DT350 Destroyer review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 7 (20 votes)
Ibanez: DT350 Destroyer

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: Guitar Center Used Items

Sound — 6
Many players believe that more body mass conveys more tone, and I am such a player. The body is more resonant playing unplugged than strat-type bodies. But, you don't buy an electric guitar to play unplugged. When I bought this guitar, already 25 years old, it did not come with stock pickups. In fact, the pickups have no make or model on them, so I am hard-pressed to give you any specific details about them. The tone is like a PAF but with a but less output and a bit more twang. I won't get into the details of these pickups since they aren't stock. The pickups that should have come stock were Ibanez V-Blade pickups which I'm told are very hot. I'm sure there are plenty of online resources to look into those at your leisure. Personally, I intend to swap out my current configuration with a Duncan 59 and SH. The archaic Ibanez Rokr tremolo is a pain in the bum. The fine tuners are bulky thumb screws and I removed them so I can keep my palm on the Bridge unobstructed. Don't ever consider actually doing anything whammy related with the bridge. It's built like a tank, but it's as reliable as a drunk's judgement. Can't blame it though, it predates the Floyd Rose. Trial and error, ya know? The current Ibanez Edge 2 and 3 don't seem to get much public praise either.

Overall Impression — 8
I play mostly classic rock through heavy metal. This guitar is my jewel for those styles. Everything fits. I love the balance of the guitar, I like the gloss finish on the neck which remains slick during play (honestly can't explain that). I've played it through a Blackstar HT5, Marshall JCM2000, Marshall JCM800, Carvin X100B, Crate Voodoo 60, Marshall MG100, and Hughes & Kettner 30DFX and it sounds pretty good with the mysterious pickups the previous owner installed. I constantly Switch between the DT350 and my Carvin Bolt T when I practice and I love coming back to the DT350. In fact, the DT350 is leagues better than the more recent DT200 that I also had for a while. I prefer it to strats, explorers, V's (yes, Gibson). It's just my kind of guitar, and I'm profoundly upset that Ibanez discontinued them after 2 years of production, and now in it's place is [what I consider to be] the silly-looking Xiphos. I've recently commissioned a luthier to build a replica of the DT350 with a fixed Bridge and a 24 fret AANJ neck. Those were my only two real issues with the guitar, and I hope to build my favorite axe with my preferred features. This guitar is my kind of guitar, and I suppose to each their own, right?

Reliability & Durability — 10
I've gigged with this guitar. I love it like a sibling. It's made for gigging! It's a star shaped guitar- it's made to raise eyebrows and be a crowd pleaser! Would you expect any less from a guitar made in the 80s? The strap buttons are solid and I haven't had the electronics fail on me during any gigs. Like I mentioned above, 25 years and the finish is still in great shape with none of the scratches or dings penetrating the clearcoat. If I lost or broke this guitar, I would be profoundly distraught and try to get my hands on another one. I'm giving it a 10 because it's had 25 years to die or wear away and it promptly refused.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I got the guitar in pretty great condition considering it survived the 80s. Few dings, whatever. The paint is still entirely intact, which I think says something about the quality of the finish. The neck was straight as an arrow too, and the frets are still completely playable at every position. The binding is also entirely intact and not peeling from any point. They just don't make Ibanez now like they used to!

Features — 7
This Ibanez Destroyer star-shape was made in 1985 in Japan. It's basically a Destroyer with a triangle cut out from the butt-end. It's a bolt-on basswood solid body with black binding. The neck has 22 medium frets, and I suspect has the old X contour that Ibanez likes/liked to put on their DT/X series. I've seen the color in three varieties, dark green (the one I have), red, and black. It sports 2 humbuckers, 1 volume, 1 tone, and a 3-way toggle switch. The Bridge is an archaic Ibanez Pro Rokr that predates the Floyd Rose but tries to serve the same function, such as being a floating tremolo and having fine tuners. The nut is an archaic locking nut as well, a combination of a thin black (plastic?) nut followed by a sort of locking nut on the headstock that also serves as a string tree.

17 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I bought a red DT350 back in '87 from Bandland (Stockton On Tees). Awesome guitar - okay, the whammy bar is was not as good as those available a few years later, but was okay. Sound was great, and the looks, well they were 10/10. Replaced bridge pickup with a Seymour Duncan SH5 when the original V2 died! Survived many gigs. Sold it in '91 to pay Council Tax bill - biggest mistake ever. Wish I still had it.
    My awesome wife got me one off ebay in Dec '14. Metallic red, a few dings in the paint (some metallic red nail varnish fixed that!!). Got the frets skimmed and recrowned. Original p/u's. Sound is fantastic - took me back 25 years! Great low action, and the whammy is okay if you use it gently! And it is still as eye-catching in appearance now as it was in the 80's. It has once again become my main axe!!!
    This guitar was very common in the early days of death metal, with bands like Entombed and Dismember playing them. Really a great guitar, and very undervalued. I found one in really good condition with original pickups and case for 350USD a year ago.
    i have a black 1984 dt-350. still plays like a dream! thanks for the review, i've been looking everywhere for information on it.
    i never really liked any of the pointy rocket ship type guitars, just not my taste. this one however i like, you can see Dave Murray and Adrian Smith using them in old live Maiden footage, and i think on the Number of the Beast video. I liked when Ibanez was making Gibson and Fender replicas, before they got sued, they were so much more affordable guitars and sounded just as good as the guitars they were copying.
    J-dog-Ibanez wrote: Different for Ibanez to do,but I like it.Ibanez guitars sound awesome!
    More vintage than different, they still do radical shaped bodies
    JagerSlushy wrote: pvdimens wrote: This guitar was made in 1984. I feel like it deserves some credit. This, Jesus... And everyone else that seemingly hasn't seen a Destroyer before, check out the DT700. Much nicer, and IMO one of the best looking Ibby's out there.
    Older DT series guitars are really some of my favorite Ibanez guitars ever produced. I have a first run 1983 Ibanez DT-155, but those 250's and 350's are my favorite after the XV. For all people saying this guitar looks like an ML, that's true. They were built only 6 or so years apart. Regardless of that fact, they are still cool guitars.
    Amazing guitar! Guitarists all over the world are now trying to get their hands on these due to being built like a tank, a tank that throws sustain for days. The V-Blade pick ups were way ahead of their time. They give out a sound along the lines of the S.D. Dimebucker Blade but with slightly more treble sounding gain. Yours looks to be in great condition! You can see on the web that this guitar goes for $600,700,900 and nowhere near the condition of your guitar. You made a great buy! I found 1984 DT myself at $250, that is to be a re-build project as it had no tuners and it's finish is beat up bad but the electronics are in good shape, it's V-Blade pick ups are intact with a few cracks in them.I'll scrap that floating bridge because it's rusted in place as it was left in a attic. You think with all the extreme Temps that change with the season that the neck would take on the shape of Rollercoaster but no, it's strait as an aero. Guitars aren't built like that anymore! Hope you get years of service with your Star Destroyer!
    pvdimens wrote: This guitar was made in 1984. I feel like it deserves some credit.
    This, Jesus... And everyone else that seemingly hasn't seen a Destroyer before, check out the DT700. Much nicer, and IMO one of the best looking Ibby's out there.
    This guitar was made in 1984. I feel like it deserves some credit.
    looks like an ml, except with a shorter low-right horn. i 'd still go for the ml. looks like you pickup swap and floyd it and you're ready to go.