Sound — 10
I have been playing over 45 years, and have several other guitars. I wanted another one for jazz and "old school rock". I compared this guitar to many others with the same Kustom tube amp, and although there were others that cost more, none came close to the variety of sounds this has. It is very quiet, No Doubt due to the humbuckers, but has incredible dynamic range. And the tonality/timber does not change when you play it softly or loudly. My amplifier at home is a Crate GLX65, and on clean this sounds almost as good as the Kustom did. When I use the digital effects on the Crate, it can do any style music, although I prefer my other solid body Ibanez for metal.
Overall Impression — 10
I play everything from Chet Atkins to metal. I have been playing over 45 years. This is my fourth guitar, and is my second Ibanez. I also have a Martin acoustic and still have my very first "new" guitar - a Kay, single pickup hollow body. I was thinking about a Schecter C1 Classic, but I like this a bit better for jazz. If someone stole this, well, I know an F-15 strike eagle pilot. I love the sound the best, followed closely by the ease of playing it. The pickguard is absolutely perfectly placed, and I have never seen one done this way. This is not a guitar for metal or wild pitch bending, there are plenty of other great guitars for that. To get such an amazing instrument for only $550 is beyond my expectations, it just goes to show you that there are skilled craftsmen in other countries, not just USA.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I do not play Live, so I am not worried about that. The hardware is black chrome, except for the pickups which are bright chrome. The strap buttons are fine, but lockers would be a wise investment. The finish will require some discipline. It is not a finish which you should use any kind of oil or polish on. It does appear quite durable, however, and the best description is matte finish polyurethane, but that is speculation.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The finish, setup, and pickups were perfect. I have never picked up a guitar that had perfect intonation at a store! According to their "best" tuner, every note along all strings and all frets was within 1/50th of perfect. I rarely buy a guitar based on looks, but I have to admit this one really is amazing. The book-matching is near perfect. And that includes the back. There were no flaws visually noted, and all the hardware, including the switches, was properly mounted and oriented.
Features — 10
The instrument was manufactured in China, in 2006. It has 22 large frets on a Rosewood finger board with mother of pearl inlays, very beautiful, plus dots on the edge. It is a semi-hollow design, with a sound brace that works very well. The body is book-matched maple (front, sides and back, awesome). The neck is 3 piece mapel and is set in to the body. The bridge is an Ibanez ART1 design and is fully adjustable. There is a three-way Switch and separate volume and tone controls, with numbered knobs (very "oldschool" cool). Sorry but they only go to 10. No coil tapping either. The pickups are Seymour Duncans: JB and '59 and are both humbuckers. Note that this is not the Standard setup from Ibanez. The person Who originally ordered it this way never picked it up, their loss! The tuners are excellent, and look like Grovers. Non-locking, but that is not needed. It came with the correct Ibanez hard case and tools.