GRX170 Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 12/13/2010 category: Electric Guitars
Ibanez: GRX170
It has a 25.5" scale Maple neck with rosewood fretboard, 22 medium frets. The body is solid basswood with a gloss black finish, 'night black'. The hardware is chrome but the volume and tone knobs are black. The bridge is a 'Fat 10 Bridge' or something, it's a floating trem anyway, similar-ish to a Wilkinson.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 9.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8
 Features: 7.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (2) pictures (1) user comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.2
GRX170 Reviewed by: whitemanwalking, on march 04, 2009
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 200

Purchased from: Soundhouse

Features: The guitar was built in Indonesia and has since been replaced by the GRG 170. It is one of Ibanez's low budget starter models so I will rate and review the guitar accordingly, judge it on what it was intended for. It has a 25.5" scale Maple neck with rosewood fretboard, 22 medium frets. The body is solid basswood with a gloss black finish, 'night black' I think they call it. The hardware is chrome but the volume and tone knobs are black. The bridge is a 'Fat 10 Bridge' or something, it's a floating trem anyway, similar-ish to a Wilkinson. All electronics are passive as you'd expect from a starter guitar, Ibanez stock pickups, 5 way selector Switch with a HSH configuration. For a starter guitar the features are alright, but there's a couple of issues I'll get to later on which let it down. // 7

Sound: The sound of the guitar isn't actually too bad. I mean I remember back in the day when I first got it, I was upgrading from an Encore Strat, so the difference was enormous although, I was a very inexperienced back then! The guitar is full sounding, well balanced thanks to the basswood body. All the usual rock/pop/punk/metal that the majority of people like to learn when first starting up sounds pretty good. The pickup combination is a very versatile one. So don't feel you are limited to the genres mentioned! Blues/funk/country etc etc - you can pretty much cover it all if you do enough fiddling around but the guitar is slightly biased to rock based genres, just look at the styling of it. It does clean tones very nicely but ideally the guitar could do with a little more definition when using overdrive or distortion but this can easily be done through upgrades. I installed a DiMarzio X2N in the bridge which improved this a great deal. The guitar doesn't have much sustain though, but what can you expect from a light body, bolt-on neck and a floating trem! // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: When I first got the guitar I was completely in love with it but after a few hours of playing it began to Drive me a bit nuts. Being as inexperienced as I was it took me maybe 2 years of owning the guitar before I attempted making alterations. Essential things like intonation needed doing for example and tuning the damn thing. It was a constant battle. Personally I do not think a non-locking floating trem is a good idea in a guitar of this price range. It just causes a lot of hassle with tuning instability which took a lot of the joy out of playing it. Just playing it would put it out of tune and bending notes... ARGH. In the end I bumped a load of extra springs in the back on the guitar to pull the bridge back against the body to stop it moving. I was never quite satisfied witht he action either so whilst I was at it, I lowered the bridge posts as far as they would go without cause thing the guitar to buzz and did some minor truss rod adjustment. I highly recommend doing this! The tuning is much much more stable now, not completely but infinately better and it has made it a very playable guitar! I'll rate the guitar post-adjustments, in it's orignal state I would rate it very low, maybe a 3? I still use the guitar now for alternative tunings since I am unable to do so easily on my RG1570. Other than a fixed bridge, it would be nice if the guitar had height adjustment on the bridge saddles and possible larger frets. I think then the guitar would play beautifully. // 8

Reliability & Durability: The guitar is solidly built, even if the factory setup was pretty awful, and has lasted without the need for any repair work to date. The finish has retained it's good looks but it's black so you need to clean it regularly unless you want it to look like your friend with chronic psoriasis has been using it to scratch their back. Nothing has fallen off it, nothing has siezed up, it's in perfect working order. I would not gig with this guitar though. Just down to tuning worries really, I'm sure it wouldn't be too bad, but I wouldn't want to risk it. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall this is a solid starter guitar. It isn't too heavy, it sounds pretty good and with a little manual labour it plays pretty well too. I would definately recommend it if your a beginner looking for an all round guitar. The pickup configuration ha fantastic versatility, much more so than a SSS or HH layout on a guitar of the same price range. Other than that all I can really say is... If you buy it, sort the bridge out, lowe the action and you've got yourself a good-un'! // 8

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overall: 9
GRX170 Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 13, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 200

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Features: This guitar was made in 2006, right before I bought it. I don't remember what type of wood etc. but it had a flush black finish on it. One volume knob and one independent tone knob. There was a five-way selector Switch and two double coil pickups at the bridge and neck. The tuners were non-locking but once you get over the initial hurdle you do with any new guitar, they stay in perfectly. I tend to jump between Standard tuning and drop d quite a lot, but that didn't bring up any buzzing at all. The strap buttons are INSANE, they're twice the size of normal ones and they hold the guitar beautifully, which is awesome for live conditions. It also has an Ibanez bridge with a wammy bar, and it is bloody smooth! The wammy is really easily worked but that can be annoying when palm-muting. // 8

Sound: I play it through a Line 6 amp at gigs/ rehearsals, which is a match better than ant & dec. My band plays largely metal with rock influences, and it sounds amazing with that sort of stuff. Metal is it's forte, but with minor tweaking to the amp you can make it sing like a Les Paul or gallop like a jackson. It can also pump out some pretty nifty blues sounds through the rhythm pickup. When you turn down the distortion, it keeps its power but retains really clear definition, kind of like the intro- solo to metallica's 'one'. Everything works with this guitar from green day, to johnny cash, to zepellin, to behemoth, it really is the most versatile guitar I've ever seen. Harmonics jump out of it aswell. My only complaint sound-wise is that if your amp is loud enough, and if you don' turn your volume knob down after a song, you'll get a real annoying whiney sound. That said, its easily fixed by muting the strings. The neck pickup is perfect for high end soloing, but it sounds crap when you're beating away at power chords. Complex chords don't sound very clear with the distortion turned up, which is a real problem when playing classic rock/ blues. Other than that the sound's pretty good. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set up like a dream at the factory, pickups were perfect! The middle one was/ is slighter lowered to avoid damage when you're galloping or just simply thrashing away at high speeds. The strap buttons, as I've said, are awesome. The jack connector comes loose every so often, but that's an easy fix as well if your twist it back (it probably wouldn't even be a problem if you don't beat your guitar as badly as I do). // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is a gnarly little beast. I ABUSE it on stage and off. I'm pretty clumsy and I've dropped it a few times, but it sounds good as new. I kick it at the end of every show, and I've even guitar smashed it once, but somehow it still sounds the same as it did from the box! The tuners do tend to stray a little bit when you play lots of bends/ strum real fast, but they're trusty enough as long as you re-tune every few songs. the strap buttons, as I've said, hold the guitar really sweetly so it's okay to jump/run around the stage. I have an Epiphone Les Paul 100 as well, which I love, but I'd easily use it without a backup. The finish is scratched on the back and there are some chips where I kick it, but it's not that bad. // 10

Overall Impression: As I've said, I play loads of metal, similar to iron maiden and metallica, which is a good match in terms of looks and sound. I've been playing for 5 years, and this is as good as I've played. The other guitarist in my band has a Jackson warrior, and we sound bad-ass doing duets. I love my guitar because it looks so awesome and sounds so much more awesome. I was thinking of buying a Jackson rhoads as well, but I'm glad that I got my Ibanez because there's more of a definition between me and my other guitarist. Complaints? I don't like that whining I talked about earlier and complex chords sound real mashed together and undefined. If it got lost, hell YEAH I'd buy it again, it costs 200 and its better than my 400 les paul, which itself is more value for money than you'll find. // 10

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