DN400 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 4
  • Reliability & Durability: 3
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 3
  • Features: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 4.6 Poor
  • Users' score: 5.4 (5 votes)
Ibanez: DN400

Purchased from: Kijiji

Sound — 7
I used this guitar for thrash metal. It is fairly warm and sounds big, great resonance and decent sustain. The AHB set was also quite warm, the neck was very close to an EMG 60, but sounds a bit more organic. Quite bassy and perfect for fluid thick leads. The bridge pickup is fairly tight, crunchy and thick and is pretty high output. Its like a beefed up 81, again imo a bit more natural sounding and has a sweeter voicing. I play through a Blackstar HT-5 Head into a Blackheart 112 w/ eminence speaker with a Bad Monkey Overdrive and Cry Baby Wah. Also a POD X3. I cannot comment on the stock pickups.

Overall Impression — 4
I've been playing for 6 years. I own an RG370DX, RG470 and RG8570 J-Custom. This is my third, and last Ibanez made in China. The quality control is terrible from the Chinese shop. It sounded decently because it was a gigantic peice of sapele that sounds quite like mahogany and believe it or not is a fair bit heavier. This is a very heavy guitar. Also attributed to the aftermarket pickups, but it sounded good acoustically as well. As mentioned this guitar has put me off of buying another Chinese Ibanez. If you are interested in buying one, check it out very thoroughly as I'm sure not all are this rough but I still cannot give it a good rating. At all.

Reliability & Durability — 3
I would never gig with this guitar. The fretwork is too bad to make that an option. The finish is very susceptible to damage. Pots were replaced, as was the output jack. Switch was solid enough, bridge kept tune better than most stock lower end tune-o-matics and the strap buttons are fairly small. Ibanez tuning machines were decently reliable.

Action, Fit & Finish — 3
Was traded for; used and modified. I set it up to my liking. A few finish flaws with this one. Since the 'aged plaster' is actually a '3d' finish it was very prone to chipping and flaking and a few chips and chunks came off very easily. The back of the neck and body was a flat black and light scratches became shiny. The neck was not sticky what'soever, very smooth. Fretwork was terrible. It fretted out on a few notes, very sharp edges and one fret was actually pitted.

Features — 6
2009 Ibanez DN400 AP, made in China. 22 medium frets, 24.75 scale on a bound rosewood board. All Sapele. Set neck and body. Neck is C shaped, fairly thick for an Ibanez. Maybe a bit thinner than an Epiphone Les Paul. Good access to the upper frets. Body is an overly thick superstrat shape with a fat ass and an iceman like 'teardrop' bottom. Humbucker sized single coils in chrome covers were replaced by a Seymore Duncan AHB-1 Blackout set. 1 tone, 1 vol, 3 way switch. Aged plaster finish. Tight Tune tune-o-matic bridge with bridge pin locks and stud locks.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Straight up and honest review on the chinese stuff here, kids. @StonedColdCrazy, You have a J-Custom & a 470, there's really no need for the Darkstone & the 370DX. Unless you want to hoard junk, you actually gig them, or they have sentimental value, I'd sell them, put the money into something else you've been itching for. That J-Custom is all I'd need, truly, and the 470 would merely be a backup when gigging.
    I sold the dn about a month ago, the 370 is in another tuning and kept for sentimental reasons.
    How is that unfair? It was still better than the guitar I traded for it. Korina Hamer explorer xt btw. Which i got in a trade for an epi lp standard. Shoulda kept the lp.
    StonedColdCrazy wrote: I sold the dn about a month ago, the 370 is in another tuning and kept for sentimental reasons.
    True dat! The 370DX isn't a bad guitar at all, pardon me if I came off as a J-snob. I've always believed it's good to have another guitar in an alternate tuning. Thank you for your review of the Darkstone! They're cool looking guitars, but as I suspected, the Chinese craftsmanship still isn't up to par with Indonesian or Korean standards. It's a shame a lot of the cool Ibanez guitars aren't made in Japan, I'd like to see them do something outside of RGs in Japan for a change, MIJ Iceman or Xiphos, even the Artist series. I'd like to see a little more shape variety in their ERGs, too, something outside of RGs that are MIJ. Doubt any of that'll happen, even their limited runs have started to become MII or MIC. I do have a keen interest in the RG2011SC and the SR7VII, real pain in the neck to find those, though. Lots of $$$$$, too. >_