Darkstone DN520K DNV review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (37 votes)
Ibanez: Darkstone DN520K DNV
0

Price paid: A$ 1200

Purchased from: Allans Music

Sound — 10
This guitar is predominantly made for heavy metal, however I play a variety of styles and i am yet to find a sound that it doesn't produce. I am currently using this guitar with a Vox Valvetronix VT-15, and it produces a very full sound with great sustain.

Overall Impression — 10
This guitar is perfect for me. I don't have any regrets in buying this guitar. However is you intend to buy this guitar, make sure you play it a few times at least to see if its right for you. If this was lost or stolen I would definitely buy it again. The value for money on this guitar is great. I played many guitars before choosing this and I could not find a single guitar that could compare. I love how I am able to switch from single coil to humbuckers with a pull of a button. The detail throughout the guitar just shouts out quality and style. You really need to pick this guitar up to realise how beautiful it is.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar will definitely withstand live playing. This guitar is used by quite a few well known bands live such as Deathstars, Sabaton, and Epica. I can tell that this guitar will last a lifetime. The strap buttons are solid, but I would recommend getting a strap lock and a thick strap because of its weight. I would definitely depend on this guitar, however I would never turn up to a gig without back-up, any experienced guitarist would tell you that.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
This guitar was ordered straight from Ibanez and was set up almost perfectly and was in pristine condition. I have been using the guitar for a few weeks and I am yet to find a flaw in this guitars make. When you pick up this guitar you can feel the quality in your hands. However it does come at a price, it is extremely heavy. In fact it is quite a bit heavier than the Les Paul. It is well weighted though so you don't feel as if it would slip away from you.

Features — 10
This guitar is the new Standard in heavy metal guitars. It was made in 2010 in China. The fretboard is made from Rosewood, and has 22 Medium sized frets. The body is made from Sapele and is 45mm thick. It has a double cut-away and a unique kink on the base of the body. It has a Tight-Tune bridge along with a Tight-Tune tailpiece. It has PP-1 humbucker pickups, specially made for the darkstone. There are two knobs, one for volume and one for tone. The tone knob doubles as a push/pull coil-tap. Pull it up and both humbuckers are tapped to single-coil.

