Purchased from: The Only Guitar Shop
Sound — 8
I play a wide variety of music, from the Chili Peppers to Audioslave to Paul Gilbert all the way to Brian Setzer. This guitar can cover all these tones, but is best at Audioslave and Brian Setzer. I play through a Danelectro Fab Overdrive, an EHX Big Muff Pi, a Dunlop Crybaby and a DigiTech Digi-delay into a Vox AD30VT. The guitar delivers a very full rich sound from the neck humbucker and a very biting sound from the bridge. Tapping either thins the sound out and adds to the hum, but does not match, say, a normal Stratocaster single coil sound. Tapping one 'bucker and leaving the other untapped with the 3 position Switch in the middle position yealds a very small tinny sound that I like to use to make a part seem tense. It's a very cool sound. I would say that this guitar has about 2 tones per pickup and 6 tones in the middle position. It is a tone tweaker's delight!
Overall Impression — 9
Like I said above, this guitar does a good job with the music I play. While it has less sounds than a Line 6 Variax, it still sounds like a "real" guitar. My other gear includes a Danelectro Fab Overdrive, an EHX Big Muff Pi, a Dunlop Crybaby and a DigiTech Digi-delay into a Vox AD30VT. My other guitars are an Epiphone Dot and a custom Squire Strat. If this guitar were stolen or lost i would probably not buy a new one, as after the update Ibanez took away the sunburst finish mine has, and generally lowered the quality of the instrument. In all likelihood I would end up buying a Paul Gilbert signature Ibanez, just because i really want one anyway.... My favorite feature on this guitar is the sheer number of tones it can make, but I hate its massive weight! When I bought it I cross shopped it with an Epiphone Les Paul and several Schecters. The old school charm and coil taps quickly won me over. I love this axe!
Reliability & Durability — 10
Everything about this guitar is solid as a rock! I would gig without a backup if I had to, but this could lead to personal issues as this guitar is VERY heavy (double the weight of my Epiphone Dot), and I dance around a lot. I cannot give the same "no backup" praise to either of my other guitars, as my Epi feeds back with distortion and my Strat likes to break strings.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The setup on this guitar was slightly iffy from the factory, there was quite a bit of buzz on the upper strings. Other than this the fit and finish was nearly flawless, save for a slightly ill fitting upper pickguard (small warp). I really have no issues with the Action, Fit & Finish on this guitar.
Features — 9
This guitar was made in 2005 in Japan, as are most Ibanez guitars. The guitar has 22 frets and a reasonably trim, if wide neck, which I find very comfortable. The guitar's body is made of a solid chunk of mahogany and the neck is maple with a rosewood fretboard. The high gloss finish on the body is simply stunning and really brings out the grain pattern on this guitar. The body is similar to a really thick Fender Jazzmaster that has been crossbred with some sort of 60s Sears guitar. The tune-o-matic bridge and string through bady are pretty Standard fare. The volume and Tone knobs are normal, as is the three way Switch. The oddball part of the controls are the coil tap switches on the bottom pick guard near the lower bout. Each of these taps one of the humbuckers for a rather convincing single coil sound. The humbuckers are pretty much the Standard Ibanez variety.