Price paid: A$ 1200
Purchased from: Music Spot
Features: Bought this guitar a year ago, It is a mahogany body/flamed maple top and Ibanez calls the colour Platinum Blonde. I originally wanted the EGEN18 but at $4000AUD I think your paying for Herman's name a bit and Herman is not the coolest name, lol. The 3 piece maple neck is almost the same as a 5 piece wizard in feel as I have a Ibanez 5470TKS to compare it to. It has 24 frets and the Edge 3 tremolo and all hardware are plated gold. It has 2 humbuckers and a single coil pickup. // 8
Sound: Obviously this guitar has been designed as a cheaper version of Herman Li's signature EGEN18 and is therefore suited to metal and shredding and it does both quite well for the price. I did some research and was aware that it does not come with scalloped frets or the Edge Zero tremolo but as a bit of a guitar tech and a engineering tradesperson I thought I may be able to do some mods later. I felt that at the price if it all went horribly wrong, well no biggy. I actually prefer the stock pickups of the EGEN8 to my S5470 for metal. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: When I got the EGEN8 home, first thing I did was put on the strings I always use, and set her up with Elixir Nanoweb .009 to 042's. I use Elixirs because if your using multiple guitars the choice is a no brainer. Set-up was a little higher from the shop but still quite good. What was definitely wrong was if you tuned her up then pushed the bar down and checked the tuning then pulled the bar back then checked the tuning there was a difference of almost a semitone. I new the Edge 3 wasn't the best tremolo going around but I didn't expect this. I found that the tremolo was rubbing on some foam rubber inside the cavity and also that the locking nut screws that fasten the nut to the neck were loose. These screws were straight into the wood of the neck and not into inserts like I would expect in a guitar of this price.
I trimmed the rubber and tightened the nut and set the top dead center of the tremolo and that helped a little but still no where good enough. I was thinking of taking it back to the shop but in the end I did a major modification and routered the spring cavity flat and installed a ESP Arming Adjuster. This was no easy task due to the guitar being so thin and no wood to anchor the tremolo stabilizer to. So I had to attach the tremolo stabilizer to a stainless steel plate with the correct screw holes to line up for the wood between the pickup cavities. Now it is all done it never goes out of tune and the tremolo action is only slightly stiffer than my S5470TKS. Now the EGEN8 is an awesome guitar. If you want photos and a detailed instruction list I am sure I can arrange something. Certainly not a job for the faint hearted. Keep in mind I have set-up dozens of different tremolo systems in the last 20 years. // 5
Reliability & Durability: Now I have done the mod I would feel safe to gig with this guitar but before it was useless without locking the bridge. No fun in that. I don't know if I was just plain unlucky but definitely look around on the net and see if other guitarist have had a problem with the Ibanez Edge 3 before making a purchase of any guitar with this tremolo. // 8
Impression: I am going to rate this section on how the guitar is now due to the fact that you can't just give up on things. It is amazing how many guitars I have worked on that were unplayable when I first played them but after being set-up and a little bit of TLC their owners couldn't keep their hands of them. My EGEN8 is now a beast. // 9