RG5221 vs RG652AHMFX

HailStan

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Anyone have experience with both of these?

Considering fixed bridge ibanez prestige:


RGR15521
ss frets
heavier?

RG652AHMFX
prefer the maple board
cheaper
too bright w/ maple board & ash top ? (using w/ mark V 25 which is already kind of bright to me)


Haven't used either pickup sets.
Enjoy both colors.
Neither one is stocked right now...
 

Neon_Knight_

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Are the stock pickups a factor in your decision, or would you be planning to rip out either set?

DiMarzio Tone Zone + Air Norton vs. BKP Brute Force set
 

Legion

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RG652AHMFX Comes with Tone Zone/Air Norton. Those pickups are absolute sledgehammers, the Tone Zone chugs HARD and will mitigate a lot of the excess brightness without getting too dark. The Air Norton is a juicy, creamy, fat pickup that you will fall in love with. As far as I'm concerned, that pickup is the GOLD STANDARD for lead neck pickups.

I have an RG652FX (basswood body) and it is far and away my #1 guitar.
 

HailStan

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Well If that’s a solid set and overall setup isn’t overly bright then leaning 652.
 
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Neon_Knight_

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RG652AHMFX Comes with Tone Zone/Air Norton. Those pickups are absolute sledgehammers, the Tone Zone chugs HARD and will mitigate a lot of the excess brightness without getting too dark. The Air Norton is a juicy, creamy, fat pickup that you will fall in love with. As far as I'm concerned, that pickup is the GOLD STANDARD for lead neck pickups.

I have an RG652FX (basswood body) and it is far and away my #1 guitar.
I also have an RG652FX and it's great - the most resonant of my five Prestige RGs. I swapped in D Activators, but I'm using it in B standard and low tunings isn't exactly where Tone Zone / Air Norton shines.
 

Neon_Knight_

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Well If that’s a solid set and overall setup isn’t overly bright then leaning 652.
Definitely shouldn't be overly bright. Tone Zone / Air Norton has been used as stock in high-end RGs (including J. Customs) for decades, as they're pretty versatile, medium-high output, and their EQ compensates for the basswood body / maple neck / double-locking tremolo that are such common specs for RGs. A fixed-bridge RG will sound warmer and thicker than a doubling-locking trem equipped RG (my RG652FX and RG655 confirm this - the specs are identical other than the bridges and one having a middle pup).

Here's DiMarzio's tone guide for the Tone Zone (I'd argue that the low mids are greater than the bass in reality):

1656544765033.png
 

Legion

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I'm using it in B standard and low tunings isn't exactly where Tone Zone / Air Norton shines.
I have never had a problem in drop A with the Tone Zone. Sounded massive, never really had a problem with tightness.
I swapped the pickups around a bunch because I was looking for a different flavour, and landed on Elysian Goliaths.

That being said, the 652AHMFX is Ash/Maple and that will really mitigate some of the excessive bass of the pickups. The 652 is a fucking workhorse, even stock. Not a whole lot that guitar can't do tbh.
 

DarthV

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You have plenty of time to decide, don't think any dealers in Canada have any prestiges arriving for the rest of this year. I'm in the same boat between the 5121, 5221 and 652. At this point, it's whatever one is buyable first :p Much prefer going with one with SS frets and reverse headstock tho (5221)!
 

Neon_Knight_

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I have never had a problem in drop A with the Tone Zone. Sounded massive, never really had a problem with tightness.
I swapped the pickups around a bunch because I was looking for a different flavour, and landed on Elysian Goliaths.

That being said, the 652AHMFX is Ash/Maple and that will really mitigate some of the excessive bass of the pickups. The 652 is a fucking workhorse, even stock. Not a whole lot that guitar can't do tbh.
It's all about preference. A Tone Zone definitely sounds more "massive" than a D Activator bridge, but I find the D Activator fits my needs better due to the extra clarity, tighter bass, higher output, harmonics etc.
Compared to in my RG655, the Tone Zone in my RG652 sounds warmer, fatter and notes bloom in a way that I've never experienced with another guitar. That probably would have been heaven for some people.

I would never hesitate to recommend an RG652 to anyone.
 

HailStan

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You have plenty of time to decide, don't think any dealers in Canada have any prestiges arriving for the rest of this year. I'm in the same boat between the 5121, 5221 and 652. At this point, it's whatever one is buyable first :p Much prefer going with one with SS frets and reverse headstock tho (5221)!
Yeah I'm hearing at least 3 months out.

I like the ss frets but that alone isn't a 500 jump for me.
 

DarthV

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Yeah I'm hearing at least 3 months out.

I like the ss frets but that alone isn't a 500 jump for me.
3? L&M told me ordering a 5221 would be feb/march, assuming they meant 2023... 5121 would be late this year or early next if I had ordered in Jan this year. Wonder what hobby's getting the guitar fund now :p
 

BabUShka

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Cant comment on the quality, but those orange RG5222 looks amazing!
 

diogoguitar

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Both are great, I have the RG652 and I have a very similar guitar to the RGR5221, which is the RG5121 (big difference is the pickups).

The 5000 series guitar is definitely heavier because it has mahogany body... but ss frets makes a big difference in how the guitar feels. My guitar isn't heavy because I got lucky.

The 5-pc maple/wenge neck is more stable to weather changes, not sure you care about this. I live in the pacific northwest, sometimes it's dry in the morning and the same day the sun is beaming like crazy 85 degrees. Sooooo... idk, you can't go wrong with either. I prefer the looks of the RG652 and the playability of the RG 5000
 

DarthV

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Both are great, I have the RG652 and I have a very similar guitar to the RGR5221, which is the RG5121 (big difference is the pickups).

The 5000 series guitar is definitely heavier because it has mahogany body... but ss frets makes a big difference in how the guitar feels. My guitar isn't heavy because I got lucky.

The 5-pc maple/wenge neck is more stable to weather changes, not sure you care about this. I live in the pacific northwest, sometimes it's dry in the morning and the same day the sun is beaming like crazy 85 degrees. Sooooo... idk, you can't go wrong with either. I prefer the looks of the RG652 and the playability of the RG 5000
Not sure there would be that much difference in neck stability between the 2 different 5 piece necks? Never had an issue with all my MiJ Ibanez Prestige guitars with the maple/walnut necks. they are rock stable. We go from very dry in the winter to dice roll on every summer day, hot & dry or 35-40C humidex.
 

DarthV

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Yeah I'm hearing at least 3 months out.

I like the ss frets but that alone isn't a 500 jump for me.

Acclaim Sound & Light just had another RGR5221 in stock, not anymore tho, I snagged it. Maybe give them a ring and see if anything else will show up? They had 2 arrive last month.
 

nickgray

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Definitely RG652AHMFX. Gloss >>> matte, normal headstock > reversed, nicer color scheme, centered dots look a bit nicer, $500 cheaper too.

too bright w/ maple board & ash top ?

I'm firmly in the camp that wood does fuck all to the tone. Even if it is bright for whatever reason, there are a million ways to fix this - play with the pre-eq, play with the amp's eq or post-eq, change the pickups, switch to 250k pots
 


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