Price paid: $ 603.9
Purchased from: GAK
Sound — 10
I mostly play metal, whether it be thrash, industrial, etc. This guitar handles metal very well, and with the shape it looks right too. the stock pickups are of surprising quality and are very quiet, until you strike a powerchord, then it growls. The tone is greatly improved by the solid mahogany body, giving it a deep warm sound, with comes through even more on a clean channel, where it really purrs. It basically fits well into any style of rock or metal music, it even handles blues quite well. The only limitation is the body which keeps it firmly in the metal variety.
Overall Impression — 10
This is my perfect guitar. My plan is to eventually have another one in black, which has now been discontinued and was my first choice. I'd also like to replace the pickups with Seymour Duncan JB/Jazz set, but when the stock are that good, would it be a waste of money? I'd definetly buy it again. Who is this suited for? People like me for starters, who were inspired to pickup a guitar by james hetfield, and who now know that an Explorer is their weapon of choice, but don't have the funds to afford an ESP or Gibson. This will do my friend, till the day we can all afford custom Explorers. In fact the thing that I loved most about this guitar was the fact that it reminded me of Hetfield's Ken Lawrence custom Explorer.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I believe this guitar to be very reliable and hardwearing. It keeps tune well and the body finish is tough. Strap buttons are solid although I'd recommend strap locks any way, having had a few near misses myself. Hardware is very secure, especially the tuners, which seem to be a speciality at Ibanez. This is a guitar made for the live circuit, no mistake.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Set up from the factory was fantastic, which surprised me. Pickups were adjusted. No blemishes on the guitar. Poly coating on guitar appears thick, as I have knocked it many a time and never scratched it, apart from a mysterious scratched on the front of the headstock, which was probably more down to it being transported roughly. Only major flaw, input jack socket often comes loose and the outer nut can become very loose. This however can be remedied by removing the socket cover and tightening both nuts either side of the input jack plate with a wrench. Sorted.
Features — 9
The Destroyer follows the traditional Explorer set up of HardTail bridge and double humbuckers. Although this model is produced in Korea it's workmanship is next to none. it has a lush hard maple neck and 22 fret rosewood fretboard. The body is made of solid mahogany and finish I chose was a very striking wood effect/'Vintage Amber' it has 2 volume, 1 tone, 3-way selector, pretty straight forward. The tuners are fantastic, I play .11 gauge strings and they hardly ever lose tuning stability. Guitar features a rounded heel and has a deeper cutaway than a traditional Explorer, allowing for extremely good access, on a par with a Strat. That's good! The pickups are stock, passive Infinity pickups. It came fitted with D'Addario strings and a free hardcase, which is huge and bloody heavy.