Purchased from: Dale Cleves Music
Features — 9
The EGEN8 was made in Japan in 2006, after Herman Li custom designed it and the EGEN18. The EGEN has 24 jumbo frets, Flamed Maple top/African Mahogany body, a beautiful rosewood fret board, Herman Li's custom KUNG-FU Grip at horn, an Edge III tremolo bridge (Herman Li Special), V7 (H) neck pickup (Passive/Ceramic), S1 (S) mid pickup (Passive/Alnico), V8 (H) bridge pickup (Passive/Alnico), Tone and volume knob, 9 diversely different pickup combinations, and beautifully aesthetic gold hardware. Many of the electronics are passive, and I myself was content with the sound the EGEN made upon first playing. However, the professional guitarist would make great use of the vast array of settings, to configure the EGEN8 to their own personal evil metal machine.
Sound — 9
The EGEN8 has a sound ability to allow the playing guitarist to effectively execute the most challenging and trying of technique. This guitar works best with a metal preset, but also performs extremely well with a clean or slightly distorted preset. This guitar can make alien noises, to which there are instructions on YouTube from Herman Li himself. My Fender Mustang I amplifier, works best with this guitar, although I'm sure the EGEN8 is suited more to a rack of a dozen amps. All in all, a beautiful sound.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
One issue I've often had with the EGEN8, and also in another Ibanez, is that the lead jack drops out if too much radical movement has been made. For one who regularly leaps around the stage, this has proved extremely problematic, as countering this can only be done so by twisting the jack until the sound returns. However, I don't believe this is due to the design, but more the handling before purchase.The pickups, however, are brilliant. The vast array of switches and settings, allow the guitar to be perfectly configured to the playing style, mainly by lifting or pushing the volume knob vertically, which changes the atmosphere of the playing indefinitely. The guitar, however, has no poor quality material or loose pegs. The greatest thing about the EGEN, in my opinion, is that it doesn't look like the thrashing metal machine it sounds like, but would also be appropriate to play at formal events.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Herman Li often throws his EGEN8 across the stage, bounces it off his thigh, and raises it to head-height by gripping the whammy bar. Due to these demonstrations of what the EGEN can really do, it's the most durable and reliable machine I've ever played, and never fails to deliver to high quality performance standard. Armed also with my G30 Line 6 wireless lead, the guitar is perfect for jumping around, due to it's lightweight feel, thin body design, and Wizard III neck, which allows strong grip.
Overall Impression — 10
I predominantly play power metal, especially DragonForce, but also Sabaton, Freedom Call, Sonata Arctica, Angra; the list goes on. The EGEN8, custom designed by Herman Li, is perfect for fast, heavy power metal, which he so perfectly executes on stage. Of all my nine guitars, the EGEN is my favourite, most played, and most cared for. I could never get tired of the beautiful maple and African wood body, Wizard III neck and gold hardware; Herman Li's signature model, the EGEN8, is a true product of extreme power metal, and should be used to play such ruthlessly.