Price paid: £ 250
Purchased from: GAK.com
Sound — 9
This is probably the most versatile guitar I own, the pickups are not especially powerful and can be very quiet on clean sounds, especially in the neck position or when playing using extensive legato and/or tapping. The harmonics are pretty good, they ring out well on both clean and distortion sounds. I will say the sustain is very short on the guitar, this may be because of the locking trem but I have no idea to be honest. Between the 5 way switch and the tone dial you can get a wide array of sounds from the guitar, from single coil Strat sounds to full on face crushing metal (effects help this obviously). I try and dabble in as many genres as I can when I play and I haven't really found a sound this guitar can't replicate very well, none of the sounds are 100% correct but then the guitar costs 250.
Overall Impression — 8
As I said earlier I try and play a little of everything, aesthetically this guitar would look odd playing folk or country but it sounds pretty good which is all that really matters I suppose. I've been playing about 2 and a half years and have this, a Dean ML X HardTail, a Squier Strat, and a Fender acoustic, this is probably my favourtie guitar because of the trem and the fact that its all the other guitars in one (save for the acoustic but that can be solved with effects). If this guitar was stolen I would definately get an Ibanez again but a higher end model, perhaps one of the 7 strings. The only real annoyance I have with this guitar is the poor sustain and the hassle of unlocking the nut, adjusting the trem etc for alternate tunings, this is expected of a locking trem so what can you do. I wish it had 7 strings or piezos, or both.
Reliability & Durability — 8
In terms of the finish this guitar will scratch if you look at it funny. Theres some sort of white undercoat underneath the red which is far sturdier than the red, that can scrape away under your fingernails. The actual guitar istelf is pretty sturdy, I've dropped it down stairs and it still plays as well as it did out of the box, enough said. The trem can be a little temperamental though, sometimes it gives far more resistance when diving than other times, this is probably humidity affecting the springs but it can be annoying. I would never gig a locking trem guitar without a backup for obvious reasons, if it was a HardTail I would probably gig it without a back up, I'd have to add straplocks first though, just to be careful.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Th guitar came set up as normal, standard tuning, with the back control plate unscrewed in the box and the locking nut unlocked (still screwed on but not tightened fully). The edge was set up slightly further back than standard on Ibanez but I'm assuming this is because of a confusion with the standard angle for the edge trems (different to a floyd). No real complaints here, lowered the action ever so slightly and tightened the trem. The one thing was that the truss rod cover was not attached, I contacted GAK.com and they sent a replacement in 2 days.
Features — 8
Made in indonesia, not sure about the year. 24 fret (jumbo frets) bound rosewood fingerboard on a 3 piece maple wizard-II neck, sharktooth inlays. Basswood solid body. Ibanez edge 3 double locking tremolo system. Has passive stock Ibanez pickups, INF3 humbucker in the neck position, INFS3 single in the middle and an INF4 humbucker in the bridge. Has one tone, one volume and a 5 way switch. Tuners are Ibanez stock non locking. Came with a small cable and all the required allan keys as well as 2 extra springs for the trem. Mine is in the rubber red finish, which is basically flat bright red.