Great quality 7-string for the money!
By: Arnold Hablewitz from Belmont, CA
Would you consider this product to be made well? How dependable?
I think this is an extremely gig-worthy instrument with an amazing (if difficult to understand) bridge system and high-quality hardware besides. One thing that stands out to me as a gigging musician is that I am constantly having to adjust the truss rod of my instruments and many times just tend to remove the cover altogether rather than have to spend a long time screwing and unscrewing the thing back on. This truss rod cover is ingenious because it rotates off of the rod cavity allowing easy access without extra work. GOOD THINKING!!! My only qualm is that some of the frets ends are a bit sharp...some rounding off would have been nice.
How has it stood up over time?
I recently received it, but based on other Ibanez models that I've owned I'd say that if you are a musician that does proper preventative maintenance and performs regular check-ups on your gear to ensure proper performance like you should, then this thing will last a LONG time without issue. Ibanez are not known to being issue-/maintenance-free instruments like some other brands seem to be, but as long as you take care of the thing, it'll stand up.
Your general opinion of this product.
My overall rating of 5 stars is primarily based on value. It's not the most amazing guitar I've ever played by a long shot, but considering how much the price was versus what I got in return, I could not be happier.
Playability and Feel
How does it feel, Heavy, Fast, Chunky? How was the neck? Are the controls easy to get to while playing?
Moderately light instrument that feels good in the hands. I'm a metal player, and I find if I'm playing anything like thrash or traditional metal this thing aces it. For death metal speed-picking runs, I may have to adjust my technique as I typically like to rest my wrist on the guitar body in such a way that it provides an anchor for my picking, and the carved top and the body shape doesn't much allow for that. The neck plays super well and very fast with a matte oil finish on the back of the neck. The control pots rotate smoothly and evenly with just the perfect amount of give when you roll them...not too tight, not too loose.
Bright and snappy? Dark and smooth? Were the pickups hot, mellow, thick, thin?
The tone is kind of what you'd expect from a bolt-on guitar. It has plenty of bite and snap, and not so much low-end growl or resonance. Truthfully, it's exactly what I was looking for...something with a lot of note definition inherent in the building materials (even before pickups come into play) so that I can play really note-y stuff on it. As a result, it's a great guitar for playing leads.
How did the stain or paint job look?
Flawless gloss black finish.
How was the action out of the box?
Action was a smidge low. Some fret noise issues. Nothing unfixable and nothing worth stressing over.