The Ibanez XPT707FX Xiphos is the progressive 7-string electric guitar with the classic combination of mahogany body, neck-thru construction, and humbucking pickups for a lot less than the expected price.
bowen, on may 02, 2008 3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Features: This is a 2008 7-string xiphos model made in Indonesia and I have to say I'm amazed at the craftsmanship that was produced from an Indonesian builder, seeing as the stereotype is that guitars built in Indonesia, but apparently that's not the case! This is the first neck-thru 7 Ibanez has released to the public, and as far as I know I am the first to own one in Canada (I've owned it for over a month now. It has 24 frets on a rosewood fretboard on a 5 piece maple neck (neck-thru). It has mahogany wings on the 5 piece walnut/maple neck-thru design, with a new Ibanez style fixed string through, based between Mike Mushok's fixed bridge and a Tune-O-Matic, and though it doesn't look very arousing, it feels very nice to grip down for the palm-mutes, and doesn't poke, or stab at the palm of your hand. It came stock with 2 passive DiMarzio D-Activator pickups, which I personally do not mind, but I know that there are better pickups out there. It has a single volume/tone and 3-way pickup selector switch for the 2 humbucker configuration. Non-locking tuners that stay in tune very well. Came with 2 alan keys, and hard-case. // 9
Sound: I play mostly thrash metal, death metal, and hardcore music, and the odd grindcore influence and it fits them all very well for the combination of these that the music I make is. I use a Kustom-quad amp with a Zoom G7.1UT effects processor and a DigiTech distortion pedal with a Boss NS-2 and it does the trick, but I plan on purchasing a Mesa Boogie Rectifier for some real good crushing tone and ditching the noisey distortion boxes. I have played the guitar through a Fender EVH III and a Marshall Kerry King Signature and the tone was amazing. The guitar is very punchy and the note-definition is amazing, I get next-to no noise from this guitar, and with noise supressor's and all, so feed-back is damn near non-existant. The guitar does great if you're a metal player or hardcore styled player, and the cleans I can get through the using both pickups at the same time (middle-position on the 3-way toggle) is Amazing with chorus, and works very well for cleans, crunchy rock if needed, but I do have to say this guitar is made as a metal machine, because of the looks and the sound compliments them, so I wouldn't imagine throwin some cold-play on with this guitar, but if you're into heavier music styles on a 7 string, this is definantly something to check out. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: The set-up of the guitar at the factory was good, the action is great for me, but the pickup adjustment wasn't anything special, and needed a bit of tweaking to make things better. The finish is great IMO, and I have yet to find any flaws from the build-quality other than a bit of binding roughness, but it looks fine unless you basically put your face 3 inches away from the headstock to take a good enough look. The only minor flaw was the neck pickup placement, which was a little over so that the high E string was not above the magnet, but it did not affect the sound of the string at all, and again, nobody's about to notice it unless somebody tells them. The guitar contains No flaws as far as I've had the guitar, and I've given up searching for any because I believe that there just aren't any on this guitar! // 9
Reliability & Durability: This guitar imo was built to be played Live for the looks and mean tone from this guitar, and the hardware seems fine, and I have no problems with it, but if for whatever reason they get worn down, I'll just replace them with some high-quality locking tuners. The strap-button placement on the guitar that the factory was ridiculous, and after trying out the feel of it, the neck-heaviness was out of this world, and I was really displeased at this. But after re-aligning the button placement under the top horn and near the input jack, it was so much better, I couldn't believe it. It just changed so much from such a simple change. I'm going to depend on this guitar for live use for sure, and I will have my S7320 there for some songs, and this for the more br00tal songs. The finish is amazing to look at in good lighting, and it seems very well done, and I doubt it will wear away. To anybody buying this guitar, make sure to change the placement of the strap-buttons, this will make this guitar change dramatically for the better. // 8
