Price paid: £ 150
Purchased from: DJ Hallam's Guitar Cellar
Sound — 8
1. Style: The GAX30 offers a great sound for those who are into the more Hard Rock/Metal side of music. The Humbucker pickups provide an especially focused tone when rigged to distortion, and correct use of pickup selection can complement the sound to a far better quality. 2. Gear to use: I use a Line 6 Spider IV 15 amplifier with my GAX, and the combined efforts of Ibanez and Line 6 make an incredible Metal Sound; just what I need! I love to set the amp to the metal channel, with a fair ammount of bass, distortion around halfway, and enough treble to both assist the bass, but also allow the bass to be the dominant sound. This along with a little bit of Reverb gives a great tone. 3. Noise: The GAX doesn't really give any unpleasant sounds if played properly, and only seems to be bad-sounding if in a room where an amplifier can suffer from Feedback. I find a massive ammount of feedback really sabotages this guitar's sound. Best to invest in a Line 6 POD for use in rooms with massive Feedback. 4. Sound Type: I get a really great metal sound from my GAX, especially when Drop tuned to Drop D. However, I find that the factory strings aren't the best. I reccomend to replace the strings with Ernie Ball Hybrid Slinkys, as they provide great metal sounds for rhythm and great tone for lead sections.
Overall Impression — 9
Music Style: Great for players of Metal/Hard-Rock Tastes. You have the great-sounding humbuckers to thank for that. Playing duration: I have been playing guitar for one and a half years, and this has been the only electric guitar I have owned in that time, and I have been more than happy with the results it has shown. And at 150, its a staggering value for money Replacement: I have many favorite guitars in the Ibanez range, and this model would indeed be a consideration again if I had to get another guitar. It would be entirely dependant on the quantity of money I would want to spend Love/Hate: I absolutely adore everything about this guitar. I love the sound quality when rigged to the right amp, the weight's perfect and the hardware is very reliable. Besides a very fragile finish, this guitar is amazing. Comparing: I compared this guitar to a range of Jackson guitars, and Ibanez guitars. I based my decision on price and appearance primarily, as it was my first guitar for me to begin on. I do not regret my decision, enough said. Wish it had: Whilst it is an amazing guitar, I do wish it had a deeper horn on the body, as reaching the 22nd fret can be a difficulty. Having a model with 24 frets would also be a great idea. Overall: Great guitar for beginners and Intermediates alike. Very cheap, great appearance, reliable hardware and kick-ass sound. A great reccomendation for the budding metal guitarist.
Reliability & Durability — 9
1. Live Playing: The guitar is of great quality, and should be perfectly fine for live playing. No electronic problems occur, and should be very reliable. 2. Hardware: I have owned my GAX for 1.5 years, and the hardware's as strong as when it was bought. The guitar should last a great ammount of time with correct care. 3. Strap buttons: Ever since I've owned the guitar, the strap buttons have never even loosened, so I can safely assume that they are of high-quality. 4. Finish: When bought, the finish is breath-taking. However, as bumps and scratches appear on the model, they an hinder its visual appearance greatly. Mine's endured several bumps, which whilst they can't be seen at a feasible distance, can look rather ugly. I find regular polishing (about once every 2 weeks) allows the guitar to stay good-looking, regardless of scratches or bumps.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
1. Factory: When I purchased my GAX, everything was in A grade quality, and no problems were seen. Action from the bridge is also to a fair quality, and shouldn't have any problems. 2. Pickups: The factory quality of the Pickups is one of the only major problems I have with the Guitar. The pickups are built in loosely, and wobble a tiny bit. Although not a major problem, as they are still very strong, and dont't break easy, it could be an idea to have pickup covers installed. 3. Flaws: besides the iffy Pickup installation, the guitar was 100% when I purchased it, and should provide an amazing lifespan.
Features — 9
1. Visual Appeal: I have always been a fan of Ibanez Guitars, and this one drew me in instantly by the amazing look of the instrument. The body is a very familiar shape, and comes in one of three colours, Black, White or Transparent Red. I personally own the Transparent Red model, and I can say that for the price, it is one of the most stunning guitars you can buy for that value for money. 2. Pickups: The guitar features two sets of Humbucker Pickups, and a three-way Switch to accomodate a Bass-heavy tone (Neck Pickups), a regular tone (Middle) and a more trebly tone (bridge). 3. Finish: The Black and White models feature a typical-looking finish common to most guitars. The Transparent Red Model features this finish too, however, the clear red colour exposes the wood structure, which gives an increble beauty to the model. 4. Controls: The model features two dials, one for tone modification, and another for volume control. I do beleive the Volume control can be more accurate, as the sound only starts to silence after turning it halfway on my model, but isnt much of a problem.