DT120 Destroyer review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.4 (30 votes)
Ibanez: DT120 Destroyer

Price paid: $ 200

Purchased from: ebay.com

Sound — 6
I am currently running this through a Kustom Quad 100 DFX with a EXH Metal Muff with Top Boost and a DigiTech Bad Monkey OD. Stock Ibanez Pickups are never too much to write home about. The stock neck pu on my AFS75T Artcore is warm and bluesy, usually, and I have an RG7321 with a solid bridge pu, but you're usually lucky to get one good stock Ibanez pickup in a guitar. However, I must say, thse AH3 and AH4 pu's are a small cut above the IBZ's that they throw in most non-prestige Ibanezes these days. The neck pup is warm and round, but can still cut, and the bridge is sharp and defined. Sadly, the neck pu also soulds a little wooly and lacks definition, and the neck pu sounds thin on some amp/pedal settings. But with the bridge pu and the Metal Muff gently scooped w/top boost on 3 o'clock and distortion on noon running into the clean channel of the Quad, I get a wonderfully tight, focused, powerfull distortion that both cuts and punches. Frankly, this could just be the Muff, but I can't get nearly a tight metal/prog tone out of the bridge pu on the Artcore or my re-built Squire Strat. I plan on swapping the pu's, but the stock ones are fine for now. Good-ish for metal, prog, core, alright for more classic rock and blues, poor for jazz or country. (Although I'd love to see Brad Paisly slinging a sky-blue Destroyer) Ah, it's worth mentioning that the volume pot is more dynamic and useable than the stock pots on my other Ibanezes.

Overall Impression — 10
I like to play a pretty wide range of stuff, and I had been looking for something small, simple, and speedy. Alliteration aside, this guitar really fit the bill. Cool, remarkably comfey shape, great fret access, sleek neck, and Ibanez "working man" reliability and price. I sound like a sales rep. I like a soild guitar, and Ibanez has given me three. These are worth looking at if you can find them, they're out of production nowadays.

Reliability & Durability — 8
My Ibanezs have always held up well to travel and regular use. No reasons as of yet to think this one will be any different. The finish is thick and durable, the hardware is well set and of certainly useable quality. Nothing loose or cheep feeling. Only comment is a crackely tone pot, but it only crackles when turned. I believe this could be a quality of this kind of pot (like the pots is Zvex stompboxes) but it could just be a quality issue. Sounds good when you stop turning it, anyway.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Bought off ebay, so the factory setup is a thing of the past, especially since the strings on it are of a lighter gauge (8-38/42, I think) than Ibanez ships with, and the intonation and truss rod were probably adjusted accordingly. Regardless, the action is low and even from string to string, down the whole fretboard, and the neck is a smooth, shallow C shape that slides well, but is a touch too thin for comfortable bar chording, at least to my hands. Not exactly a bar chord machine, though. It has a few blemishes, but they all seem to be incured by the previous owner, rather than workmanship flaws, which I have detected none of. Well built. I will say that the body shape, while amazingly comfortable while sitting down, does have some headstock droop when playing with a strap, but not as much as the full size Destroyer or the Explorer it's "inspired" by.

Features — 8
This is a 2002 Ibanez DT120 Destroyer. Ibanez released this smaller, lighter, simpler version of it's '80s Explorer copy in 2001, to test the waters before they released a full-sized reissue of the origional Destroyer as the DT200. This guitar has a smaller Baswood body than the DT200 reissue, cream binding, X-profile bolt-on maple neck with 22 jumbo frets and a rosewood fretboard, stock Ibanez AH3 and AH4 humbuckers with 3 way swithing, 1 volume and one tone, tune-o-matic style bridge and stop tail piece. Simple config, with everything I was looking for in a fast little axe.

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i might consider the ibanez destroyer. i was thinking on going with another peavey, but an ibanez i wouldn't mind
    The DT-200's are huge, much like origional explorers. This guitar is more like an Gibson Explorer Pro; smaller and lighter. Check around ebay if you're interested in one, I've seen a few from time to time.
    does anyone else think the extra big cut out on some explorer style guitars like this particular destroyer and some dean z's is 'ugly' or 'unnatural' looking
    Wow, UG guys. You delete my entire comment because I placed a URL to the Ibanez webpage of the new Desstroyer? Sad, very sad.
    I have a Mellinium Destroyer (DTX-120) and I love it. I dropped a Dimebucker in it and the short scale plays awesome.I took 320 grit sandpaper to the back of the neck just to smooth it down a little and make it faster. As far as I know the 2001 releases were DT-420. They just released a new neck-through DT700 with 25.5" scale, 27 frets and DiMarzio active X pickups. Check it out here: http://ibanez.com/ElectricGuitars/model-...
    This guitar is also known as the Millenium Destroyer and is used by several great stars. I got one of these guys myself and i'm using it with some cheap distortion pedal and a Peavey Bandit 112, i'm more than happy with it and its real fun to play. stars that have been using this guy is (as far as i know): Paul Gilbert (Racer X, Mr. Big), Matt Bellamy (Muse), Richie Stotts (Plasmatics, King Flux), Tommy Bolin (The James Gang, Deep Purple, et al), and Robert Leroy Mothersbaugh (DEVO) have played various Destroyer models throughout their careers.
    Ozzy 104
    Looks like an awesome guitar, plus Irom Maiden used these in the early days , which makes it beyond cool!!
    Once you get accustomed to it, a Destroyer is one of the best playing guitars ever. An old buddy used to have a post lawsuit model that was one of the first ones made like that. It was a beauty.
    My destroyer fell apart after 3 years. One of the pickups fell into the guitar and the jack socket fell into the body. It was repaired, but still I've never had that before.
    I have a DT200, besides the fact that it's huge it's a very nice guitar to play. The neck is wonderfully playable and the sound is very rich and full. Some of Ibanez's finest work
    Ive seen DT-200's and there huge. i dont think they make either anymore. Kinda stinks, as it seems like a good alternative to the Epi explorers and the ESP explorers.
    djmay71 wrote: i might consider the ibanez destroyer. i was thinking on going with another peavey, but an ibanez i wouldn't mind
    same thing happend on my ibanez prestige
    i got an ibanez destroyer, made in japan. it rocks!!!!! and it out-rocks nearly all the guitars out there. seriously. ive had people play it and offer me cash there and then! so thats saying something. i have tried guitars out there. and i have a small collection. i need the heaviest of sounds and a guitar that screams leads.....upto date this baby comes the closest. amazingly comfortable play. i bought mine 2nd in london. its falling apart, and i dont blame the poor guy- hes been thru hell and back several times.
    i have a 7420... the stock pickups are brilliant i also have a gsa370 the stock pickups are great too...