Price paid: $ 1650
Purchased from: Music store in Ohio (ebay)
Sound — 9
I play mostly metal/rock of any genre and I can say this suits them very well, the low B stays tight when set up properly, I will warn if it isn't set up properly the entire guitar sounds... Off. Used it with a solo rectifier through a Marshall JCM 900 4x12 and AmpliTube 3/Guitar Rig 5. Tonally it's heavy on the bass and high mids, lower on the low mids and balanced highs, but it's really up to the eq on your amp to make the sound you want, you can still get a great mid range crunch with these pickups though, this is just what it sounds like flat. A little noisy but nothing a noise gate can't handle, this is the one thing I like about the Blackouts on my Schecter Blackjack, minimal noise and this is the one area that these pickups fail in. When it comes to tone recreation this thing is Greatttttttttttt, the 5 pickup combinations give you an endless array of sounds that can be achieved. Heavy and clean tones are where this guitar shines it's best and if your like me and prefer to have a slightly more metal tone to your rock songs this is an incredible guitar, it's still more than capable of doing mid range crunch tones I just haven't experimented with it enough. 1 point off for slightly scooped mids and slightly noisy.
Overall Impression — 9
If your going to think about buying this guitar brand new and blocking the tremolo, buy a Ran guitar, cheaper and better made imo, it'll take six months though. I've been playing for 6 years now, I own a Schecter Blackjack ATX C-1, Mesa Solo Rectifier with a Marshall JCM 900 Lead - 1960 4x12 Cab and now this. If it was stolen or lost I'd wait the six months and get the Ran Crusher, for the sole purpose of the fixed bridge, unless Ibanez comes out with a prestige fixed bridge 7 string, fat change though. The only reason I bought this guitar was the price and the Ibanez neck, and I'm extremely happy with it, it plays well, sounds nice, and looks damn awesome. I'd replace the Floyd Rose with a fixed bridge and strengthen the finish if I could, and put another volume knob on for the neck pickup (and leave the single coil at full). Highly recommended guitar, but don't buy and block the trem like I did, if I had the patience to wait six months for a Ran I'd do it, but when you work an entire summer in the Yukon with the plans of buying a guitar as soon as your done you get a little greedy.
Reliability & Durability — 9
My only complaint about this guitar is the black finish, it definitely chips too easily instead of denting. This is something Ibanez must address with the next one but I feel it's unavoidable considering the nature of the finish and how f--king shiny and awesome the it is. The rest of the guitar is solid, neck is beastly most people can't play the guitar because the neck is so fat (but it's super flat too which is perfect for people like me with bigger hands). All the hardware is high end I couldn't complain about it's durability. If I had the floyd rose engaged I'd have to have a backup, but since floyd rose's are completely useless when you only have one seven string for live play I have the tremolo blocked. Point off for the durability of the finish and the reliability of the floyd rose.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
This was a factory second guitar might I add. There was absolutely zero imperfections on the finish and couldn't have looked any better. The setup was decent but the strings felt a little loose, I was also used to heavier gauge string though, I've since blocked the tremolo (which I can't comment on unfortunately since it's my only seven string and I play live shows) and it feels great. The pickups are at a perfect height absolutely no complaints there, everything is properly routed. My one complaint is the finish, it is a hard 1mm thick layer of Jesus knows what, won't take a point off for that though, you just have to be careful to not bump it to hard as you should with any guitar with a retail value of $2700.
Features — 9
- Abalone disappearing pyramid fret marker inlays - Mirror pickguard - "Light without Heat" pyramid logo below the bridge - Full body, neck, and head binding provide staggeringly fabulous looks - Double-locking Ibanez Lo-Pro Edge 7 recessed trem - DiMarzio Blaze humbuckers at the neck and bridge - Blaze single coil in the middle - Basswood body - Quartersawn maple neck - 24 fat frets - Rosewood fingerboard No idea when this guitar was made but it must have been in the last couple years, pickups are passive, regular tuners, steel nut (which is awesome btw). I'm addressing most of the features in the review itself so the one main thing I wish this guitar had was a fixed bridge. One point off for lack of fixed bridge and two volume knobs.