The Iron Label range now offers a modern take on an ’80s classic, the RG, with some new features and upgraded hardware thrown into the mix. Originally announced at NAMM 2016, the Iron Label RG series is Ibanez’s new mid-priced ‘metal’ range. The aim is to offer instruments that perform well with high-gain tones and handle technical playing styles with ease.
The RG Heritage
The Ibanez RG is undoubtedly a modern classic guitar design. I’d describe them as an evolution of Leo Fender’s Stratocaster from the 1950s, just with more of everything you need for a more technical playing styles. From the classic RG550 through to the RG570 and beyond into the JEM territory, this style of design has been very important for the company.
The new Iron Label Series has advanced the RG design again, it would seem. This time Ibanez have aimed them squarely at the ‘Metal’ player with either 6, 7 or 8 string versions available.
The range includes active EMG 81 and 60 humbucking pickups (except the 7- and 8-string versions which have EMG 707s and 808s respectively). They all have a kill switch wired in for doing stutter effects as well. The bridges available are the Gibraltar Standard II hard tail or Ibanez Edge Zero II floating tremolo, so you have a choice of down-tuning easily or doing dive bombs and whammy tricks!
Ibanez have also added Gotoh Magnum locking tuners to all the models, which they usually reserve for higher priced guitars. That’s a nice touch at this lower price point. All the guitars in this range have a mahogany body and either a 3- or 5-piece Wizard neck (depending on how many strings the model has) made of maple bubinga, with a rosewood fretboard that is loaded with 24 jumbo frets.
Iron Label RGs for 2016 all come in a very ‘stealth’-looking Black Flat colour as denoted by the ‘BKF’ at the end of each model’s name.
My only gripe with Ibanez are their ridiculous guitar names, which are nigh on impossible to remember and very easy to forget. I do love my old original RG guitars which also had stupid names, and so I will overlook this for now. The guitars should all be available about now, yet I cannot find any UK pricing at time of writing and no dealers appear to have stock yet it.
Models for 2016
RGIR38BFEBKF – 8 string with Gibraltar II-8 bridge and EMG 808 active pickups – USD $1,377.66
RGIR37BEBKF – 7 string with Gibraltar Standard II-7 bridge and EMG 707 active pickups – USD $1,102.21
RGIR37BFEBKF – 7 string with Edge-Zero II-7 bridge and EMG 707 active pickups – USD $1,239.99
RGIR30BEBKF – 6 string with Gibraltar hard tail and EMG 81 / 60 active pickups – USD $964.43
RGIR30BFEBKF – 6 string with Edge-Zero II-bridge and EMG 81 / 60 active pickups – USD $1,102.21
UK pricing TBC
Ibanez Iron Label RG site
Ibanez 2016 Catalogue specs