EGEN18 Herman Li Signature review by Ibanez

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.2 (146 votes)
Ibanez: EGEN18 Herman Li Signature
7

Price paid: $ 2865

Purchased from: Ibanez.com

Sound — 10
I play Metal, Melodic Death and Power Metal quite frequently and this monster of a guitar suits it perfectly. I haven't had one bit of feedback, sour note, untuned string (Unless I configure the tuning pegs of course) or a single problem doing harmonics/tapping. I use this guitar with a Bogner: metropolis 12X20 60W amp and a Danelectro: Black Coffee Metal Distortion pedal and it screams Loud and strong. Definatly the "Devon" of all Guitars.

Overall Impression — 10
This, Shocks people. This, comforts people. This, Needs to be played. I've played for 10 1/2 years and I've never played a guitar as well produced as this. Ibanez have created pure gold. I wouldn't replace this even if you paid me double I paid for the guitar. It bonds to you. I love everything about it and now, it is my child.
Go, buy it now. You owe it to yourself.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I hope this guitar would be able to withstand playing Live. Seeing as it's designed for it. Everything seems like it'll last at least a lifespan if treated properly.
The strap buttons simply do NOT come out. I tried to install Dunlop strap buttons but it was a no go. I suppose this could be a good thing on stage, but bad if you're trying to install new strap buttons. I would infact bring this to a gig without a backup. I'd actually encourage it to any other guitar. Like metal/Shred? Buy this guitar.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
This is probably the only problem I've had with this guitar, when I got it, the action was way too high. Everything else was perfect. Pickups were designed to match herman Li's playing style, which we all know is flawless. However, There are few things I would change on this guitar. Like painting the neck purple, scalloping 12 - 24 instead of just 21 - 24 and give it a killswitch. The finish was perfect. The Bridge is amazing and the guitar has virtually no flaws what-so-ever. Some places you can improve, but no flaws.

Features — 10
The Ibanez E-Gen - Herman Li's signature model (Released in 2008) happens to be the smoothest guitar I've ever played. From the 24 fret, walnut neck to the Brand New "Edge Zero" tremolo system, This guitar will NOT let you down. This badass guitar features gold hardware, DiMarzio - Herman Li signature pickups, A Mahogany body, Kung-Fu grip on the upper horn and a lower cut bottom horn to get at the higher frets simpler. That's right, breathe. The Coil-tapped pickups with the volume pot did it for me. It makes playing smooth and well produced for sweeping, shredding, Alt picking and tremolo picking. The Finish on the guitar is beautiful. Transparent Violet Flame with Flamed maple top matches well with the new Ibanez Prestige, Oval-Inlayed Neck. Which is thinner then a Wizard II. Perfect for the modern Day Shredder.