26 comments sorted by best / new / date

    The^Unforgiven
    CatAmplifier wrote: how can a China guitar get 4 10?
    It's funny how some people seem to think that only Americans have been blessed with some magical gene that makes them the only competent guitar builders in the world.
    Gotting
    It's funny how some people seem to think that only Americans have been blessed with some magical gene that makes them the only competent guitar builders in the world.
    Word.
    thedeaduk
    Ive
    CatAmplifier wrote: how can a China guitar get 4 10?
    Why shouldnt it get 10's if its good enough? Have you played this guitar? If not then how can you really comment? if its well built, reliable, plays well and is basically everything it should be for its price then why does it matter where its built? If you honestly think that it cant possibly be that good just because something is made in China then you sir are deluded! Ive played American Fenders and Gibsons that have come out of the factory set up like, and playing like s**t. Then Ive gone and played Indonesian, Japanese and Chinese guitars that have been absolutely perfect. Stop being such an elitist.
    The^Unforgiven
    EvoLancer211 wrote: Yeah I'm going to say crappy, not because of the whole China thing, but in reality if it was the new guitar of metal...there would be at least 24 frets
    Well, the S series has been one of the world's most notable shred guitars since the 80's, yet it only got a 24 fret model in 2008 IIRC.
    Ilelee
    Got this some days ago as a second guitar, and something quite different from my S-series (egen18), with it's thick neck, bridge/tailpiece etc. For now I have been happy with it, it a has a quality item feel (much more than it's price suggest IMO), but it's definitely very heavy, something I really noticed after a got it home and switched between guitars. As for the price, it is around 500-550 in Europe, so not that much.
    HarryBoy7
    I play in a covers band and have used this guitar for the last 6 months. Honestly, it's the best guitar I have ever owned ! We play everything from country, rock, metal and I have no problem with the versatility of this beast - split coil is awesome. I'm 39 and have had many guitars - mostly Gibsons, but I wouldn't swap it for a Gibson. I play it through a Marshall JMP-1 preamp into a Mesa 2020 then a vintage Marshall Quad - just awesome. The sustain is just brutal and even though it's heavy, it's really well balanced. A very underrated guitar, close your eyes and try a Gibson then this...
    Hogsy
    Its a gorgeous guitar, i got one recently and absolutely adore it. feels and sounds incredible, its honestly a treat to play. I recommend trying it if you can, absolutely shat over ever other guitar in the shop when i tried. totally agree with the review pal.
    Gitaarbanaan
    I'm going to buy this one near Christmas, but I'm going to give it a try at the shop first...It looks very promising though!
    Beekaa
    I have this guitar and I love it... Very versatile, Very sturdy, perfect neckshape for medium/big hands. It's appearance is very chic,with a classy medieval kind of roughness. I have the White Darkstone for about 6 months now... Really a great guitar and that for 499.
    Duskmetal76
    I totally agree. Just because its made in China or Japan or Indonesia doesn't make it crap. And I know this first hand because I'm from America but have lived in China for most of my life and constantly visited Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, etc. I own 3 guitars all of which were built in Asia by companies like Jackson, Ibanez or ESP and they all work beautifully. I'm not saying that this guitar may be worth all the praise the reviewer has given, especially because I do believe that any next gen metal guitar should at least have a 24 fret neck. However just because its made in Asia gives no one the right to an elitist opinion that only American or other western products are superior.
    MonsterOfRock
    This guitar is the new Standard in heavy metal guitars. It was made in 2010 in China.
    Just no dude. The sad story of being a guitarist in Australia is that guitars are much more expensive than the US or UK (especially if you are buying from Allans/Billy Hyde). Having said that, you can import guitars like ESP Edwards from Japan and it'll cost the same as what the reviewer paid. There are countless Edwards models that blow this outta the water in the same price range.
    g13_honda
    These really are some nice guitars. They go at music at a completely different angle than the S and RG guitars. The neck is not of the super thin type, but some people don't like those super flat wizard necks(myself included). This is a beefier guitar, and when run through a quality tube amp gives out some beautiful resonant tones.
    EpiExplorer
    This guitar is the new Standard in heavy metal guitars
    You have balls, sadly people seem to be crushing them. Its nice looking, probably plays Ibanezzy ie, pretty damn well but will sound so-so and repetitive after a while. Just my hand in Ibanez.
    leftyace
    Actually, what currency is that anyways. AUD? There is a good chance I'm just plain retarted but this "A$" currency is new to me. If it is indeed AUD then you're saying you paid about $1000 USD for that.
    leftyace
    quick someone convert that price into USD because at first look it seems like you paid out your butt for a Chinese guitar.
    Footallica?
    dementiacaptain wrote: does anyone actually play those 24 frets enough to make a difference? further more, all of those same notes can be achieved on the next string except of course the 24th fret of the 1st E string. do you really need that?
    Yes. We do use 24 frets.
    ParasiticTwins
    not a fan of the inlays, would have prefered block colour as opposed to the whole two-tone thing... nice looking guitar otherwise, though.
    dementiacaptain
    does anyone actually play those 24 frets enough to make a difference? further more, all of those same notes can be achieved on the next string except of course the 24th fret of the 1st E string. do you really need that?
    EvoLancer211
    Yeah I'm going to say crappy, not because of the whole China thing, but in reality if it was the new guitar of metal...there would be at least 24 frets
    thedeaduk
    . . and before anyone starts, Ive not played this guitar, nor am I saying it definately does deserve 10's. Itjust annoys mne that many players dismiss something just because its made in China or wherever and doesnt have a big name on the headstock.
    coco-loco
    I love this. I've had it for just under 2 months now and it really is great. Highly recommended!!!