Price paid: A$ 240
Purchased from: Intermusic Bondi
Sound — 7
The sound of this guitar caters to my music style perfectly, I play alot of hard rock, classic rock, grunge, metal and the pickup configuration is quite versatile. I am playing this guitar through a Marshall MG15CD amplifier without effects. The humbuckers are dead silent but as you would come to expect with the single-coil, it is very noisy. The single-coil really shines when using the clean setting on my amplifier and so does both the Single/Humbucker combinations and the bridge humbucker works nicely for distortion, though it's not amazing by an extent.. The guitar has quite a rounded-out bright tone to it. The guitar can make a variety of tones from Acoustic-like cleans to hard forms of metal. That said it doesn't do any of them spectacularly really.
Overall Impression — 6
As I mentioned earlier I play alot of rock genres and some metal, the pickup configuration of this compared to a Stratocaster or the likes is quite handy, two humbuckers really helps when you need that raw, heavy sound. So in short, yes, this is a good match. I have been playing for about 6 months but I had previous experience with guitars being a bass player. My other gear is my bass which is a Squier Affinity Precision Bass and my Marshall MG15CD as I mentioned earlier. Before I purchased this I wish I had asked more about the tuning stability and the bridge, I think I'm much more keen on a non-vibrato bridge as it is simpler in design and will stay in tune better. If this guitar was stolen or lost, I would buy something else, it is a nice guitar somewhat, but there's so much more out there. I love the fret access of this guitar, it's superb. I hate the tuning stability the most about this guitar and my favourite features would probably be the Shark tooth inlays. They aren't the best quality, but it is a really cool feature for an instrument of this price.
Reliability & Durability — 8
In reality, this guitar would withstand Live playing, though it really isn't the kind of guitar you'd want to play Live at a serious level. The hardware probably wont last, just because it does feel quite cheap and almost plastic-like. The strap buttons are solid but strap locks are a must for this guitar. This guitar has never failed on me so I suppose I can depend on it but at the same time, I would bring a backup to this at a gig for sure. The finish is polyurethane and could withstand much abuse, I predict it would not easily wear off.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The guitar was set-up quite nicely, though the dead fret was quite a disappointment. The positive side is that the action was very nice for me. The pickups were adjusted fine and need no further tweaking. The bridge was routed fine though the clench that the springs hold onto at the back of the guitar was scratched up quite a bit for a new guitar, doesn't matter too much though it makes it seem like it was a used instrument. The guitar came with few flaws, though the ones it did come with were a bit of red paint high up on the neck, a stiff but slippery tone control (quite an oxymoron), a dead fret and a small dent in the neck. Besides this the guitar didn't suffer the many problems of poorly cut fret wire or a bad nut.
Features — 6
My Ibanez GRG170DX was made in 2008 in China. The guitar has 24 medium frets on a rosewood fingerboard with Shark tooth inlays and is a 25.5" scale length. The grain of the fingerboard wood is quite impressive and the Shark tooth inlays look nice but could of been put on a little smoother; the frets are cut perfectly though the 19th fret on the D string is dead and ultimately unplayable. The body is a solid-top basswood construction and is finished in candy apple with the Standard polyurethane seal found on most instruments in this price range. The body on this guitar is quite thick and pretty heavy, though the finish is nice and the polyurethane seal is pretty thick and hard to scratch. It is a conventional double-cutaway RG body style that lets you access all the frets with ease. This is a great strong-point of the instrument. The bridge is Ibanez stock FAT10 non-locking vibrato bridge and the instrument uses passive electronics. The bridge is rather bad, it doesn't stay in tune at all and because of the configuration of it, changing the tuning on one string puts all the strings out of tune. The controls allocated on this guitar are your Standard volume/tone layout with a 5-way selector Switch. The tone control rolls off fast at about half-way then slows down and requires more force to turn it, a little strange. The tip of the selector Switch isn't glued on a fell off pretty quickly. The pickup configuration of this guitar is humbucker-single-humbucker that uses Ibanez Powersound 1 & 2 pickups for the humbuckers and an Ibanez Powersound S for the middle single-coil. The pickups aren't amazing but are decent for what you're paying, though the humbuckers are terrible for clean tones and lose alot of clarity. The tuners are stock Ibanez non-locking tuners. These tuners don't help at all with the tuning issues of this guitar. The guitar did not include any accessories.