Price paid: $ 195.3
Purchased from: EMI
Sound — 10
The sound of this guitar totally blew me away. I had played on some Gibsons, Fenders and Mavericks before, but I never expected to find something that'd come even close to their sound for this price. I was out shopping for a nice guitar to replace my Strat copy (too cheap Stagg thing), and I had played many a guitar that day, including many midrange products of Ibanez, Cort and Epiphone. I tested them all on the same Vox AD15VT amp, and this thing just sounded so much better than anything I'd played on that day. It has both a very nice, warm, clean sound, as well as that genuine "guitar from hell" metal sound, and with some tweaking on your amp, it can basicly be used to play anything (though I have no clue what this thing would make of slide blues). I myself like to play punk, metal, some blues and old-school stuff (70s and earlier) and it really suits me, expecially when combined with the Vox AD15VT amp I bought with it. The humbuckers are noiseless, and I mean completely, the singlecoil is a little noisey, but they're supposed to be, besides, the noise quickly vanishes once you begin playing. So far I have tested this thing with a Wah, Phaser, Flanger, Compressor and Chorus and it preforms up to my expectations. Long story short: I think it'd be very hard if not impoissible to find anything in this price range that will sound as good as this guitar.
Overall Impression — 9
As stated above I play punk, metal, some blues and old-school stuff, and it suits me. I have been playing for almost a year now, so I am not quite the expert yet. Besides this guitar I own a Vox AD15VT, Peavey Rage 158 and a Stagg Strat copy (crappy). If this guitar were stolen/lost, I'd really hate the guy Who stole it, or myself for losing it, because I am quite certain I will have a very hard time finding another one for the price I payed for it. I would still buy another one, cause even for the usual retail price this thing rocks.
Reliability & Durability — 8
The guitar feels pretty darn solid, even though the neck is of the thinner variation of thin. I wouldn't hesitate to gig this guitar if I'd have to, and since I have no backup, I think you know what I am trying to say. Both the hardware and body come across as really solid, and I expect it to last quite some time, same goes for the fninish, it too looks really sturdy.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Guitar set-up was horrible, but what'd you expect? I mean for the money I payed for this guitar, I wouldn't have expected it to be set up. Guitar contained no flaws other then a missing strapholder.
Features — 9
Made somewhere in Japan in 2002. Neck with a rosewood fingerboard, which features 22 jumbo frets. Body (Strat-style) made out of agathis, though the sustain would make you swear it was basswood. The neck has a nice satin finish, the body has a nice metallic finish, which makes it look great. Bridge is features a non-locking floating tremolo. H/S/H pickup configurations, pickups are Ibanez's own Powersound pickups. Came with noting more then was needed, a cable and some tools to adjust the guitar.