Price paid: $ 250
Purchased from: guitar center
Features: So this is a left handed ael 6 string Acoustic-Electric guitar by Ibanez affectionately named Shaniqua after its color and big round bottom end. I believe it was made in 2007 (most likely earlier) it has 20 frets and a nice cutaway that lets you reach the higher frets without any problems. The tuners were Ibanez brand chrome tuners which held the tune wonderfully. The guitar sides are made of mahogany (probably laminate) and the top is solid spruce with a mahogany neck and a rosewood fretboard. The bridge is also rosewood has an undersaddle pick up and an onboard tuner/preamp by Fishman with a 1/4 inch out and and an XLR which is very useful but more on that later. It has ivorex nut and saddles which I've replaced with a bone nut and saddle after an accident.
The guitar has a glossy black finish with binding not white as shown in the Ibanez website but more of a creme color. The finish which attracts fingerprints and dust (alot of dust) is perfectly shiny and mirrorlike(a few of my freinds have used the back as an impromptu mirror) it is a very durable finish as this guitar has held up throught three years of gigging, practice, and many drops.
When I was guitar shopping I was pretty new to guitars and was just trying out a bunch of different guitars at guitar center and after playing this one unplugged I just fell in love with it and decided to get it I tried to plug it into an amp to see how it would sound through the pick up and found that it didn't work the guy at guitar center said he'd get me one that did work but when I played that one it didn't feel right like Shaniqua here it sounded more trebly and felt a bit smaller and less... Vibratey.
After thinking it through for a long while I decided to get this one at a nicely discounted price and the guy even gave me new strings (3 pack) a guitar stand, a strap, some picks and there was something else I can't remember at the moment (give me a break it was like 4 years ago).
For an acoustic this model comes with many features so I'll give it a 9. // 9
Sound: Since getting this guitar I've grown to do many styles as a musician from clean blues and jazz to rock and metal a bit of classical and instrumental acoustic stuff and this guitar has been there throught it all and if fit them all well as I write and practice everything on this guitar. Since getting it I've put heavy strings on it in standard and unplugged it just sustains so good it sounds pretty dark and each string sounds very full and powerful and even at the higher frets doesnt't sound tinny or empty as some acoustics I've heard that have that sound which I don't like.
It's also probably important to mention that I've replaced the nut and saddle on it not because they soudned bad but becasue I lost the saddle when I was fixing the pick up and the nut broke when I put new stinrgs on it that didn't fit in the slots
Now plugged in I didn't get to hear it for about a year after I bought it because it didn't work it turned out that the pick up just needed to be fitted better into the saddle and it sounds very decent plugged in it doesnt't sound as full through the pick up as I like but its very useable for gigs and with the on board pre amp it can be eqed for many different sounds and makes almost no noise or uncontrollable feedback.
The two outputs make it easy to gig as you can plug directly into the PA system with the XLR or an amp (sounds best through tube and acoustic amps... Ss amps meant for electric sound pretty bad thorugh it).
I give this guitar an 8 in sound becasue the dark sound isnt for everyone and plugged in isn't the best but its quite useable in just about every genre and a great gigging guitar. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: From the factory the guitar was set up perfectly with light strings with low actionand perfectly intonted since then I've put heavier strings and made a new nut and saddle for it and the action is still great with a few adjustments.
As I mentioned before the pick up didn'twork to well when I bought it but the fret board nad neck on it is almost flawless and fits me well no complains here cept the crappy pup which probably wasn't Ibanez fault but still... // 6
Reliability & Durability: This guitar is made like a tank after 3 years of playing it it osunds just as good if not better then when I bought it its never let me down when I needed it. It has gotten a few cracks and scrapes here and there but each one a great story to tell. Once it was on a stand on stage and it fell off the stand and it only got a small crack in the neck paint and broke one of the tuners so that it wouldn't move but the guitar stayed in tune and I could stuill use it that nigth I had to replace the tuner with a new set but even then the guitar didn't let me down.
I have used it without a back up as I am a porr musician. In reliabilty it gets a nine becasue it isnt indestructable but it wont quit on you when you need it. // 9
Overall Impression: This is my favorite guitar of the ones I own it plays anything I want it to sounds great to me and I can trust that it will be reliable. This guitar has been with me trough alot of things almost got mugged for it but I still obviously have it (do not mess with this guitar) and I would recomend it to anyone looking for a good guitar in the 300 range its not going to be everyone favorite but I could have bought myself another acoustic if I wanted to upgrade but I've yet to find one that I like as much as this one. // 9