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Ibanez Neo-Classic Series FR1620 Electric Guitar Red Optimus

"Ibanez FR series electric guitar Ibanezhardshell case included Ash body 5 piece Maple Walnut neck Wizard Prestige neck design 22 medium frets Rosewood finger-board Pearl dot inlay Tight end bridge Chrome hardware CCR1 neck pickup CCR2 bridge pickup...

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Total sleeper... KILLER guitar with great stock pickups featured

Sound I actually only bought this guitar because I was playing with some friends in a modern country band and I needed something that didn't look so much like a metal guitar (like the RG style guitars I prefer).

I can honestly say this may be the most pleasant surprise in a guitar I've ever had. The stock Alnico 8 pickups really compliment the ash body.

I normally don't like guitars with ash bodies, but this one gets it right in my opinion. I almost ordered new DiMarzios when I ordered this guitar (which is what I normally do for guitars with stock, make by Ibanez pickups), but I read enough positive reviews about the pickups on other sites that I decided to give them a try.

The sound cuts through the mix well, but is also a pleasant tone. With the 5-way switch you can get split positions too so there are a lot of tonal possibilities with this one.

I've since left the modern country band, but I find that this guitar gets regular rotation in my rock power trio. It has all the comfort of an RG with a very unique look and sound that sits in the range of the "Ibanez with DiMarzios" sweet spot. Ibanez definitely got the stock pickups right on this one.

Action, Fit, & Finish I bought mine from an authorized dealer, but as a factory 2nd. As such, it's marked "used" on the back of the headstock and the serial number is scratched out (to protect Ibanez from false warranty claims). Even with that I was very pleased with the factory condition of this instrument. The setup was great... it plays like butter.

While Ibanez doesn't keep records on why they mark specific instruments as 2nds, they do make sure that any issues are purely cosmetic/aesthetic. In the case of this guitar you can see imperfections under the clear coat (little lines and squiggles) if you hold it in the right light. They're not in the paint (you can tell the red paint is very evenly applied), but sealed in under (or rather within) the clearcoat.

With the amount of money I saved (I basically payed used pricing for a new guitar) I'm pleased with the overall value. That type of imperfection doesn't bother me and it's something I'd have to point out to someone else in order for anyone else to notice.

Reliability & Durability Like all Ibanez guitars I've owned, this one is well built and has been very reliable for me.

Customer Support I contacted Ibanez about why this particular model was marked as a 2nd (I couldn't figure it out at first). While they couldn't tell me exactly why a specific guitar is marked as a 2nd, they did share the following which I found very helpful and reassuring:

Unfortunately we are unable to look in to the reason behind why a guitar is labeled a seconds. The system does not track that sort of info. That being said, the vast majority of the time it is a cosmetic flaw. If there was an issue with the neck, typically a new one would be ordered from Japan and a in-house repair would be done. If there was an issue (cracks, damage, etc.) with the body, our techs would typically destroy the body and keep the parts for their stock. As a result, as we mentioned, the vast majority of "Seconds" are due to cosmetic issues. We apologize that we could not provide a more concise description.

After I went over the guitar with a fine toothed comb I determined why it was marked a 2nd and have been very happy with my purchase.

Liked about it 1) The sound. I generally don't like guitars with ash bodies, but Ibanez really got this one right by using some unique/unusual pickups that really bring this baby to life.
2) The look. I have the red one and it really pops. I like everything about the look... the shape, the color, the pickguard... very classy.
3) The feel. I get something that doesn't look like the rest of guitars, but feels exactly like my trusted Ibanez RGs (standard prestige neck profile with AANJ).

Didn't like Nothing

Overall satisfaction:

By djrjems
Jul 07, 2012
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