PGM 401 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (9 votes)
Ibanez: PGM 401
2

Price paid: £ 1500

Purchased from: GAK

Sound — 9
I play anything from Andy Timmons to Pantera, Paul Gilbert, Decapitated, Pink Floyd and Stone Roses. This guitar can do anything you ask of it. The only bad point about my rig is that it's being played through a Line 6 Spider III which I've decided sounds crap. It's clean as a whistle even on high-gain settings and the sound is extremely bright. Notes ring through when playing chords. You can play anything from Country to Death Metal on this...it might struggle with really warm tones, although the pick-up selector in the neck position warms it up loads. You really do get a lot of variety by just using the pick-up selector and volume knob.

Overall Impression — 9
I play any sort of music and I think this guitar would tackle it to a degree. I've been playing 5 years and am playing through a Spider III, which is the only let down because the amp is rubbish. The tones are there to be had, but the amp is incapable of releasing them to their true value. If this guitar were stolen I would be finding whoever did it and would be stabbing them in the throat with a fork. Pain would be unleashed. I love everything about the actual guitar. The set-up wasn't good but that was easily remedied. It plays fast and smooth and comfortable. I was nearly gonna get a PRS but decided on this because it was more in my price range for the model I wanted, and I don't regret it. It's got a brighter sound than the PRS's but it's still awesome. The only thing I wish it had was a decent set of fingers to work it to it's magical best, but that's something, with the use of this instrument, I hope I can remedy!

Reliability & Durability — 9
The guitar feels solid but is actually quite light. I haven't tried it Live and probably won't, but if I was going to I wouldn't take a back-up guitar. It seems like it will stand the test of time but I've only had it a week so who knows. I would expect for the price and from Ibanez for it to last a long time.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
My only gripe with the guitar is the set-up when it arrived. The strings feels cheap, it's not very well intonated, it wasn't tuned and the action is pretty high. The hardware is all really quiet and really well fit. Sounds brilliant. The only problem I has was on a 1500 guitar I expected it to arrive ready as if Paul Gilbert himself was going to play it, and it didn't. Set-up could have been a lot better.

Features — 10
Made in Japan in 2009. 24 frets - thin, playable neck. Ash body walnut fingerboard. Strat type body and fixed bridge, passive DiMarzio Air Classic pick-ups with just the volume control. The pick-ups are Humbuckers which are utilised through a 5 way pickup selector. There was just an official Ibanez case included. Nothing else.

19 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Ruchitya T Anan
    even my Ibanez(though a cheaper model) had a rather OK factory set-up. Although the strings i got were really good! But the bridge height was so bad i decided to change it asa i got it. really nice review btw!
    SeanX3187
    i really like fixed bridge ibanez guitars. i've never been a big fan of floyds or the ibanez edge. this sounds like a good guitar... maybe not my style, but good nonetheless
    Ikonoklast
    It's crap, but it's not as crap as UG bandwagoners make out. The 401 actually sounds decent through it, and i'm constantly practicing, so when i come to get my Mesa Lonestar it will sound awesome. Please, people who haven't actually owned a certain product stop following the masses, saying it's crap when you have no actual first hand experience of it.
    devilskommander
    JackTheNobody wrote: ldnovelo wrote: Empty Box : Gasp! A 401 through a Spyder?this, but it's sider. If I had those 1500 pounds to spend i would have gotten a good amp even if I had a sh*t guitar. Yeah, even a great guitar will sound awful through a horrible amp, but a crappy guitar will at least sound passable through an awesome amp.
    some people (me included i have the spider III 30w) just dont have the funds... It is a pos tho
    JackTheNobody
    ldnovelo wrote: Empty Box : Gasp! A 401 through a Spyder?this, but it's sider. If I had those 1500 pounds to spend i would have gotten a good amp even if I had a sh*t guitar.
    Yeah, even a great guitar will sound awful through a horrible amp, but a crappy guitar will at least sound passable through an awesome amp.
    ldnovelo
    Empty Box : Gasp! A 401 through a Spyder?
    this, but it's sider. If I had those 1500 pounds to spend i would have gotten a good amp even if I had a sh*t guitar.
    ShionusSkyr
    erm...IF this is a semi-hollowbody (cuz it looks like it from the pic) then is it advisable to use it for death metal? lol cuz you always seem to see them back in the 30's with ppl like chuck berry LOL
    Baby Joel
    Fretboard is rosewood, not walnut. Walnut can't be used as a fretboard, its structurally not capable. However, the neck is a maple/walnut/maple/walnut/maple neck, so maybe you got confused. :p Other than that, pretty decent review, and great guitar.
    MetalLlama
    TheOpenMind wrote: JackTheNobody wrote: Ahh, beaten to the punch. Touche, TheOpenMind. >.> Once I again my forum ninja skills have helped me to prevail! Bu tyou were a worthy adversary Mr. JackTheNobody :p
    We aren't on a forum.
    TheOpenMind
    JackTheNobody wrote: Ahh, beaten to the punch. Touche, TheOpenMind. >.>
    Once I again my forum ninja skills have helped me to prevail! Bu tyou were a worthy adversary Mr. JackTheNobody :p
    JackTheNobody
    It's not a semi-hollow, those F-holes are painted on. It's a signature part of the PGM series.
    TheOpenMind
    It's not a hollowbody, it just has painted f-holes on it because Gilbert (and many other people) like it for aesthetic reasons.
    richard_edwards
    I used the Spider 3 in my local guitar shop with a midrange RG. It really was crap! I owned a 150 watt Spider 2 a while back, and that was better. But still not great. I'm never going to have another digital amp. EVER.