GRGA11 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 5
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 7.6 Good
  • Users' score: 7.5 (20 votes)
Ibanez: GRGA11
0

Price paid: $ 229

Purchased from: Audiophile Festival

Sound — 7
Hmmm.. It suits my style. It sounds good/fair for rock and metal. I using it with a sh-tty 20 watts amp. I have no effects and just depend on the distortion channel of that amp. As I said, it sounds just fair. The neck pickup is too bassy/muddy for me. And the bridge pickup sounds less bright. However, it does not have a buzz or humming sound coming from it. With its default pickups, I think you can do some other sounds but they wouldn't sound that good because of poor pickups.

Overall Impression — 8
For the type of music I usually play (rock and metal), this really fits me. But I also play some blues and jazz. I think I have to buy a Squier Strat or Tele to satisfy my jazz/blues needs. I've been playing for 5 years. This is my third electric guitar. This is my second Ibanez after Ibanez GRG270 which I sold because of tuning problems. I wish this guitar has chrome pickup rings to make it look better. Since it's a gio, I can't wish for better pickups. Also, this has no bindings on the neck. I wish they put it at least like the GRGs. If this was stolen, I will not buy it again. I would rather buy higher end gears. What I love about this is its finish. I love Ibanez Candy Apple finish. But I hate the fact that I got it with many factory flaws. This thing sound better than my brother's Ibanez GRX20 and I think it will sound better with the other guitars below its price range.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I think the guitar could stand up in gigs, but it will not sound good with default pickups. Hardwares seem to be pretty solid. Strap buttons are good! The finish is, well, so very good. The tried to scratch it using my pick and yet, it is not so visible. Almost not scratched at all. I would use this in a gig as my main axe. Cause I don't have backups. This could be reliable given some modifications.

Action, Fit & Finish — 5
The guitar was set-uped when I got it from the store. Action is alright. Not so high not so low. But I haven't checked yet the intonation if it was set-uped correctly. Pickups are on a good height and position. I haven't checked the routing yet so I can't comment on it. It really looks good from a far. But when I got home, I noticed some flaws on it. The curves I saw on the Ibanez website are not that shown on the actual guitar. The headstock also has bumps factory flaws. Frets on 13th and 14th has some bumps also. I failed to check it on the store. I aslo found a ding near the bolts on the binding. Ibanez quality control... You failed me.