47 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Crazybudget
    looks good, although on the websites the price 1500 , what currency did you pay in the 9 pick-up obtions is very cool and the fact that both him and sam tottmans signature models dont have their names or signatures anywhere on it, so you dont have to feel like a Tool if you should buy one
    Crazybudget
    "herman Li's playing style, which we all know is flawless" i just had to lol at that i am a big fan of dragonforce and i do think herman li (aswell as sam tottman) are very good good guitarists but they do make mistakes, not as much as everyone beleives(seen them 3 times) but ocasionally like many other guitarists..
    Multiplayerjon
    lol The kung Fu Grip thing on the Top Horn I want it so bad... Needs new colors though if you only know through the fire and the flames... shut up saying it's the best song... you haven't listened to Operation: Stomp and Pound Anywho... Asian People are crazy... Li's one of them
    jakewynnrocks
    ShamiqSevenfold wrote: oh,that.is.sexy
    so freaking true. too bad im poor.
    Multiplayerjon wrote: lol The kung Fu Grip thing on the Top Horn I want it so bad... Needs new colors though if you only know through the fire and the flames... shut up saying it's the best song... you haven't listened to Operation: Stomp and Pound Anywho... Asian People are crazy... Li's one of them
    its ground and pound, not stomp. oh, well, it still rocks.
    darthwong
    i feel soo lucky to be getting this guitar
    2guitargod4 wrote: omg im getting this soon! cant wait . soz this may sound stupid but can anyone tell me what action means. in the part where he says, action, fit and finish??
    action refers to a few things but he is refering to the height of the strings above the fretboard, i think. plz correct me if i'm wrong.
    Arcenicum wrote: Blagworth08 wrote: Considering everything Herman Li does with this guitar the durability MUSTbe good, he picks it up by the whammy and rags it about and throws it up in the air by the whammy bar, What other guitar wud allow you to do this? If only Herman Li could play ON a guitar as he can play WITH a guitar... Seriously, Dragonforce makes total emotionless musical-metal which is so fast they can't even play it live. They can only play it in parts and with a lot og luck in a studio, these bits they edit into one solo.
    you don't have proof for that your just asuming it. i went to see them live, they hardly missed a note it was an awesome gig. admittedly, in the past, they haven't been up to scratch live, but in the last year or two they have got much better. no joke. see them live you will be surprised.
    BFun
    I gotta hand it to Herman, this guitar looks sweet, even though im quite over Dragonforce. I really like the idea of the S body with 24 frets, and the gold hardware looks awesome.
    padgea7x
    i thought it was scallopped- cant spell from 20 - 24 great guitar but i'll never be able to afford it now im only 14 but herman and ibanez have done great
    Mahoru
    I don't like Dragonforce at all, but I have to agree that this guitar looks great. In fact, Herman Li has a really good taste on gear. It's a shame he can't use it to its full...
    Blagworth08
    Considering everything Herman Li does with this guitar the durability MUST be good, he picks it up by the whammy and rags it about and throws it up in the air by the whammy bar, What other guitar wud allow you to do this? I wish i had the money to pay for this guitar
    Loves2Shred95
    This guitar is sooo sexy... I`ve got a used tin and labelled it "EGEN18 MONEY, DO NOT OPEN UNTIL 2010" Thats the prob with signatures... Ohh well, only 63072000 seconds away....
    Sammy_C
    My only question for you is How is the sustain? Because that would be the main reason I'd by this over an S5470. I really like the Purple and Gold combination of the paint and hardware. I'm not the biggest fan of Dragonforce or Herman Li but I still respect them for being able to play 16 notes for over 7mins without stopping. Mr. Li did a very good job on this guitar. I just wish I could get my hands on one at a store so I can test it out myself.
    2guitargod4
    omg im getting this soon! cant wait . soz this may sound stupid but can anyone tell me what action means. in the part where he says, action , fit and finish??
    Wingate
    I want an egen/jem hybrid, lol. The JEM gutiars are beatiful and I feel would be perfect, but the egen's pickup selecting system is amazing and so is the edge zero. So I want a JEM with evo pickups (set up like the egen's) and an edge zero trem. Then I'd be happy. :]
    CigarKid
    I just bought this guitar last week. It plays and sounds great! My only beef with it is the Middle Pickup. It sits Too High. I read the description on the Ibanez website that Herman Li says that he made this guitar with the middle pickup that suppose to sit Extra Low inside the body. But it is a little over 1/4 of an inch above the flat of the body of the guitar. The pickup gets in the way of playing\picking. I tried to lower it by trying to turn the screws to lower it but the screws won't turn in the direction to lower it any more than it is already set. What's Up With That?
    CigarKid
    Ok, I guess I can answer my own question now. About 2 weeks ago, I bought a new old stock 2008 Herman Li from Daddys Music in Salem NH. I originally wanted the Jem 7V but bought this instead since they didn't have the Jem and let me play the Egen18. I loved it, I have been playing an RG 550 for the past 3 years and this was a much smaller body. It had a really nice Blues\Jazz\Metal type sound to it by switching the pickup selector switch. The action was very smooth and buzzed very little at the very low setting I like to play at. My only real beef with it was the middle pickup. It kept getting in the way of my picking. I tried lowering it but it was already as low as it would go. I don't quite understand it because I thought Herman Li had this guitar made to eliminate this problem by having it set lower into the body, but the pickup was a little over 1\4 of an inch above the flat of the guitar body. The Salem Daddys store that I purchased it from did not have the tremolo bar in the case with it and they said they would order it from Ibanez. After about 2 weeks later, still no tremolo bar. I never tried the Edge Zero tremolo bridge before and the store only gives you 15 days to return a new guitar for the full refund. I only had 1 day left and I didn't want to be stuck with a $2150 guitar that I wasn't happy with so I made some calls to other Daddys stores and finally found a new Jem 7V for sale in Manchester NH. I asked if I would be able to return it there for the Jem if I liked it more and they said "NP" I now had the great