AX120 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.7 (29 votes)
Ibanez: AX120
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Price paid: $ 349.99

Purchased from: Local music store

Sound — 9
This guitar is the most versatile axe I have ever owned. With the stock pups it goes from jazz and blues to fat hard rock. However the b ridge pup was not HOT enough for metal so I replaced it with a DiMarzio Evolution. I have run the guitar into many different amps. It sounds amazing in a Vintage 1970 Fender Twin Reverb and the local blues and jazz jams. I ran it into a Fender Princeton Chorus for 3 years and loved every sound it made. I plug into a Marshal JCM900 and WOW did it scream. The only guitar I have owned that I liked more was my 1979 Ibanez Artist, which according to Ibanez the AX line was supposed to be a clone of (they kinda got it right).

Overall Impression — 9
I have been playing professionally since 1992 and in that time I have played many styles of music from rock to blues to jazz, folk to funk... My main band right now is a thrash/power metal group. This guitar is an extension of my arms and if it were lost or stolen I would be heartbroken. Then I would find the thief and brake his arms. Then I would go on eBay and find a replacement. There is really not much about this guitar to hate and everything to love. I am glad I got it the best spent $350 ever. The thing feels and plays like a $1000 guitar... Well at least a $700 one.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This is my primary axe. It is amazing and very durable. I have played this guitar since 2001 when I purchased it new, I can't count the number of gigs it has been on and it has never let me down live. The silver finish is THICK. In the few places with dings were the finish came off (which took a fall off a 5 foot stage onto concrete btw) you can see the finish is at least a millimeter thick. One of the volume knobs has just now started wearing out but just the knob and not the pot. I have had a few issues with the output jack coming lose but it was an easy fix with a new better washer and nut.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar was nice from the start. The body and neck wood is nicely matched and they resonate with an almost perfect 5th on an E. The sustain is great even when you don't plug in it sounds good. The neck plays really nice and the electronics have never failed. The only problem I have had is with the output jack which tends to come lose from time to time.

Features — 9
Neck Type: Bolt on AX style (Maple with rosewood fretboard, 12 inch radius) Body: Mahogany Fret: Medium Bridge: Fixed Neck Pickup: AH-1 Bridge Pickup: AH-2 I have replaced the bridge pup with a DiMarzio Evolution.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    joshua91sg
    I can a AX125 this guitar for $300,- it's only been used for a month or 2..it has to go because of family problems...: To much noise ?? ^_^is it still a guitar to look in to I've only got $350 to spare... I've got an Ibanez Western Semi-acoustic AW70ece-NT or are there any suggestions..?
    jafell
    A guy gave me this ax 120 and a alvarez acoustic for a Spanish classical I no longer needed. I have been shocked at the way it feels and sounds. I might move out one of the pick ups but I do that on almost every high end guitar I have ever owned. It has a tremendous neck.