Price paid: C$ 159.99
Purchased from: Local Music Store
Sound — 6
I purchased this guitar as a starter for my 8 year old son. We tried to see if he could use a Jackson JS1 but it's too big and heavy so I reluctantly went for a 3/4 scale. Well... The sound is ok but I shouldn't compare it to my other guitars. After all, it's a cheap starter right? Realistically the sound is average to below average. Nothing great but does the job. Clean is below average and distorted brings it up a bit to average. Running it through a Line 6 IV Spider will suit his needs for now.
Overall Impression — 3
This will server the purpose that I intend it for and that's to see if either of my son's will take an interest in guitar (and leave my other's alone). Considering what I paid I expected more especially when the Squire Strat Mini is $60 less. It's better than a First Act or any other department store knockoff but honestly I wish I had saved the $$ and just went with the Squire. Both will accomplish what I intended but there's no discernible quality that sets the Ibanez apart except for the higher price tag. I didn't expect a lot but the quality and fit and finish were so bad that this gets a really low rating.
Reliability & Durability — 4
No live playing. Will not last for many years. It's a kid's guitar and used to create interest and determine if they'll continue with it when they're older. It accomplishes that but it's not a reliable guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 3
This is where it gets bad. The first one had crowned frets with very sharp edges, tuners that wouldn't even stay in tune for 10 seconds, and the low E string was a full step above the D string when fretted anywhere on the neck. Intonation wouldn't even get it close. Had to contact Ibanez so I could bring it back to the store where I bought it. The replacement was much better but still not anywhere close to the claims on their website regarding the quality. After I adjusted the relief and set the action/intonation it was liveable. Poor QA on Ibanez's part.
Features — 6
22" neck with medium frets, maple, black dot inlays. Strat style with fixed bridge, Basswood body. Humbucking pickups with 3 position toggle with volume and tone controls. More than likely built offshore.