ARZ307 Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 08/07/2013 category: Electric Guitars
Ibanez: ARZ307
It's a Les-Paulish shaped guitar with a black body and head stock. This is a seven string guitar tuned BEADGBe from low to high. The grade and quality of this guitar is exceptional compared to some other brands out there.
 Sound: 8
 Overall Impression: 8
 Reliability & Durability: 9.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 6.5
 Features: 8.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) pictures (2) 11 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.2
ARZ307 Reviewed by: JonBon_Ramboni, on january 10, 2012
5 of 7 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 499

Purchased from: MCDC

Features: This guitar was made in 2011 and it came to the store 2 days before Christmas. It's offshore Ibanez so it's probably made in some place in mainland Asia. It's a Les-Paulish shaped guitar with a black body and head stock. The paint finish is a satin black. The body is mahogany, the neck is maple, and the fingerboard is rosewood. There's no inlays on the fret board among the 24 medium sized frets. The hardware is chrome. The tuners are non-lock and the bridge is a tune-o-matic style. The neck is set into the body and the back of the neck is painted. The electronics feature two Ibanez humbucker passive pickups, a volume and tone knob, and a three way switch. This is a seven string guitar tuned BEADGBe from low to high. The guitar also has a thin white binding around the body and head stock. The head stock reads "Artist" in fancy lettering. The input jack and strap locks are on the sides of the guitar. I opted for no case with this one since there is only a square hard case made for it and I prefer a tear drop shaped case. I brought it home in the card board box packaging. An old sleeping bag should do for a gig bag. // 9

Sound: It sounds great. This is my first seven string. I can easily get the heavy metal sound I want for low end riffs while still keeping my high notes for leads. No need to down tune this guitar. The neck pickup sounds nice and warm. The bridge pickup sounds just as good but is a little brighter. It has a full sound to it. I play through a Roland Cube with a Boss Metalzone and a CS3 compressor and sustainer. I can play metal riffs or clean honky tonk funk with this guitar. It's all good. I could anticipate people swapping out the stocks pick ups for actives but there's nothing wrong with the pick ups that come with the guitar. There's no feedback from this guitar. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: It was set up perfectly from the shop. The guitar dude at the shop tuned it slightly by ear. It's been great ever since. The neck is wider than a traditional six string obviously. It's thin and flat and is comfortable for riffing or soloing. I like the feel to it. Although the neck is painted, the laquer is not sticky and it feels like an unfinished neck which I prefer. The grade and quality of this guitar is exceptional compared to some other brands out there. I have owned about 20 some odd guitars and this one is the only one I seen come set up near perfect. The guitar is also well balanced and fairly light. I can sit it on my knee and it does not go anywhere. I was hesitant to buy this guitar because I had an AR300 back in 2005 or 6 and it was incredibly neck heavy and would hurt my back. Those problems are gone with this model. The wood is also cut about half an inch thinner than the older model. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I'd play live with this little doozie. Everything seems like it will last a decade or more if cared for. I'd swap out the strap pegs for strap locks just so I don't drop it by accident. I have had problems with other low-end Ibanez models in the past. I have had parts break or wear out. Regardless, this model seems more solid than others. // 9

Overall Impression: I play metal and shred. It's a great match. I love the extra string. Physically it took me about a week to get used to the extra B string. Mentally it's taking more time to visualize the fretboard a new way. Although I know where the extra notes are I seldom use them in scale runs and use the low Sting mostly for riffing. I really like this guitar. I typically have a whammy bar on my guitars and I miss having one on this guitar. If this guitar got thrown off a building or smashed I would be really sad and would buy another seven string right away. This is a far better and cheaper guitar than the BC Rich's I bought earlier this year. If you want a seven string and want something different than a Strat style RG then definitely look into getting this guitar! // 9

