AX7221 Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 12/06/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Ibanez: AX7221
Mahogany body, 5 piece maple/walnut with rosewood fretboard, 22 medium frets. Fixed bridge. Neck and bridge humbuckers (IBZ AH1-7 and IBZ AH2-7 respectively). The finish is called Pewter, a matte metallic grey. Each pickup has it's own volume and control knob, with a three way selector switch.
 Sound: 8
 Overall Impression: 8
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Action, Fit & Finish: 6.5
 Features: 7.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) pictures (4) 32 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 7.2
AX7221 Reviewed by: Macanleister, on january 16, 2007
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Features: This is a 22 fret 7-string from Ibanez. It was made in Indonesia, not sure what year. Mahogany body, 5 piece maple/walnut with rosewood fretboard, 22 medium frets. Fixed bridge. Neck and bridge humbuckers (IBZ AH1-7 and IBZ AH2-7 respectively). The finish is called Pewter, a matte metallic grey. Each pickup has it's own volume and control knob, with a three way selector switch. Not sure what type of body it is, similar to an SG but more rounded. The lack of a tremolo may be a problem, but there's not much 7-string stuff out there that really needs a tremolo. Came with an old carry bag. // 7

Sound: This is basically my first decent guitar (my previous was a Generic S-series copy). Compared to that, this guitar sounds beautiful, but that's not really saying much. Unfortunately my amp setup is still lacking. Currently I use a Korg AX10G modelling signal processor set to Rectifier for distortion and effects, and a Ross RG10 practice amp for sound. I also sometimes use the Korg's Acoustic pre-fx, which sounds pretty good. The guitar gives a nice warm clean sound, although I find it a bit muffled, I wouldn't mind a sharper, crunchier sound. On distortion it does very good growling and rhythm, but I got much better harmonics and screams from my generic 6 string. Like the Ibanez website says, it's not for shredders. However, it is very well suited to n-metal powerchords. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: The guy I bought it from basically lives for guitars, but with several heavily customised 6-strings which he prefers using he resold this to finance a new amp. He said he only played it once or twice, and I'd believe it. It needed a lot of maintenance when I got it, mostly cleaning off dust and oxidization on the bridge pickup. I replaced immediately (he hadn't bothered changing them from the stock strings, and the 7th had a kink in it). The screws and bolt around the cable plug needed tightening, and when I changed the strings all the tuning pegs were loose and needed to be tightened. That said, once cleaned and repaired, the guitar is quite a nice instrument. I had a choice between this and a Legend Les Paul, but a few minutes playing each one (even in the condition this was in) told me this was a much more comfortable guitar. The neck is no harder, and possibly even easier to play, than my 6-string s-series copy. The action was about the only thing that didn't need adjusting, though I probably need to raise it a bit because my playing style often causes the 7th string to rattle against the lower frets. The only criticisms I have of the feel of this guitar is the weight and it's distribution. Firstly, this guitar weighs a tonne. Secondly, the neck is thick and heavy, and the upper strap button is far to low down the length of the guitar. This means that if you play this guitar while standing up you'll find yourself constantly battling to keep the neck upright. Not a major problem, but it's caused me to probably knock two points off the score for this section. In future I will definitely stick to superstrats to avoid this balancing issue. // 6

Reliability & Durability: The first thing I noticed when picking up this guitar was how solid it was. It's heavy and well built, but for the dodgy tuning pegs and socket. With normal maintenance these shouldn't be a problem, they just need to be tightened. I'd certainly depend on this guitar for a gig. I wouldn't mind purchasing slightly bigger strap buttons, they haven't failed me yet but I still don't entirely trust them. There's a small blemish on the finish, looks like it's been dropped or bumped against something, but the matte finish is very resistant to fingerprints and scratches. The plastic plate covering the electronics is scratched to pieces, which indicates to me that the guitar's been through some rough times in the past, so one blemish on the wood seems like minor damage. // 8