Features — 9
My guitar was made just recently. January 2010 as said on the serial number on the headstock. I just acquired this a week ago. Made in China. Has maple neck, 24 frets, GRGA neck type with medium frets on a Rosewood Fretboard. Body is made of basswood and is painted with Candy Apple finish. The bridge style is hardtail. Pickups are passive. Has 3 way selector and 2 knobs for tone and volume adjustments. Tuners are Ibanez. It came with an Ibanez gigbag, a generic cable, a manual and some allen wrenches for setup.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    SkepsisMetal
    Well I've been playing for 11 years now, and I'm currently using a Yamaha Pacifica which cost 70 and a Dean Baby Z which my girlfriend got me for xmas one year, played through a Marshall 15w amp and a Zoom multi FX pedal. The only places gear holds you back from is gigging and pro recording. If you can play well enough on equipment that doesnt go into triple figures to buy, then you know your a decent musician. Nothing irritates me more than rich kids that buy or get given ridiculously expensive gear when they haven't earned their way up to it. Im happy with what I have, and probably wouldn't spend several hundred on a new guitar unless i was in dire need of it.
    FreekBos
    I know about the tuning problems of the ibanez. I had the RGR270-DX had some major issues with the floyd rose as well. So you've been playing for 5 years now. Why did you even bother spending $200 on another cheap Ibanez if you already have two other guitars! And why buy a SQUIER strat for your blues. Listen, you sound like me 10 years ago. And I want to tell you this. Go save some extra bucks, and don't buy the squiers, the new squiers really suck. If you want to have a great sound for blues and rock. (Going from stevie ray vaughn to nickelback etc.) Try a combination of the Gibson Les Paul Studio and the new Blackstar HT5 or HT20. The gibsons are very much affordable at around $900,- and they sound and play absolutely fantastic! The Blackstar HT series are cheap! And I'm talking $350,-. You get a full tube amplifier. It's only 5 Watts and its small, but MAN that thing is loud! And you get that real authentic 'twang' in your sound. Another tip for you, you could try. Don't buy the ever horrible 'd addario strings. Yes they are the cheapest but they tend to wear down very quickly, losing that nice to you have with new strings. No, try the elixer strings. I always use the .10 thickness. It has that nice deep round sound in the lower notes, but you can get the high metal-like sounds in the highs as well. The elixer strings keep their sound way longer than the 'd addario's. Conclusion: Don't buy cheap if you are looking for that particular sound.
    Petar
    Don't buy Squier Strat. Save up some many and buy at least MiMexico Strat, it's stupid to swap shitty guitar for another shitty guitar. In music business, it's about the money whether you like it or not. Something decent (and after 5 years of playing, you deserve something decent) is going to be a bit more expensive (and helluva lot better) than Squier or entry level Ibanez.
    FreekBos
    Petar hit the nail right on the head. You're ready to really think about decent gear. Not just the guitar but the combination of a good guitar and amp. (Not talking about those zillion dollar marshall amps and overprised signiture guitars.
    berforth
    That's the problem with most mid-end Ibanez guitars. They're great, they're comfortable, but their default pickups are bad, which is also why their price is pretty low.
    XtremesWolf
    every gio guitar are good only for first guitar ,after 5 years of playing ,its about time you get a decent one and a good amp, i have a grx-20 for my first guitar, and its decent, pick up sucks but after replacing it with a mo-joe on the bridge and a D-activator at the neck, its sounds , but its still a cheap ibanez, action pretty highgreat
    r0ckth3d34n
    FreekBos wrote: Another tip for you, you could try. Don't buy the ever horrible 'd addario strings. Yes they are the cheapest but they tend to wear down very quickly, losing that nice to you have with new strings. No, try the elixer strings. I always use the .10 thickness. It has that nice deep round sound in the lower notes, but you can get the high metal-like sounds in the highs as well. The elixer strings keep their sound way longer than the 'd addario's. Conclusion: Don't buy cheap if you are looking for that particular sound.
    Pfft. I used d'addarios for about 4 months after using Elixirs for about year. I never would want to go back to Elixirs again. You fail to mention that Elixirs are very bright. Partly due to the coating on the strings. So essentially they don't break in as quickly as other strings. They're also harder on the frets. With the poly web coating, the windings never get softer from corrosion, so a as a result, your frets will get flatter faster. Oh, and they're what, $12 a pack? I'd rather buy 3 packs of D'Addarios (more realistically, Dunlops) than one pack of Elixirs, when really the D'Addarios will last just as long. I use Dunlop Heavy Core strings. Best strings I can find, and they cost $5. They last about 3-4 months. Just as long as Elixirs.
    TheAbsentOne
    I agree ^ I used Elixers exclusively for a very long time, but the cost turned me off them. I began buying D'Addarios, Ernie Balls, and Dunlops, and I've liked D'Addario the best. Ernie ball is a backup in case they don't have any d'addarios.
    izzy crowley
    ernie ball's are better than ever! Oh, dude, stop buying those stupid cheap toy guitars if u've been playin for 5 years.
    albumin
    well, you have your points there... maybe after sometime, i should invest on more expensive gears rather than buying cheap ones... next guitar i think would be a fender mim or a secondhand fender mij or a prs se custom.. answering the strings topic, why dont you use rotosound strings? they're cheap yet they are maybe in par with d'addario's in terms of quality... elixirs are way too expensive for me.. i think they cost a thousand pesos here in the philippines... if i were to buy 21 sets of elixirs, i can already buy an MIM fender strat for the price of those 21 sets of strings... i'll upgrade this guitar after getting a better amp...