Price paid: £ 200
Purchased from: guitar.co.uk
Sound — 10
I play this thing through a Line 6 spider amp at gigs and through a crappy little Marshall at home. The ibanez/ Line 6 combo works better than ant & dec, seriously, they were made for each other. The neck pickup is really cool for high-end soloing and the neck pickup works really well for power chords/ low end riffs. Metal is this guitars forte, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Avenged Sevenfold, it sings that stuff. However, what I was delighted and shocked to find out when first playing it, was just HOW diverse it can be! With the tone and distortion turned right down, you can get really powerful cleans, like the intro solo to metallica's one. And then, with the distortion back on, you can head in the zeppelin, stones- esque kind of classic rock dist., or you can easily hit metal sounds like Bullet for my valentine or Megadeth. With a little tweaking to the amp, blues, jazz, punk sounds can fly out like no other guitar I've ever heard!! The only problem I have with the sound, is that when you turn up the distortion, complex chords don't retain their sound very well and its all a bit messy, but they're perfect when the distortions turned down. The other guitarist in my band plays a Jackson Warrior and we can do kick-ass duets with our guitars, they sound surprisingly good together.
Overall Impression — 9
As I've said, I play mostly metal with a lot of rock chucked it, and that fits this guitar real sweetly. However, I've been playing for 6 years, I've owned 7 guitars (including 2 acoustics) and I've played literally hundreds, and not one has been as diverse as this sound wise. Would I buy it again? Hell YEAH I'd buy it again, this guitars a badass. It reminds me of the dork kid in every sports movie that ends up being really good at basketball or something, you can put it against 1000 gibsons, jacksons or whatever you want, and this little baby will hold it's own like you wouldn't believe. I compared it to a Jackson rhoads before I bought it, and I'm glad I chose the Ibanez, 1) because me and my other guitarist can do badass duets, and 2) because its so much more awesome!
Reliability & Durability — 10
This thing is a GNARLY little beast. At the end of our stint supporting papa roach last year I smashed it into my amp. The amp was gone and forgotten, as you'd expect, but SOMEHOW the guitar still sounds good as new, which I honestly didn't-- don't understand. I kick it at the end of every show and I have a habit of beating the crap out of it as I play, but the thing just doesn't quit! It literally sounds as good as it did from the box. As I've said, the strap buttons are HUGE, which means the guitar holds really well and is VERY unlikely to fall off. I have a Gibson Les Paul that I like and I use occasionally, but I LOVE my Ibanez grg170dx, and would always use it without a backup if I had to, it really is that trusty. The finish has cracks and scratches hear and there, but thats only because of the way I abuse it, it would a lifetime if you're one of those bands that stands reasonably still while you play live. The hardware is in perfect nick. The only problem you might have is the tuners, I have a tuning pedal so every three or four songs I give it a check up and give some minor tweaks here and there, but the tune does tend to stray a bit, especially if you jump from Standard tuning to eB and back again every 5 minutes, but you can expect that from all guitars.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
This guitar was set up perfectly at the factory, all I've done to it over the past 3 years is change the strings. The tuning pegs are a little loose and hard to perfect, but as long as you put the strings in right they won't be a real problem.
Features — 9
This guitar was made in Japan in 2006, it has a 24-fret rosewood neck and a basswood body. Mine has a 'black night' finish and an Ibanez tremolo bridge. There is one tone knob and one independent volume knob. There are 3 power sound pickups and a five way selector switch. The tuners are non-locking. There's also AWESOME strap buttons that are at least twice the size they are on normal guitars, which holds the strap pretty sweetly. The middle pickup is slightly lowered, which comes in handy when shredding.