"From the Front Lines"
This reviewer purchased this item from Same Day Music.
For the price paid, the sound quality is excellent. Of course there are better sounding guitars out there, but none in this price range, and definitley none I would be willing to have sent to where I'm at (S. Afghanistan, U.S. Army) As long as I keep the strings clean, I have no issues with sound, quite a surprise given the extreme heat this instrument has been subjected to out here.
The included gig bag is probably the most useful feature for me. My current living conditions are Spartan at best. Extra space is definitely not something to be had in abundance out here. However, this being Afghanistan, dust is a constant plague, so some kind of protective covering is essential. The gig bag protects my guitar from the assorted nastiness that's constantly in the air out here, and takes up a bare minimum of space. The small accessory pouch is quite handy as well; I keep the included tuner, my capo, picks and extra strings in there, and stuff the whole thing into my rucksack. Of course it goes without saying that the tuner is a must as well, and the inclusion of it in the package is a big plus!
Ease of Use:
The action is a wee bit high for my tastes, but nothing I can't live with. I changed the stock strings out in favor of a set of light guage Martin acoustic strings, and it hasn't been an issue. Other than that, nothing unusual to report. Inonation was good right out of the box, just tune up, press the frets you need, and it makes beautiful music.
The fnish on the guitar is absolutely gorgeous. I almost regret having it sent to the 'Stan, but it's nice having something to baby over here too, so things even out :) No loose parts, and the parts most subject to everyday wear and tear are easily replacable. I would trust it on the road; I figure if it can hold up to this place, then a few bars stateside should be no problem. I definitely plan to include this guitar in my guitar harem for live shows when I get back.
I haven't dealt with Ibanez regarding this particular product, but I have had dealings with them in the past regarding another instrument, and they were friendly, knowledgable, and extremely helpful. Solid, A+ stuff. The gold medal in this transaction goes to Same Day Music, actually. They were the only online guitar retailer I could find who 1. would ship to an APO, and 2. didn't make it an experience akin to getting a root canal. Shipping was extremely fast; they managed to whisk the guitar halfway around the world in about a week, so shipping within the states should be no problem. I definitely look forward to doing business with them in the future.
Most definitely. Deployment is tough business, and my buddies and I don't exactly have cushy jobs by any means (Army infantry). The morale boost this guitar has provided, both to it's players and listeners has made it worth it's weight in gold at least a hundred times over.
The Wow Factor:
The glossy black finish on this guitar is sexy to the max, and it will definitely complement the dark colors I tend to favor for my civilian clothes (and by extension, the clothes I wear when performing as well!), although it goes nicely with a set of grimy MultiCam fatigues too! I'm definitely glad I chose this one over the natural finish. Black is just sexy. I don't know why, but it is.
Overall, this is a superb deal. A package like this would be great for a starting player, and it fulfills my needs perfectly as well. As long as the guitar keeps playing, I expect to remain satisfied with it. All in all, solid A pluses and gold stars to Ibanez, for a great product, and Same Day Music for great customer service. Both companies have made life much more pleasant for one group of grunts.