GART50QA review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 3
  • Overall Impression: 3
  • Reliability & Durability: 2
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 2
  • Features: 3
  • Reviewer's score: 2.6 Junky
  • Users' score: 3.7 (6 votes)
Ibanez: GART50QA

Price paid: $ 250

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 3
I generally play Hard Rock/Metal (A7X, BFMV, Metallica) and I figured that these humbuckers would do the job from hearing such good reviews from other Ibanez guitars. This guitar does not work well with my style of music at all, or any. It seems to have the same tone no matter what amp you play it through. It can't handle much distortion without getting noisy feedback. Also the pickups are a pain to get harmonics with, usually dulling it out. My $125 ESP LTD EC-100 gets much better sound than this, and it's also cheapy.

Overall Impression — 3
I've been playing guitar for over 8 years now, and owned more guitars than that. So far this has been the worst electric guitar I've ever owned. If it were stolen I would be relieved to be rid of it cause no one will buy it from me. Like I said before, it's pretty much a GART30 with a different finish, and God knows how many bad reviews it's got on this site. Now if it had better hardware and real quilt top then I would probably love it, but it sounds worse than my first guitar, a used Squier Affinity Strat. It still has held up through 8 years of abuse from me and more from my brother who owned it before me, and the friend he bought it from, so about 10/12 years of use. If anyone wants to buy a guitar for the amount I payed for, buy an Epiphone Les Paul Special or a ESP LTD EC-200QM instead, don't make the mistake I did buying this guitar.

Reliability & Durability — 2
I've had this guitar for almost a year, and the internals are already shot. The sound keeps cutting out and it doesn't properly switch over to the neck pickup. I would never use this guitar on stage, even as a backup. The strap buttons are probably the only really good things about this guitar, never had a strap come off once. The finish is already fading and easily scratches, it just wasn't built to last.

Action, Fit & Finish — 2
When I got it, I had to do the usual set up for fret buzzing (most of my guitars come that way though) and the bridge needed some serious adjusting. I got it new, but there were some flaws in the finish, faded spots and a crack in the laquer near the toggle switch, a chip in the 1st string position of the nut, and a loose tone knob.

Features — 3
The Ibanez GART50QA is pretty much the same thing as the GART30, except for the fake "Quilt Top Grain Art". It has a Basswood body, bolt on maple neck, 22 fret rosewood fretboard, Les Paul style body without the arched top (kinda like the Epiphone Les Paul Special II), a Strat styled string-thru body bridge, and some cheapy humbuckers. The tuners are basic chrome that do not like to stay in tune, especially in drop B/C.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    so people are butthurt because he's the only person who doesn't give 10s too a cheap guitar? smh
    To be honest, if you're using the same strings for drop B as you are for standard then no wonder it is not staying in tune! I try to avoid changing tunings on guitars if at all possible because really you need a guitar that is set up for that tuning with the right strings, neck tension, intonation etc...
    Sounds like you didnt test the guitar before you bought it, because this review makes it sound like shit from the very beginning and you could have returned it if you werent happy with it.
    I just picked up one of these for $130 (including tax, a gig bag, cheap strap, picks, and a cable)at my local used gear store, Atomic Music, as a starter guitar for my nephew. I didn't know anything about this model when I walked in the shop, but the quality of the build appeared good, it played well, and the sound was OK on the cheap amp I also picked up. If I'd seen all of the harsh reviews for the various Gio guitars ahead of time, I never would have bought it. However, after getting it home, putting some Ernie Ball strings on it and adjusting the intonation, I'm very pleased with my purchase. I didn't even need to lower the action. The guitar obviously hasn't seen much playing time. It's almost like new, with just some very light scratches and one little chip on the top edge. The neck is straight and comfortable to me, and the fret work is very good. No binding, but no rough edges. The tuners are decent quality, just needed tightening...the screws on the ends adjust the amount of friction that holds them in position, so that's probably the issue the reviewer above had. Bottom line: it plays well, sounds good, dirty or clean, and build quality looks pretty good to me. My only knock against it would be the quality of the toggle switch, which feels sloppy, and the volume and tone pots aren't the greatest. I have two Gibsons, an American Strat, a PRS SE, and a Danelectro cheapy, just to give an idea of my frame of reference. If you come across one of these Gios, play it for yourself and you might be surprised.
    OK, so it's about five weeks later, and I just got done installing some Seymour Duncan P-Rail pickups, along with the Triple-shot switching, and now I have a tone monster on my nephew is not getting this guitar. I have about $350 invested in this thing, and I've got a fantastic playing and sounding instrument. If you're not familiar, the P-rails are humbuckers with a P-90 and a smaller rail coil that sounds sorta Strat like. With the switching I've installed, I can get a wider variety of tones out of this cheap Gart than I can out of my American Deluxe Strat with series/parallel switching. I didn't feel it was necessary to change out the tuners, the volume and tone pots or the toggle. Maybe later, but they're adequate for now.
    There is nothing wrong with giving a 10 for a cheap guitar. It just means it is really good for the price.
    General advice: consider buying a good quality used guitar rather than 10 new pieces of crap.