A/B Test: Ibanez RG7421 and Schecter 007 Blackjack

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by Mind Riot, Nov 30, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Mind Riot

    Mind Riot Devoted seven stringer Contributor

    Messages:
    713
    Likes Received:
    32
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2004
    So I got a new Schecter 007 Blackjack a couple weeks ago and I did some A/Bing between it and my old main guitar, an Ibanez RG7421 seven string with Dimarzios. I thought I'd offer some comparison for anyone who's interested.

    Woods: The Ibanez has an American basswood body, maple neck with bubinga strip, rosewood fretboard. The Schecter has a mahogany body, maple neck and rosewood fretboard.

    Construction: Ibanez is a bolt on, Schecter is set neck. Ibanez is flat top, Schecter is carved.

    Hardware: Ibanez has a standard seven string hard tail bridge with strings through the body, and Gotoh non locking tuners. The Schecter has a Tonepros Tune-o-matic bridge with strings through body and Grover non locking tuners.

    Pickups: The Ibanez has a Dimarzio Blaze neck model in the bridge position and a Dimarzio PAF-7 in the neck. The Schecter has a Seymour Duncan JB-7 in the bridge, Seymour Duncan '59-7 in the neck. Both guitars have five way switches although they do slightly different things with the pickups, but they both allow coil splitting.

    Another main difference: The Ibanez is a standard 25 1/2" scale whereas the Schecter has an extended 26 1/2" scale, which is why I bought it.

    The Ibanez has a slim, flat Wizard-7 neck, whereas the Schecter's neck is more substantial. Not huge or anything, but significantly beefier than the Ibanez. The Ibanez neck is also just sealed maple, whereas the Schecter neck is finished like the body.



    Playability: The Ibanez wins this one. The Wizard-7 neck is fast and comfortable, and the 25 1/2" scale is easier to play. The Schecter's bigger neck and longer scale definitely translates to more effort being needed to play it. Also, the Ibanez RG body style has a nice forearm sculpt to it, but the Schecter just has the edge of the body. I suspect I'll develop a patch of thick skin on my forearm from playing the Schecter.

    Even so, the Schecter is not a chore to play. But when compared with a Wizard neck and RG body, the RG is definitely easier. My fingers are a bit sore from playing the longer scale with more tension, but I'm already adjusting to it. It feels more natural now, after only two days of playing.

    Another note, though. As comfortable as the Wizard-7 neck is to play, over the years I've had the RG7421, I have noticed some hand fatigue and cramping from the thinness of the neck. The Schecter neck fills my hand quite nicely, and I think playing the Schecter will develop my hand strength.

    Sound: Here's the real issue, eh? I'll try to separate the various aspects of the sound of these guitars into manageable sections. All tests were done with the same settings on a PODxt. Distorted tests were done through the Soldano SLO-100 model and clean through a Fender Deluxe Reverb and Fender Twin models.

    The sustain is something I have to mention. Aside from all other aspects of sound, the Schecter sustains significantly better than the Ibanez. Like, WAY better. It just sings and sings and sings. You can leave the room and get a drink, and it'll still be going when you come back.

    Distorted sound: Both sound quite good distorted, the Ibanez with Dimarzios and the Schecter with Duncans. Neither is really lacking, but since it's an A/B I must compare.

    The Schecter is noticably tighter and more crisp and clear, particularly on the low B (or A, on this test I tuned it to A). I would think this is due to the extended scale. The Ibanez has a bit more tubbiness to it, and sounds a bit more loose. The Schecter sounds taut and muscular. I was a bit concerned about the Schecter being muddy due to using solid mahogany for the body wood, as there is a lot of concern about using mahogany in a seven string, but it sounds crisp and clear.

    On lead sounds the comparison is less. They both sound quite good, but here the only tie breaker is that the Schecter's better sustain gives it an edge. But the Ibanez' better playability means I can play lead stuff better. Hmmmmm....

    Clean sounds: Oddly enough, the Ibanez wins this one. It sings nicely, and blends well coil split. The Schecter's clean sounds are just a bit too hot for me. Maybe it's just that I don't dig the '59. Even coil split (which I prefer, I like single coils for clean), it's too hot. Backing off the gain on the amp model helps a bit, but it just sounds a bit strident. I believe this may be the flip side to the scale length, but single note cleans ring out nicely. Chording is the problem. I think I may swap out the '59 for a lower output pickup, maybe a Duncan Jazz or a Dimarzio PAF-7. I'll have to do some more research.

    (EDIT: Since this test was written, I found that rolling off the volume on the guitar improved the Schecter's cleans a lot. Also, it seems to react better to different amp models than the Ibanez. I hated the Roland JC120 with the Ibanez, and it's my favorite model for clean with the Schecter.)


    Bottom line: The Ibanez wins in the playability department, but the Schecter is really the tone dog. Neither is really lacking in either, but if we must choose a winner, these are my personal results. I have to sell the Ibanez to pay off the Schecter, but I will certainly miss it. It has been very good to me for four years as my main axe, and is still in really great shape, and it practically plays itself.

    In my opinion, either guitar is a fine seven string, but since I'm a less lead oriented player and am more concerned with recorded sound, the Schecter is the one I'll keep.

    Another thing I should mention, as far as value. The Ibanez is discontinued, and the seven string that took it's place is a bit lower quality. Also, the Ibanez stock pickups are nothing special, and needed to be upgraded.

    The Schecter comes stock with the real Duncans and a very good setup, and I feel it represents a great value. Right out of the box it's ready to go with good setup and fret work, great hardware and pickups, and great construction. I would highly recommend Schecters, and in particular thier Blackjack series, to anyone looking for a great solid players guitar for not too much dough. And for seven string players, the extended scale solves many of the problems that some encounter with muddiness on the low strings.

    But if you can find a used Ibanez seven, they also represent a great value in a solid seven string. You'll just need to upgrade the pickups.

    Hope this was interesting reading for anyone interested in either of these guitars.
     
  2. rx

    rx I drink water.

    Messages:
    1,066
    Likes Received:
    81
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    nice, I saw your post on Harmony-central too. what's your name there?
     
  3. Mind Riot

    Mind Riot Devoted seven stringer Contributor

    Messages:
    713
    Likes Received:
    32
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2004
    Same as here. I use the same name on every forum I'm in. I haven't run into one where it's taken yet.
     
  4. Digital Black

    Digital Black SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    3,902
    Likes Received:
    160
    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    Cleveland , Ohio
    I have a monoploy on my Screen name also.:D
    Some good info there, MR.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.