Price paid: $ 387
Purchased from: sweetwater
Sound — 7
I play mostly Rock and classic rock. The infinity pickups are pretty decent for this, although they are kind of generic sounding. I'm using an old Marshall solid state combo and a Fender deluxe 112. With the amp's onboard distortions, the sound leaves alot to be desired. When used with a decent distortion pedal (Boss DS-1 or Snarling Dogs Blue-Doo) it sounds much better. In general the pickups have alot of chug-chug, but lack a little in the meedley meedley department. I'll be changing them out to get a wider variety of tones. Colean tones are actually pretty good, especially in the 2 and 4 positions where the HB's are split and combined with the middle single. These give you a nice twangy sound if you like that sort of thing. The middle single by itself is, well, mediocre. Bottom line, the stock pickups are decent, but I would bet that Ibanez thinks most people will change them out anyway, so why bother putting in more expensive pickups and raising the overall price? I'll give it a 7-has a ton of potential, as the unplugged sound is very good. I'd rather spend 100 bucks on some new pickups, than pay 200 more out of the gate and still want to switch the pickups.
Overall Impression — 9
I have been playing for 20 years. Jamming with friends in college, breaking, fixing, and upgrading guitars the whole time. I will tell you this-I got to meet Steve Vai one time, and got to play EVO. This guitar plays just as well as Steve's main axe (his action is actually quite a bit higher, but he has crazy hands!) With some new pickups, there is no reason that this couldn't be a semi-pro or pro level instrument. The only thing I'm not sure about is the trem, but from what I have read, the Zero II is a solid unit. I'm not a whammy maniac anyway.If stolen, I'd get another. Maybe the yellow one this time just for kicks. What do I love? It's a freaking awesome guitar at a budget price. What do I hate? as hard as I might wish, the guitar itself does not provide what I lack in the skills department. Get one before they jack the price up like the did with the white version-it's $20 more than it was 2 months ago...
Reliability & Durability — 10
I do not play live, except in my living room. SO I can't say whether it would withstand live playing. It seems to me to be built like a tank, and since I haven't tinkered with it yet (aka-screwed it up) I don't see why it wouldn't be a great live axe. Will the finish last? As well as any other guitar I would think. Overall, the craftsmanship on this is top notch. If I WERE to play a gig, I would always have a backup, as I own several guitars and would want to play all of them! I have owned several Ibanez products in the past and have always thought they were well built.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Sweetwater does their own inspection and adjustments on many of their guitars, so I can't really say how the factory setup was. I can tell you that by the time it got to me, it was set up very well. I only lowered the action a hair, but that's just my preference. I also subsequently lowered the pickup heights, as they were darn close to touching the strings. I also lowered the middle single as it just happens to be right in the way of my picking. Everything else was top notch-no loose screws or wonky knobs. Fit and finish were excellent.
Features — 10
2011, Indonesian made. 24 jumbo frets, 25.5" scale. Maple neck/FB, basswood body. Metallic green finish, with matching headstock and chrome logo. Super Strat body, Edge Zero II bridge with ZPS. Infinity 3, s3, 4 pickups. 5 wya switch, 1 vol, 1 tone. Has everything you need and nothing you don't. I give it a 10 because it is exactly what I wanted. Compared to something with 15 switches, 10 knobs, led lights and a synth pickup, it would score a little lower!