Purchased from: Wentworth Music
Sound — 8
I play mostly thrash metal, death metal, and hardcore music, and the odd grindcore influence and it fits them all very well for the combination of these that the music I make is. I use a Kustom-quad amp with a Zoom G7.1UT effects processor and a DigiTech distortion pedal with a Boss NS-2 and it does the trick, but I plan on purchasing a Mesa Boogie Rectifier for some real good crushing tone and ditching the noisey distortion boxes. I have played the guitar through a Fender EVH III and a Marshall Kerry King Signature and the tone was amazing. The guitar is very punchy and the note-definition is amazing, I get next-to no noise from this guitar, and with noise supressor's and all, so feed-back is damn near non-existant. The guitar does great if you're a metal player or hardcore styled player, and the cleans I can get through the using both pickups at the same time (middle-position on the 3-way toggle) is Amazing with chorus, and works very well for cleans, crunchy rock if needed, but I do have to say this guitar is made as a metal machine, because of the looks and the sound compliments them, so I wouldn't imagine throwin some cold-play on with this guitar, but if you're into heavier music styles on a 7 string, this is definantly something to check out.
Overall Impression — 10
Again as I said, the genre of music I play would be classified as deathcore, thrashcore, and grindcore with tons of other influences (Meshuggah, Nevermore, Unearth, etc.) and this matches it better than any other 7 string Ibanez on the market. I wish I had a better amp before this guitar to give it better justice, but that'll be happening in all due time. I Love damn near everything about the guitar from the neck-thru feel, 24 frets, to the finish, I just feel I was meant to buy it. If anybody stole this guitar from me, I'd break their legs and spit in their mouths.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar imo was built to be played Live for the looks and mean tone from this guitar, and the hardware seems fine, and I have no problems with it, but if for whatever reason they get worn down, I'll just replace them with some high-quality locking tuners. The strap-button placement on the guitar that the factory was ridiculous, and after trying out the feel of it, the neck-heaviness was out of this world, and I was really displeased at this. But after re-aligning the button placement under the top horn and near the input jack, it was so much better, I couldn't believe it. It just changed so much from such a simple change. I'm going to depend on this guitar for live use for sure, and I will have my S7320 there for some songs, and this for the more br00tal songs. The finish is amazing to look at in good lighting, and it seems very well done, and I doubt it will wear away. To anybody buying this guitar, make sure to change the placement of the strap-buttons, this will make this guitar change dramatically for the better.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The set-up of the guitar at the factory was good, the action is great for me, but the pickup adjustment wasn't anything special, and needed a bit of tweaking to make things better. The finish is great IMO, and I have yet to find any flaws from the build-quality other than a bit of binding roughness, but it looks fine unless you basically put your face 3 inches away from the headstock to take a good enough look. The only minor flaw was the neck pickup placement, which was a little over so that the high E string was not above the magnet, but it did not affect the sound of the string at all, and again, nobody's about to notice it unless somebody tells them. The guitar contains No flaws as far as I've had the guitar, and I've given up searching for any because I believe that there just aren't any on this guitar!
Features — 9
This is a 2008 7-string xiphos model made in Indonesia and I have to say I'm amazed at the craftsmanship that was produced from an Indonesian builder, seeing as the stereotype is that guitars built in Indonesia, but apparently that's not the case! This is the first neck-thru 7 Ibanez has released to the public, and as far as I know I am the first to own one in Canada (I've owned it for over a month now. It has 24 frets on a rosewood fretboard on a 5 piece maple neck (neck-thru). It has mahogany wings on the 5 piece walnut/maple neck-thru design, with a new Ibanez style fixed string through, based between Mike Mushok's fixed bridge and a Tune-O-Matic, and though it doesn't look very arousing, it feels very nice to grip down for the palm-mutes, and doesn't poke, or stab at the palm of your hand. It came stock with 2 passive DiMarzio D-Activator pickups, which I personally do not mind, but I know that there are better pickups out there. It has a single volume/tone and 3-way pickup selector switch for the 2 humbucker configuration. Non-locking tuners that stay in tune very well. Came with 2 alan keys, and hard-case.