Overall Impression: Again as I said, the genre of music I play would be classified as deathcore, thrashcore, and grindcore with tons of other influences (Meshuggah, Nevermore, Unearth, etc.) and this matches it better than any other 7 string Ibanez on the market. I wish I had a better amp before this guitar to give it better justice, but that'll be happening in all due time. I Love damn near everything about the guitar from the neck-thru feel, 24 frets, to the finish, I just feel I was meant to buy it. If anybody stole this guitar from me, I'd break their legs and spit in their mouths. // 10
CapnKickass, on july 01, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 900
Purchased from: Mother's Music
Features: I bought this guitar for about $1100 Canadian. Made in Indonesia, in 2008 I believe. 24 frets, 25.5" scale length Rosewood fretboard. 5 piece Maple/Walnut neck-thru, Mahogany wings. Grey Chameleon finish, which changes color with lighting from almost a black color to a dark jungle green to a redish purple color. Kinda neat. It has the Gibraltar Custom-7 bridge, string-thru body, Ibanez tuners, 1 Volume 1 Tone, 3 way toggle Switch, in Cosmo Black finish. Two DiMarzio D-Activator 7 pickups. This guitar comes with a case, which is awesome I must say. // 8
Sound: I play some goofy sh*t, as well as metal and rock and whatever. On this guitar I like to play Arch Enemy, Amon Amarth, Mastodon and so forth. Half the time I'm playing unplugged in front of the computer and actually it sounds pretty good and bright. When plugged in I play it through my Engl Powerball into a 2X12 Orange cab... hell yeah it sounds sweet. The pickups have a lot of output and the harmonics are wicked compared to my other guitar.
The neck humbucker although a little brighter sounding then I generally go for, sounds very good and clear which is definitely a good thing for the seventh string and it still provides a good amount of bass frequencies. I use this pickup to get smooth sounding cleans and lead tone.
The bridge pick up is a real mother puncher, you want heavy sounding riffs? You got em. While brighter then the neck pickup it still has enough bass frequency that it's balanced and not ear piercing. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: When I got the guitar (which I had to order in by the way)it was setup decently, though after playing for a bit I noticed that the neck wasn't quite straight. So I eventually got around to getting it setup. With the truss rod adjusted it's now a lot better.
For action I had it real low but since I like to pick pretty hard and play unplugged a lot it was too buzzy so I raised it to where it's about 3 mm above the 12th fret, 3.5 mm above the 24th.
Unfortunately I'm a dumbass and I didn't realize that I didn't quite loosen one of bridge bolts enough. So when I raised the bridge the bolt snapped, but I tightened everything else back up and there are no problems.
The only flaw on my guitar is a tiny chip in the gloss along the top edge of the guitar. // 7
Reliability & Durability: This guitar will eat faces with it's horns, so the real question is will your bandmates withstand live playing with this guitar? This thing weighs about 10 pounds so after an hour or two it can be hard on the back.
The hardware is good quality, besides that the bridge has several (unimportant) little pieces that are easy to lose (which I have lost haha)none of the controls or tuners are too loose. No concerns here.
Being clumsy at times and having a guitar poking out in many directions I bang it against things a lot but it's solid and takes it all without a scratch. For those concerned about the strap button placement due to balance, I moved the one on the upper horn to the horn's underside easily enough. It's a good spot and actually works about as good as having straplocks. // 9
Overall Impression: The Xiphos 7 string has all the features I was looking for. Kickass pickups hard tail bridge, deadly looks, neck-thru, and 24 frets. Compared to my other guitar (a Fernandes Ravelle X) this plays way different, mainly the action and fret access are major improvements, and the 25.5" scale length makes playing past the 15th fret a lot less crowded. While the flatter radius makes bends easier, sometimes chords are slightly harder to play cleanly and the thinner neck can be hard on the hand when doing excessive barre chords.
Before ordering it I tried the LTD Vipe and Steven Carpenter 7 strings. While they were alright I figured I could find something better, and the Xiphos out of all the easily obtainable 7 strings on the market seemed to fit the best.
The one thing about this guitar that I'm not fond of is adjusting the goofy gibblerator bridge, though it's good since it allows a wide range for intonating. I would recommend this guitar to anyone looking for a solid good quality HardTail 7 string, but also look into other brands as well. If it was lost or for some reason I wanted to get another 7 string I'd look into getting a Carvin perhaps or something custom, just to try something different. // 8