Purchased from: ebay
Features — 6
It's like every other Ibanez they make except for the fact it has a different tremolo called the "FAT 20" which I guess what separates it from a standard Fulcrum tremolo is the hex screws on it and Ibanez stamped on this bridge as much as possible to remind you what brand you're playing with.
It has another type of pickups made specifically by Ibanez which have a bad reputation on the Jem forum I googled for their pickups. I want output, I want heavy sounds and so forth and what I like about these pickups more than the V7/V8 and INF pickups is there is more life and "umph" to them. But that doesn't stop 70% of Ibanez players to run to the coolest sounding pickup company they can Google or eBay (DiMarzio) and swap them out! Usually I pick up an Ibanez when someone brings one in or whatever and have a pretty good idea of what it'll sound like through my amp, flat, boring and lifeless even with the INF pickups which have over 16k in output. Granted resistance isn't end game but the pickups don't get the credit they should.
The color is this royal blue so you'll feel like a king hahah, no name tuners, dot inlays to really stand out and the larger then usual B500k (volume) for a smoother 10-1 and a D500k tone pot with a mylar 0.047uf capacitor. The body is basswood which is shocking I know! And the neck isn't a paper thin wizard neck. I can see why hardcore Ibanez players would hate this guitar.
Sound — 7
Acoustically it's boring, it's like a 50 or 100 series LTD, nothing special about it, Slammers, Squiers or anything below the 200$ range. Chances are if you got this as a kid you were either a fan of someone like Korn, Dream Theater, Steve Vai or whoever was endorsed by them at the time or just liked this guitars look and color.
I put Vostok strings which are really in your face compared to ernie balls or D'Addario kids only think those two brands exist, in fact it may be why I'm praising the powersounds so much. The sound of the pickups complement each other position to position I'd love for there to be no middle pickup which gives that annoying buzz that everyone seems to put up with. There isn't a massive volume difference and the sound works with the other pickup in a way that if I switched bridge to neck it would work to keep playing without hitting a pedal or a button on an Axe FX or whatever kids are saving their allowances up for. At the end of the day the sound is a combination of string material, pick material, amp and just how YOUR guitar sounds as specs are but expectations. I'll give this guitar a 7 I guess. It had a linear volume knob to make it seem like it has a treble bleed, this guitar didn't need the useless middle single coil either.
Action, Fit & Finish — 5
I bought this used and it looked like the guy took care of it. More than usual fretbuzz which is typical for most production Ibanez guitars. The pickups I always adjust myself, the paint and all is consistent. The ground wire came off which is why I got this guitar cheap. Other than that the electronics were solid. The pole pieces on a few pickups rusted, the bridges hex screws had rust on it. The tuner ferrules were all loose. I ended up polishing the frets with micro mesh and it was like new. Doubt it's Indonesians fault for any of this but the poor fret leveling.
Reliability & Durability — 4
This guitar would withstand live playing not sure how many songs it'll stay in tune the way it is as this is one of those production models that just barely passes as a guitar to suck up as many kids allowances, birthday money and parents Christmas money as possible. The bridge seems ok, the tuners are ok at best. But I figure no one brings just one guitar to a gig. Now a world tour if you had a few gold records out this would be a huge no-no unless you brought it to a tech for an overhaul.
Again I bought it used, lots of stuff I had to tighten, seemed like it was taken pretty good care of but still if I knew nothing about guitar maintenance I'd be a sad pumpkin and never play another Ibanez ever again.
Overall Impression — 6
My overall impression is this is the guitar you start with. With the amount of money you'll drop into this guitar just seriously save up. The guitar won't stay in tune well so you have to replace this and that. However it's much easier to re-string and try different tunings then a Floyd Rose or Edge equipped Ibanez the cheaper kids who play guitar will give up on or sell/trade asap. I've been playing for close to 12 years and I'd compare this to a Korean Squier ('80s) in sound with pickups that have more life. The neck isn't like paper like I said before so there is hope if you get a good sounding body which can happen when the stars align every other blood moon.
If this was lost I'd post flyers around the club or whatever thanking them for taking this piece of jazzed up plywood. The color is pretty unique, it's not another glossy black guitar. I also like that it doesn't have an Edge so this is something more beginner friendly. It's also a guitar for beginners to "upgrade" to in the sense that it's also got dot inlays (woah).
I'd compare this to Slammer series Hamers, 50 or 100 series LTD, Korean Squiers, Baldwin or Epiphone Specials. I got this cheap and plan to flip it but I figure you guys are in need of honest reviews instead of all 10/10 WOAH BEST GUITAR EVER; this is a review poisoned by the whole "NGD" (new guitar day) excitement and happiness.