Price paid: € 479
Purchased from: Dijkmans
Sound — 9
I mostly play metal and jazz and this guitar is made for the two. Many people often label 7 and 8 strings as metal but they were actually first used in jazz for extended sound and/or adding bass lines. It is easily classified as "perfect" when it comes to playing with distortion and when playing clean you might have to toggle the switches for some time to get the right tone. Even in Standard tuning, the strings sound low-tuned so having the switches on low can result in some heavy tunes. The sound is divided quite nicely and there are no problems between the low and high strings. I play this through my Peavey ValveKing 118 (I believe, though not quite sure) with the clean settings on average 5 and the distortion configuration as: gain-10, bass-10, mid-0, high-10 and the bright Switch on. I keep it pretty simple.
Overall Impression — 10
From day one, I had the feeling that this guitar could force me to innovate my style and playing and so far, I think it has. Not only has it pushed me to write in a 7 stringed tab, it also made me think outside the box in relation to scales, chords and arpeggios. I think this is a great metal and jazz guitar but I believe it could fulfill the needs of even the most die-hard polka musician out there. It saddens me that extended range guitars have been labelled as "METAHL!!!" and "Nu-Metal", but lately it has been changing for better, with these beautiful instruments taking a turn for the more technical, progressive side of the field with bands as Animals As Leaders, Scale The Summit, Dream Theater and Meshuggah. If this guitar was stolen then by God, I would hunt that person down and do things to him/her that not even the deepest, foulest aspects of the mind can measure to. Yeah... I'm that serious.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar will surely withstand live action and I would feel assured without a backup guitar as I think this guitar would not show drastic changes on the minute. For the time I've had it, it has showed endurance and quality as there have been no problems with the finish or the hardware. It stays in tune and sounds well all the time.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
It is a black RG Ibanez model with a pinstripe. The action is quite moderate, not too high, not too low. It is easy to reach the high frets (21, 22, etc.) and sometimes you don't even realize how high up the fretboard you are because there are no setbacks. The guitar stays in tune on Standard and maybe drop A tunings (AEADGBA) but going lower results in a bit of a mess. It has a rosewood fretboard with Dot inlays which look really well on the black body although being a fan of Steve Vai, I would not have minded wine inlays with an ebony neck. I've had this guitar for about a month of two and so far, no adjustments were needed. It came in top shape and still is.
Features — 8
Details: Colour: black Construction Type: Solid body Neck construction: Bolted neck Strings: 7-string Frets: 24 Body: mahogany Fret board: Rosewood Fretboard Inlays: Dot inlays Pickup type: Active Pickup Neck: IBZ LZ 7-N Pickup Bridge: IBZ LZ 7-B Pick up selecter: 3-way switch Controls: 1x volume, body split switch Bridge / Tremolo: Fixed bridge Hardware: cosmo black