Price paid: £ 350
Purchased from: Back Alley Music, Mold
Sound — 8
I use to play mainly metal (Anthrax, Testament, Municipal Waste, As I Lay Dying, TBDM, Between The Buried And Me, etc) but due to my time being a session musician, it became a very common apperance during blues and jazz sets, and various other styles of music! And with the right amplifier, this Guitar can produce almost any tone you want it too! I deffinately recommend it for playing blues, however due to the stock pickups it doesn't handle jazz very well, making it hard to distinguish single notes from chords when playing anything I.e. Ella Fitzgerald. I would recommend changing the pickups to your musical taste if your that picky on sound, but the AH's should comfort almost any Guitarists needs that's doesn't have the money to do so (like myself! ) I've tried my friends EMG81 and 85 in this Guitar and oh my, they don't have scare the hell out of me! When the pickups are replaced this Guitar sounds almost like it's worth 1.000 more. The stock pickups make it sound like Ibanez's own Epiphone, but I'm guessing Ibanez expected people to make their own alterations to this beast, and spent more money elsewhere. Note: Do not use this Guitar through any Marshall MG series, I made the mistake of buying it and putting it through my MG30DFX, those amps really don't do justice for any guitars, I thought it would sound a lot better than it did, but upon recieving my AVT Halfstack, it really has domminated even my Gibson SG.
Overall Impression — 8
If it was stolen, I'd buy a Jackson. I don't think I could get it replaced on the warranty as I've played it out. It's light is still burning and it will never fade out! It's always going to be a Guitar I will personaly look back on owning and have very good memories of. It has served me well and I'd be distraught if it wasn't with me anymore! Ofcourse if it had Jumbo Frets and a Ffloyd Rose, I wouldn't consider buying a different guitar! My love for this guitar is deffinately the way you can make it have it's own personality, I've called mine Cindy! I've always liked the ability to pick it up and never want to put it down, however every Guitar gets to that stage, but it still makes me want to play it! I hate the silver hardware, with a passion! I'd kill Ibanez to make them stop using silver, I also dislike Dot inlays, but oh well.. ! I'd still recommend this guitar to anyone!
Reliability & Durability — 9
I have used this Guitar Live on more than 50 occasions, and played the living **** out of it! I've dropped it, had it stood on, thrown it out of a window, thrown it at amps, everything you can think of and it has like 5-6 dents in it?! Pure amazing! The only thing that ever goes wrong with it is the flipping screws int he pickup selector keep coming out, and the fact that my neck needs adjusting again.. that's my fault though! Strap locks are an essential for this Guitar, but the buttons have never come off before, which is good! I could deffinately depend on this Guitar, and it's only ever given out on me once during a Live show because of the lead connection part thingy, however that was my fault because I'm a careless ogre when it comes to lead insertion, if I treated it the same as a vagina then it would still be heavenly! I always use backups, so I wouldn't depend on it in that aspect or more like I wouldn't need to, but this Guitar is currently my backup Guitar after aquiring a Kramer, and an SL3, and I sometimes use it for the fun of it anyway!
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
As I said earlier, I lowered the action, the pickups where in the right position and everyhing else was spot on! (I'm not sure if Ibanez still had the after-factory setup or if the shop actually set it up) The black and white binding looked realy nice and was of high quality, apart from when closer inspection is aquired; you can see pick scratches which aren't noticeable from a distance. I also replaced the tone and volume pot on this Guitar, not because they where bad but because I thought they'd look better on a Jackson and vice versa.
Features — 8
Here are them: - 2 medium frets - One volume, one tone control - Ibanez AH1 (H) neck pickup - Ibanez AH2 (H) bridge pickup - Mahogany - 3pc. maple neck material - Bound rosewood fingerboard - BR-EG Bridge - Ibanez tuners The neck was brilliant, and Ultra slidey thanks to the maple! Due to the wood of the body it was unusually easy to gain really really heavy sounds when the neck pickup was selected, which suited my style and taste considerably. The medium frets where flawless, not a single buzz or note out slightly out of tone, however I haven't grown fond to these now as lately I've found my preference lies with wider frets. The hardware supplied was good, I liked the quick re-stringing thingy included, made it easier to change strings quicker. I didn't really like the tuners supplied, after a few re-strings and a couple of months carnage the Guitar hardly ever stayed in tune on a warm up, however after a few tunings the Guitar finally corrected itself and was in tune for quite a while. Although I won't knock any points off for this as it could have been my stringing technique. I would have prefered the hardware to be in either gold or black instead of the cheap silver look of the hardware that came with it, however that's only my own opinion and I'm sure it would atleast appeal to some people. Everything came fine, the pickups where correctly adjusted and the only thing my Guitar tech had to change was the action. The only draw-back I have found on this Guitar is that it is incredibly easy for some weird reason to 'accidentally' knock the pickup selector, especially during a drunk performance. On my first encounter of this happening my pickup selector snapped, which I wasn't really happy about since I had the Guitar for around four weeks. Once it was replaced it has failed to snap, so remember to be carefull with that!