Purchased from: Hot Licks
Sound — 10
Very versatile, believe it or not. The pickups are strangely suited for jazz as well as ALL styles of rock. They allow a lot of chunk but doesn't allow the lows to fart out the highs. I'm using a slightly modded (as in slightly biased) Crate BV120H with 4 Tung-Sol 12AX7 Preamp tubes (1 working as a power) and the horrific stock 4 Groove Tube 6L6 Power Tubes. The distortion isnt wonderful, but sounds fantastic through these pickups. The neck through adds a lot of sustain, and the mahogany gives it a nice deep growl.
Overall Impression — 10
I usually play progressive/death metal/jazzcore/whatever the f--k you wanna call it and this works perfectly. I also own a Dean HardTail Select which I use for Jam Band kinda stuff, and a Grestch Electromatic for jazz and bluegrass. With bluegrass aside, the XPT700 would be suitable for any of these styles (with the exception of it's metal biased looks). This (besides the JEM) is my ideal guitar from Ibanez, so unless you got 2,000 bucks to throw down, I'd just get this.
Reliability & Durability — 10
So far, everything on this guitar is perfect as far as durability. I've yet to play a show with this guitar, but the input jack is very strong. Like I said, to stand with it, you'll prolly need to reposition the strap buttons, but that's very simple to do yourself.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The finish is beautiful. Green in one light, blue/purple in another. The light gray chrome hardware really helps accentuate the sparkles in the paint while also keeping it from being overwhelming. The neck is absolutely fantastic. The backwards sharktooth inlays are highlighted by a black pinstriped outline, which looks awesome. The only down points to this guitar are usually considered preference, and easily adjusted to suit you. Simply try it first.
Features — 8
The Xiphos is probably the best guitar by Ibanez I've ever played (at least for it's price). It has the lightest mahogany body I've ever seen. It has a 3 Ply Rosewood 24 fret Wizard II neck, which, as always, is amazing. It allows for ridiculously low fret action with virtually no buzzing and makes fretting literally effortless. The finish on this is absolutely beautiful. At first, I was almost turned off by the sparkles in the paint, but in actuality, it makes I just that much more pretty. don't let it turn you off. It's got an IBZ Edge III double locking tremelo system, which is actually a lot more durable and well built than what comes on other models. The pickups are DActivators, which sound like actives, but aren't actives. Pretty convinient. They are simply amazing. There are 2 control knobs and a 3 way selector, which is awesome for me cause I'm f--king lazy. I would suggest loosening the control knobs a little if you mess with them on stage (I had to, they made them that tight on purpose, no flaw there). The only complaint is the position of the strap pegs. They are in the back, causing it to be heavy. Ibanez did this with looks in mind, which is forgivable I suppose. Easily moved though (drop me a message for details). Came with a custom fit TKL case, cable, alan wrench set.