Price paid: € 200
Purchased from: 2nd hand
Sound — 10
I play thorugh a russian tuube amp and a lavey vh 100 tube head. Speakers are eminence and jensen. The pickups are very clear and chimy on the clean channel ( I haven't tested the option when you split the signal several ways, but a quick test revealed absolutely brilliant clean sound. Very warm and bright ). The distortion is very Seymour Duncan-like in a way that it's clear, articulate and not too muddy at all. This guitar was definately made for a long hair sneakers and spandex wearing heavy metalhead. I like that the distortion gives you every note you play and spits harmonics out on command. If you play dirty stuff like death and black metal, consider upgrading your humbuckers to DiMarzio d-activator or SD fullshred. But considering that this guitar is from 1985, they got the sound absolutely right. It's even better than my Ibanez rg prestige. This guitar adds alot to my tone and I will keep it at hand in the studio and live. This guitar gives me the most versatile sound that I've heard so far.
Overall Impression — 10
I own 4 Ibanez prestige guitars and I run 'em through a custom russian tube head and a Laney vh 100 tube head. No digital stuff and no extra effects. Just a pinch of spring reverb and a shit load of tube overdrive! Overall this guitar is a good deal if you can find it! Generally the folks who bought this guitar, will never sell it. I got lucky because I bought it from a bass player who doesen't like floating tremolo's. I play black, death and heavy metal and sometimes doom metal and rock. I'm proud to say that in my 8 years of playing, this is the most versatile guitar I've owned and I still haven't discovered all of it's features yet. I am very picky about my gear and I never recommend anything that I would not use myself. This guitar will fit your baseball cap wearing kid who wants to learn to play and it will fit the tone freak ( like me ) who chooses the gear very carefully. If you see the FX series out there, YES go and snach it, because just like russian guitar amps or like italian speakers; a real hidden jem for not much money. I'm glad I was mad enough to Drive 500 miles to test this guitar and eventually taking it home.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I allready rehearsed with this guitar ( playing through 2 tube amps at the same time ) and it withstand it without a problem. I will test it out in a live show in a few weeks. But if you pop a string on a Floyd Rose equipped guitar, you better make sure, that you have a backup at your side! In general all the hardware is good quility and is working great. The knobs and jack have it's wear and tear, but it will be very easy to fix when they loosen up too much. The tuners and strap buttons seem to be strong too. Overall; reliability and durability are good.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Action is low with minimal fretwear ( this guitar spent many years in a flightcase somewhere. It shows by the great condition ) Works great for shredding riffs, playing solo's and clean balland chords. The nek is very Gibson sg-ish. Not too thick, but not too wide as well. No stingbuzzing or any other problems. Pickups were too high, but nothing a screwdriver can't fix in a few sec. The locking nut on the E and A string was broken ( thread was eaten up by heavy use, so I put new thread in and after 30 min of work it was as good as new ) The floating floyd-type bridge is very sensitive when you touch the fine tuners, but ones you get it right, it stays in tune pretty damn good. I'm pretty lazy about tuning the guitar, that's why I love locking trems. It takes me an hour to ballance the trem with new strings, but once you get it right, you have to tune it onece in 2 weeks. Pretty good saving of time. I also like the way that you don't need to cut the ball end off the string to put in on. Just like on Ibanez it's a great feature that will save alot of pain in the ass. The overal quality ( for a friggin' 25 year old guitar ) is amazing. The folks who made this guitar wanted it to last. It's the same quality as Ibanez handmade prestige series. Good bang for the buck.
Features — 9
This is a black 1985 Japanese guitar that's been made in Matsumoku factory ( who made Aria, Epiphone, and other guitars ). It has a strange ( but functioning ) floating tremolo unit and even more strange locking nut. It has a 2-1-2 pickup setting and very cool 2 tone knobs that you can pull for splitting the signal. The volume knob also splits the signal witch gives you even more variaty. The 3 way Switch is positioned on the upper horn of the guitar ( les paul style, withc it ok, but not great ) The nek is set in and the total weight is pretty light! ( compare to Gibson SG ). The total looks of the guitar are not so apealing, but it can do ALOT en you play it.