Price paid: $ 1500
Purchased from: Ã˜stfold Musikk
Sound — 10
As mentioned earlier, this is a guitar for metalists and hardrockers. It gives an amazingly heavy sound with the drop D and drop C tuning, which I have been a fan of playing after I got this. Myself I use a Hughes & Kettner Warp 6 amplifier and get the heaviest and deepest tone I have ever had. it's thick, raw and brutal sound will knock the shit out of you and you can really feel the soundwaves hammering at your chest. An unbelievable experience I had never waited from this combination. It was a huge step when I for my first time plugged out my Fender (yeah, yeah) and inserted the jack into the covered hole of the XPT700. I have also heard people getting a Zakk-like tone from plugging it into a Marshall JVM. What is special with the sound from my combination is that at the same time as I get a pretty noisy, heavy sound, you can here every single tone when playing very fast. It's like when you tap, and sweep up and down the strings, you get a clearer sound, which is very pleasant. Suddenly one day I was keen on trying my guitar as a clean, calm, maybe Acoustic one. I got surprised. My expectation wasn't very high, as I thought of it as only a metal guitar with noisy, thick sound. So I plugged in, switched over to clean mode and played some ballads. After a little knob-turning on the amp and the weapon I reached some nice sounds. I easily got a metallic, clear sound, and with just adjusting the Ibanez, I could get a warm, calm Acoustic sound, which didn't actually fit the guitar-look at all, but it was amazing. When it comes to the pickups, I was a little skeptic as I stood in the shop looking at it. They were passive! Why shouldn't I? After a little try my concerns were drowned. As I mentioned earlier, DiMarzio's D Activator delivers a tone that's extremely similar to the best active pickups you can get. The same resonant peaks, long sustain and tantalizing harmonics. As passive, they also have a tone that's organic with a natural response, which all together makes a fabulous overall sound.
Overall Impression — 9
Five-piece Wizard II neck, ancient weapon body, double-locking Edge III trem, DiMarzio D Activator pickups. There isn't much else to say than "A f**king good combination!" I love the guitar, and I am not going to get another one in a long time. After all I have had it myself in one and a half year now, but I don't feel like changing it. If it got stolen? I would consider one of the new Ibanez guitars because of their tuning ability, but if I didn't get any one that fit my type, I would definitevly get the same one. It is the perfect match for a heavy metal guitar player. I play alot of Disturbed, Metallica, Bullet and Avenged-inspired music, and this one is a God in drop C and Drop D as mentioned earlier. If there was anything I would like to change, it would be the "old" Floyd Rose system and easier-to-handle knobs. The best thing with this guitar is yet not told... The guitar is a 0.09! I think this is the best to play with, but that is of course from person to person. Overall a superb, demonical and heavy guitar with the deep sound of the devil with the clear tones of heaven. Check it out!
Reliability & Durability — 9
The Ibanez XPT 700 Red Chameleon is magnificent to look at, and i bet my shoes that it always will. Its thick finish is destined to be there for a long time, and I have never had any problems at gigs, except, as I mentioned earlier, one time I used the whammer too much. I was over-using it, and maybe got a little too crazy on it. When people ask me why I always have a backup guitar too, if this guitar is so freakin reliable, I blame the strings. You always Live with the danger that you can kill a string or two under any gigs and any type of string. When changing one string is taking a hell of a long time, because of the Floyd Rose, I always carry a backup. If there wasn't anything in the world that could make strings die, I wouldn't carry a backup for this guitar either.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
There isn't much to say about this guitar when it comes to this. I just noticed that after a little time, I got detuned very often. I headed down to the shop where I bought it, and we found out that the strings had become a little too close to the neck. We adjusted them back out abit, I tried, we adjusted them in, and we got a perfect balance on it, and I have never had any problems with it after that. The switching system for the pickups is abit too loud sometimes, and the volume and tone knobs are abit hard to adjust after my opinion. There are no way to get a smooth transition when playing, you really need to screw the knobs. Anyway, the guitar still stands as if it was new after these years.
Features — 8
Many metal guitarists, as me, have always loved the Ibanez-guitars. It is the fast playability it has, their flat fretboards and of course their loving double-locking tremolos. As Ibanez wanted to expand their attraction towards metalists, they needed a look that attracted them. After their success with the "Iceman" guitar they wanted to do something outrageous. They produced the new Xiphos. It was built especially for hardcore and metal players, and the name was taken from the double-edged sword used by Greek and Spartan soldiers, as the form is the same. The Xiphos guitars are the fastest ones in the armory of Ibanez, and they selected DiMarzio D Activator pickups to get a really demonical edge. To get the comfort which the Ibanez guitars are known for, they built the guitar around a five-piece maple Wizard II neck-through design. This centerpiece is extremely hard, and as the bridge is mounted to the very same plank, the note definition and clarity are pushed to the limit. The rest of this raw X-shaped guitar is made from mahogany which adds a little more depth to it's maple core. Although the guitar looks heavy-weighted and hard to balance, the Ibanez factory has done it wonderfull. The guitar is easy to handle, and fit's nice either you stand, sits, run, headbang or are going for a stagedive. The X-shape is also bringing a lot of comfort when sitting and playing as well. You can either use it as a V-guitar, with it's bottom's two devil horn on each side of your leg, or as a regular one tilted on the side. This Ibanez XPT700 Red Chameleon have a unique color. To get the feel of having a extra ordinary piece of instrument they chose to cover it with a sparkling color-shifting paint they named Chameleon finish. As you move, or redirect the lights, the finish quickly change it's colors which can be everything from the darkest red and brownish, to a lighter green and almost yellowish. It is a must-see! If we then move up the neck, we can feel that it is very thin and nice to handle. And due to this you maybe thinking it is squared, but it's not! it's somewhat rounded feel is enhanced by the thick chameleon finish. The flat fretboard and jumbo frets produces Ibanez's trademark feel, and there are easy to sound a tone without needing to press too hard. Myself I do a lot of twohanded playing, and is very aware of this, and I personally think that Ibanez could have made this guitar even a little more sensitive when tapping on the neck. Anyways, it is easy and reliable when it comes to play fast and sweeping through the strings. The Xiphos features Ibanez's Edge III double-locking tremolo. It had (the time it was made) the most advanced Floyd Rose-derived bridges, and is totally okey when it comes to tuning adjustment. Nowadays Ibanez has come up with a new system which is working much smoother when tuning, it's just a shame they didn't do it earlier so that this fine guitar could have a piece of it too. But for the use of whammy techniques, you are capeable to do whatever you want and it still stays stable for a pretty long time. But in very long-lasting use, at for example a unnormal long gig, you may get some problems as I have had. They will not get any major, just that you may need to tune back the guitar a slightly bit. This Ibanez was one of the first production guitars to feature DiMarzio's new D Activator pickups as original equipment. They are passive, but do deliver the pretty much same resonant peaks, long sustain and tantalizing harmonics found in the best active pickups. When trying to get the jack into the guitar, you may get some problems in the start. Because of the shape, Ibanez covered the hole some centimeters inside the guitar. This can be frustrating from time to time, but after a little while you get to know it (As my father said: You must know the hole before sticking jack in). The guitar are given only three controls. One volumeknob, one toneknob and a toggle Switch with the Standard 3 ways to toggle (neck, center, bridge). There are no accessories included when buying this guitar, except the basic keys and parts and shit. The biggest problem I have had has been getting a bag. First I had a hell of a big case, which was not easy to transport, then I went for a Explorer-bag which works just fine. Or else you have to pay a ****ing lot!