Price paid: £ 250
Purchased from: Thomann.de
Sound — 7
Unplugged first gorgeous. No fret buzz anywhere. Has a rich warm sound, and perfectly balanced in the volume of each string, when you strum all six, each note it clear and full. I can really feel the notes resounding in the body when I play this, and I love it! Plugged in is less good, in all honesty. The eq doesn't offer too much in the way of tone variation, but the volume control is very useful. The sound can be a bit muddy and scratchy, but still manages to keep the warm, shimmering sound. I expected the guitar to handle distortion reasonably well (it is an Ibanez after all) and it does superbly. Filthy tone, and just enough feedback to give an edge, but not enough to be a problem. I think 7 out of 10 is a fair rating for this.
Overall Impression — 9
I play a bit of classical and flamenco with this guitar, which it handles very well. However, most of the time I am playing classic rock, britpop and some blues on this, which also sound very good on this guitar. I have tried to be honest in this review, as I think giving everything a 10 is pointless and not helpful. This is not the perfect guitar, and if you could afford more, by a higher end acoustic. However, for me it completely outclassed everything in its pricerange, and I have no regrets about buying it. It looks and sounds great, and the comfort is fantastic. The neck is chunky so you can really dig into chords, but still thin enough to allow fast movement. A standard sized capo will fit on this neck, which is another advantage over many similar guitars. I initially thought the pointed cutaway would be uncomfortable/annoying, but it isn't at all, and it allows access to the 17/18th frets easily. A marvellous instrument.
Reliability & Durability — 8
All of the hardware was rock solid, apart from one of the string buttons, which was a bit lose. Fixed it straight away, but if I hadn't noticed in time, a disaster could have occured. Aside from that, seems tough and built to last, but I wouldn't go subjecting it to any physical trauma (more common sense than lack of confidence in the craftsmanship). I have had to use it without a backup, as I don't have another acoustic, but I didn't have any problems with this.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Factory set-up was fine, just tuned up and was playing 30 seconds out of the box. Not a blemish on the guitar, and I am still in the 'new guitar' stage where I will beat to a bloody pulp anyone Who leaves a finger smudge (by the way, why can people not wipe their hands after eating chips before they play a new guitar? Any other UGers have this problem). Just a 9, because the pickup rattles a tiny bit if the guitar is shaken.
Features — 10
The features on this guitar are without doubt what set it apart from its rivals. The materials: a beautifully crafted sycamore body, comfortable mahogany neck and smooth rosewood fretboard. The pickup is a B-Band system, but the pre-amp is made by Ibanez itself, with on board eq and volume controls. There is also a built in tuner, which is very useful, but does not get much use as the tuners are fantastic. The ramparts bridge is apparently easier for adjusting the action, I have yet to test it. And finally, there are two output jacks, one for a regular guitar cable, one for a PA system cable. This is very useful for gigs, as it means there is no need to take an acoustic amp along as well. There is nothing that I feel this guitar is missing, so a perfect 10.