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 7
ARZ307 Reviewed by: unregistered, on august 07, 2013
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: What drew me to this guitar in the first place was it wasn't another silly-looking super-metal guitar, it has a very classy and tasteful Les Paul shape. Mahogany body and mahogany set neck, rosewood fretboard with 24 medium frets (I prefer jumbo but you can't win them all), tune-o-matic bridge, and solid tuners. This guitar has two medium output hex-pole ceramic pickups stock, and they are four conductor wires with the north and south coils soldered together, so if you wanted you could put a push/pull potentiometer (metric, not US sized) in to switch from full humbucking series to cut-coil or parallel wiring. The neck is thin but has a very nice shape that allows easy access to all frets, and the cut out doesn't get in the way of playing in the upper registers at all. Though the control cavity cover on the back is large, Ibanez didn't remove as much wood as it would leave you to believe, so in theory the guitar should be more resonant. If it had separate tone knobs for the two pickups and jumbo frets I would have given the features ten out of ten. // 8

Sound: I play many styles of music, from blues, to jazz, to rock and metal, and this guitar can deliver on all of them with some success. The pickup characteristics are slightly compressed with a moderate output, and slight growl in the mid-range. The clarity is below average, and on the B string there is a lack of clarity and boominess that makes a pickup upgrade worth considering. The neck pickup is also boomy and with a greater lack of clarity, though can still be conducive to lead playing in mid to upper registers. I was satisfied with the ability to dig in with both pickups to get some soulful bluesy rock leads. The first thing to know about how this guitar sounds is how it sounds unplugged. It's about as resonant as if you made this guitar out of a cinder block, by which I mean it isn't resonant at all. The upper register is particularly disappointing and anemic sounding. After owning this guitar for a year and a half, I upgraded the pickups to a Duncan Distortion in the bridge and Bare Knuckle VHII in the neck. With the higher quality pickups the sound of the wood tends to Shine through, and the total lack of fullness in the high end is noticeable on both. There is a chance that I lost the lottery and just got a particularly bad sounding piece of wood, but in comparison by PRS Santana SE guitar is between 2 and 3 times louder unplugged. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: The setup on this guitar was really poor all the way around when I got it, quality control shouldn't have let it get out the door. The nut wasn't well carved so the strings were a few millimeters higher than they should have been. The strings wedged in the nut also caused tuning problems because while tuning, it would take more turns of the tuner to overcome the friction of the string being wedge in the nut, so after several turns where the string's pitch wasn't rising at all, suddenly it would be sharp. Sometimes it wouldn't overcome the friction until a minute after tuning while playing a song with my band. The binding job was has some cosmetic flaws. The neck wasn't quite straight, and there's some catch on some of the frets, meaning the aren't entirely level. It was very frustrating to play and I really need to get the frets leveled out, but with medium frets I worry a fret dressing would leave almost nothing left. On the other hand, every time I go into guitar center and see one of these guitars I pick it up and inspect it, so far all the others I've seen and played don't have these problems, so this could be an isolated incident. // 4

Reliability & Durability: The guitar feels like a tank; other than having to occasionally tighten the strap buttons like I have to on every guitar, I have nothing to complain about. The potentiometers feel solid, the stock tuners do a fine job and don't feel cheap, the finish seems like it'll last a long time. I have normal wear and tear scratches on the back from playing, but I don't think that you'll have to worry about this guitar breaking mid-way through the set list of a big show in front of a thousand of your biggest fans. // 10

Overall Impression: To quickly summarize the most important points, the neck and cutaway on this feel amazing, the stock pickups deliver an okay sound that could be more defined in the lower end, but the guitar is so unresonant - especially in the upper register - that I don't think the guitar will ever sound like a top shelf instrument. The setup and quality control on mine was horrible out of the box, so if you're interested in buying this instrument I might encourage you to go into guitar center and actually play it first, however I've played these at guitar center and none of them had the issues with the nut or binding that mine has. What sets this guitar apart from so many other 7 stringed instruments is the classy shape and look of the instrument, and that alone might be worth it to some guitarists. // 7

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
Only "https" links are allowed for pictures,
otherwise they won't appear