Price paid: £ 469
Purchased from: Guitar guitar
Sound — 8
Currently playing this through a Blackstar HT5R combo and pedal wise I am using a Bad Monkey OD pedal or a DigiTech Metal Master in conjunction with a Zack Wylde Cry Baby. I play varying styles from The Beatles through to Megadeth and I bought this guitar to develop my range of music as the other 2 guitars I own have active PU's and don't offer the versatility I wanted to develop my play. The pickups are not noisy at all when sat idling even with everything on my pedal board fired up and in general I get a good response through the amp alone using the ISF it has and also when boosting the clean with either of my pedals. It has a bright tone on the neck and when in the bridge position with gsi right up it competes with the active pickups on my other 2 very well. The single coil in the middle is excellent also, lower the volume on the guitar and drop the gain and it gives an excellent blues tone. Pinch harmonics are a breeze on it however again my criticism would be the ZR which when dive bombed just doesn't have the same feel as a Floyd. Don't get me wrong it works well but not as well so points off for this. Clean the guitar is fantastic and when used with the wah you can get a real 60's vibe going with it. Very impressive although the sound does breakup at high volumes so locking a point off for that.
Overall Impression — 9
Like I said earlier I play all types of music and this guitar so far has proved capable of matching my needs. I did not expect it to stand up against my Ibanez MTM2 or my DBZ Venom with their active pickups for metal but it actually does. No it doesn't have the snarl they do but at practise volumes and upwards it holds it own, the necks quick and has brought my own speed on and it seems quite forgiving, that or I'm improving. I personally have been playing properly for just over 2 years now and I have played and owned Epiphones, Schecter's, dean's etc etc but I just feel that Ibanez give great value for money for the hobby guitarist who doesn't want a Gibson. Yes there are better guitars out there but for the budget I had at the time it was the best one in the shop. I love the colour mainly because everyone else will think its vulgar, I don't like the ZR tremolo but it works at the end of the day. If it were lost or stolen I would consider getting another one although I change my guitars that regularly I would probably use the money to go for an upgrade, perhaps the RG!
Reliability & Durability — 8
It seems hardy enough for live play but who wouldn't take a back up. The fluoro strings have started to lose some of their coating after a few hours of playing so this may be a weak area and it has the trem on it so setup times would mean I would have a backup anyway. Everything feels solid on it, strap buttons are well fitted as are the fittings. The finish is excellent quality and looks capable of withstanding a bang or 2 but don't expect me trial this out!
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Action was a little high for me so I had to tinker and the neck was slightly off but this was easily sorted, point off though. Pickups were set spot on and electrics and bridge also set really well with no adjustment needed. Frets were all finished really well and guitar itself was spotless. Controls all set nicely and nothing feels half finished. One thing I will say is my second Ibanez and both have been brilliant and such good value. You get a lot of guitar for your money and a guitar of a good quality to boot.
Features — 8
Based on the S Series Ibanez's this guitar is the 25th anniversary edition of the model Manufactured in 2011 in fluorescent yellow it certainly stands out. It has a bolt on 3 piece Wizard III maple neck with 24 jumbo frets and has an un lacquered finish which is strangely very nice to play. It has a mahogany body again as said before this is a fluorescent yellow which is lacquered to glow in the dark under UV light. One thing to note is the thin profile of the S Series guitars, it really makes the guitar comfortable to play both sat and standing. It is fitted with the Ibanez ZR tremolo system and comes complete with matching glow in the dark strings which is a nice touch. It has a volume and tone pot and a 5 way selector for the 3 pickups it comes with which are as follows, neck INF1 (H), mid INFS1 (S) and bridge INF2 (H). These are of course stock pickups but on first impressions they work well and give good variation of tone across the board. Grover tuners to match the rest of the Cosmo black hardware finish the package off, unfortunately it didn't come with a case or a strap so this knocks a point off and without meaning to sound harsh on my own guitar, the ZR just doesn't match up to an original Floyd rose so a point off for that.