ART120 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (117 votes)
Ibanez: ART120

Price paid: £ 250

Purchased from: EMIS Music

Sound — 10
The sound is incredible. It makes me question what the hell I've been playing for the last 6 years. Others have said it sounds like an EMG equipped guitar, but I'd say it has a bit more depth than that, making it very versatile. The neck pup gives a beatiful, rounded smooth tone for clean playing, whilst the bridge, with some distortion, crunches small children through the cable and out of the amplifier. It rules. They are high output pickups, but in spite of everything, they're very, very quiet in terms of hiss and buzz. Silent, in fact. I was previously using a guitar with passive EMGs, and this runs rings around it. The tone I've been searching for is here, with incredible looks, for just 250. Wow.

Overall Impression — 10
I play rock, from classic through to metal, and it'll handle all those genres with ease. I've been playing about 6 years, and I'm currently playing it through a Boss ME50 into a Peavey Bandit 112. If it were lost or stolen I'd buy another. It looks beautiful, sounds amazing and the price? Damn... You can't beat it, and you can't beat it in some of the higher price brackets either. I tried a PRS SE Singlecut, and I can honestly say this is better on price, tone and definitely features. Its awesome. If you are thinking of buying one, stop thinking and whip out that card.

Reliability & Durability — 10
As with most guitars, if you throw it off your roof, its going to break. But other than that, its strong as hell. Lighter than a usual les paul style as the body is thinner (without compromising warmth), but clearly very tough still. Awesome strap buttons, the finish is amazing and, being gloss white, it'll last, and the hardware is all excellent. I would definitely gig with this guitar. If I had to take a spare, it'd be another one of these.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The only downpoint - I think I got a one off that had 2 frets set a little high. This meant dead notes. However, the guy at EMIS music is excellent, and when I took it back in the next day he fixed it on the spot free of charge, and said when the guitar has settled into it's new home, I can take it back in and he'll set it up for me again and file down any more frets that give me grief. All this is free of charge and is Standard practise for EMIS music. Excellent shop. Once he'd fixed the frets, there were no problems at all. Low action, good intonation and perfect pickup heights. No flaws, seemless neck joint, tightly set jack input. 9 for the fact that I had to get it seen to, but no lower as its almost certainly a one off, and it was fixed almost immediately.

Features — 9
Features have been listed here already, but... active pickups, 22 frets, set neck, les paul style guitar with white finish and black white black binding. Two volume controls and one tone. Also worth mentioning is that the pickup selector is not in the usual LP position. Thank god, I was always switching it mid stroke on my old LP copy... 9 for not having two tone controls.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Ok! I already have 2 high end ibanezes and I really need a les paul style guitar without trems for lower tunings. Does anyone know how's the neck in comparison to Gibson Les Paul Studio? As I have tried the studio and I really think it's a clumsy guitar with a fat neck and stuff. Yes I know it can't be a prestige neck just because it's Gibsonish, but still is it playable? Can the strings be set really low as on a prestige? Thank you! I'll appreciate any info!
    metalriff735 wrote: damn, y did i have 2 look at this guitar, now i cant decide between this or a ibanez rgr321ex :S
    hey i have both now. im really happy with both haha the two really don't sound like each other. the rgr321ex is more sharp metal sound and the art120 is more the fuller warm sound of rock/metal. sorry i don't know how to put it in good english, but both guitars are great.
    Heeey, is the guitar contoured or is it flat like an epiphone LP special 2? Aaaaand what is it's clean tone like? Thank you.
    I am thinking of buying one: Is this a newbiee-guitar or is it a great 2nd/3rd guitar??