Price paid: $ 500
Purchased from: Tom Lee
Sound — 8
The usual metal, cleans but mostly rock ballads, soloish with lots of delay and reverb. Runs through a Line 6 Spider jam amp and sounds freaking awesome straight out of the box. The DiMarzio active pickups claim to be as articulate as an active pickup without the horrible sterile steriliness that actives suffer from. Pickups were one of the selling points for me I have to admit, as I'd always wanted to try DiMarzio pickups. No regrets here. DiMarzio definitely lives up to its word with a uniqueish tone without battery hassles and doesn't sound like every EMG 85/81 setup which sounds great, BUT THEY ALL SOUND THE SAME. Thats just my 10 cents though. The neck pickup is pretty amazing I must say. Smooth clear tones which are perfect for soloing and heavier styles. However it can get slightly muddy. Only slightly though, not too much of a problem. Another thing that might bother people is its rather bass heavy. I quite like it though, great for bluesiness and other styles. Bridge pickup is a lot harsher. Very good for pinch harmonics. However I find it wayyy to trebly, very thin harsh sound which I don't like too much. However its pretty good with the tone knob turned down. The tone and volume knobs have a bit of an issue too. The volume knob isnt very responsive. Turn it down 9/10ths of the way and it doesn't do anything, just dampens the tone. Its just fun to roll. I use it mainly to turn off feedback when I'm not arsed to reach my amp. The tone knob too seems to suffer the same problem. Turn it down9/10ths of the way it doesn't do anything. Then the last 1/10th you get a mild tone reduction. You can still get the latin rock/santana-esque sound, but really this guitar was just meant for brutal mosh pitting head banging kick ass metal. I mean its a freaking iceman. So really if you're mainly into metal its great. If youre into blues youd be getting something like a Strat anyway.
Overall Impression — 9
This guitar is really metal metal metal. I've been playing for about 2 years, but practice daily for about 2 hours-ish. If it were stolen, I'd consider buying it again, I mean for 500 USD (gotta love Hong Kong prices and christmas discounts), its outplayed guitars than cost perhaps a billion times more. However I'd probably try an Ibanez S prestige. Its so sleek its unbelievable. Its unique look will defintely turn heads. My teacher described it as "A guitar that only prince would use". Sadly I'm not Prince. Nontheless great guitar for a ridiculously great price. The only problem really is the bridge pickup being too harsh for my taste. Perhaps a Seymour Duncan would do the job there. I also wish the bindings werent so sloppy, because it detracts from what would be a perfect look. In all honesty theres nothing else I wish it had, apart from maybe like a build in wifi, and maybe a bayonet to ward off intoxicated fans. But it might possibly be the best value guitar on the market.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Extremely durable, played live a few times, no problem whatsoever. The tuning knobs are pretty easy to turn though, so accidental bumps will detune it. Just be careful. Hardware is great, any problems like the tone knobs falling off like I mentioned can be fixed with glue. Totally reliable. Didn't try the strap buttons, got Ernie Ball strap locks straight away. Finish is pretty good, doesn't scratch too easily. As long as you don't go smashing your guitar, don't use it for basball, shot by a tank or have it get run over it will definitely last.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Action set up is perfect, amazing. Nothing to be said there. Out of the box played great, low action super fast. enough said. Pickups were great too, everything worked. However theres only one thing that really bothered me. The black bindings are pretty terrible. Its as if a half sober underpaid worker with a wage of about -5 dollars an hour half assedly painted them on. Ok theyre not that bad, but the small details really get to me, and when youre playing its always in the corner of your eye. Real shame as it detracts from the otherwise extremely great build of it for such a cheap price. The tone knobs also came off about a week after i bought it. Probably from all that knob rolling, its just so satisfying. But its made of black painted metal, so glue it back on and no one would ever notice. The way the iceman body is designed means theres a little kind of tail shape at the bottom, which scratches easily. Otherwise great finish. Im just really fussy.
Features — 10
-Made in 2007, Indonesia. -24 Frets Jumbo with a rosewood neck i think. Solid top body, very naice. -Body is mahogany, painted white with black bindings. Iceman style body, super cool. -Some kind of fixed bridge. -DiMarzio Activator pickups, theyre passive though. One volume knob, one tone knob. -Non locking tuners. -Came with a colossal sized Ibanez case with more padding than a limo, and a cheap lead which works pretty well nonetheless. Great features for great value.