Purchased from: Audiophile San Juan
Sound — 9
I play a lot of alternative, hard rock, blues, and some metal and this guitar can really give the crunch and wail that I am looking for. The sustain is really good maybe because of the set-in neck. Compared to my Ibanez SA260 this one got more low-end crunch. It can also sound somewhat twangy when plugged in clean because of the stock strings that came with it when I brought it.
Overall Impression — 10
Generally speaking I really like this guitar and it suits my playing very well. I have been playing electric guitar for about 7 mos now and acoustic guitar for about 5 yrs. I own Yamaha, Samick, Applause, Vantage, and Ibanez acoustic guitars. For my other guitar stuff I have a Behringer wah, distortion, V-Amp, and tube amp. My gears seem to jive perfectly especially my tube amp and my ARC100. If my ARC100 got stolen I'd chase the bastard who did it and beat him/her up. The only thing that I don't like about it is its color but that is nothing of course compared to how it sounds and its playability.
Reliability & Durability — 8
It is very solidly constructed but not very heavy which is ok. The chrome tuners, strap holders seem sturdy. This doesn't go out of tune even when I play very hard. Ibanez makes reliable guitars so I don't really bring back-up guitars when I play. Back-up guitars here have a tendency to get stolen anyway. Initially I wanted a unit with a sunburst finish to get a "classic looking" guitar but unfortunately sunbursts here sell like hot-cakes so I had to settle with a black one. Finish is glossy and seems scratch-free.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
It was set very high when I first tried it. Fortunately the guys from Audiophile San Juan near Greenhills Shopping Center (Philippines) were very nice and they did the adjusting for me. Now it's low and very responsive. The pickups were set fairly high but I really like it that way because it sounds warmer. I can't really say if the top is bookmatched because of the black finishing it got.
Features — 10
Bought this January 2007. Made in China. 22 frets with a fairly thin rosewood neck. it is lacquered/synthetically finished at the back of the neck which is a bad thing for me because I like the "woody" feel of necks (like that of strats). Its Body is solid mahogany finished black with a single cut like that of a les paul. it's got a gibraltar bridge, 1 tone knob, and 2 volume knobs. The only thing I don't like are the stock Humbuckers on it. When I get more money I'm going to buy Seymour Duncans.