Price paid: $ 300
Purchased from: Craigslist
Sound — 10
I play a general style of hard rock, with metal and classic rock tones here and there. It fits pretty well, a humbucker in the bridge/neck really helps for hard rock and metal, and the middle single coil while coupled with the humbuckers makes for good classic rock tones. I'm currently running it directly into my Peavey 40 watt XXX combo. It's not very noisy, unless I have the gain cranked and I'm right next to the amp, which is the case for most guitar. The sound is pretty damn full, a smooth rich tone for anything rock. The variety is actually pretty good, the bridge gives you a heavy tone with bite, the neck gives you a smooth thick, warm tone, and single gives you a tone of bluesy bite. Combine them and you have a massive array of tonal possibilities.
Overall Impression — 9
I play hard rock/classic rock/metal, and it's a great match. I've been playing for about two years, and I have an Ibanez GSA60 (reviewed). I wish I had had it set up immediately, instead of waiting awhile after getting pissed at the action and overall feel of the guitar. If it were stolen, I probably would just save up for a higher end guitar, but I would go for this axe again if there price was right. I love the thick mahogany tone, the H/S/H pickup configuration, the tuning stability, and the action. I hate the Ultra thin body (I'm a big dude) and the inlays. I basically bought this because it was only $300, and there wasn't much else better for the price. I wish it had Dot inlays, and a slightly thicker/bigger body.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I think that this axe would stand up well for live playing. The hardware seems to be getting dirty, but after a cleaning it should look as good as new. The strap buttons don't seem too sturdy, so I would probably recommend strap locks. I think the finish is pretty good, sans a few scratches from usual playing.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I bought the guitar used, and the action was high, strings were rusty, all that type of stuff. I had my guitar teacher properly set it up, which made me like the guitar a whole lot more. I've adjusted the pickups many times, right now they're just about right. The guitar itself doesn't have any real flaws, except for a couple nicks and scratches from the previous owner.
Features — 10
My S470 is the quilt top version, made in 2004. There's 22 frets, a rosewood fretboard over a thin maple neck. The body is mahogany. The bridge is the acclaimed ZR double locking bridge. Pups are passive, and you're given one volume and tone knob, and a 5-way Switch to control the HSH pickup configuration. The pups are the basic Ibanez stock ones. Regular, non-locking tuners. I bought mine used, so it was just the guitar.