Purchased from: BAMBAM music
Sound — 9
Sound quality is what you expect in a rock guitar like this, there is a sustain due to the bridge and its not as bright as a Fender Strat, this is why I choose to buy this instead of a Squire Strat. It would suite people who prefer that low rock tone since the humbuckers and the brigde sets that up real nicely. If you prefer the rock sound then a double humbucker is the way to go, though the bumbuckers aren't the best in the word so they are kept at stumpy quality to keep the cost down. A good amp and lead is recommended to make this guitar sound its best, I good effects pedal is something you should be looking at if you want to get some overdrive into this.
Overall Impression — 9
To conclude off, the GAX30 aka. AX30 suits any beginner to the world of guitar playing, its better then what most companies have to offer to new players. Ibanez has done the job well here since the guitar suits what I'm looking for when starting my guitar learning experience. The sound quality is close to what is expected in a higher quality guitar. I kind of wish though I asked the shop to set it up for me before I took it home but other then that the guitar is great and suits me really well. It's much better then the Squires they were selling at the store. I love the double humbuckers, they create the true rock sound that anyone who loves their music hard and crunchy. I would of preferred a better design in the guitar, a less wider back maybe. If it was lost/stolen, I would kind of set my sights on a another Ibanez like the RX/RG or a Les Paul, hopefully it won't come down to that. But seriously this is a great guitar for beginners, like I said its better then most beginner Squires and the sound quality that comes form this is something you expect from a good Jackson. I recommending looking into this great guitar if you are deciding to buy a beginner rock guitar for yourself or a friend.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Playing live with this guitar is something that's possible for long solos and leads since it's a very comfy guitar to hold, but a marathon 2hour gig might ask for a better guitar. Since this guitar is aimed at beginners it suggest that its stuck with its purpose, but if must play live, then this guitar might pull through. Backup guitars are of course essential if the guitar fails to withstand time. The body is really durable since I've banged it around a few times and nothing really has happened, a gig bag or a guitar stand will come in handy since u would want to keep this guitar nice and safe since it wasn't really made to withstand heavy duty misuse. The strap buttons are nicely placed and seen strong so there's nothing to worry about those. Since it's the red comes in a transparent finish, stickers might not be needed. Cleaning this guitar regularly is something that needs to be done to keep the condition nice and the guitar playable.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The finishing on this guitar is what you expect for most good quality guitars, since it's a budget guitar I didn't expect anything amazing like a faded finish. The transparent finish was good enough, but you compare to high quality products then obviously its not going to meet those standards. The action I noticed at first was bit too high and the bridge needed minor adjusting, the fret relief is straight but from time to time it might help from minor adjustments. If you are going to buy this, I strongly recommend that you let the shop set it up before you take it home. My knobs seem a bit suspicious but I'll see how they turn out.
Features — 8
The GAX30 aka AX30 is a great guitar for beginners. Compared to other beginner guitars the AX30 doesn't sound or feel cheap, it feels like if you bought yourself a high quality piece of instrument. This particular model I bought was made in China, thus explaining the cheap price and came with the IBZ10G amplifier. The guitar itself has 22 medium frets. Features a maple neck material a basswood body and rosewood finger board. The design of it is similar to a Gibson SG but I say similar, not exact clone. There is a choice of 3 colors, blue and back, red and black (red has transparent finish) or all back, it's down to your personal preference of course. The bridge is fixed, though I would have preferred a BR-EG bridge but this bridge is easy and light on beginners. The main feature of most Ibanez guitars is the humbucker, in the AX30 it features double humbuckers creating that heavy rock or metal sounded (provided with distortion of course), these pickups aren't the best but they are better then most beginners. Also light are the controls, just comes with a volume, tone, and 3-way pickup selector. Shipped with its own Ibanez tuners this guitar is fairly light on features but that it gets the job done. I suggest that you don't use the lead that ships with it though, its very poor in quality and I advice that a better lead cable be bought.