GIO Mikro review by Ibanez

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  • Features: 8
  • Sound: 6
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 7.6 Good
  • Users' score: 4.4 (12 votes)
Ibanez: GIO Mikro

Purchased from: Traded

Features — 8
Made in China, a 2011 model (I believe), 24 frets, solid body, unknown wood (though it looks like cheap wood). Finish is solid red with a black pick guard. Fixed bridge with through body stringing. Passive pups, 1 tone 1 volume, 1 three-way switch. Double humbucker, unknown make and model of pups. Non-locking tuners, unknown make. No Accessories included. It's a very basic guitar, but it sounds phenomenal. Looks can be deceiving. I have never had an interaction with Ibanez or any of the other Brands 'dinky' guitars. And, though I have never had/used them, this guitar has made me respect them.

Sound — 6
I play mostly, post-hardcore, and punk/punk rock, music. Has great sustain and distortion, though both are affected by the volume of the guitar. Has very little feedback and is silent, even with my built in gate. I run it through a Boss DS-1 pedal, lined into a Yamaha THR-10. It can cover a broad genre of sounds, from blues and jazz, to rock and metalcore. I am pleasantly surprised at the guitars ability to work in any situation. However I am going to replace the neck pickup. As its clean tone is rather trashy, and bulbous.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Unknown factory setup, I received the guitar via trade. Pickups needed adjusting, along with the bridge. The tuning nuts needed to be tightened, and created a buzz when it was strummed too hard. Everything on the guitar is like new. The only flaws are a couple of chips in the paint, and the frets need to be filed down as they protrude from the edge of the fret board. One on the tip of the headstock, the other on the back side of the lower body horn. Other than those two issues, nothing else on the guitar is off. Feels smooth, and plays easy and quick.

Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar is incredibly rugged. I have had several mishaps with it, and it hasn't so much as flinched. I would most definitely bring this on the road, even though it is a Mikro, its sound outweighs its looks. All hardware is solid, tuners, buttons, pickups, knobs, switches, and jack. All are sturdy, and I would not worry about them, unless something major were to happen. It's surprisingly light, yet solid. I don't worry about the body getting dents, or damage, though I would prefer a different wood for the fretboard, as the one on it lacks texture and aesthetic appeal.

Overall Impression — 9
As I said, I play mostly post-hardcore, and punk/punk rock genre, and it sounds perfect. Though some tweaking was made in my EQ settings. I've been playing 8 years, unprofessionally, and have had several guitars, both acoustic and electric. It could stand toe to toe with my Conrad, on its worst day. I do wish I would have asked if it had been serviced any time soon, before trading, though there isn't much wrong with it. If I were to loose it, for any reason, I would invest in another. I love its size, and its ability to adapt. I didn't really compare, as I had no real experience with Ibanez, or their Mikro's. I do wish it had a single coil for a mid pickup, and I wish the controls were in a different spot, as it makes it awkward for playing with where they're at. Other than that, it's a great guitar, and I'm in love with it.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I bought one cheap on eBay. I guessed it is junk. I want to put a set of P90s in it and a bone nut. Some stuff to make it a fair back up guitar for some of the crap joints I play.
    O, my 8yo son just got one as Christimas present (early on, you might say). He kind of starts to like playing guitar, but he needs something different than the classical lessons he got for some time now. And since he likes listening to rock and to me toying with my Yamaha Pacifica, I bought him a Mikro. I chose it without trying (from Internet reviews), the other contenders being Squier Mini (didn't like the laminated body idea, even though the size and weight were maybe better) and Laguna LE50 (which is not available in France) at about the same price tag (after factoring in delivery). I can now understand why some people are happy with it, and some not. The first problem I see is that the metal frets are bigger and higher than on my Yamaha. Thus, pressing hard on the strings results in bending, especially on the first frets. But otherwise intonation seems to be OK. Sound output is very strong, and bit too noisy. I'm already toying with the idea of replacing the neck pup with a splittable humbucker. My son seemed to be able to play without bending (maybe due to his less powerful hands). And he loved the looks of it. Already started to learn some chords. All in all, good choice.
    I am looking for a 3/4 guitar. My son wants a purple one and this guitar comes in purple. Do you think this guitar will be OK for my 8 year son who has been playing guitar for 6 months?
    El I picked up a Gio Ibanez N427 for $5, it was a mess at first action was like 3/8ths inch but i got it all dialed in intonated cleaned up and repaired the minor stuff knobs what not, almost like new now but set up I have to be honest here its a great little guitar, you can tell its made form the most inexpensive wood possible but this one has GREAT pickups, dunno what they are black humbuckers say Ibanez int he bottom right corner and have the wings type designs thing's on em, MMA type design.. after i got it set up and squared away it plays REAL good and sounds GREAT I can push it all the way thru my 60 amp tube amp they dont buckle under the weight, the tone knob works perfectly, and nothing is noisy at all, me tele is noisier.. I'm gonna line the cavities and see if the pups could use a waxing if not its GREAT beater guitar for $5? WOW