Price paid: C$ 550
Purchased from: Axe Musci
Sound — 8
This guitar suits my style fairly well, it's really good for distortion. I have a Fender Frontman 25R and a DigiTech RP255 pedal. This guitar can get noisy, the pickups are very sensitive, and they will pick up the slightest vibration of any string. I mainly have it in position 1 ( neck pickup) position 3 (middle pickup) or position 5 ( bridge pickup) The guitar can imitate any sound one wants it to, I am just too lazy to figure this out.
Overall Impression — 7
I play rock, and at church. This guitar is not the best match, it doesn't have a great clean sound to it. The bridge pickup is where I do most of my playing, that thing rocks, one day though, I'm going to put a Seymore Duncan distortion pickup there. I have played for 10 years. I used to play classical, than I grew some balls, and went down the path most people take. I own a Renegade bass, and a Seagull SWS acoustic guitar. If this guitar were stolen, I would get it again, same color, I would ask more questions though. I love the finish, and the ability to coil tap. I hate some of the quality, my tremolo is completely screwed. I got the truss rod straightened at the local guitar store, and I just discovered, none of them are guitar techs. They wrecked my tremolo. They also hate Ibanez. They carry the "best" brands, like Hofner, Washburn, and Aria. My favorite feature is the paint job, it's amazing. I wish I had compared this guitar with a Jckson, or a Fender. I wish this guitar had better tuners, and a different bridge. One that keeps the tune, no matter what you do to it.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This exact guitar should withstand live playing. I will eventually change a lot of things on this guitar, such as the strap buttons. The pickups, I want to get a Floyd Rose tremolo, or maybe see if it can be changed into a String- thru guitar. The hardware should last, I've had it now just over a year, and it has been dropped, tipped over. I am in no way careless with my gear, I take good care of it, where I can. The strap buttons are seemingly solid, from time to time, my strap slips off, which is a bother, and it kind o0f scares me, if I'm not holding it securely. I would not gig without a backup, ever. I'm not good enough to gig, but I know the precautions. The finish is solid, although after a lot of playing, it does have its fair share of scratches. I will polish this guitar when I get new strings.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
It was set up fairly well at the factory, I took it to Axe for a set up, and they did a pretty good job. They polished it, got rid of all the scratches near the jack. The action is nice, I like it as is. The pickups are adjusted quite nicely, I may however change the height of the middle pickup. Everything is matched very well. There are no flaws with the finish on this guitar. The fret wire may be too high. I am hearing a small amount of fret buzz. The tuning pegs are a little too easy. The tone knob is a little noisy when I turn it. This may be due to some dirt getting under it.
Features — 7
This guitar was made in China. It has 22 medium frets. The fretboard is rosewood. Solid top. The body is Mahogany, same with the neck. The finish is a quilted top. The name SAS36QM-CBS means: the dimension (36) Quilted Mahogany (QM) Corn Burst Style (CBS) The body style is a Strat style body. The bridge style is Ibanez's own Sat- Pro tremolo system. Passive electronics. One single coil neck pickup, one single coil middle pickup, and a humbucking bridge pickup that can be spilt into a single coil pickup. This is called the Tru- Duo pikckup from Ibanez. Nice feature to have available, I will never use it though. It has a volume knob, and a tone knob, that you pull up, to split the bridge pickup into a single coil. 5 way selector switch. The pickups are Ibanez pickups, they aren't the greatest, but they get the job done. Non- locking tuners, again, I think they're Ibanez tuners, they don't hold a tune very well. Also my tremolo is trash, it doesn't work anymore. I received a gig bag with this guitar.