Price paid: A$ 2500
Purchased from: Galaxy Guitar
Sound — 10
I do enjoy a large variety of music, and my playing reflects this. This guitar handles a lot of things very well. Its speciality is soloing. The cleans on this guitar are fantastic. Rich and bright. The two humbucking pickups are WAY louder than the single coil, but this is actually a rather handy thing. Loud for lead, soft for rhythm. I have tested this guitar through my Vox VT120+, Boss GT-10 multi-effects unit and through a couple of Fender amps, like the Blues Junior and the Frontman 212. It sings through all amps. Fender guitars are obviously the king of clean, but this guitar is still a fantastic sounding rig! When you throw some distortion, things only get better. It has limited or no buzz, which is what you would expect for an Ibanez guitar of this price. Its difficult to think of a bad aspect of the sound this guitar produces. It will bust out Vai or Satch tones with ease, and coupled with ZRII tremolo... Instant eargasm.
Overall Impression — 10
This guitar is very versatile, and has improved my playing 10fold. It is confusing as hell with its complicated bridge system, but it works really well! I have played for a number of years now and have played many fancy guitars. In my opinion, (dare I say it) this is better than mainstream Les Paul models. If this was stolen, the person who flogged it will die. I really can't find any flaws with it other than poor set-up. I would recommend this guitar to any guitarist looking for a fast playing axe!
Reliability & Durability — 10
Excellent, excellent, excellent! Well, apart from the string not holding in, but that was probably my fault. It will withstand live playing! It will not withstand setting on fire. However I would bet it would withstand fending off psychotic fans who climb on stage or breaking windows. that's how tough this guitar is! It's build like a brick, but because its so beautiful, I don't recommend throwing it around.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Well, my particular guitar had problems. Since it was a birthday present from my parents, I didn't get to try it. One thing I noticed was the action was WAY to high. This in turn caused the intonation to be out too. Worse of all, the neck was bent. So it really needed a professional set up. Moral of the story is, always get a professional set up. Its so worth it. Other than that, pickups were well adjusted, strap buttons strong, everything was as tight as a drum. But an 8 for the poor setup. I did have one incident where my B string wouldn't stay on. Basically on these guitars, rather than on Fender style guitars where the string is held in by the little ball on the string, this guitar holds them on with clamps in the bridge that are tightened with an Alan key. And for whatever reason, when I needed to play a show the next night, it just didn't hold properly. It was a once off thing, I have no idea why. Chances are it was my fault. A piece of advice for people who like to fiddle with their guitars. IF you don't know much about the bridge systems on this guitar, don't muck around with them! Only if you know what your doing should you attempt this. IT can result in runaway action / intonation, poor tuning stability etc.
Features — 10
This guitar is a serious piece of instrument. Its a solid body Prestige Ibanez guitar with the following features: - 24 jumbo frets, easy to reach thanks to the deep cutaway - fast flat neck for speedy playing with a rosewood fingerboard. - Two high output passive humbucking pickups (bridge and neck) and a single coil between them. - 5 way selector switch - Tone and volume knobs - wicked, yet confusing ZRII floating tremolo - Nice 3D finish and a slim, mahogany body that literally draws the chicks attention immediately. - Guitar case that Chuck Norris couldn't break with both hands - Locking nut, to keep the strings in tune when doing those Steve Vai divebombs with the tremolo arm - Zero point spring tension system on the back. This basically means that if you use really light gauge strings, and you change to really heavy gauge, you can alter the spring tension, which saves you having to fiddle with the tremolo. Very handy piece of equipment! This guitar is equipped for the serious soloist. There is no denying, it is a shred machine. A+ effort from Ibanez.