ART120 Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 08/03/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Ibanez: ART120
It has a les paul style body, albeit with a sharper bottom cut. It has a mahogany body with a maple top with set-neck and a 22 fret rosewood fingerboard.
 Sound: 8.1
 Overall Impression: 8.7
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.6
 Features: 8.4
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (7) pictures (4) 30 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.8
ART120 Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 05, 2008
5 of 6 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 290

Purchased from: Audiophile

Features: Made in China. 2008 model. It has a les paul style body, albeit with a sharper bottom cut. It has a mahogany body with a maple top with set-neck and a 22 fret rosewood fingerboard. (medium frets) 1 tribal inlay on the 12th fret. I got it in white and it has rather nice binding around the body and fingerboard. Fixed gibraltar III bridge and a quick-change III tailpiece. It has 2 Ibanez loz active humbuckers powered by 2 AA batteries. Also has 2 volume and 1 tone knob(s) with a 3-way selector Switch. It has Ibanez tuners that stay in tune quite well. It came in a box with a manual and some tools. // 8

Sound: I play metal, hard rock, progressive and even alternative and neo-classical. This guitar actually sounds like an EMG equipped guitar. It has a very nice deep kind of warm sound from the neck pickup both clean and distorted. From the bridge pickup though, it is a bit crunchy and great for power chords. I use it on a generic 15-watt practice amp and a Behringer X-VAMP effects processor. The high-output pickups actually overdrive the clean setting on the amp so I have to turn the volume down on the guitar a bit. This guitar sounds great in any genre, from Metallica songs, to Guns N' Roses songs. The great thing about the pickups is aside from their being extremely high-output, they have extremely low noise too. You could have the gain in your amp up to 11 and you won't hear a lot of noise. It's as if you have a noise gate on. I am planning to get a Vox Valvetronix amp and I have tried the guitar on that amp and it sounds very nice. The pickup configuration really gives you a lot of tonal variety from crunchy rhythm tones to warm, sweet, lead tones and nice clean tones. I bet that with a better amp, this guitar is gonna sound phenomenal. If they put a Gibson logo on the headstock, I would believe them. Oh yeah, the sustain depends on the amp you have. But it's pretty decent. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: When I got it from the shop, the action was a little higher than the one I am comfortable with and I soon plan on changing the action. It came with D'addario strings so I did not have to change them. The pickups were adjusted perfectly and did not need any form of configuration. I did not see any problem with the finish of the guitar. Everything from the paint to the fret wire was perfectly set-up. The neck looked and felt perfect. No cracks or signs of strain even after a few months of use. The pickup selector is a bit on the noisy side but if you switch pickups while playing, you won't hear anything. Aside from the action of the guitar and maybe better packaging, this guitar is perfect. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Since this is my main guitar, I use this one all the time both in practice and Live. The guitar itself looks like it can take a beating. Obviously, it is heavier than the average guitar but that's a small price to pay for a guitar like this. I would recommend you getting a pair of strap-locks for this guitar just to be safe. I still use the stock strap buttons with a Levy's strap and it holds up pretty well. Fortunately, the tuners are pretty reliable and keep in tune well. Restringing only takes a second or two so I can go out there and gig without a backup. But even if I had a Gibson, I would still bring backups just to be safe. The finish looks very beautiful now and it looks like it will stay that way even after 20 years or so. Probably the best guitar in it's price range and it can compete with guitars twice or Thrice it's price. // 9

Overall Impression: Since I play mostly Metallica, Guns N' Roses and Steve Vai songs, this guitar is a perfect fit for almost all genres. As I said before, the tonal variety here is excellent. You can probably perform Metal one second and jazz the next and it will perform well. I have been playing for 3 years and this is only my 3rd guitar and my 2nd electric. Maybe I should have changed the action first before buying it and if it were lost, I would get it again in a different color. Because it's really good. I would recommend this over PRS SE guitars and Hamers and half the Epiphone les pauls that they have. I love the sound, the price, the finish and how imposing it looks on stage. I hate that I only thought about buying it a few months ago. I compared this to PRS singlecuts and all the Epiphones and the Gibson LP studio. I actually feel as if this guitar was made for me. Maybe with a Floyd Rose on it and some EMG's and this will be the greatest guitar ever made. // 9

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overall: 10
ART120 Reviewed by: Zach Dunn, on may 04, 2009
5 of 9 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 180

Purchased from: EMIS -

Features: Neck is a ART Mahogany set-in neck, a Maple top/Mahogany body, 22 Medium Sized frets, Gibraltar III bridge, Quik Change III tailpiece with a LZ1-N in the neck position and a LZ1-B in the bridge. (Both active humbuckers) Standard Ibanez Tuners (that keep in tune unless you kick them... Accidently if you're lying it done on the floor - I've invested in a handy guitar stand!) 3 Way selector, 2 volume and 1 tone knob. // 10

