Price paid: $ 550
Purchased from: Musicians Friend
Sound — 8
Works great for my style of music which is from classic rock into the heavier stuff. If you back off the volume and swich to the single coil, you can get some great clean sounds. I run it through a Line 6 spider II, which has awesome clean sounds to begin with. The single coil always puts out some noise, but it's not that much unless you are in a room filled with electronics. If I play in my computer room, at full volume I will get quite a bit of hum from the single coil by itself. None of the other combinations really make much sound. Tone knob doesn't really do a whole lot, the volume is what creates the dynamic sound. Between half and full volume is where most of your tone variety is coming from. When the single coil is maxed out it can cut through anything of equal volume in a band. Bridge humbucker, not so much. Neck bucker I really don't use much unless I really wanna blend with the band, it takes either tons or almost none of the tone away from the signal, it's hard to find a really good balance on it unless you really play with the volume.
Overall Impression — 7
I love playing the guitar, in spite of it's flaws I love picking it up. It's very versatil for anything that I want to play. I probably would not but it again, I would rather go with something that has a S/S/H setup, but I love the fact that I can do anything I want to the trem and it always stays in tune.
Reliability & Durability — 5
I will now tell you everything that has gone wrong with this guitar in the 3 years that I have owned it: the first thing that went wrong was that I noticed a dead spot in the volume potentiometer. This means that you turn it to a point and then all of a sudden the sound completely silences until you move the knob to a different position. I dealt with this for like 2 of the years and only recenly have replaced the potentiometer. It was a trickey operation because some of the lead wires were too short, and there were a whole bunch of ground wires which all had to go on the back of the pot. And by "go on" I mean I had to re-solder them all on the new pot. The second thing was the buzzing somewhere in the trem which I have still not fixed. The third thing was that I stripped out one of the threads in the locking nut. And it was the actual nut that needed to be replaced, not just the screw. and up until like a few months ago I couldn't find any replacement parts for Ibanez. So I was basically out of luck, until magically this site decided to appear where you can buy like every part that Ibanez makes in any color from. so I bought the nut which ended up costing like $40 for the cosmo-black one. This new nut made the action a significant amount higher than before, which is what caused me to adjust the action on the strings to my liking. Lastly, just a minor thing, the strap has caused wear on the finish and has worn the paint off so that I can see the beautiful mahogany on the edge where the strap hits. I have played a few gigs with it tho, and it has never let me down.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Factory setup was pretty well done, I didn't change anything for a while after I got it. After maybe 2 years I lowered the action a smidgen, I have a little bit of buzz on the frets now but I deal with it because I need lower action for the new locking nut, once again, details later. I haven't touched the pickups becuase I really don't know what I'm doing when adjusting them. although I did take them out completely when I wired the guitar up with some green glow that came out of the pickups when I flicked a Switch I put in on the trem. Was pretty cool, but thw Switch got annoying so I took it out. Finish is really nice from a distance, up close it looks like poopy in my opinion, but like 10 feet away it's awesome. After about a year, the finish on most of the bolts has off. probably from my hand's sweat. I seem to have an issue with buzzing in the trem somewhere when I don't play through an amp, which I have never been able to pinpoint and eliminate, but when you play through an amp it's not even noticable.
Features — 8
This guitar is a light-weight mahogany guitar with a maple neck and rosewood fretboard. The fretboard has 22 jumbo frets which show little signs of wear after around 3 years of play. The thin body makes it very confortable to play, and the H/S/H setup s good for a variety of applications. Didn't inclue any accessories except for a throw away 6ft guitar cable. The ZR trem works very well with the micro adjusters on the bridge. It's especially easy to tune to drop D becuase the trem lets the low E move up a lot further than the others, enough to put it in drop D and back. Though I have had some problems with the trem, details later.