Price paid: $ 239.4
Purchased from: ElectromÃƒÂºsica
Sound — 9
I play clean and electric blues for a long time and picked this guitar over a Squier Custom II. I needed a fast fretboard and a cheap guitar and the pickups were not the main reason, because the P90's from the Custom II would sound better! You see, when you play clean, it really plays clean, neck position is really warm, but if you load with any sort of overdrive it gets a bit messy, so stick to the neck if you want to play punk or metal. I practice a lot, I'm intending to become a better lead blues guitarist and I'm achieving unexpected sounds. I'm a huge Pete Townsend and Rolling Stones fan and one of my fav. albums is Revolver. It was easy to get that kind of tele/sg agressive sharp Vintage sound. So if you are also a Tony Iommi SG fan, this guitar can make it too. That was surely a surprise, I owned a Squier Tele blonde and hated it (I've sold it) so I can assure that GAX30 it beats any of them from miles.
Overall Impression — 10
I'm inspired by The Who, The Beatles, Hendrix and Sabbath. For my blues this guitar has got the neck I needed at this point of my learning process. I've been a singer/ rhythm guitarist for almost 10 years but only in the last year I really headed toward lead and heavy practicing. The truth is that I'm learning and this guitar is helping me in the process, sure the humbuckers are not great, but what the heck, it's a 200? guitar. If it were stolen I would go for a Epiphone SG with Alnico humbuckers, but I would regret the lost. What I love the most is this hybrid sort of sound, kind of old new look and the way it introduced me to other guitars. Right now I'm almost pretty sure that a Les Paul is not my style but a Gibson SG would fit perfectly. Everyday I ran from work, get home and connect it to my Wah Hellbabe from Behringer and Blues Overdrive and Export amazingly old amp and play scales and riffs till exhaustion. This guitar is really interesting because being the best cheap guitar makes me wonder if it is that cheap when compared to a Squier or Epiphone low level guitars. So if you are thinking in a J150-200 guitar, do chose the Ibanez it has got a character of it's own and the other definitly don't.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Not sure if it would hang on live playing because I do not trust the tuners even though they seem ok, I'm trying to get a Gibson Grover Vintage because it would give a cool look and improve tuning. But I play lead blues I hit the strings a lot, for kind of Punk power chords seems fine, for metal I have my doubts. Seems pretty durable too. The strap buttons are huge and I needed to make a deeper cut in the strap entrances in order to fit. Looks like it will never come out again! All guitars need to be cleaned in order to avoid any sort of oxhidation. That goes to the body and neck too, keep it clean and pretty and it will last for very long years.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
When I tooked it from the box it was perfect, plastic, finish, knobs, tuners, just perfect. Pickups are well adjusted and bridge and top are fine. It stays almost in tune for weeks and I swear I beat this guitar a lot. I've switched the strings because I use 0.7 mm for E. I know it's weird but that's my way and I had to pick up the tools and get the brige higher because it was "frettling". Once in a while my cable tends to drop off while playing. Just screw it and it's done.
Features — 8
Made in Indonesia, 22 fast rosewood fretboard, jumbo frets a bit large at first but I took the best from this situation. Maple neck and basswood body in a black finish. Not sure what the hell is an Agathis tree or Basswood but I'll find out. It looks like an SG at first but has got something of a Les Paul too, what means is that you can easilly get to the 20th fret. The bridge is Squier tele style, I enjoy it. Comes with a 3 way selector for the 3 combination, bridge, both and neck pickups. Tuners are a bit poor but they hang on (Ibanez entry level), the tools were also godsend.