Price paid: £ 449
Purchased from: The Guitar Amp and Keyboard Centre (Brighton)
Features: 2009 Ibanez MBM2. Not sure where it was made, but it's amazing! 24 jumbo frets, satin finished, fairly thin bolt-on maple neck with a rosewood fretboard, mahogany body, 25.5 scale length, active EMG 60/81, gloss black finish with Matt Bachand's custom skull graphic, Gibraltar Standard bridge, 1 volume control, 3 way pickup switch, Gotoh tuning machines. No accessories included. Had to buy the gig bag separately. Giving it an 8 because I reckon it would be better off with an extra volume or tone control. // 8
Sound: I'm a huge fan of metal, and play as much as I can, but I also try to vary my style a bit so I play some softer stuff as well. I play my guitar through a Boss MT-2 Metal Zone distortion pedal, and it sounds incredible. It's perfect for what I need. My amp isn't great for distortion (Yamaha GA-15), but it's pretty good when I use the clean channel on it.
The guitar has got huge sustain (I've held powerchords for well over 30 seconds, while my old guitar managed only about 15 seconds) and when the neck pickup is used (on a clean channel) it sounds absolutely beautiful.
When I have the pedal activated, there tends to be a bit of feedback, although that can be put down to how near the pedal and the guitar are to the amp. Overall though, I've got no complaints about the way this sounds, I adore it. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: Set up at the factory was fantastic. Brought the guitar home from the store and after sorting out the tuning (it was a 3 hour journey on a hot day) it was amazing. The intonation was only slightly out, and only on 2 strings, and the action was perfect. Low enough to play quickly and easily, high enough to cut out most fret buzz. As far as everything else goes, it's fantatsic. I've only owned it 5 days now, but I am seriously in love with this axe. It is a beast. The headstock is pretty big compared to my last axe, but it doesn't take long to get used to. I'm only gonna give it a 9 because of the intonation flaw. // 9
Reliability & Durability: I reckon this guitar would definitely withstand a gig, and the hardware is amazing quality, as you'd expect from an Ibanez. Strap buttons are fine, and especially with a locking strap I've got no worries about it falling. I can definitely depend on it, but I would never go to a gig without a backup, because you never know what's gonna happen next, but I very much doubt that I'd need to use a backup. The finish is fantastic, and I don't see it wearing away anytime soon, at least not for a long time. I've had my old guitar for 3 and a half years and it's finish is starting to come off now (although that may have been because it fell a few times with a non-locking strap), but I don't see that happening with the Ibanez anytime soon. // 10
Overall Impression: This guitar is perfect for all kinds of rock, from Nickelback to Slipknot, Linkin Park to Bullet For My Valentine, it sounds amazing. I've been playing for 3 and a half years and I've only got the guitar I started out with (Yamaha EG112C). If someone stole this, I'd hunt them down and beat them until they gave it up. If I lost it (not likely, but meh) I'd probably buy it again, but if I had more money to spend, I might have considered something else, but in all honesty, this guitar was better that others that cost more than twice as much.
Compared this guitar to several others, including a Dean Razorback, a Dean ML, a Dean V, an Epiphone SG Custom, an ESP V-401, and this one just blew me away. Favourite features would have to be the custom graphic and the EMG's.
One thing I wish was different was the neck construction. This is a bolt-on, but I kinda wish it had neck-thru construction, but the bolt-on is clever, and is shaped to give good access to higher frets. // 9