Overall Impression: I play a mixture of heavy metal and acoustic. For heavy metal, this guitar gives a lovely growling sound. It's a bit hard to bar the top three strings, but that could just be my inexperience showing though. IT also works quite well with the acoustic pre-fx on my Korg, but of course it's not up to the Standard of a real acoustic. The ability to have both an open downtuned powerchord and a Standard EADGBe tuning on the same instrument is something I don't think I'll ever be able to let go of. I've been playing for only a year, but compared to my little generic S-series this is a really good guitar. If it was lost or stolen, I think would probably replaced it with an RG7321, as the poorly balanced weight of the neck when I'm standing up is a real pain. A tremolo would be nice, but it's not used in most of the stuff I play, so it's absence doesn't particularly worry me. I think this would prove to be a much better guitar if I had a chance to use it with a decent amp, but having not done so it's a bit hard for me to judge it's true tonal qualities. I wouldn't buy one of these new for full price, but if you can get your hands on a cheap or second hand one, I would definitely recommend it. // 8

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overall: 8.4
AX7221 Reviewed by: travislausch, on december 06, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 250

Purchased from: Classified ad

Features: I purchased this guitar earlier this year to replace a seven-string Squier Stagemaster which had been stolen from me. This seven-string guitar was made in China in 2000, and features 22 jumbo frets, a mahogany body, a 5-piece maple/walnut neck, rosewood fretboard, dual passive humbuckers, matte metallic grey finish, two volume and two tone controls, fixed bridge and a 3-way selector switch. It's a dead simple no-frills instrument which won't intimidate beginners, but is solid enough for an intermediate guitarist. This guitar is purported to be of worse quality than the similar AX7521, but I find this has a few things that beat it out, like the classy binding on the neck, and the smaller fretboard inlays, which actually go a long way to improve the look of this guitar, which is sort of a mix between an SG and an ES-355 in shape. The neck is fat and wide, like any seven-string would be, but comfortable enough to play most styles on. It's a bit slow for Steve Vai-style shredding, but having played an RG7321, I actually find myself liking this neck better than the RG necks. My only real problem with the guitar is the relative lack of upper fret access, caused by the very small cutaways. This guitar was obviously designed with the nu-metal wave of the late-90s in mind, as the guitar doesn't really cater to soloists above the 17th fret. // 8

Sound: The dual humbuckers provide a pretty decent output for a guitar of this price range. With a little coaxing from the EQ, I can get it to sound pretty good through a Vox AC30VR. The neck pickup's cleans are pretty warm with not a lot of treble, but a very clear sound. With distortion, it provides a pretty decent lead tone. On the bridge setting, everything brightens up substantially, especially with distortion. The last reviewer complained about pinch harmonics, but I've never had any particular issue with them on this guitar. The pickups have a very clean sound, without a lot of noise. You can pretty much play any genre on this guitar, even though it was built for hard rock. I've been playing prog and djent-y stuff on it with great ease. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: This is a solidly built instrument with very few issues that I could discern. Arguably the most pressing issue I have is with the 3rd string tuning peg, which often likes to slip slightly flat. Other than that, this guitar is a quality instrument. Smooth fret edges, no loose components (save for an output jack washer which was quickly and permanently rectified). The included strap buttons are a little small, but I usually end up replacing them with strap locks. The only design issue I have with the instrument other than the upper fret access is the neck-heaviness of it. Let go of it while it's strapped on, and that neck is plummeting to the floor. This isn't serious enough to cause me any particular issue, but it is kind of annoying. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I'm fully confident this guitar can withstand the punishment of the road. It's a solid instrument, the hardware doesn't feel cheap at all (even though it looks the part), and the finish has seen its fair share of bumps and dings without flaking off, so this instrument will probably hold up pretty well to touring. This guitar may be a budget instrument, but it's only for the sake of making this guitar as no-frills as possible. Nothing about this guitar feels like it's going to fly apart at the seams as you play it. // 10

Overall Impression: The issues I have with this instrument are relatively minor compared to some of the flaws on my other guitars (like faulty electronics, misaligned necks, severe tuning issues), which makes this guitar one of the better instruments I own. Even though it's a cheaper guitar, it never makes me feel like I'm only playing a "beginner's" instrument. Just a simple, ready-to-rock guitar. It's a great match for my style of music. The only thing I could have asked for to make this guitar perfect for me would be a whammy bar option. Other than that, this is a brilliant budget instrument for the money, and definitely going to hold me off until I can afford a PRS SE 7-string. Overall, I score this guitar a solid 8/10. Not perfect, but for the price, it's hard to beat.

// 8

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