Price paid: € 175
Purchased from: Music Maestro
Sound — 6
I play mostly metal, but I like some versatility and try to play some jazz, punk, blues and classic rock once in a while. This guitar can do all of them well. The bridge pickup has a high output and sounds pretty crisp even with the bass on my amp on max. I use a Roland Cube 30X by the way. I don't use the second position very often because I find it a bit weird sounding, but when I do I play something like Opeth. The single coil is mostly used clean. I like it that way but when I use distortion it sounds a bit dull in my opinion. I have honestly never used the single coil and the neck humbucker together since I really don't like the sound. I guess I need some different settings for that one. The neck pickup is fine, but a little quiet. I use it mostly for leads and jazz and it does a great job on it but I struggle to hear it over a backing track whereas I can hear the other pickups just fine.
Overall Impression — 6
This is really a good guitar for a beginner. I really love how versatile it is. It plays everything it needs to. Of course it isn't a PRS Custom, but you can't expect that for the price I paid for it. I'm close to buying a Schecter Hellraiser, but this guitar will always be at my home and I will still use it as a backup. I have compared it to an American Stratocaster a friend of mine has, but I like the GRG better because the Strat doesn't fit for metal. I also compared it to an Epiphone Les Paul and guess what, I liked that sound better, but it was out of my budget. I choose the Ibanez pure because it was the cheapest guitar I could find, while still having a good sound. When starting to learn how to play you can't go wrong with this one.
Reliability & Durability — 6
Well, I have to say that even if it feels a little delicate, this guitar lasts for a while. Believe me, I have it for over 3 years now and it's still in good condition. The only thing that I have to mention is that I broke the trem the first time I used it. I don't know if that happened because this is my first guitar and I was only playing for a half year back then or because the trem was just bad quality. Fact is the bar falls out all of the time while back then I could make it stay where it should. Otherwise it lasts well. I remember I accidenically dropped it several times and it didn't even go out of tune. It will also withstand some live playing. I only gigged it once, but I like to stand while playing and the strap buttons are doing well. Only recently they started to wear a little bit. Overall it's good, except for the trem.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
For a guitar that is this cheap I guess it is not a big problem, but it had only 2 springs in it. I noticed it after I put on some heavier strings (Elixir 010 - 046). I didn't play it for that long and a string broke. Not a big problem I guess, but since I didn't have any strings left I had to go to the music store. While I was there I also let the guy give the guitar a little checkup and he said I had to put in another spring. That is the only flaw I could find. I easily put fingerprints on it, but I don't actually care about that.
Features — 7
This guitar was made in Indonesia in 2010. It has a solid basswood body, a really thin bolt on maple neck with 24 medium rosewood frets with sharktooth inlays (duh, Ibanez), a fat 10 bridge, Ibanez own PSND pickups in HSH configuration, one volume control and one tone control and a 5-way selector. The guitar has a Stratocaster like body making it a Superstrat. I didn't get any accessories with it, which didn't come in very handy since I had to pay a bag, strap and cable separately. I would also like to have a better bridge since I don't really like the tremolo. But overall the features are decent for it's price.