Purchased from: Craigslist
Features — 6
Features wise it is the same Ibanez you guys have bought over and over again somehow. The only thing different about this is the brushed aluminum pickguard. There was two perks to the wiring. Firstly the volume was a B500k volume pot so 10-1 is a smoother decrease in resistance which in English means that it's like the guitar has a treble bleed. The other mod to it you don't see in many guitars was the coiltap wires were soldered into the selector in an unorthodox way so the 4th and 1st and 5th position (don't quote me on it) gave pretty much H/S tones. If only this guitar had a 2nd volume to really take advantage of this. The neck has a satin finish. A super flat shape. I didn't care for it and yes I'm kind of a shredder. Cheap zinc no name tuners that stamped Ibanez on it and the lifeless "long" lasting Edge III. Oddly enough that chunk of zinc that will last guys 2 years tops of heavy use weighs more than a Korean 1000 Floyd Rose.
Sound — 5
It sounds like lifeless basswood (had 2). The big concern kids have is that ohhh the pickups are muddy BETTER RUN TO DIMARZIO! Because that is the trend on here for those who don't know bare knuckles exist as the really big Ibanez snobs go with those. But seriously what do you expect when your bridge pickup is wound to round 16.4k or so.
The guitar has all the wood scooped out of it for that garbage pickguard and zinc tremolo. Light guitars tend to sound like crap. The only way to make this guitar playable at high gain settings is to re-wire the tone knob to boost bass (not telling djent kids how). To replace the bridge and upgrade it to a brass big block. Copper shield the entire guitar helps too. Pickup placement is crucial and really understand it's like putting a Ferrari engine in a Honda. It's got cheap Asian electronics so at the end of the day to fully go all out on this guitar is NOT worth it. Thankfully parts are interchangeable. Tone comes from as much our hands, amp, tuning and pedals as much as it does this jazzed up plywood body guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
No comment I bought it used. The fretting wasn't great on the first one, to the point I paid a guy to level the frets so it could actually make music. I can stand a bit of buzz but this was outrageous. The second one I'm in the process of re-building (got it dirt cheap on Craigslist to make a buck) and I'm not expecting much. The parts easily rust and wear down so it's something to look forward to. The finish is durable on these at least. More than I can say for a Korean Razorback Dean or something along those lines.
Reliability & Durability — 4
The hardware is not built to last. They know you'll need to upgrade for either that bigger tone or quality parts to get more volume and the big S word (sustain) that all the kids and people getting into guitar that shows they are beginners without them telling you think they need. The pickguard scratches pretty easily too. Cheap 3 ply pearloid from china is more durable. I wouldn't depend on it. I wouldn't play an Ibanez live. For the retail price of this new you can get far better guitars. I don't know why anyone puts up with Ibanez and they are so highly on a pedestal.
Overall Impression — 4
A cheap guitar people are suckered into paying big bucks for. Low quality hardware. A thin and lifeless tone contributing from poor choice in body wood. Scooping out all the goodness of tone. The neck is too thin so it also contributes to the lifeless tone. This guitar was meant to be played 200bpm I'm sure. There is no way any pro would give this guitar a 10/10 and it's just kids who saved up their allowance. WOW POOR FRET WARE... 10/10 BEST GUITAR EVER, but any wow factor I get over when I do these reviews. And yes... I could have bought RG guitars without the pickguard and tremolo but again it's a review of something I owned (sold both by the time this is read). I don't see myself owning this or having it as a backup guitar.
If it was stolen I'd thank the person and send them a fruit basket. What do I love about it? The metal pickguard that's about it. It's a 25. 5 scale and 24 frets so that is nice too. A bit of access to the higher frets but don't get carried away. I chose this guitar because it was deal to flip. A few solders here a few missing screws there why not. I figured I'd leave at least one review on here that wasn't full of crap. This is a step up from Bullet Strats and Special Les Pauls (Epiphone) but don't get carried away. For the price get a Korean LTD, a Japanese Jackson on Craigslist or if it has to be that ugly really over done super strat shape perhaps a Schecter without those over rated active pickups.