Airplane Flanger AF2 review by Ibanez

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  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Sound: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.4 (9 votes)
Ibanez: Airplane Flanger AF2
1

Price paid: $ 149

Purchased from: Portland, OR

Ease of Use — 9
Instantly when I properly plugged this pedal in I went strait for the "Take Off" mode. After adjusting the speed to my preference I was in Flanging heaven. IT'S INSANE! It is everything I wanted it to be and just so much fun to use and apply to my sound and playing style. I'd say after about a day of full use, 10 hrs or so. I have the full swing of it, and just love it!

PG issues in conjunction with Ibanez, a handy little book with PG's personal favorite setting's. So it very user friendly and very easy to instantly get some very cool sounds working within minutes of set-up. The pedal comes "as is" so there are no upgrades that I know of. That being said I am not sure if it could get any more killer! I am not sure it would be possinle! I highly recommend anyone in the market for a new flanger or just looking for something fantastically entertaining to add to their sound and rig to BUY THIS PEDAL AND "TAKE OFF!!!"

Sound — 9
First off, I'm a metal guy through and through. On that note, I am a big fan of the old Shrapnel records guys. Stuff like Yngwie Malmsteen, Vinnie Moore, Tony MacAlpine, and of course Racer X (Paul Gilbert). So when I was browsing YouTube, as many of us do, and I came across a video of Mr. Gilbert and his new Airplane Flanger. I was struck by how unique and awesome the sounds were coming from this flanger.

It had several "normal" types of flange settings one would expect. But at a certain point in the video, PG lets out the "Take off" mode. Its just insane. Like an actual airplane but with a bit of alien espionage embedded into it! From that moment on I kept thinking about it, just all the time. So I got in my car and went to several of my local spots for gear, like Guitar Center and a few smaller business' but with no luck did I find one. So I hopped on eBay and found one brand new in the wrapping for 149.99! Three days later, "All my Flanging dreams had come true!" (Paul Gilbert says this line in the video I watched)

To start The packaging was OK, kinda disappointed the cardboard wasn't a little thicker provided the pedal is kinda bigger and has a lighter chassis than a standard DOD pedal or a standard MXR pedal. As one who is a fan of PG would expect the color scheme is crazy, Purple, black and orange. I immediately plugged it in to my Blackstar 100w. Then I found out this particular pedal needs to plugged in to the front of your amp, not the effect loop. I was toggling between the "Taxi" and "Take Off" modes on a very low volume, but it was REALLY loud in comparison to the volume of the amp. In reading the instructions it had a nice little map with the pictures showing me to plug my guitar into the pedal and the pedal to the amp!

My fault their! I was just really excited! In conjunction to this new pedal I'm running MXR pedals. A Carbon Copy Delay, a Phase 90 EVH, and a sine chorus pedal. This Ibanez flanger works very well with my set-up. Again, I play rock/metal usually, and this pedal fits right in! I really cant say enough about the versatility of this stomp box. To start is pretty quiet compared to lets say my Phaser EVH. BUT, it has some pre-sets that PG gives to you in this little notebook. Nine total, most of them are just awesome, but the police siren is super noisy. That said it's kinda the point of that setting. Their is so many setting between PG's favorites and our/my own taste's. I think they have their own merit, some are rich and full like the "Shimmering Flange" and some are very bright like the "Flangey Flange."

This pedal is great in traditional "Taxi" mode. But the reason I really found this pedal so initially drawing was the whammy bar and crazy airplane sound PG made with out even fretting his guitar! "Take off" mode has a separate toggle switch to activate or switch between either mode. It's basic on/off switch activates the pedal and the toggle lets you chose which mode to play with.

I dig that very much. The "Take Off" mode and "Taxi" mode are both speed adjustable as one would expect from a flanger. The possibilities are basically endless. There is just so much variety in this little magic box. In my opinion there is no real bad settings, it's just based on opinion and your own taste. The controls are 100% manual this is great, but, if you use several different setting you have to change them before the next tune you play. Not that big of a deal but I do wish you could save sounds somehow.

Reliability & Durability — 10
The Ibanez "Airplane Flanger" comes with a pretty sturdy chassis and rugged buttons for extended and/or prolonged use. I think it would tour quite well. It's built like a stompbox should be. We are going to be stepping on it quite frequently, and some wear and tear should be expected. In my opinion, if its got PG's stamp I think it deserves mine. This particular pedal is in PG's live rig, and is used enough by him to where it's not annoying, so it's fair to say it will be lasting a while in a frequent players arsenal.

All the knob's and button's are pretty well manufactured. The chassis is as well. So all in all I would easily say it's very dependable. If I were gigging this product I wouldn't bring a back up (even if I owned one) due to the fact that it's just a solid, well built pedal. So far the finish on this pedal has held up, I might expect in maybe 10 years or so that it will show signs of wear and tear. But ANY well used pedal suffers from use, so I'm not to worried about that. 

I have been enamored with this box since I got it in the mail two days before Xmas, and have been using it a lot so I don't think it'll have wear and tear in the near future. Basically it will look cosmetically the same for quite a while.

Overall Impression — 9
Me being a rock/metal guy, again this pedal fits right in to my style and it's a great match. I've been playing guitar for 12 years this last September and have used a lot of flangers in my day. This particular pedal is a no contest winner. The versatility and applicability to my style is just amazing.

Looking at the bigger picture here, if I was to ask the seller anything I wanted before purchase, it would have been, "Can you save setting into the pedal?" The seller's reply (since you cannot) probably would have been "No." This does not bother me. I wish you could, but that would not have stopped me from buying this!

If this pedal were lost or stolen/broken. I would immediately save up, and get a new one ASAP. In the time I've owned this it's already an integral part of my sound, especially the "Take Off" mode. I just freaking love it! I love every aspect of this pedal. Its sound is just like what PG had in his video when he got it in the mail. My favorite feature is the "Take Off" mode without a doubt. But, the normal "Taxi" mode and it's range of sounds really makes this purchase worth $150. I do wish we could save a few setting, this pedal has so many cool sounds to play with, it would be nice to hit a switch and change to another insane one that quick! But I am not crying, just it would be cool. I don't think it would be fair to other company to compare their product's (Flangers) to this one. In my opinion this is a one stop you have everything you need.

I really just love the INSANE possibilities this box offers, I loved the jet sound you get when you stomp on it. Playing Ozzy's "Bark at the Moon," the pauses in between the pre-chorus and chorus, hit the "Take Off" mode, in that one bar rest... AMAZING! It's just a great effect pedal, it is like having a tremolo bar when you don't!

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