Price paid: $ 500
Purchased from: Musicians Friend
Sound — 9
The pickups were really the only weak part of this guitar straight out of the box. They were sterile and had little personality, so I replaced them, but we're here to talk about the guitar. The fully hollow body makes for some wonderful lively tone. Very sweet and full. You do have to watch out though, this thing is a feedback monster. But to let you know what I do with this thing... I play a lot of rock and metal, but have been inspired by this fine piece of equipment to play blues and some more subtle styles.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall I love this thing. I mean, I payed very little for this thing at got an instrument that, in my humble opinion, beats many $1000+ guitars for playability and looks. Try any of the artcore's they're all wonderful to play and hear. I looked at a bunch of other guitars trying to find one that was in the same price range with the same level of quality and found none that were less than $1500.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Not sure how this thing will hold up, haven't gigged with it. I try not to be hard on instruments though. I'll be honest, I'm a little leery of gigging with a hollowbody (it's like playing an acoustic all the time, big and everywhere), but I've had a few other $500 Ibanez guitars and they held up just fine at gigs.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I bought this thing looking for a good, lower priced instrument and got what I payed for and more. This guitar is beautiful, first off. Yes, it has some very minor cosmetic flaws, but I only payed 500 bucks for it, what did you expect? Neck plays like a dream for my tastes. Thin enough to run up the neck pretty quick, but has enough mass to grab onto and dig in to a bend. The frets haven't been adjusted on this thing at all since I've had it, they're pretty level to my eyes. At least I've found not dead spots on the neck. The g string slot in the nut is a little deep, but nothing major.
Features — 9
2008 model, made in Korea if I'm not mistaken. 22 medium frets on a nice soft c/u shaped neck. Body is bubinga (at least, that's what they say, it is a $500 guitar after all lol), neck is mahogany I believe. Came with two very low output humbuckers. 2 volumes, 2 tones, arch top bridge (not attached to the guitar, held on my string tension). Okay, that's enough, you get the idea on what this thing is.