Purchased from: local music store
Features — 8
Made in Indonesia, in 2005, this guitar is a radical take on the flying V style guitar with an extended fin on top. The guitar is made with a basswood body, maple neck with ebony fretboard, bolt on with binding. It has a tuneomatic style bridge with the ez load tailpiece, one volume and one tone control with a 3 way switch. The guitar features 2 humbucker, a INF3 in the neck position, ceramic magnet and an INF4 in the bridge position with an alnico 5 magnet. The tuners are Ibanez tuners, but hold tune very well and is well constructed. It is black in color, nothing special, but then again, it is built for straight ahead rock and roll, and has plenty to do the job.
Sound — 8
My first impression of this guitar is that it is made to rock. The clean sound to be fair, is okay, nice ringing to the treble end and a nice bass thunk, but overall, the v body style does limit the overall shape of the tone. When played dirty, and I'm talking with just a little to a lot of overdrive or distortion, this guitar sounds great. I like classic rock, blues and power pop and it does the sound excellent. To be fair, it is more for a rock sound with some grit, so my overall rating takes this into account. I play through a Fender tube amp and I like the sound I get from this. The Ibanez pickups complement each other quite well, and when I am playing with distortion, this guitar will see a lot of use. Right now, what impresses me the most about the guitar is the pickups, they are powerful, but pack a lot of tone which surprised me given that I have seen several posts really trashing these pickups. I have an Epiphone Les Paul style guitar with soapbars and a LTD MV 100 with a lace humbucker and single in it, so for clean and other sounds I can use those guitars, or simply put, this guitar complements my other guitars, it has its own sound, and for what I play, this will get use, and if I was to be honest in my rating: for classic rock 10, I won't speculate for metal as I really don't play metal and would not be giving a fair evaluation, for clean, I would rate this guitar a 6, it's got some good sounds, but to be fair, it is limited. Good crunch, with clean definition of all strings distorted.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Being used, I would say the guitar is put together very well. Everything fits tight, and there are no gaps, the paint job is good, nothing special. The hardware, well above average, good quality, basically what I would expect from Ibanez. The basswood body is very resonant when played, and it has a bit of a brighter tone when compared to mahogany which is fine for my tastes. The silver pickup trim ring looks a little cheap to me, but it's nothing that I would go out of my way to replace. For a V style guitar, it is actually pretty comfortable to play, and I can actually play it sitting down as you can work it a little to play. The tuners hold tuning excellently, they may be Ibanez's own, but they are well made.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Overall the guitar is very solid, it is nine years old and still in excellent shape. The strap buttons are solid, and more importantly, well placed on this guitar, I haven't had any worries about the strap coming off. The hardware is solid, and after some adjustments to my tastes, the guitar gives me the impression that it will last a long time. THe only part of the guitar that is a little weak is the finish. While it is a nice solid black, you can see a little fade in it, but then again, I bought it used, and this could be from the previous owner.
Overall Impression — 7
I like playing blues, power pop, classic rock and even a little country once in a while, I own 4 guitars and don't expect one guitar to be perfect for all, that said, I like this guitar for classic rock, I like that it sings when distorted and that there is clear definition on all the strings in all three switch positions. I am surprised at how much I like the sound of the stock Ibanez pickups, and to be honest if it was stolen, I wouldn't hesitate to find another one. It is limited (to me) in what you can play it for, but within it's limits, it does its job very well. The overall quality is very good, but to be honest, my LTD guitar still is a notch above, but thats okay. One thing I like about this guitar is that it has a bolt on neck which I prefer, again my preference, so this does what I want it to do. Overall I give it a 7, please read that I give it this because to me it is limited in it's sound, not because it doesn't sound good.