Price paid: £ 230
Purchased from: Sound Control - Leicester
Features: Made in 2001 the body of this guitar is made of basswood in the traditional Destroyer shape, finished in candy-apple red with a rosewood fingerboard. All the usual 22 jumbo-frets, non-locking tuners and a slim neck which makes it very easy to play. Basic electronic setup, 2 knobs, one volume, one tone with a 3 way selector switch. I've had two EMG-81's installed on this guitar, because I hate the Standard Ibanez trash.
It rates a 9, I think you'd expect to make the changes I did on any low price modern guitar. // 9
Sound: I play all sorts of music on this guitar as it can pretty much cope with just about anything you throw at it... roch, metal or alternative music is what it's best at. The cleans were pretty unspectacular with the Standard Ibanez pups, but that was sorted with a pair of EMG's. For rock/metal it can genuinely mix it with the best, which is something I absolutely love about this guitar... great value. It's also very good for recording with, and makes next to no unwanted sound, even with the Standard pups. It's also got some pretty good sustain if you select the neck pickup, with or without replacing the pups. I rate this an 8, but only because the Standard pups are dire. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: The factory setup was ok. I altered the action slightly (it was a bit high straight out of the box) but the pups were fine. There were no flaws at all on this instrument, despite having been hung on a wall in a guitar shop for about 3 months with people regularly trying it out. However, recently (and I mean in the last few months) the tone knob has become noisy and faulty, so it needs replacing. Not bad considering I've gigged this guitar numerous times and had it from the beginning of my teens! This guitar is hardwaring, there's little to no rusty / oxidised hardware on the instrument and the only thing that really needs doing is the tone knob and a bit of a clean every now and again. Lots of my guitaring peers have had trouble with Ibanez jack inputs, but this baby has been perfect. It gets a 9, but only because I've never seen a 10. // 9
Reliability & Durability: This guitar deals spetacularly well with anything you throw at it. It's super light (perhaps a little too light in the body as the guitar leans a little towards the headstock when playing standing up) but its super strong too and is easily gigged. The strap buttons are solid, and the rest of the guitar is liek its made of iron. I have and would again gig this guitar without a backup. The hardware is great, 9 years without needing to replace anything (strings aside!!) is exceptional for the price paid. Full marks! // 10
Overall Impression: Generally, I've played metal, rock and alternative music with this guitar over the last 9 and it's spot on. It's mostly kept in drop C# which has never caused any problems. The other gear I own is a Marshall AVT150 Combo and effects such as a Boss ME50 and a DigiTech Whammy, which really suit this guitar. Muff distortion actually sounds brilliant. As far as other guitars go, I own a Fender Telecaster which I use mostly for chordal work and a Jackson JS22 which is purely used for metal. The greatest thing about this guitar is it fills in all those blanks in between the other guitars I own.
If it were stolen, I'd buy another at twice the price if I had to... providing that I could locate another. I understand that Ibanez only made these for about 2 years... so there aren't many around!
If you're looking for a spectacular, great value all rounder, you've got to try one of these. 9/10 overall! // 9