Magazine article Guitar Player

Ibanez ART300

Magazine article Guitar Player

Ibanez ART300

Article excerpt

IBANEZ HAS ALWAYS HAD SOME COOL TRICKS UP its sleeve when it comes to guitar finishes, which have included everything from splintered glass to holographic sparkles to electronic light shows. So it wasn't a huge surprise when we pulled the ART300 out of the case and saw that its gloss black top was scalloped to resemble patent crocodile skin--way cool! The maple top is outlined with a thin white binding strip, as is the peghead and upper edge of the fretboard, and these classy touches embellish the 300's black-on-black theme.

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The Chinese-made 300 has a light feel, and its neck fills your hand much like a mid '60s Gibson ES-335's--not too thin, not too fat, and just perfect for the majority of players. The lightly polished frets feel great to bend on, and you can hardly notice their tapered ends as your hand slides along the fretboard. The action is nice and low, but unfortunately, the intonation suffered a bit in some spots and fret buzz was a problem on the B string above the 12th fret. None of this is difficult to straighten out, but our review guitar definitely needed some setup help and possibly even some rounding of the nut's sharp corners, which can bite into your fingers when you lift the guitar off a stand. The Cosmo Black chrome bridge and stop tailpiece feature smooth surfaces to lay your palm on, and I've got to say those black metal parts (including the pickup surrounds) look very hip. Ditto for the diamond pearl fretboard "dots," the tattoo-like 12th position marker, and the swanky pearl 'T' that graces the peg-head face.

It's unusual to find active pickups in a guitar at this price point, and the 300's Ibanez-made units are powered by a pair of AA batteries that are accessible from the back of the body. Designed to deliver a powerful signal and be very resistant to noise (courtesy of a low-impedance output, which makes them essentially immune to the signal-degrading effects that long lengths of cable can impose), they deliver thick overdrive tones and have a nice, tight low-end response. …

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