Price paid: $ 530
Purchased from: Local Music Store
Sound — 8
It is Dark. Very Dark. By that I mean it has a very "bassy" E sting. It is very notable in standard tuning, but it isn't very noticeable in drop tunings. It truly shines in Drop D tuning. I have use it for everything; metal, rock, thrash, grunge... Very versatile, it can do just about anything you throw at it. It has been played through a multitude of amps from my Bugera to my first Crate.
Overall Impression — 7
It was a good match for me, still is. It's a great guitar. It was my first "real guitar" so I went through a learning process with it. I wish I would have known more about Floyd Rose, and how terrible the finish is on the guitar. But looking beyond prejudices it's a nice guitar. It's an Ibanez! Metalishous? Very much so. It's a nice guitar, sounds good, plays well, action is sick. If it was stolen, regrettably I wouldn't buy another. There is nothing that sets it apart from any other guitar. Still a great piece though!
Reliability & Durability — 7
It never comes out of tuning. I only have to tune it once per set of strings, or when changing tuning. The locking nuts and Floyd Rose are that good. The Hardware is fairly durable, had to open up the guitar a few times to tighten loose volume and tone knobs. Strap buttons were okay, but I always buy strap-locks to be on the safe side. Reliable? Oh yeah. Durable? Eh not bad.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
I actually kept the factory settings on most everything other than the Floyd Rose. I have had so many issues with the Floyd Rose though. When you palm mute it, it has a tendency to actual tense up the strings. Maybe if you never had to palm muse it would work better. Lead guitar defiantly, it has an amazing neck action. Solos are easy and the neck feels like it was greased with "Crisco". I may have just talked trash on the Floyd Rose but it is a fantastic tremolo system when used. It floats, ever so beautifully. The most enjoyable part is pulling back and making that guitar scream. The body is super light, only 8 or 9 pounds I think. It has a really nice groove sanded into the body for your side when playing. In essence it follows the contour of your body and provides a more enjoyable playing experience. However the Finish is a pain in the butt. Is rough and rigid. The paint chips easily and IMPOSSIBLE TO CLEAN. Dust gets trapped in the grooves of the body and it is like its glue there. Many days I have wanted to take a sander to that guitar. Very hard to weigh the pros and cons. Majority of the cons are aesthetically related. The Floyd Rose is probably the great wicked/evil/joy/amazing part of the guitar. Which is unfortunately why it has a lower score. Maybe you'll have better luck!
Features — 8
I have owned this guitar for two years now and it has been my primary guitar until a few months ago. Only I have the "Bio Armor" style body, same everything other than the routed design. So it has the Standard 24 jumbo frets. Has two pickups the V7; Neck pickup and the V8; Bridge pickup. Both are passive. Has a pretty good Floyd Rose, of which I'll mention later. Locking nuts which really prevent the Floyd from pulling your guitar out of tune. A super thin neck that you would expect from Ibanez, great for shredding! Tuners are Ibanez's own brand and they work very well for as little as they are used. Has a 5 way channel selector. The first three positions are the neck, both, then bridge. The other two are a mix of the pickups. I had an Ibanez hard-shell case thrown in with the deal too.