Price paid: $ 399
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Features — 9
2013/made in China, Not sure of all of the specs, but the paint, finish and color are beautiful, the darker violin brown fade to black color is very nice - very old school, yet different than most colors you see. The electronics, built in tuner, pickguard, and plugins are solid and sound great unplugged or through an amp. The built in tuner is really good and very nice tone controls on the built-in pick-up. It did not come with a hardshell case or strap of course so by time you add the accessories and sales tax, you will spend over $500. The only reason I am not giving it a 10 is it is made in China! I have a personal problem with that, but it is well made, an worth every penny.
Sound — 10
So for a mid-range acoustic guitar, the sound unplugged is very nice and warm with a bit of mid-range and crispy top end. Through an amp you have to scoop some of the mid-range out, but that is just me. For the price and for a beginner to intermediate player you cannot beat the value, tone and price! Very quiet plugged-in. I like that it has an XLR plug-in option as well as the standard quarter-inch guitar cable plug-in, so you do not need a direct box in live stage settings. That is pretty cool actually.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Every detail very well done. Set-up was good, action just a bit high, but not bad from factory set-up. We took it home and played it right of the box with no issues. I will later get it adjusted when it needs new strings, but intonation is set-up well out of the box so no complaints. My son loves this guitar and he is learning quickly on it cause it looks nice and sounds good... no adjustments necessary. Sounded good right out of the box. It seems like a pro level guitar for a mid-range price. It seems like the top is solid wood, but it is hard for me to tell as I am not that experienced with acoustic guitars.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I think this guitar will last as long as we take care of it. We are not going on tour with it, but for playing at church and at small events - perfect guitar for the price! All of the hardware and buttons were tight and made of good materials. Bridge seems solid, nice tuning keys, good plastic nut. Set of strings a little on the heavy side for me, but good sounding. It is nice that the front strap button is on the body of the guitar just under the neck where it joins the body, so playing standing with the trap is balanced and comfortable.
Overall Impression — 10
So the only thing that I wish it came with or for optional purchase is a matching Ibanez branded hardshell case. You have to buy a generic case, but the case we bought for it worked out fine, and because it was on clearance we got for half price! I wish I had a guitar this good when I first started at 14, it is a beginner's dream guitar. Overall I give it a high rating as we are very satisfied with the value, looks, tone, playability, and electronics! We compared this with the fender models in the same price range and this one blew it away. The lower end martin's are nice but still more expensive and there was no appreciable difference in the tone in my opinion to justify the extra $300 for the name.