Price paid: $ 850
Purchased from: eBay
Features: This is a second edition DT155 from November 1984. A DT155 is basically a cheaper version of a DT555.
- Frets: 22 dot inlay.
- Body Woods: Basswood and Birch, Rosewood fingerboard.
- Finish: Black, yellow/cream binding.
- Bridge: Powerocker (a larger version of the Fender style).
- Pickups: 3 Passive Ibanez Super 70 humbuckers.
- Controls: Master Volume, Middle pickup volume, Tone. Ibanez Tek Grip knobs.
- Tuners: Ibanez Smooth Tuner II. // 9
Sound: I play hard rock with it; usually high-treble with squeals, harmonics and palm-mutes or classical-style acoustic as well as some rock 'n' roll and bluesy-chords. I play through a Peavey Rage 256 which sounds good enough for me. It has good sustain, the neck Super 70 can detect the high harmonics, but for me the bridge Super 70 does not quite sound very good when playing undistorted. The bridge pickup is also not too good distorted (for me at least) because it starts to sound like heavy metal and gets a bit muddy with the tone knob set to the rhythmic end. As for the middle pickup, it brightens the high trebles and gives the sound more body, although it does hide the harmonics as you turn up the volume of it. // 7
Action, Fit & Finish: I like the feel of the shape, whether I'm sitting down with it or standing. It seems sturdy, having survived since the 80's with only a couple minor scratches - I think the last owner was more of a collector. The action is not very good: I tend to pluck quite a bit and the three pickups leave very little space to do so. I sometimes scrape the bobbins or the fingerboard when doing pinch harmonics, but do note that I don't use a pick. I can adjust the action on a Fender style bridge easily, but on the Powerocker I don't think ther eis a way to - all screws seem to hold the tremolo either to the body or to the block - and I want to raise the action since it also buzzes on the higher frets.
Another issue is the back of the guitar - I have bumped it a few times on walls but still no new scratches, but my main concern is my funny-bone. It seems to be at the perfect angle and height to fit between my humerus and ulna (arm bones) and give me a large jolt which puts me out of action for a minute. A common complaint is that the strap buttons are in strange places - one is in the middle of backplate between the screws which hold the neck while the other is too low on the bottom. These make the guitar roll forwards (top-heavy) when you first put it on, but once it's on it stays on so I'm not too worried... Unless I have to lean forwards. // 6
Reliability & Durability: This guitar was built well and has all original parts. I do believe that it will hold up when playing live as long as there is nothing to bang it on. The only loose part is the pickup selector switch which just needs to be tightened. The strap buttons are good - V shaped - so I do think they will hold my strap securely, especially since it was hard enough getting the strap to fit on. The paint is quite thick and I cannot see the wood without taking off the back plates, but I can see the grain and where the body is made of 3 blocks of wood. // 10
Overall Impression: I would say it is a good match with the rock genres and it certainly looks better than an Explorer - better angles and no ugly curve on the tail end. I have been playing for around 5 years and am not limited to just Def Leppard (the reason I bought it), but I do feel it is a great guitar and would not swap the pickups since it has Super 70s. The prices vary greatly from around $400USD to $1500USD and is available in black or marineburst.
If it were stolen I believe I could get it back since it is not very common in my country (and because stolen items always appear on TradeMe), and I would buy another even if it wasn't stolen. I just wish it had locking nuts, a better tremolo system, gold hardware and block inlays, but that would make it a DT555. Seriously though, it would be better with locking nuts and a better bridge. Although it is the cheaper option, it is still made in Japan (not China, Korea or Indonesia). For its action and fit I had to mark her down, overall the guitar is the best out of all 9 of ours so I give it an 8/10. // 8