Price paid: C$ 350
Purchased from: Axe Music
Sound — 9
Has a full, clean trebly sound to both pickups, not bad for stock at the price. It is great for any kind of rock sound, from clean to lighter crunch classic to good full out metal. Lots of chunk and sustain thanks to the all mahogany build. Electronics are clean with no noise, with a good range on the tone pot.
Overall Impression — 10
I play older heavy metal, grunge, classic rock, blues, and some of the cooler modern stuff. This guitar fits well in all the genres. Been playing for 30 years and have had many different outfits, but stuck mainly to dual humbucker setups, with the odd tele or Strat for lighter stuff. I found over the years that the Les Pauls I mainly relied on were heavy and the necks were thick, and that there were better fits for me. When I chose this guitar, I wanted an inexpensive Ibanez that sounded like a Gibson. Mainly that I could gig with without worry and get the sound and feel I needed. I thought I was going to end up with an Epiphone or LTD, but man, I played this one and the neck was unbelievable. Sound was great for the price, then I put a pair of Seymour Duncan 59's in... I had a 72 Les Paul, all stock except for a pair of DiMarzio PAF's, that I loved and relied on, because of the sweet, sweet tone. This $350 Ibanez with a pair of 59's actually sounded a bit fuller, the same sustain, and felt better in my hand and strapped over my shouler. This guitar is perhaps the best kept secret of the guitar industry. Easily outplays guitars twice it's price, and should be the first guitar anyone buys, as all the big 'entry level' names; Squier, Epiphone, etc. have junk in the same price range.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This is a very well built and sturdy guitar. It is awesome live because it is fairly thin, making it lighter than most Les Paul guitars made of good wood. All the hardware is very good quality and so far is as durable as any, as is the finish. All far better than you would expect at this price. I have opened with this guitar and done most of the gig unless needed a sound change. Anyone gigging without a backup is unprofessional, period.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Action, Fit and Finish. Really very well set up out of the factory. Action was low and intonation set. I was frankly amazed that this was a Chinese built guitar. Workmanship and finish was top notch, and made this guitar look, feel and play like one at least twice the price.
Features — 10
Made in China, 2008. Non-locking Ibanez tuners, 2 volume, 1 tone, 3 way selector.
SPECS: Neck Material: Mahogany Neck Type: ART set-in Body: Mahogany body Frets: 22 Medium frets Fingerboard: Bound Rosewood Inlay: ART special on 12th fret inlay Bridge: Gibraltar III bridge NeckPU: ACH1-S BridgePU: ACH2-S HW Color: Chrome