Price paid: $ 684.42
Purchased from: www.gak.co.uk
Sound — 8
As touched on before, the EMG pickups really enhance the sound which makes the EDR470EX a little different to, say, the S series. At the moment I'm on a basic little Fender Frontman but on larger amps on overdrive, or better yet with a decent pedal for overdrive, distortion or fuzz, the guitar is out of this world. A much rawer and rockier sound to the Strats and Teles, and in my opinion a wider breadth of tone than most of the equivalently priced Epiphones and PRS guitars. I usually play rock like Foo Fighters and some older stuff like AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, but the guitar's also excellent for most other styles, Ibanez being famous for making very versatile products. If I had one concern it would be that when playing clean, no matter what pick-up configuration you choose there seems to be a slight bias to the lower three strings, but apart from that it's highly commendable.
Overall Impression — 10
I was originally looking at the Ibanez S series and an entry level PRS after deciding that Strats weren't for me. However, the looks reeled me in to the EDR470EX. It's absolutely gorgeous, and the neck is very slick which is something I was looking for. The tone is perfect for people who want to hook up a Big Muff and go crazy with some power chords and a blistering solo, but it can handle pretty much anything else, from your easy-peasy punk to jazz. I've been playing electric guitar for a two or three years after about five years of classical, and this was my second guitar after a cheap and cheerful Squier Strat; if I was somehow separated from this guitar I'd buy exactly the same model, and definitely in the Jewel Blue because the green and black finishes are just awful. I do wish the bottom strap button was a little larger and made out of something slightly more substantial than the cheap little marshmellow it was supplied with. The EMGs are easily the best thing about the guitar as they add so much colour to the sound, but beware that if you drop the action too low your fingers will forever be colliding with the middle pick-up that's stubbornly sticking out from the body!
Reliability & Durability — 8
The guitar would definitely withstand a long set, the hardware is of top quality and the finish is absolutely brilliant, beautiful (Jewel Blue, seeing as you asked). Because of the sheer weight of the thing it forces dependabiltiy onto your sagging shoulders, and if you were the risk-taking sort then not bringing a backup shouldn't ever be a problem (of course, better safe than sorry no matter how perfect a guitar is, eh?). Must take a point off for those useless strap buttons though, they must have spent so much on the luthite that they had to melt down some lego to staple onto the end of the body. Snapped off in various bits over the course of my first month with the guitar, but quickly replaced. The top one's no bother really, with a little lock to stop it coming off.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
It was playable out of the box, but due to the various systems the strings are put through it needed a few tunings and retunings for it to be just right. Another slightly worry was that one of the pick ups can be 'wobbled' from side to side quite easily, and it's the one that protrudes the most. One screwdriver later and it was fixed, but that may just have been my guitar.
Features — 10
The solid luthite body gives the guitar some serious weight, but there are lots of more interesting features on this guitar. Ibanez seem to quietly tick along while Gibson and Fender trade off their names, and throws every concievable bit of technology at their pieces. 22 jumpo frets with locking tuners, extra adjusting bits at the bottom of the bridge and a vibrato system to make sure you can whammy to your heart's content without messing up your tuning. Naturally it comes with all the relevant tools, and after lowering the strings and a few re-tunings, it's ready for anything. The reason I picked this guitar over a few others, however, was the pickups used, awesome EMG humbuckers. There's only the 22 frets but the bend to 24 is easy enough and despite the look of the neck, it feels very flat and is very fast to use.