EGEN8 Herman Li Signature Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 10/03/2015 category: Electric Guitars
Ibanez: EGEN8 Herman Li Signature
Obviously this guitar has been designed as a cheaper version of Herman Li's signature EGEN18 and is therefore suited to metal and shredding and it does both quite well for the price.
 Sound: 8
 Overall Impression: 9.7
 Reliability & Durability: 8.3
 Action, Fit & Finish: 6
 Features: 8.3
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (3) pictures (3) 26 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 7.6
EGEN8 Herman Li Signature Reviewed by: shreddinater, on july 13, 2012
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 1200

Purchased from: Music Spot

Features: Bought this guitar a year ago, It is a mahogany body/flamed maple top and Ibanez calls the colour Platinum Blonde. I originally wanted the EGEN18 but at $4000AUD I think your paying for Herman's name a bit and Herman is not the coolest name, lol. The 3 piece maple neck is almost the same as a 5 piece wizard in feel as I have a Ibanez 5470TKS to compare it to. It has 24 frets and the Edge 3 tremolo and all hardware are plated gold. It has 2 humbuckers and a single coil pickup. // 8

Sound: Obviously this guitar has been designed as a cheaper version of Herman Li's signature EGEN18 and is therefore suited to metal and shredding and it does both quite well for the price. I did some research and was aware that it does not come with scalloped frets or the Edge Zero tremolo but as a bit of a guitar tech and a engineering tradesperson I thought I may be able to do some mods later. I felt that at the price if it all went horribly wrong, well no biggy. I actually prefer the stock pickups of the EGEN8 to my S5470 for metal. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: When I got the EGEN8 home, first thing I did was put on the strings I always use, and set her up with Elixir Nanoweb .009 to 042's. I use Elixirs because if your using multiple guitars the choice is a no brainer. Set-up was a little higher from the shop but still quite good. What was definitely wrong was if you tuned her up then pushed the bar down and checked the tuning then pulled the bar back then checked the tuning there was a difference of almost a semitone. I new the Edge 3 wasn't the best tremolo going around but I didn't expect this. I found that the tremolo was rubbing on some foam rubber inside the cavity and also that the locking nut screws that fasten the nut to the neck were loose. These screws were straight into the wood of the neck and not into inserts like I would expect in a guitar of this price. I trimmed the rubber and tightened the nut and set the top dead center of the tremolo and that helped a little but still no where good enough. I was thinking of taking it back to the shop but in the end I did a major modification and routered the spring cavity flat and installed a ESP Arming Adjuster. This was no easy task due to the guitar being so thin and no wood to anchor the tremolo stabilizer to. So I had to attach the tremolo stabilizer to a stainless steel plate with the correct screw holes to line up for the wood between the pickup cavities. Now it is all done it never goes out of tune and the tremolo action is only slightly stiffer than my S5470TKS. Now the EGEN8 is an awesome guitar. If you want photos and a detailed instruction list I am sure I can arrange something. Certainly not a job for the faint hearted. Keep in mind I have set-up dozens of different tremolo systems in the last 20 years. // 5

Reliability & Durability: Now I have done the mod I would feel safe to gig with this guitar but before it was useless without locking the bridge. No fun in that. I don't know if I was just plain unlucky but definitely look around on the net and see if other guitarist have had a problem with the Ibanez Edge 3 before making a purchase of any guitar with this tremolo. // 8

Overall Impression: I am going to rate this section on how the guitar is now due to the fact that you can't just give up on things. It is amazing how many guitars I have worked on that were unplayable when I first played them but after being set-up and a little bit of TLC their owners couldn't keep their hands of them. My EGEN8 is now a beast. // 9

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overall: 8
EGEN8 Herman Li Signature Reviewed by: ScacchoMattho, on june 14, 2013
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 500

Purchased from: Private

Features: This guitar came in my hands through a friend. He had to earn some money and wanted to sell his best baby. This guitar, used only 2 years and in perfect conditions, has a flamed maple solid-top, 2-pieces Mahogany body, Rosewood fingerboard, Edge III Floyd Rose golden bridge that, in theory, would keep the tuning, locking tuners, Abalone Oval inlays, 24 Jumbo frets with the 22, 23 and 24 scalloped, Wizard II 3-pieces Neck. It is made in Japan, Pickup configuraiton H-S-H and mounts: - Ibanez V7(H) (Neck) - Ibanez S1(S) (Middle) - Ibanez V8(H) (Bridge) EGEN-8 has volume control, tone control, 5-way selector, splittable PUs. Good materials, good looking, bad PUs. // 8

Sound: The mahogany gives brightness to the sound but get cutted from the fingerboard. The 2-pieces body erases any noise. The final sound is a bit darker then expected (maybe because of the set-up), the body amplifies effectively most of the harmonics but looses (not so much) in high frequencies. Turned on my Fender 212-R in clean channel with basses to 3, middle to 3 and high to 5 and no reverb the guitar sounded not so much nasal like most of Ibanez (maybe because of equalization). The response was quite good: the basses were tasty and high not bad at all. I tried the middle-neck position and a few of reverb with Genesis' "Horizons" and the return was quite good for an Ibanez. I switched on the Drive channel with the gain to 6 and I can say that this baby is absolutely noisy. I had to put the tone lower. The sound with the Drive is rough, powerfull, and aggressive with the bridge pickup. This pickup has a bit too much basses frequencies but sounds good for metal. The crunch is good too and lowering the gain and the tone I brought out a perfect jazz sound. Soloing is easy thanks to the wizard II neck that has never let me down. The series pickups aren't the best but for what they cost they do their work quite well. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: We all know Ibanez. They send almost perfect instruments for the newbie but in reality they need some adjustments. First of all I had to act on the Thrust rod because the chords were touching the neck while playing. The action, like most shredding guitar is really really low so some errors building it could exist, also it was used for 2 years so. Anyway I changed the PUs and founded the usual problem with Ibanez electronics: they're very confusing. I had loose most of my time moving cables than changing stuffs. // 6

Reliability & Durability: I used this as main guitar for an year almost, also in live it never let me down (almost). Yes if bad accorded the floyd rose gives you only problems but this guitar is thin, light, easy-playing, bears 2 hours of live, it's solid and what else you want. The hardwere gives a sensation on fragility but looks like they can bear some hit on stage and at home. I absolutely depend on it, I uses only this guitar and always I will, promess. The strap buttons are absolutely solid. Even if I change tuning to a drop B they always keep their position. // 9

Overall Impression: In the end I can say that this is the guitar for me, you know what I mean. I play almost Progressive Metal, but also Pop/Rock and Blues sometimes. I changed the PUs with an Alnico Pro AH1-N (non Slash signature) to the neck and an Invader to the bridge making this guitar the darkest, powerful, hungry, diabolic death machine you'll ever hear. Obviously if Heidi (it's name) would be stolen I would kill myself or, rather, I would buy another one. So, the bad thing of this instrument is the bridge if you cannot use it well, the set-up from the factory, the inlays (I changed them with some arabesque in nacre). // 10

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overall: 8.6
EGEN8 Herman Li Signature Reviewed by: PatrickTabs, on october 03, 2015
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Dale Cleves Music

Features: 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. // 9

Sound: 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. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 7

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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