"Ibanez ART100: Sleek and Sexy"
This reviewer purchased this item from Same Day Music.
The ART100 has a brighter sound than my strat-style axes -- not a bad thing, just different. It produces wonderful clean tones straight into the amp and with my multi-FX pedal I was able to produce a variety of stylistic sounds from gnarly Tex-Metal (ala ZZ Top) to psychedelic walls of sonic bliss. Of course, it most aptly suits my general repertoire of Blues/RnB/Jazz. I use it for live playing and straight in recording -- meets both duties with class and style.
Besides looking "sexy" and sleek (I have the white model), the wide, low radius neck and medium frets easily allow full chord fretting, jazzy triads and inversions as well as leads and fills. The knob set up has individual volume controls for each pick-up and a master tone. They are set up in logical order from the perspective of the player -- Neck PU; Bridge PU; Tone. The three position switch and volume/tone controls let you dial in a variety of sounds but the single master tone limits this somewhat.
Ease of Use:
There are no fret dots on the fretboard itself. They are "hidden" on the top of the neck where the player can reference them. They are small and hard to see. I personally do not need them and many of my guitars are designed this way, but the begining player may by "lost" and frustrated without the more visibly referenced fret dots. I also had to do a good bit of "conditioning" to the rosewood fretboard to remove a rough feel and squeeky rubbing sound on blues bends. Doesn't come through the amp, but I could here it as I played. Once conditioned... like butter! Oh... and the bridge is in a perfect place for resting and palm muting... at least for my playing posture.
Other than the fretboard nuances mentioned earlier, the overall construction, set-up and design are good quality. The set-up out of the box was fine and I played it for many hours "as-is". I will eventually tweak the set-up to my personal tastes, but don't we all? I have heard the strap holders work loose realitively easy but mine is still new and they are tight. Stays in tune and wails.
Don't need it.
This instrument is a great value! I had an Ibanez Roadstar II in the 80's, which is comparable in price/line standards, and it, too, was awesome! Ibanez seems to make good quality low-to-mid line guitars we all can afford.
The Wow Factor:
I took this thing to work and pulled it out of the case to a room full of "ahhhhh's". How's that for sex appeal? Wanted it... got it... life is good!
I intend to purchase other Ibanez Artcore series guitars as a result of this little beauty, but this will be my main squeeze for awhile I am sure.