Price paid: € 400
Purchased from: musicstoregdc.de
Sound — 9
I have a Line6 POD 2.0 and mostly play into my PC. The sound is great - Very crunchy and has a hard attack. Just right for Metal. It might be hard to get a nice clean tone. i was trying around for a while now and I found it best to just set the POD on bypass (tuner). It sounds so great then, similar to an Acoustic guitar through pickup. (D'Addario strings ;D ) I only have a little Marshall MG45 practice amp which I basically use as speaker at times. But I get a very warm clean tone from it and quite crunchy distorted sounds. It's all good.
Overall Impression — 10
Since i play mostly metal with heavy riffs and deep sounds this is just the right thing. I tuned the guitar down to Drop B and it still sounds very clear and melodious. I've been playing the electric guitar for almost 3 years now, before that i played Acoustic guitar for a bit (not very regular lateron) Of course, this is my first "real" electric guitar. I only have a Squier Strat. I played some other ibanez, Dean and Schecter though and the feel of this guitar is just great. The fingers just walk across the fretboard easily. The XJ frets make it very easyly plyable. If this were stolen or lost I'd buy the same one again. I don't think there's a better choice in this pricing category. I considered some ESPs but it's hard to find a fixed bridge strat. I love the simplicity of the both the look and the hardware. Volume, Tone, Toggle, that's all I need. I might put in some new pickups at some point, but those Ibanez ones are really steaming hot and since I found a way to get a nice clean sound I'm very satisfied for now :) hell, I don't even feel a craving for gear at the moment. I guess you can get it cheaper than I did, but I also payed for the service and consulting I got at the store, so that'S fine. I guess there's no better fixed bridge guitar in this price class. And since most tremolo system guitars suck at tuning stability in this price class anyways...
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar will definitely last a while. The finish is durable, although I managed to get some scratches from my belt buckle in it on the back. They are barely visible. As the finish is just oil it is not damaged itself though. As far as I can judge: The hardware is solid. Neither the strap nor the buttons will come off easily. I'd use it without backup. Maybe pack an extra pair of batteries just in case :D
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
As I ordered it through a local dealer it was checked and set up again by them, I can't judge whether there were any mistakes. It's all fine now. The Humbucker frames are were a bit oxidized though. Not too much of a deal in my eyes though. One won't see it over that cool finish anyways.
Features — 9
The typical Ibanez sharpened Strat body is finished (MOL version) with a very nice wooden look. well, it's oiled mahagony after all. It is very light, lighter than for example the RGR, and still provides - in my opinion - a fuller sound. The guitar has the fixed "Gibraltar" bridge that's especially useful when one changes tunings from time to time like i do. it's a smooth feeling when palm muting. Also the Bridge transfers the string vibration very well and makes the sound very full. It has the active Ibanez LZ3 pickups. they do the job and provide a very heavy distorted sound. They are powered by 2 AA batteries. Also there is a 3 way Switch for the Pickups. You can choose between: -Bridge Humbucker -1 Bridge coil + 1 Neck Coil -Neck Humbucker You won't hear a sound while changing pickups. Also the bag and strap that come with it are the Standard Ibanez, the strap sits tight around the knobs and doesn't come off quickly. the bag has lots of room in it. Definitely useful. It has a tone knob that I got cranked up anyways. Wouldn't care if it were gone. It doesn't make too much of a differnce.