Sound — 9
I play a lot of metal and hard rock stuff, as well as some traditional rock. I think this thing works magic. Using the bridge pickup can really give you the type of sounds you need for metal, and using the the neck or middle position will give you good blends for things like classic rock and blues. Overall, I don't think this is the greatest guitar for metal I've ever heard, but it still sounds great. Normally I use a Fender Stage 112 with a Boss chorus pedal and the amp distortion on that model. I'm looking forward to trying out some new amps. The guitar seems like it does produce quite a bit of feedback, but I'm always standing practically right next to my amp at band practices.
Overall Impression — 10
I play a lot of hard rock and metal and this might not be the best guitar for that. I still feel that it works great for me because a lot of my riffing is similar to an older Tool type of style, and this thing sounds fantastic for stuff like that. I have been playing (on a serious level) for probably about 11 years and have been through a few guitars. I had a couple of Ibanez GAX70's at one point but they've now been retired. I've also recently purchased a cheaper Dean as a "learn how to set up and do electronics" guitar. The ART320 is without a shadow of a doubt the nicest electric I have ever owned. I may have hinted at disappointment, but make no mistake, I am totally happy with the guitar. If someone was to steal this instrument, I would be very upset to say the least. I really love this guitar because it looks killer, sounds great (very versatile array of sounds possible if you fully play with the knobs and pickup selection), and is reasonably light. I feel that it was worth every penny I spent.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I use this guitar at a weekly (sometimes more) band practice and I've never had an issue with it yet. It really feels solid and reliable. Quite honestly, the only thing that worries me about this guitar is that it is a China model. Everything about it is more or less solid, I just worry about that because I've gotten to the point where I don't always trust Chinese products because of failures in the past. The strap buttons seem great, but for those of you Who like to move around a lot, I would recommend strap locks. I have maneuvered in certain directions before and almost had the strap come off (with my strap straight). Everything I have seen with this guitar seems to echo quality, other than the fretboard binding looking a little stressed, but I still love the instrument and hope it will be one of my main guitars for years to come.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I have been more or less completely happy with the setup of this guitar. There have been no issues with the nut slots being cut improperly, intonation issues, etc. It came from the factory with D'Adario strings, which I was happy with as that is my main string brand. When I bought the guitar, it more or less looked perfect. I could see an area around the neck join that looked a little "stressed" but it didn't look too bad and I bought the guitar. Now, after having the guitar a couple of months, I am seeing some stress on the binding along the neck, but it hasn't caused a playability problem yet.
Features — 10
I believe this is the 2008 model, made it China. I believe the fretboard is rosewood but I'm not too sure; it has 22 frets. It has Ibanez brand active pickups which do sound pretty nice, although the guitar seems like it doesn't have much in the way of sustain, perhaps as a result of the actives. There is a 3-way selector Switch on this baby, and switching the pickups does give you a good variety of sounds. The tuners are pretty darn good. I have had some issues with the guitar slightly edging out of tune, but if you're careful not to knock the tuning pegs you should be alright. The finish is beautiful on this thing and the inlays are awesome! Set neck is also great! This thing also did not come with any tools or a case. I wound up buying a case for it, but I'm disappointed with the case because it doesn't fit the guitar perfectly. Apparently there is no case made for this guitar since it is still kind of lower end.