Sound: I use this guitar for mainly metal now (sounds really damn sweet through a Danelectro Fish & Chips through a Yamaha GW-10...a practise amp with so much heaviness!). But can also play some classic rock, BeachBoys style stuf (as i've had in my guitar lessons) and they all sound great! No fretbuzz at all (even on overdrive!) (unless the volume is on 10!). // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set up by a great guy at EMIS (google it... If you're from the UK). The pick-ups where in their original positions/heights etc and were fine. The neck is also great, with access to every part of the fretboard so solo-ing is easy! I've noticed absolutly no flaws at all in the past few months of owning this monster and it looks great too. There's also a nice contour on the back that doesn't give you grief if you're sitting and playing for a while. And not to forget the width of the guitar, its slim and light weight too (unlike the Epiphone Les Pauls...I've trialed the Black Beauty and that was REALLY heavy and bulky compared to this ART120) // 10

Reliability & Durability: I'd say this guitar is very realiable and also very durable. I've also dropped it accidently and the guitar stay intune and intact. The strap buttons are solid, haven't fallen off, hasn't come loose etc. I would have a back up (for heavier drop tunnings unless your guitar is set up right...and if you're playing sons in every sort of tunning and can't be bothered to tune your guitar after every song!). The finish hasn't defected either too! I chose the White model and it looks great too! Looks like it'll take more than a few years for the white paint to fall off? (haha!) // 10

Overall Impression: Overally impression? Personally I think it's an animal of a guitar, great for beginners, great for everyone to be honest. The sound is perfect for recording too (but then again it also depends on the amp you're using!). I've been playing (seriously) for about 2 months now, but have always had a guitar by myside for about 5 years. If this was lost or stolen, I'd cry...and cry some more. Seriously this guitar is idol for anything and also the price is pretty darn good too!. So if you're looking for a Les Paul style guitar, at a reasonably great price...and also (apparently) a better quality than most Epiphone Les Pauls (according to members of the Ibanez forum) and would like to play anything...this guitar is for you! // 10

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overall: 7.4
ART120 Reviewed by: bananu7, on august 03, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 330

Purchased from: A friend

Features: ART 120 is one of the budget Ibanez models. It features 22 fret, set-in neck, which is quite fat, but still in Ibanez style. It also has this great neck ending near the head, which makes it easier to find the first position. The fretboard is of very good quality, with thin white binding on the top. The only fret marker is on the 12 fret (custom inlay), it still has the full set of dots on the side. It's made from mahogany with maple top, though everything is covered in black paint. The paint itself certainly isn't as good as on prestige models, and it's especially easy to chip with something like cable jack - be careful. The shape itself is similar to Gibson Les Paul, yet it has some differences. It's more aggressive in look and holds a little bit differently. The bridge is pretty straightforward - Quik Change III tailpiece (really quick, but I never had to change strings on-stage) and Gibraltar III bridge (smoother than TightTune, and easier to rest hand on). It has 2 active LZ pickups, with two separate volume and one tone control. It also has simple 3-position switch. Tuners are standard Ibanez. I believe it features no additional accessories in standard package. // 8

Sound: I play very different kinds of music, from instrumental metal to rock and even some country fingerpicking licks. The guitar itself fits certainly better into the heavy genres - loads of output + aggressive low tones make it perfect for stunning riffs. When it comes to lighter tunes, though, the pickups just don't cut it - too little clarity, and most of all - very limited dynamics. It's the flaw of active pickups in general, and my main reason for upcoming upgrade. The good part of the pickups is that they aren't noisy at all, and you can plug them into pretty much everything without much trouble; for example, it behaves very well with my DIY impedance matching circuit and an iPad. I play it mostly with my normal rig - Zoom G7.1UT modeller and 80W transistor combo. As I said earlier, the limited dynamics don't really allow me to get everything I want from this setup. Still, if you only want to play rythm, it's something to think about. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: I bought it from a friend in nearly mint condition and set it up myself. I adjusted the bridge and the action, and put new batteries in (after a year, they're still ok, you just have to remember to detach the cable). The overall finish was and still is - perfect. Any of the flaws that are stated over this section aren't there. If I really had to find something, second volume knob tends to brush against underlying wood a bit - it helps to pull it out by 1mm or so. It generally feels a lot better that cheap guitars under 300$. Until you plug it in, you can say it costs 1000$ and everyone will believe. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I played a few gigs with her, and had no problems. The built-in jack is of a very good quality and holds the cable in place. Hardware is also good, and the simplicity of design really fit the neat price. The strap buttons needed a bit of care, but since then they are rock solid. As I said earlier, the paint will probably wear off after some years - and it will wear off in rather ugly way. It certainly won't affect playability, though. I had a backup, of course, but I don't think you really need one. The Gibraltar bridge is really forgiving to the strings, and I can't really imagine it breaking in any way - it's just simple and well-made. // 8

