Price paid: $ 650
Purchased from: Musician's Friend
Sound — 9
I play mostly just straight up hard rock, lots of Classic rock, metal, blues, bluegrass, and everything in between. It holds great sustain because of the body, even though the pickups could have been just a tiny bit more loaded with output. Each pickup setting is very unique and sounds clean with even the most thrashiest distortion. Every thing comes in clearly when you play it and solos are very easy to get how you want them to sound. On clean settings, the 5 pickup selections make you feel like you have a choice between about a dozen acoustic guitars. Solos are loud and clear and notes ring very brightly. This guitar sounds very good for full chords and very hard striving power chords. Classic distortion fits this guitar best to me, and blues overdrive sound perfect. Metal Drive more depends on the amp and FX settings you got. The mahogany body makes this guitar very bright, but thick sounding. I feels like its a small step below that hard driving crunch from the weight of a Les Paul or a gretsch. The volume knob is extremely responsive and shapes tones very well. The only problem with the tone knob is that I feel that it isnt the most responsive and I can't sometimes get that very bassy sound out of it. This guitar is dynamic for every genre of music that you wish to play, to put everything I just typed in a nutshell.
Overall Impression — 10
This is my perfect match. It I had to marry a guitar, this would probably be it. It has only been here for about a month and already has at least 70-hours of play time under its belt. It is really hard to ignore and its features helps me be very creative with music and ideas for some new stuff. I can't really afford many nice guitars, and I have only owned a handful, but I practically, eat, sleep, and breathe guitars. I have played almost every kind of guitar there is and know them inside and out, and I can truly say that this one of the nicest guitars I've gotten. If your on a budget, this guitar will make you feel like you've just bought a PRS Custom 24. It feels like one and looks like one for a 1/4 of the price. I'm running mine through a big, ol' Crate amp with my main pedal, a Boss Distortion DS-1. The Zero Resistance bridge has changed my entire outlook on floating trems and having fun adjusting all the little things on this guitar can be enjoyable. I have encountered no problems with this yet. I love this guitar. If you want a very versatile, sleek, quick, and display worthy guitar, well, I can gladly say that Ibanez has made just that. Whoever built and designed this thing deserves a round of applause. Ibanez has got some great workers because this a true work of art.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is tough. It has only been here a month and has already taken a few hits and some hard licks but it shows no sign of wear. Don't let its small size and thin edges trick you. This guitar has a bit of a muscle-like weight to it that reassures you that it isnt a fragile little sissy guitar. It can really take a hit. Live playing is a breeze as it sits very comfortably on the strap with its lightness and saves your shoulder and wrist some unwanted pains in the long run. Definitely my go-to guitar for a very long time, this one is. I probably wouldn't even rely on a backup if I had a choice, honestly. I have a very strong Faith for this guitar. It sits very well in the case I bought for it and the finish is definitely something that is very very unique. Bumps haven't shown up at all on this guitar. It literally reflects like a mirror and looks like a truly Vintage high price guitar. It's sleek and sexy looking, and the color even changes with the light. When it sits bathed in sunlight, it matches the sky and gives some crazy glares on the wall, but in artificial or dim light, it looks darker and very purple. It is a very extreme guitar that will last a lifetime for me.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
This guitar came perfect. I don't know what to say about the stock strings but I immediately put on some D'Addario 10's and it plays perfectly. The thing that I like about the Wizard 3 maple neck is that is thin, but not too thin. I plays super smooth and you can fly on it non-stop. But it also has a bit more of a C shape to it unlike the Wizard 2 neck, which makes chords very comfortable and a joy to play. It is also very wide, and my hand has not cramped up once, even after some hardcore 3 hour sessions. It is very cozy and is definitely something I wish my other guitars had. The frets are very wide and the rosewood fingerboard is very responsive and the intonation is perfect. I like my action low, and this guitar does it. After a bit of truss rod adjustments and a quick bridge height change, I have the string practically within 1.5 mm of the fret and there is no buzzing at all. All my frets came dressed perfectly. A very relaxing guitar, but will definitely roar with my playing, is how I see it.
Features — 10
This guitar is one that you will love and will make you a very creative and up-spirit musician when you play it. It has looks that kill (I have the Bright Blue Burst, but the black is just as nice on the eyes). The quilted maple top is amazingly detailed and makes you feel like you just bought a guitar with a PRS or Framus-quality finish on it. The carved top is even a bonus. The body is made of mahogany and is finger-width thin at the edges, but still has a very comfortable weight and feel on your body. The maple 3-piece Wizard III neck is thin, but not too thin, and plays like no other. I love it so much because cramps of other necks are gone and feel good whether I'm pulling out some Paul Gilbert licks or am barring some blues chords. The 24 jumbo frets play smooth and the action can sit really low over the rosewood fingerboard with the Unique and Sexy looking S-series inlays. The specials ZR Tremolo is literally a dream. Every little hassle about FR's are gone because you can go insane with it and will DEFINITELY stay in tune for eternity. You can even break a string and it won't go out of tune, and changing gauges is a breeze with the little knob thing on the back. The system works so great that is saves me about 20 minutes worth of messing around trying to get a Floyd Rose together, but instead it gives me more time to make everything adjustable perfect and up to my specs. The truss rod is easy to deal with using Ibanez's cool screw-less truss rod cover, It is responsive and reacts with every little change. It has a 5-Way pickup selector, 1 tone knob, and one Volume knob that really change the EQ just right. The Volume knob is perfect, but I just with that the Tone knob was just a little more responsive. The Pickups are great. They are all Infinity pickups, one is alnico, one is single coil and the other has ceramic power. They are all very responsive. The bridge pickup is very powerful for harder rock riffs and makes the solos clean to hear with a good amount of sustain. The 2nd position between the single coil and the bridge gives a very classic feeling and in my opinions sounds very good with light distortion, but sounds the best when played on clean settings. The single coil is responsive and sounds pretty much like a telecaster, but not so much a Strat, and it sounds perfect for blues or metal rhythm. This pickup surprisingly gets fairly good response to harmonics for a single coil. The sustain isn't high, and if I had a large selection of pickups to choose from, I wouldn't choose this one, but if you play more rhythm stuff, It is great. The neck pickup is perfect for solos. The 4th position is definitely the best sounding on clean settings and holds sustain like a dream. This pickup alone is very loud and clean, and doesn't get drones out by distortion which is why it is perfect for hard and classic rock. I'm very happy with how this guitar's stock pickups sound. I only wish the single coil gave more output. No big deal though. The double locking tuners keep this thing exactly in tune because of the ball bearing systems inside it, even after driving around with it in a case all day long. I know that all this probably sounded like I'm trying to sell you the damn thing but everything here is stated exactly how I feel about it. This guitar has so many features and perfect little add-ons that I don't go anywhere without it now. Musicians Friend sent this thing inside a box, in a box, in bubble wrap, in a box, inside a box. It came out so perfect that I danced with joy when I first saw it because it felt like I had just received a specially made guitar for myself. It is beautiful. The Allen Keys are strong and come in a nice little plastic bag that is easy to keep in my pocket. The manual is pretty standard, and it did not come with a case but I got that covered. This Guitar has everything I need!