IRK500 Review

manufacturer: Indie date: 05/15/2009 category: Electric Guitars
Indie: IRK500
There are 24 frets along the rosewood fretboard. The neck is maple (set-in) and the body is semi-hollow alder. It pickups are 'toaster-tops', there are two (volume and tone controls for both), and a 3-way pickup selector.
 Sound: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Reliability & Durability: 8.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.5
 Features: 9.5
 Overall rating:
 8.8 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.1 
 Users rating:
 8.4 
 Votes:
 18 
reviews (2) 2 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.4
IRK500 Reviewed by: mulletman500, on may 08, 2006
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 640.5

Features: Writing this review, it is being judged in comparison to a Parker P-38, and a David Oddy acoustic, stiff competition. This guitar is essentially a copy of a Rickenbacker 330. I'm pretty certain my guitar was built in Korea in 2005. There are 24 frets along the rosewood fretboard. The neck is maple (set-in) and the body is semi-hollow alder. It pickups are 'toaster-tops', there are two (volume and tone controls for both), and a 3-way pickup selector. I got it in Fireglow finish, and it is stunningly well finished, gloss, I believe. It does scratch easily (as in tiny, tiny marks) so I would recommend definiately using a microfibre cloth. The bridge is basically the Rickenbacker, without the logo, I had some problems with the bridge on mine, which I will go into later. The guitar came with no accessories, and unfortunately I haven't yet found a suitable case, due to its wide body. In the 350 I paid, I got a strap and a stand thrown in, more than happy, due to it's 420 RRP. // 10

Sound: This guitar is brilliant. Being semi-hollow body, it is louder than most electrics when played acoustically, and sounds great. It can do a wide range of musical styles: of course, the classic sixties sound, to rock to blues. This guitar leans more to rhythm than to solos, and is not suited to shredding at all, but it can deliver toneful solos and licks. As far as I can tell, there is little noise. The sound is naturally bright and jangly, but is versatile. You can change the entire sound by simply upping the gain or mixing the pickups in a different way. I like this guitar, very much. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The set-up was brilliant. The supplier to the shop where I bought it (Harmony Music in Dorchester, Dorset) sets up every single guitar. As Indie are still a relatively new they are devoted to customer satisfaction. The intonation was near-perfect. My only problems was the bridge: two of the strings sat too close together. I emailed the shop, Who said to bring it in for the supplier to have a look at. They were happy to give me an entirely new guitar, if I wanted, so they could sort out the problem. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I don't gig with it, so it has stayed at home all the time. That is not to say I have not been playing it for long durations of time, and as far as I can tell, it could easily withstand rougher treatment. The strap buttons are solid and large, so there is no worry about the strap falling off. It holds its tuning well. Having not actually gigged, I can't give it 10/10. // 9

Overall Impression: I've not been playing too long, since October 2005 so just over half a year. I'm told I'm good by friends, but they're not the most critical audience. I've had this guitar for about three months. If my guitar was stolen, I'd buy the same again. I love its sound, its ease to play, its set-up, its appearance and its value for money. There's nothing I hate. I was not sure what guitar I wanted when I went to try them out. I chose this guitar over many others: an Indie style, an Indie SG copy, a Mexican Fender Strat, an Crafter Jazz-style, a Brunswick acoustic, an Indie Style Active and a Takamine acoustic. The guitars which came close were: the SG copy, just didn't seem as special as the IRK500. the Indie Style Active, this was stunning, hand-carved decoration and immense sound but a bit too expensive (when I buy another guitar, this will be it). the Takamine - played like a dream, but I decided to go for electric. Unfortunately, I haven't yet been able to find a case, but then again, I haven't looked properly. I'd also like to say that I have not played the Rickenbacker 330 this is based on, so don't form an opinion that this is any better or worse than that. Overall, I am entirely satsified by this guitar, and would recommend it to anyone. // 10

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overall: 8.8
IRK500 Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 15, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 299

Purchased from: imuso

Features: According to the serial number on the back, this guitar was made in 2007. Although Indie seems to be pretty much a UK company, their guitars hail from Korea - a country rapidly becoming identified with a middle class sort of reputation, if the USA guitars would tend to be upper class. A good friend of mine coined the name "Mockenbacker" for Ric copies, and this one is easily the best Mockenbacker it has been my pleasure to know. I still cannot believe it was only 300 quid. The 4 tone and volume pots feel decent - they turn s l o w l y which is usually a very good sign. It is reassuringly heavy for a semi-hollow, and has most of the features one would expect to find on a Ric 330. Notable exceptions would include the absence of the mystical blender, as well as a different headstock, truss rod cover and bridge. But then I imagine the good people at Indie are allowed their own interpretation of a classic guitar, as well as the right to prevent possible litigation? // 9

Sound: This guitar has a gorgeous, retro, 1960s kind of vibe. We're talking more jangle than seems fair or decent. It is precisely what I lusted after. OK, so it is never going to be 100% Ric, but it is close enough as to enable me to grin sickeningly as I strum and pick my way through the Beatles heaven of the early to mid 1960s. Seriously, the jangle is so good that at times I have to do a double take to see if it has suddenly turned into a 12 string. The first chord I tried was a 7th sus4 barre chord, just to get the Hard Days Night sound, and it was delicious. The other two pickup positions (above is the bridge only) have a distinctly different sound. In the mid position, the sound is more of a chime, but with two tone controls to play with, there is much variety. Neck pickup alone is really good for jazzy bluesy kind of stuff. Roll off the tone, give it a hint of break up on the amp, and comping and vamping are evident and accessible. As far as overdrive and distortion are concerned, with suitable fiddling on the amp (I'm using a Vox AD30VT) I can get a lovely Revolver sound (Beatles album, and yes, I know they used Casinos on this one). I'd say anything heavier than the early Jam albums is going to defeat the object of this guitar. So metal fans should look elsewhere. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Action is a tad high for me, even after setting it up. But then my other guitar is a Fender USA Mustang, and even a diminutive gnat would get a headache as it tried to limbo dance under the strings. The finish is far better than I had been expecting. I still haven't found a blemish or distraction anywhere on it. I chose the black finish, or jetglo in Rickanese. The binding on it is cream-coloured. Tuning pegs are all solid and there is no irritating ping when tuning, so the nut can't be too bad either. // 9

Reliability & Durability: It would be silly and unrealistic to describe this as rock solid, since it is a semi-hollow. Ric solid, perhaps? I have not (yet) had to change guitars in a gig for anything other than choice, or when a string decides to break the sound barrier and lacerate any flesh in its vicinity. The finish seems pretty resilient, but then I am mollycoddling this babe. // 8

Overall Impression: My favourite styles of guitar range from Sixties rock to psychedelic rock, to avant-garde rock, to country (plenty of room for hybrid bends, loads of twangle jangle), to jazz (lovely definition), to blues and punk. I am glad to say that this guitar can get to grips with these. I have been playing since 1985, and consequently feel old. Were someone to steal this, I should go on an omnipolycosimicidal rampage. In summary, yes, a real Ric would have been nice. But this one is still good enough to catch my eye as I walk past and make me want to pick it up and... // 9

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