The local Ibanez dealer got one in today (the blue one). Here's my rundown:
- the frets ARE extremely nice.... definitely way better than what you would think of an Indonesian Ibanez
- the guitar was setup LIKE CRAP from the factory (high action, way too much relief.... just awful)
- with a setup, the guitar played great, so that is to its credit
- the offset dots are awesome, but not as nice as the RG3120 offset dots.... the wood grain on the fretboard also looks kind of .... cheap. I can't quite explain it
- the whole neck, in fact, seems kind of cheap to me..... not as bad as the cheapie Ibanez models, but definitely not in the same ballpark as Prestiges. Sorry, but it's just not.
QUILTED TOP/ FINISH/ BINDING
- the quilted top is pretty, but NOT outstanding or amazing or anything close to jaw dropping. The LTD models with the quilted tops are much nicer. The quilted top on the model that I played was nothing to write home about at all. More colors (purple and orange, I believe) will be arriving soon, so I will update this thread when I play those guitars. Maybe this particular guitar just didn't have a great top. It happens.
- the finish seemed durable, but you never know until you ACTUALLY ding it.
- the binding is nice, but you can kind of tell that it's not really "all" maple. Something just seems.... off.... about it.
- this is the guitar's strength. I must admit: it sounds awesome. It sounds full and has great bite. The pickups are awesome.
- The guitar is definitely a success, overall, for what Ibanez attempted to do.
I'd definitely consider buying one. The ONLY reservation I'd have is this:
For only a hundred dollars more, I can buy a Japanese made Charvel "wildcard" that has a BEAUTIFUL quilted maple top and comes with a hardshell case. And, this is just a sidenote, but the Charvels are, I believe, alder rather than basswood. Just throwing that out there.
So, personally, I'm going to wait for the purple and orange models to come in, then test them against the Charvels. I hate to say this, but if the other Premiums are exactly like this one, I'd have to give the edge to the Charvels. I just think they're better guitars for only a little more money.
But, then again, you have to take the stupid neck off a Charvel to adjust the stupid truss rod. But, whatever.