Price paid: £ 152
Purchased from: Fair Deal Music via Amazon
Sound — 10
The Guitar is very much made for rock, metal and generally heavier styles of music, It sounds amazing plugged into my Line 6 Spider IV 75. I use the effects built into the amp instead of pedals and every single one sounds really really good with it. I like to play it on the "Insane" setting on my amp which is an extra distorted metal sound. It sounds really nice and punchy. The sound is bright, rich, and full all at the same time and you would not guess that it cost what it did. It sounds better than my 52 Tele Strat! The guitar can make all sorts of weird and wonderful sounds, you just have to know how.
Overall Impression — 10
I personally play rock, indie, heavy metal, grunge, alternative rock. So a wide range of heavier genres. The guitar copes perfectly with each one of these. I have been playing for 17 years, the reason I bought this guitar was to teach my friend with but he decided he didn't want to learn after all and I decided to see how it played just out of curiosity (and I'm glad I did) If it was stolen or lost I would be pretty Pi**ed off and would go out and buy a new one. I love the fret board, It's so smooth and easy to play on. The worst feature (and not a big deal) is the inlays could be a bit more exciting than the Standard dots but thats just a small detail I'm really not to fussed about. The reason I chose this guitar (originally for my friend) was because it looked the best guitar for his budget 150. I compared it to the model one up from this which I think costs 179 the cheapest - 200. I chose this one though because the finish looked more neat and the other guitar had a whammy bar which I thought was unnecessary on a beginners guitar and also that it would go out of tune if you use it considering it's not the most expensive guitar around. As I said before the only thing I wish it had were more exciting inlays but hey, who cares about something like that? I have tried not to be bias but I really can't fault this guitar! Especially for a beginner but I love it and I have played it more than my Gibson Les Paul Studio Special the past 2 weeks! Ibanez did a great job. :)
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar would definitely withstand live playing. I would still take a backup with me incase you have a freak accident like a broken string but I can't see why this would happen if you changed them as and when you need to. The hardware although plastic not metal seems very durable and looks and feels like it could take a beating. The strap buttons are also plastic but also very very sturdy and you shouldn't have any problems. I can definitely depend on it if I made sure I changed the strings correctly as I said before. The finish is flawless and will hopefully last me many years, this is by no means far my first guitar but one I shall treasure and keep and eventually would like to pass onto my son and then grandchildren.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
As I mentioned before the guitar came 100% setup straight from the box. It was fully in tune, neck tightened, intonation perfect, Bridge fully adjusted, there were no faults at all nothing was playing up. The tuning pegs were fine, as were the pick ups and other controls. I can't say anything bad about the factory finish!
Features — 10
The guitar I bought was a Ibanez GRGR121EX in Black Night Colour, I managed to find it for 152 although it usually varies between 170-188. It is a 2010 model made in Indonesia, The guitar has 24 frets and the neck is quite thin which is handy for beginners. It has a maple neck with a solid finish and just plain Dot inlays. It is noticeably lighter than other guitars which in my opinion is nice. It has a fixed bridge, 2 pick ups and active electronics. It has a 3 way selector, 1 volume control and 1 tone control on the guitar. It has a Standard Ibanez PSND3 neck pick up and a Standard Ibanez PSND4 Bridge pick up. These are the flat "soap bar" style pick ups and are finished in a matte black. The guitars hardware is all in black and give it that extra heavy metal look, overall the guitar looks extremely sexy and mean at the same time. When I got the guitar it came very well packaged in an outer Ibanez box. When you open the box you notice the padding in it keeping it safe which is reassuring. The actual guitar is in a polystyrene slip to protect it from scratches and it certainly does it's job. The thing which I was surprised with was when I first strummed it, I noticed the guitar was perfectly in tune! Also it comes with D'Addrio strings already on which is good for a Standard beginners guitar. The guitar also comes with an owners manuel and a amp cable.