Overall Impression: Summary... Well, I'm not a very experienced player, but I had many guitars in my hands; I'm sort of hardware geek. In terms of playability and durability this guitar is really good. If you take enough care with it, the paint should last and wear off rather naturally. It's very comfortable and well-balanced. The small scale (24.75") also fits people with smaller hands (my girlfriend, for example). The smooth surface on the bridge allows the right hand for some rest with long exercises. Still, the sound is pretty much budget. I'd compare it to Gibson SG in some way (with those terrible metal covers from the previous age on pickups), but with more power - the sound lacks clarity I would really like, still it can Drive any amp to metal sound. I have mixed feelings about it, but I think I won't really miss her when she's gone. If it helps you in any way, my next guitar will probably be Ibanez S Premium/Prestige with natural finish. So, in short - well-made, bad-sound. Fits the price, also would be nice for a youngling due to a bit smaller size. If you want to play seriously though, pass on it. // 7

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overall: 9.6
ART120 Reviewed by: Tomanator, on july 30, 2009
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 249.99

Purchased from:

Features: The guitar was made in 2008. It has a good number of 24 frets, then neck is not too fat or skinny, you can reach the chord positions easier than any other guitar i have handeled and it doesn't feel like its going to break any second. Black and white are both smooth and sweet, not too shabby for the nice price a There is only one problem for black, when your outside and its sunny outside try not to look at the finish too much it gets in your eyes. Omg! My eyes! White is perfect for any ocassion. The shape and body is like the Les Pauls Brother, its even better then they are just that the switches and nobs are placed diffrently, that doesn't mind me at all, its like a fenders nobs (Not trying to be rude soz) Put onto the body of a les pauls. It has three nobs, the first is volume, the other two that follow are for Your Tone. And there is a switch to change your diffrent type of Sound/ Distortion. // 9

Sound: Oooohh. Sound were to start, first off my music genre is mostly Metal, Death Metal, Rock, or Thrash and this is Pure awesomeness when you play these generes (Of course it also dependes on the amp you use, don't use a Fender amp I warn you, have another amp ready before your buy this guitar.). The amps I'm useing with it is a Vox amplifier (55 at and $80 at this provides a good sound, the effects that the Vox amp has is great for this guitar. Is it noisy? Hmmm... Well put it this way I'm gonna say no but if you put your amp at 10 or a higher volume it's gonna start rattleing and when you hold a note on 10 volume + you will start to hear a BBRAnakkiiiii sound, lol. Sounds stupid but that's what happens. Metal Metal all the way, if your a metalhead or just a plain old Rocker this is the Tuxedo for you. it's got a chunky sound to it that provides some great strength and power in your hands. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The pickups are greatly adjusted. There were apselutly NO misunderstandings or cracks or breaks or damge inside the box, it came intune, the body was as shiny as a kitchen floor and the strings were really shiny and I mean really shiny! So that's it for the action, fit and finish, when you get yours don't worry about this paragraph. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Live playing? I have never gone Live with this guitar lol, but I'd say yes because the strap is propally fixed on with glue and a nail/bolt. The hardware will last full stop, well maybe if you don't take care of it and you kick it, drop it, smash it, hit it by accident yes but without anything done to it first no it is beautifully sustained to perfection, you can depend on it as I said the strap will only fall of if someone has tampered with it or if it is 2 year old maybe you will have to tighten it a bit becasue it's just got old and came loose but I'd say the strings are realaible enough. The finish is awesome and is truely reliable I dented mine on the wall by accident and nothing came there not even a scratch, well mine is white, but if you get a black the finish is really shiny so you will see a scratch or some damage I recommend to stick with white all the way. // 9

Overall Impression: From metal such as: Metallica, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Guns N Roses, Three Days Grace, Distrubed, Slipknot, Bullet For My Valentine, Korn To Rock such as: Lostprothets, Green Day, Foofighters, Nickelback, Kid Rock, Kings Of Leon, Tenacious D, SO MUCH MORE! This guitar will stand by you all the way to Rock history. It will be you apprentice and your shadow. If it was stolen I would of had to get it again no question about it, its my wife, Lol, no joke. I wish it had the Gibson logo at the top then it would be my supreme wife. I have been playing for 2 years I'm only 13 years old and to have a guitar like this allready is a great Honour to have. I hav elove everything about the white one but black is just slytly rubbisher to me. I'm an intermediate, so dont go thinking that this guitar is a begginer/first act guitar because its intermediate All the way to proffesonal all the way to ROCK/METAL Legend. // 10

