Price paid: £ 350
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 9
This guitar is capable of smooth blues, jazz, classical and funk and I have tried all these style to be sure of it. However, the sheer output of these pickups really shines when you play Classic Rock and heavy metal. The sustain that you can get from these pickups is phenomenal. I have used it through a Blackstar HT Club 40 and a Boss ME-50 multi-effects board and it sounds just right for my needs. There is no unwanted noise that I can find as of yet. What you really want to know though is how it would sound for you. Well, this guitar has a very good high range and a very good mid-range, but because it doesn't have as much wood-mass as say the DDT700, it doesn't have as much low end as some guitars. This thing sounds wonderfully sharp and I would recommend it for any lead guitarist out there, but if you are a rhythm guitarist you may want to double check you options unless you have a seriously thick-sounding amplifier.
Overall Impression — 10
Well, I play mostly Rock and Heavy metal, but I do play quite a lot of blues, neo-classical and Jazz-based music as well, so having a guitar that just does metal sounds isn't an option for me. That's why I don't regret buying this guitar. I actually didn't buy is per say, but actually traded in my old Schecter V-1 Hellraiser for it. That's how much I liked this guitar. I have been playing live for about 3 years now, and I can safely say that this guitar is a piece of equipment that most of the people that I've met will want to own. If it was stolen, I wouldn't be able to get another, as there are precious few of them around anyway. I think that the reason this guitar was taken out of production is actually because of the way it looks. Most of Ibanez's usual customers want guitars that like like the RG or the 'superstrat' design. Obviously there are the Mick Thompson signature guitars, but this V-Blade may have just come across as a bit too flashy. I think i's a real shame, because as guitars go this is a must-have. There are very few guitar that are this sharp, and that feel this good to play. If you find one of these guitars in a shop window, then I urge you to go inside and ask to play it, because if another guys spots it before you, it won't be there for long. These thing now go for about 1500 on Ebay, whereas their price from Ibanez originally was about 700. But personally, I think that 700 is very cheap for what you are actually getting. If it's between this and a Gibson Black Beauty, this wins every single time.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The finish on this thing is very good. Because it's painted white, sweat-marks don't show up when you're playing live. Hardware and finish have stood up well to live playing, as in I can't see live performance having any real effect on them. This guitar is definitely dependable, but you should always bring a backup guitar just in case something goes wrong. There has been no issues with ant metal components that I can see.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The action fit and finish were all very welll setup when bought this, the pickups were at their correct height and the bridge was set just right as well. Because I had to change the gauge of strings on it I had to adjust the truss rod to compensate, but this is a fact of life for every single guitar on sale today. It responded immediately and I have had no problems with how it feels to play since then.
Features — 10
Okay, this guitar was made by Ibanez round about the year 2008 or somewhere close, but it is now a rare guitar as production of it was canceled a few years ago. This guitar has a 24 fret fret-board that appears to be made of rosewood to me. This guitar is quite light for a guitar of it's size, especially considering it's unusual shape. It has a fixed Ibanez Gibraltar bridge with a string-thru-body style setup, body style is Flying V (obviously), there are two dials for the volumes of the two pickups and one shared master tone dial. Pickups are passive, but were specifically designed to outcompete active pickups. They are called DiMarzio D-Activators and are probably some of the most powerful pickups on the market today. These pickups are also installed on the Ibanez Xiphos XT700 and the Ibanez Destroyer DDT700. Tuners are non-locking from what I can tell but seem to be very good at keeping this guitar in tune. The alan keys required were included when I bought it along with a case, which was a real find considering this guitar isn't made anymore. I would say that looking at the features you get on this guitar, it's very hard to see why it was removed from production.