Far from a "practitioner of the more extreme forms of metal" , the apparent target market for this Ibanez line, I'm more of a rock/blues rhythm guitar guy, with a mostly-acoustic background.
In the last few years I've been playing regularly with a group of local guys, and have gone all-electric. I own a few cheapish electric guitars, and have borrowed or at least played a half-dozen higher end new and vintage models. While I can't honestly say I 'dislike' any musical instrument, especially a guitar, I hadn't found anything that really made me go 'wow'.
New Years' Eve day, Las Vegas, I walked into the guitar shop with my eye on the semi hollow-body goodies in the very top row of the monster guitar wall. For me, light weight (my neck is already perma-strained from sitting at this damn keyboard all day anyway!) and *staying in tune under heavy use* were numbers one and two on the priority list.
I ended up playing at least 8 different guitars, checking out the feel, the tone, the weight... and the tuning. Then, while the helpful sales dude was moving ladders around to get yet another hollowbody from up yonder, I saw this funny little skinny guitar with a crazy wood pattern. I grabbed it just out of 'what the heck is this' ... and decided to plug it in.
Man what a tone! Oooh wow thats some light action too. Hmm this is kinda neat. And super uber light... and thin, so it sits close to your hip.
ok... but what's all this tremolo uber fine tuning locking Ibanez stuff? And then... I remembered... Ibanez's tuning system is something I really liked about a used guitar I had for a while. (but the guitar itself was beat, had other issues)
So there I sat, playing and tweaking... I loved the fact it only has two knobs... and the 5-way pickup with the small discreet switch (I have always disliked the big round plastic circle with the white lightswitch-looking thing sticking out on otherwise very nice looking guitars)... the photos on the ibanez site don't show how thin this actually is, but you can see the incredible wood pattern. The tone is like a heavy mohogany body, but so so so much easier to play for hours at a time.
I narrowed it down to 3 guitars, then got up and walked away. My 4 (teen and tween) kids were all somewhere in the gigantic music world-mart, so I went and checked on them... they love it as much as i do each in their own section, barely noticed me talking to them as they jammed out on whatever was handy. The salesman really freaked when he saw me go into the acoustic guitar humidoritorium , looking at prices on Ovations and Martins... not his department... oh no!!
Anyway... in the end... and knowing I had 45 days to trade it in towards anything else in the store... I said "Ill take the skinny one'. And oh man... I am so glad I did.
I have slammed em, bent 'em, tremolo'd 'em and twang'ed 'em and the strings will not go out of tune. and if ocassionally something does start to feel a bit off, like once in a 3 hr session, I can reach with my right hand and turn one of the tiny fine tuners just a hair... not even touching the regular 6 tuning knobs. It needs some intonation tweaking, and some good breaking in time, but man this thing is just what I always wanted, and didn't even know it!