Price paid: $ 400
Purchased from: Dietz Music
Sound — 7
With the stock pickups, the guitar is fairly bright and clear sounding. Great clean tones, and good blues sound. Heavily distorted amp settings aren't as nice, but useable through a pedal (I run it through an MT-2 Metal Zone, which has good EQ controls). I'll be changing the pickups soon, as I have another guitar which covers this thing's current tonal palette. Guitar is more prone to feedback than a solidbody, of course. This can be a bonus or a detriment, depending on your needs. The guitar exhibit's good sustain, in spite of it's extremely light weight.
Overall Impression — 9
Some people who I've let play this guitar absolutely love the bright, clear tone. It's a little too bright for my needs, though, so I'll change the pickups. Personal preference thing, the stock pickups work well with this guitar, and it can go some very unusual places, tonally. Telecaster tones are easy with it, and it gets down to a slightly brighter ES-335 type sound, as well. I can cover these with other guitars, so I'm going to shoot for something a bit different out of it. The guitar itself should be very conducive to huge tonal changes with nothing put a change of pickups. This guitar's most outstanding features are it's short length and light weight. Even my chambered LP Double Cut feels like a tank by comparison. The wife's little Squier Telecaster outweighs it by a considerable amount. I can stand up playing this guitar for longer than anything I've ever owned, and is the reason I bought it. It's looks I have grown to like (seemed a bit pimpish to me, at first, a bit too country boy) and I've also gotten used to the unusual taper of the neck's width. It actually makes playing on the upper frets easier, and I'm able to chord further up there than I thought was possible. It did, however, take a bit of getting used to when switching guitars. Now, it only take me a couple of minutes to adjust. This guitar is not a commonly seen model. I actually passed by it at The Music store numerous times over the course of a year, then decided to fiddle around with it. Played it for about 30 minutes and put it on the old debit card. Had to have it. Wife loves it's look and didn't complain.
Reliability & Durability — 6
The guitar is very, very lightweight. It is also short, making it the best guitar I own for cramped quarters on a small stage or practice area. It's too fragile to take the retarded monkey antics of teenage thrash metal wannabe action. But should hold up well for the rest of us. Just don't bounce it off the bass player's head or the mic stands. It's not a solidbody.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Factory setup was typical of a Chinese-made Ibanez. Not great, but adequate for most folks, I think. I've had the frets dressed by a local luthier and lowered the action considerably. The inlay/binding/perfling work on the guitar is nothing short of amazing, especially for a guitar in this price range. Tuners are quite good, but I have a strong preference for locking tuners, especially Schallers, which I've ordered for this guitar. The bridge is an ingenious design and the execution is perfect. It works very well and demonstrates none of the creep, tuning issues or string breakage that many of the cheaper bridge implementations exhibit. One of the very few guitars I own that will NOT require any change, here. Finish is black. So it shows scratchs easily, but seems to be about as tough as anything else I own. The guitar is the lightest weight of any guitar I've ever owned, and I've owned more than I care to admit to.
Features — 7
2001 AWD82LTD Semi-Hollowbody, Black with bound body, f-holes, neck and headstock. MOP and Abalone perfling around body/headstock. MOP and Abalone block inlays. Fast, thin, set mahogany neck with 14" radius rosewood fretboard. S-stlye body. Two ACH humbuckers, chrome covers. Single volume and tone pots, 3-way selector. Neck is quite narrow in width at the headstock and widens out as you go up towards the body, more so than anything else I've played. Gibralter wraparound style bridge with good saddles and intonation adjustment range. Ibanez fine tuners (sealed, cast, Schaller clones). Scale is 24 3/4", the total length of the guitar is a very short 37 1/2" and it weighs about 5 1/2 pounds.