opportunity to compare the 2 guitars side to side. In my opinion, the Jem was a cleaner sounding guitar with slightly more sustain. The feel of the bending was not as smooth compared to the Egen's jumbo frets, but I got use to it in about 3 minutes. The edge pro bridge was fantastic and had just the right bending feel. (again, I still had no way of trying the edge zero bridge as they didn't have a bar that would fit it either). The neck on the Jem felt a little thinner than the Egen. There was a lot of fret buzzing on the Jem compared to the Egen, but they said they could send it out to fix that problem. I then hooked up a "Satrinator Distortion pedal to the Jem and it sounded UNREAL... so I know I could still have that nice hard metal sound out of it. I guess the final decision was which guitar can I rely on more. The Jem has proven itself to be an outstanding guitar where as the Egen is still in the unknown area. Resale was another thought in my mind, which guitar will be easier to sell if I (hopefully not) ever have to sell it. I heard a rumor that the Egen18 will not be made in 2010. What will that do to the value? I guess my final opinion on these 2 guitars is this: If you want one of these guitars for Heavy Metal. I think I would go with the Egen18. If you want it for playing stuff like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Dave Gilmore, then I think your better off with the Jem. But these are just my opinions. I have been playing guitar for 36 years now and have owned many different guitars, but I have only played religiously for the last 3 years. I play by ear and only play lead guitar and the basic bar chords. I can play lead to almost anything as long as I feel and enjoy the music. Of course I'm no Satriani or Vai, but I just love playing to whatever I hear and enjoy. I recommend you try both guitars before you make your own decision.
    Arcenicum
    Blagworth08 wrote: Considering everything Herman Li does with this guitar the durability MUSTbe good, he picks it up by the whammy and rags it about and throws it up in the air by the whammy bar, What other guitar wud allow you to do this?
    If only Herman Li could play ON a guitar as he can play WITH a guitar... Seriously, Dragonforce makes total emotionless musical-metal which is so fast they can't even play it live. They can only play it in parts and with a lot og luck in a studio, these bits they edit into one solo.
    the.spine.surfs
    M13M wrote:but its gonna be worth it especially since its a signature model..
    That's terribble logic.
    williamgag
    I think that it's an expensive guitar but it worth it !!!!! IMAGINE this guitar is the best guitar i've ever played on and it's 2000$, for a LES PAUL you have to pay like 3000$ and it's so much limited !!
    Jetlec
    Im getting 1 aswel, I tried both the egen18 and JEM77V/JEM7V since i wasnt sure wich would be better. Wel the both are awsome and sound great,,, this is where preference comes in. (the EGEN18 bridge is way better tho) And since im used to playing on a JS1200 the EGEN18 felt more natural to me since its thinner and smoother where the JEM feels more bulky and edgy. To those who have doubts if its worth the monney: It is.
    2guitargod4
    god this guitar is amazing and it feels sooooo good, i dont agree with CigarKid that the JEM is better than the EGEN for satriani and vai stuff, the EGEN sounds beautiful when playing that stuff, and you can the best tender surrender sound, maybe not as good as the JEM for vai stuff but definetely not worse either.
    2guitargod4
    Ignore the last one.
    If you want one of these guitars for Heavy Metal. I think I would go with the Egen18. If you want it for playing stuff like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Dave Gilmore, then I think your better off with the Jem.
    i dont agree with CigarKid that the JEM is better than the EGEN for satriani and vai stuff, the EGEN sounds beautiful when playing that stuff, and you can the best tender surrender sound, maybe not as good as the JEM for vai stuff but definetely not worse either.
    BlisteringDDj
    M13M wrote: Dude the guitars freaking awesome but you have to have that much extra cash too....but its gonna be worth it especially since its a signature model..
    Haha, I will never buy it because of that... Why would I want Herman Li's signature model? Would have been nice if the made similar without the monkey grip thing though.
    bowen
    I'd wanna try it out, to see if it's anything like the JEM, with an S shape of course. But I most likely wouldn't buy it, I'll stick to my 7's
    M13M
    Dude the guitars freaking awesome but you have to have that much extra cash too....but its gonna be worth it especially since its a signature model..
    J.J.G.
    is that a bird?is that a plane?...no is herman's whammy bar during the intro of "trough fire and flames"!! this guitar IS Surelly outstanding!!!
    Seth Shadows
    Crazybudget wrote: looks good, although on the websites the price 1500 , what currency did you pay in
    Canadian Dollars (CAD)
    wawai
    i love this guitar but its a bit too expensive,but this guitar is sick!i love the scalloped frets and the gold hardware.man im drooling
    |Marco|
    Probably one of the best guitars Ibanez has made. About the neck, I thought it was the standard Wizard II, how much thinner is it than the Wizard?
    Tubyboulin
    if i Had 3 Grand to blow on a Guitar, Itd be a hell of a Choice between this and a JEM. Looks really great. i dont know why Sams model has such crappy specs tho :p: its got an Edge III And otherwise its pretty much stock other than pups.
    mason092
    I don't really like Herman Li or Dragonforce because they play too many random notes in one second, but that guitar looks nice.
    Shinozoku
    If people want a 24 fret Sabre without the huge price tag, Ibanez also makes the S5470 Prestige, which i s only $1300 US Also, great review, and gorgeous guitar
    Seth Shadows
    Crazybudget wrote: "herman Li's playing style, which we all know is flawless" i just had to lol at that i am a big fan of dragonforce and i do think herman li (aswell as sam tottman) are very good good guitarists but they do make mistakes, not as much as everyone beleives(seen them 3 times) but ocasionally like many other guitarists..
    You note sarcasm so well.
    bowen wrote: I'd wanna try it out, to see if it's anything like the JEM, with an S shape of course. But I most likely wouldn't buy it, I'll stick to my 7's
    It's actually quite like Steve Vai's custom Jem. Ripping off the monkey grip and all.
    Jetlec
    I can back that up, i got my Egen18 and i play satriani/neil zaza stuff and it sounds unbelieveble. The egen18 might have been created for schredding but its a true 10 when it comes to clean stuff aswel.