Price paid: $ 130
Sound — 9
I enjoy a range of music that has led me to play anything from CCR to Black Sabbath to Metallica to Pain of Salvation to Avenged Sevenfold on this guitar. The guitar lacks sustain and some of the punch and power that might be found on the recordings of those musicians, but it still puts out a sound that is enjoyable to say oh I'm playing such and such a song. I play through a Line6 Spider III 15W amp and have Vwah, chorus and distortion pedals (that I rarely use because of the amp) and I am able to get just about any sound I want between tweaking my guitar or the amp. The low end gets noisy, especially when the amp and guitar are turned all the way up (small surprise) and the strings vibrate upon occasion but better finger positioning will usually fix that. Because of the variety this guitar gives for it's range of sound I found it to be a great beginner's instrument
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, great guitar for a starter, lots of versatility and it sounds good enough. It's cheaper than other starter guitars and when I both this I managed to talk them down so I paid a heck of a lot less than I would have getting an Epiphone or something else of similar quality.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar could go through an amp and come out the other side and still be playing if it wasn't your own amp you just broke. The one flaw with this guitar is the strap buttons, I've seen this guitar slip and fall several times, but not ever while the person was just playing, each time the guitar was no worse for wear, this is built solid. Simple strap clips will also solve this problem easily (if one insists on screwing around). I've owned this guitar for 4 years now and a friend has had one for 5 or 6 and both still look store new and play the way they did on day 1. If you take care of your guitar (including the small unforseeable accidents) this guitar was built to last.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The factory set up on this guitar was great for a starter, not too low like some other Ibanez's or too high like other guitars I've played. I felt with this the action was set at a range where anyone could easily press all the strings and learn to play quickly. The pickups were fine.