Price paid: C$ 700
Purchased from: Music City
Sound — 9
This guitar is perfect for any metalhead. I've been thrashing on this thing for a couple months now, playing hard rock and metal, and it's held up very well. First when I bought it I ran into a few minor problems with tuning and the alignment of the Edge III Bridge, but besides that it's held it's own Against Me. I'm currently using a degitech death metal distortion pedal, a Line 6 POD V2.0, and a Traynor Reverb Special amp. This guitar works great with them, but I have a hard time getting a clean sound when I'm working with the POD. When I'm working with just the distortion pedal, I'll just click the pedal off and it gives a very nice clean tone. This guitar has very, very powerful pickups. It gives an amazing distortion and a crunchier, lower end sound, but seems to have a bit harder of a time with clean tones and sounds. This guitar can make any noise imaginable, from pitch harmonics to slides to anything. I've pulled off a fair bit of Tom Morello stuff with it. This guitar is very diverse when it comes to noises.
Overall Impression — 9
I am a strict hard rock and metal follower, and this guitar goes perfect with my style. I have been playing for nearly 5 years now, and own several other guitars, ranging from a 1968 Silvertone CES to a Jasmine Left-Handed acoustic by Takamine. I wished I had asked about a locking feature on the bridge, but that's not really too much of a problem. If this were stolen, I would jump back and buy the same model immediately. I love how sleek and thin the neck is, and the action adjustment screws on the bridge which you can practically adjust while playing. Although there are many pros to this guitar, there are a few cons as well. I dislike the tuning equipment on the guitar, and how inaccessible the bridge adjustment is, and I also moderately dislike the position and height of the pickups. I had compared it to several higher-end Epiphone guitars and a couple Gibsons, but I chose this one over them because of the value, the tone and sound, and the incredible overall look of this guitar, with an all black body and hardware, while having a sleek, durable white neck. I wish it had an Edge 0 bridge or a locking bridge, just for the option. Overall, I highly recommend this guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar would easily withstand any playing condition, and I would defiantly trust this thing Live. The hardware is holding up extremely well, and everything on this guitar is solid and held fast, including the strap pegs. This is my current gig guitar, and I will be using it without backup, besides the occasions that I would have to use my electric acoustic. I have all my Faith in this guitar, and the black finish with the lacquer clear coat is holding up very well.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
This guitar was set up fairly well from the day I got it. The action was very well adjusted, but I had to make a couple minor adjustments to the third string, which was made easy because of the action screws on the bridge. This is definitely an amazing feature, and very convenient. Also, the bridge needed a small alignment adjustment, which took a fair bit of time, with the challenge of getting the back paneling off, getting a screw driver in a very narrow slot, and then turning the screw until the bridge was parallel with the strings. I needed to slightly lower the middle pickup, but that was also made easy with the Allan keys that came with the guitar. Besides all of this, there were no other flaws with this guitar.
Features — 8
Made in 2008 in Japan, this ungodly guitar has twenty four frets on a beautiful maple 3-pc. Wizard II neck. It has a solid Basswood body that is a tad heavy, but fairly easy to work with, and the finish coating that brutally shows you're fingerprints. It has a pointed Stratocaster style of body which looks beautiful, and has an Edge III bridge, which is a beautiful string thru style and sounds amazing with great note sustain with the whammy bar. There is one volume knob, one tone, and a five way Switch for the pickups. There are three pickups, which are all from the Ibanez infinity series; INF3 (H) neck pickup, INFS3 (S) mid pickup, and an INF4 (H) bridge pickup. The tuners are non-locking Standard Ibanez tuners, which hold the tuning fairly well, but I've had to make a few minor adjustments to a couple of them. The guitar came with a 6-foot cable, a couple Allan keys and a replacement tremolo spring.