Both available on zZounds.com, these instruments were selected because they both cost approximately 300$ new, which is a fair price for a new guitarist on a budget. The only major design difference between them, is that the Jackson has a whammy bar and the Ibanez, a hardtail bridge. Because most guitars are available in either style of bridge, we will only briefly cover this discrepancy. What will primarily be discussed, is playability, sound, and construction quality. ​ 
 Playability  - This aspect of comparison will be much less interesting than sound or build quality because both of these guitars, at the price listed, will play very similarly, especially to an untrained ear. Of the guitars listed, the Jackson has a tremolo bridge which provides more utility, but the RG offers a versatile 5 way pickup selector switch instead of the basic 3 way switch in the Dinky.



Some say that shredding high on the fretboard of a Jackson is easier due to their extra deep, contoured cutaways and neck attachment style. Ibanez, on the flip side, have been heralded by some as having the best tuning stability and low end of any metal axes.

Mick Thomson of Slipknot has spent most of his career playing Ibanez  Electric guitars.
 Sound Quality  - Note that sound quality between these instruments can obviously vary depending on the player, the amp and the effects in use. That being said, Jackson Dinky guitars are said to have the most uniform level of brightness and output across the entire fretboard, while Ibanez RG series guitars are known for their very tight, crisp lower end.


Ibanez guitars are often the go-to axe for players looking to riff in a lower drop tuning, while Jacksons seem to be more commonly used for Drop D and Standard E metal. Of course either one will do just fine in any tuning with the right strings and 'setup', these are just general opinions that are common amongst members of the guitar community.
 Build Quality  - Both of these guitars, as listed have 24 fret necks with bolt on construction, rosewood fretboards, and 2 humbuckers. Each also features a forward facing headstock, jumbo frets, as well as 1 volume and 1 tone knob. One key difference is a 5 way pickup selector switch for the Ibanez (seen below), and a 3 way switch for the Jackson. 



The Jackson Dinky also features a Floyd Rose tremolo bridge with locking nut, while the Ibanez has a more traditional fixed bridge. The RG will generally allow for the most tightness and control in lower drop tunings, while the Dinky may provide a cleaner, brighter sound for metal and rock of all genres and tunings. However, either of these guitars would be ideal for the beginner and both are top notch starter instruments.


Below, is the action of the 5 way pickup switch in the Ibanez RG421. Image - Ibanez.com
 Summary  - In summation, one may find that the Ibanez RG offers a more consistent tone with slightly greater value for playing heavy metal, while leaving the player fairly limited in what musical styles he/she can replicate. The Jackson Dinky , on the other hand, may provide a new guitarist with more utility, and the ability to change tunings, or even genres, with ease.



Those who play Jackson guitars describe them as heavy, dense, and solid, like they are made of stone, very responsive and tight. Ibanez guitars on the other hand, create an air of darkness, a very crunchy, full sound that often sounds like a much larger instrument. Both guitars will play very well for the needs of a new metal guitarist looking to practice alone or with friends and maybe do a few gigs. Most importantly, the axe you select depends almost completely on what kinds of music you like, and want to play.

Thank you for reading, additionally, if you have time, check out the  guitars, amps, and gear for sale from our affiliate retailers. This is how we are able to stay profitable and make content. Plus it saves you money over guitar store prices! We definitely appreciate it. 

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