Purchased from: Mansons Guitars
Sound — 9
I mainly play rock (Guns N' Roses, Motley Crue, Velvet Revolver, etc), Metal (Metallica, Pantera, Slayer, Dream Theater), and some bluesy stuff like Jimi Hendrix. I play it through a Marshall MG 250 DFX Combo. On clean it sounds very bright. The bottom strings tend to sound louder and bright than the top 3 (that could depend on how I'm picking though). For metal I would say it plays fairly well, depends what your settings are on the amp. It's not exactly the "ultimate metal guitar", but I'd just say it's pretty versatile for all styles. It's really good for blues and jazz. For that I Switch the pickup selector to the 2nd from right. When I play Dream Theater stuff, I'd say it sounds quite close to John Petrucci's sound on the Scenes From a Memory Album.
Overall Impression — 9
I play metal, rock, and some progressive, and a bit of blues. This guitar is very versatile and will suit all your needs. I also own a BC Rich Warlock and a crappy ION Strat copy. The Ibanez SA220FM totally slays them. If it was stolen or lost, I would save up my money and get the upgraded version of it (I think it's out of production now. I chose to buy this guitar because I preferred the shape and feel and weight of it to the other guitars in my range that they had in stock. The other guitars I tried out were a Jackson V guitar and an Ibanez RG something, and an Ibanez SZ320MH. The only thing I don't really like is that the strings feel quite tight, and harder to bend that what it would be on say an RG. I'm also thinking about fitting it with some EMG 81 and 85's seeing as I mainly play metal/heavy rock.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've had this guitar for 1 year and 7 months and it is still in perfect condition. Like I said before though, my strap buttons came loose and I had to replace them with a larger screw until I can find a strap button that will fit the screw. I would depend on it in at a Live show without a backup, my guitar has never failed me and I play it for a good few hours every day. The finish is really good. I have a small bedroom so I'm always hitting it on walls and stuff and there is no visible/hearable damage on it. Just take care of it (like you should with any guitar).
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Everything was completely perfect. Mansons always make sure everything is perfect before selling it. The pickup selecter is quite noisey though, when I change pickups it makes a loud echoey sound (the kinda noise like when you knock on the body of the guitar). Also the volume toggle is quite stiff.
Features — 7
Only bad thing I can really say is that somehow the bridge pickup fell inside the guitar so I had to put the springs back in place, and also the top strap button came loose so I tried to screw it back in but the screw grooves were completely worn! So I had to get a bigger screw but my screw button is too small for it. Oh another problem, the volume control tends to go a bit stiff when it's nearly at max, and you have to turn it all the way down to 0 until the volume actually changes a lot.