AX7221 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 6
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.2 Good
  • Users' score: 6.9 (104 votes)
Ibanez: AX7221

Sound — 7
This is basically my first decent guitar (my previous was a Generic S-series copy). Compared to that, this guitar sounds beautiful, but that's not really saying much. Unfortunately my amp setup is still lacking. Currently I use a Korg AX10G modelling signal processor set to Rectifier for distortion and effects, and a Ross RG10 practice amp for sound. I also sometimes use the Korg's Acoustic pre-fx, which sounds pretty good. The guitar gives a nice warm clean sound, although I find it a bit muffled, I wouldn't mind a sharper, crunchier sound. On distortion it does very good growling and rhythm, but I got much better harmonics and screams from my generic 6 string. Like the Ibanez website says, it's not for shredders. However, it is very well suited to n-metal powerchords.

Overall Impression — 8
I play a mixture of heavy metal and acoustic. For heavy metal, this guitar gives a lovely growling sound. It's a bit hard to bar the top three strings, but that could just be my inexperience showing though. IT also works quite well with the acoustic pre-fx on my Korg, but of course it's not up to the Standard of a real acoustic. The ability to have both an open downtuned powerchord and a Standard EADGBe tuning on the same instrument is something I don't think I'll ever be able to let go of. I've been playing for only a year, but compared to my little generic S-series this is a really good guitar. If it was lost or stolen, I think would probably replaced it with an RG7321, as the poorly balanced weight of the neck when I'm standing up is a real pain. A tremolo would be nice, but it's not used in most of the stuff I play, so it's absence doesn't particularly worry me. I think this would prove to be a much better guitar if I had a chance to use it with a decent amp, but having not done so it's a bit hard for me to judge it's true tonal qualities. I wouldn't buy one of these new for full price, but if you can get your hands on a cheap or second hand one, I would definitely recommend it.

Reliability & Durability — 8
The first thing I noticed when picking up this guitar was how solid it was. It's heavy and well built, but for the dodgy tuning pegs and socket. With normal maintenance these shouldn't be a problem, they just need to be tightened. I'd certainly depend on this guitar for a gig. I wouldn't mind purchasing slightly bigger strap buttons, they haven't failed me yet but I still don't entirely trust them. There's a small blemish on the finish, looks like it's been dropped or bumped against something, but the matte finish is very resistant to fingerprints and scratches. The plastic plate covering the electronics is scratched to pieces, which indicates to me that the guitar's been through some rough times in the past, so one blemish on the wood seems like minor damage.

Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The guy I bought it from basically lives for guitars, but with several heavily customised 6-strings which he prefers using he resold this to finance a new amp. He said he only played it once or twice, and I'd believe it. It needed a lot of maintenance when I got it, mostly cleaning off dust and oxidization on the bridge pickup. I replaced immediately (he hadn't bothered changing them from the stock strings, and the 7th had a kink in it). The screws and bolt around the cable plug needed tightening, and when I changed the strings all the tuning pegs were loose and needed to be tightened. That said, once cleaned and repaired, the guitar is quite a nice instrument. I had a choice between this and a Legend Les Paul, but a few minutes playing each one (even in the condition this was in) told me this was a much more comfortable guitar. The neck is no harder, and possibly even easier to play, than my 6-string s-series copy. The action was about the only thing that didn't need adjusting, though I probably need to raise it a bit because my playing style often causes the 7th string to rattle against the lower frets. The only criticisms I have of the feel of this guitar is the weight and it's distribution. Firstly, this guitar weighs a tonne. Secondly, the neck is thick and heavy, and the upper strap button is far to low down the length of the guitar. This means that if you play this guitar while standing up you'll find yourself constantly battling to keep the neck upright. Not a major problem, but it's caused me to probably knock two points off the score for this section. In future I will definitely stick to superstrats to avoid this balancing issue.

Features — 7
This is a 22 fret 7-string from Ibanez. It was made in Indonesia, not sure what year. Mahogany body, 5 piece maple/walnut with rosewood fretboard, 22 medium frets. Fixed bridge. Neck and bridge humbuckers (IBZ AH1-7 and IBZ AH2-7 respectively). The finish is called Pewter, a matte metallic grey. Each pickup has it's own volume and control knob, with a three way selector switch. Not sure what type of body it is, similar to an SG but more rounded. The lack of a tremolo may be a problem, but there's not much 7-string stuff out there that really needs a tremolo. Came with an old carry bag.

32 comments sorted by best / new / date

    go universe, its got a great tremolo system and the neck is thinner (easier to bar the strings)
    I got this guitar pretty much just to stuff around and I found the neck is quite thick and slow. I wouldn't buy it if you were thinking of shredding (or attempting too ), but not a bad guitar for a rhythm player.
    i just got one of those as a gift for christmas. its got a mahoganny body with a red finish. i don't know how much they paid for it but i don't think they paid more than $700. they said they got it at guitar center. that guitar kicks ass!
    kornflipsk8er wrote: i paid close to 700 for it.
    you paid that much for it? i got this same model for $380 used with a coffin case included. i believe that was the factory price for it, but idk. i could be wrong...
    heej, my friend got a six string versoin of that model, and I was surprised how light it was. So its a bit strange if you say that only that one string extra (not only the string but bigger neck and pickups) causes a lot more weight. And about the tremelo, I hate tremelo's so this is wel I think a cheaper 7 string model whitout tremelo. But well done, good refiew keep it giong Greetz Tias
    This guitar is a decent one for a beginner 7 string player but for an experienced musician or a pro you should probably get the rg7321,the rg1527(almost the same as the uv777 at about half the price),the k7(korn),or the uv777(vai jem).
    I like thuis guitar, it's about $300-$350 on mf, but I'd advise throwing in another $50 and getting the rg7321, the super strat RG body is very well balanced and suprisingly light (made of basswood). I have a review for it one here somewhere...
    DimeRazorback wrote: beto/doom_krew wrote: ibanez and esp's own every guitar ever made, even gibson's i 2nd that
    its pronounced PWN lol but ****in truer that blue
    beto/doom_krew wrote: ibanez and esp's own every guitar ever made, even gibson's
    i 2nd that
    ive got an ibanez iceman it looks better but its still nice
    i own this only complaint with it is the weight balancing.the body is next it nothing but the neck really wants to drop to the ground when you play standing up.i have no idea why the reviewer said the guitar was heavy is lighter than my six string.
    Idon't think the price is o. Does any of you know it
    ive played it and was impressed, but i still prefer my rg7321 over this anyday.
    yeah i have a universe. its pretty sweet, but im sure this guitar would be excellent for the price
    randyrhoads#1 wrote: bluesblaster : go universe, its got a great tremolo system and the neck is thinner (easier to bar the strings) POSTED: 01/16/2007 - 09:15 am / quote | uuuum... it does not have a tremolo system on it.
    He's talking about the UV777, not the guitar in this review.
    bluesblaster : go universe, its got a great tremolo system and the neck is thinner (easier to bar the strings) POSTED: 01/16/2007 - 09:15 am / quote | uuuum... it does not have a tremolo system on it.
    meh...these were better when they were made in they suck.
    It's a nice guitar, but the neck is way too slow for me, and the upper fret access blows. Other than that, no glaring issues.