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overall: 9.6
ART120 Reviewed by: AlexBristolUK, on august 10, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 250

Purchased from: EMIS Music

Features: 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. // 9

Sound: 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. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 9

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 8
ART120 Reviewed by: Haroldus, on january 14, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 300

Features: Built in 2009, straight from the factory! I dont know where its made, though. On the back of the head it says 'Made in China' but the serial number says its made in Korea. It has a Mahogany body with an Solid-Arched maple top. Mahogany set/in neck, 22 medium-sized frets and only one inlay, on the 12th fret. It has an Gibraltar III bridge and an Quick Change III tailpiece. It has 2 active humbuckers, made by Ibanez (LZ1-N in the neck, LZ1-B in the bridge) and they're powered by AA batteries, instead of a normal 9V battery. Has a beautiful White finish with a black binding. // 8

Sound: I play mostly heavier rock and metal, and the Ibanez suits that really well. I run it trough an Ibanez DS7 Distortion pedal to a Stagg 20-watt practice amp (kinda need a other amp) On the clean channel it really gives you a great jazzy sound. I can't really get an indie/singlecoil-like sound out of it, thats a bit of a bummer. (Yeah, Megadeth and Arctic Monkeys is a hell of a difference, I know.) What really surprised me is that the pickups are really silent. Really, really silent. Sometimes it's almost like the volumeknob is down when not playing it. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Action was a bit high from the factory, and the strings were really thin. I changed them to GHS .011, and because of the extra pull the action went sky-high. They lowered it at the shop and now it plays like heaven. Everything else was set up great, only the bridge pickup was a little high so I lowered it. No flaws on the finish, everything was shiny as hell. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I haven't really gigged with it yet, because in my current band I'm the drummer. I have given it a rock and roll beating (not on purpose, just jumping around and stuff) while practicing with an other band, and its still looks like new, and even better, IT STAYED INTUNE! That was really amazing, even after travelling only the low E string dropped a little bit. I probably wont have a backup, changing strings only costs a minute with this tailpiece. Strap buttons are really solid, but I still got straploks with it, just in case. // 9

Overall Impression: The best Les paul style guitar for this price. I'd really get an other one if it was stolen. It is beautiful, plays like heaven (after a little modifications) and is fairly light. Active humbuckers sound great, and AA batteires are easier to get than 9v blocks. // 8

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overall: 6.6
ART120 Reviewed by: SquierLolz, on october 18, 2010
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 300

Purchased from: Local Store

Features: Alright, THis review is about the Ibanez ART 120 Made in the Infamous indonesia. It features are: - Singlecut Mahogany Body ( don't get to excited, it isnt exactly perfect quality) - Mahogany Neck with a rosewood fretboard, inlayed at the 12th fret - Gibraltar and quick change bridge and Tailpiece. - Active pickups (we'll get to those bastards later) - 2 volume's and 1 tone, and your classic 3 way toggle - Non locking tuners // 7

Sound: I'll start and drop the bombshell right away, The pickups in this are downright horrible. They lack a lot of clarity, sound muddy and have no punch (fans of Dimebuckers will like these) They run on 2 AA batteries, have a high output, which makes clea tones a little bit harder to dial in. A pro of these Actives is that they're simply Dead quiet. // 4

Action, Fit & Finish: The factory set up, was as to be expected, Lots of buzz, lots of rattles and loose screws. But I am willing to accept that in this price range. After setting it up myself the action was just fine, it has a bunch of fret buzz around the 14th Fret. Everything was routed and cut properly, except for the nut, but that's because I set up my guitar with a High guage of string. The barrel type jack doesnt't come loose easily, which is a BIG plus for me. // 7

Reliability & Durability: Will it withstand live playing? Like a champ it does. The bridge is rock solid and comfortable, doesn't cut your hand, and string changing is a breeze. Would I use it without a back-up. Nope. Because a 20.000 dollar guitar can still break strings, and this does too. I can depend on it, I use it for recording and as soon as those pickups go far, far away, it will be perfect. the finish doesnt't wear except for the little edge over the bidning, which felt rough after a few days. // 8

Overall Impression: I play a Lot of Metal. It does the job fine. But as I said, the pickups aren't anything special. I run this trough either a Fire Hazard (bugera) 6260 Combo. Or Peavey revalver. If it were stolen, I would buy something else, because I am a Gear sl*t. I love the way it looks, how the neck feels. And I hate the fret job. Compared it too a Vintage V100 (puke) It came out on top (of a skyscraper). I wish it had a decent fret job and better pickups! // 7

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