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Rating and Reviews: Ibanez ARZ200FM Electric

Experience the solid playing feel and rich sustain that the ARZ200FM brings to the table. A 25" scale neck lets you down-tune and maintain string tension.

User Ratings
Ease of Use
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"Ibanez ARZ200FM in Tri fade burst" submitted May 6, 2017

By Michael K
Ease of Use
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: 30 years playing music. I play guitar, bass guitar, and some drums.
Music Style: Rock, hard rock, southern rock, metal, blues, and some jazz
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Sound: The ARZ200FM is best suited for hard rock, metal and blues playing. It has a nice mix of tones and I find the highs to be bright while the lows have a good mix of bass and mids. For comparison purposes this guitar is perfect for covering artists such as Ted Nungent, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Guns N' Roses, AC/DC, and so on. The bridge pick up produces a really warm clean tone and smooth distorted tone. The bridge pick up is fairly aggressive and responsive. The pick ups are a bit noisy and do hum noticeably at high volumes but at lower volumes they are fine. I did notice a slight hum when recording tracks with this guitar as well, though this was easily edited out. I usually play Ernie balls but on this guitar I get the best overall sound running Curt Mangam nickel plated strings (10's-52's). Feature: I really like the tone and volume knobs on this guitar, there is a "rubber" ring around the knobs which makes rolling the knobs a breeze. The tuners adjust smoothly and hold the guitar in tune with no problems. I'm not a big fan of the quick change bridge but outside of the aforementioned bur I've had no real issues with it. I haven't looked at the pots but I suspect they are a bit undersized though this easily remedied. I personally really like the sound off the antiquity pick ups but if your into really clean or aggressive sounding pick ups you will most likely want to switch them out. The body of this guitar is mahogany with a flame maple top. The neck is a mahogany set in neck with rosewood fret board. The pick ups are passive type ceramic (Classic Elite). The bridge is an Ibanez ART-1 and the tail piece is an Ibanez Quick change 3. This guitar has medium frets and would really benefit more from jumbo frets. Width at the nut is1 11/16" and width at the 24th fret is 2 5/16". Neck thickness at the first fret is 13/16" and 7/8" at the 12th fret. Fretboard radius is 12".Overall sustain is very good with this guitar and it handles dropped tuning amazingly well. Ease of Use: Your going to have to spend some time making adjustments on this guitar, or if your not comfortable making adjustments on your instruments, I would plan on a set up out of the box. I found this to be a really easy guitar to adjust and is very similar to adjust LP's. Once set up this is a very reliable guitar that holds tuning quite well. I'm a fairly heavy handed player as far as picking is concerned and it holds up well to that. It also holds up well to lots of bending. This is not a shredder guitar and if your into playing things similar to dream theater, dragon force, AV7, vai and so on you probably won't like this guitar at all. Quality: Overall the guitar is well made and should hold up quite well. So far it has proven to be very reliable and has made its way into my rotation of preferred guitars to play. I will probably upgrade the pots but other than that and maybe a re-fret to jumbo frets way down the road I don't plan on any other modifications. Cosmetically it is a very nice looking instrument and should hold up as well as any other Ibanez with regard to finish. The only issues I have with this guitar have to do with quality control at the factory, I do feel the action should have been within Ibanez's specifications and the tailpiece should not have required filing. Value: Outside of the aforementioned issues this guitar is probably worth the asking price. With relatively little expense this guitar can be upgraded to perform like a $800-$1000 guitar. However, I would recommend dealers selling these models to check them and either set them to spec or send them back so the factory is forced to improve their quality control. Manufacturer Support: I did not attempt to contact manufacture support with regards to this guitar. The Wow Factor: This is a little more difficult to rate, I really like this guitar and have it in rotation with much pricier models. It looks amazing and plays wonderfully now that it has been set up properly. I look at it and want to play it, when I pick it up I don't want to put it down, I can't say that about every guitar I own. Overall it had a few issues to be worked out but once those items were addressed I really fell for this guitar. It gives me the sound and tone I was looking for stock so there is something to be said for that. Overall: I purchased this guitar looking for a guitar that would approximate a LP tone without the baseball bat sized neck. I've played Ibanez guitars for as long as I've been playing in addition to a host of other manufactures (Gibsons, Epiphones, PRS, charvels, ESP, LTD, Dean, Jacksons, and so on). Due to a hand injury that required me changed the way I approach playing as well as what I am playing I predominately play Ibanez and ESP/LTD's. Between the two Ibanez guitars are the most comfortable for me to play which is in large part due to the neck size. The aforementioned was a primary consideration in the decision to purchase this particular guitar. I had reservations about purchasing a guitar at this price point and was heavily considering an EC1000 but after playing both the ibanez is definitely more comfortable for me personally. It should go without saying though that the EC1000 has many more features and is a higher quality instrument over all. This guitar is made in China which also lent to some reservations about this but I went ahead anyway as I have never had a bad experience with Ibanez guitars or bass's.The guitar arrived as promised and as usual dealing with zZounds was a great experience. Upon opening the package I was pleasantly surprised by the appearance of this guitar, photos do not do this guitar justice. I purchased the tri fade burst and I really love the way this guitar looks. While it looked amazing it was almost unplayable out of the box and nowhere near the factory specifications with regards to action height. This was easily remedied as set up and adjustments are straight forward with this stile of guitar. I had about an hour total into adjusting the action and intonation of the guitar and was able to adjust the action slightly below manufacture specification with no buzz. It comes with D'Adderio strings which I personally do not care for and originally swapped with Ernie Ball Slinky's. This brought about another issue; the high E string snapped repeatedly at the bridge when tuning before it could be brought to E Standard. Closer inspection of the tail piece revealed a bur which was easily filed down and I have had no more issues with the tail piece since. The only other issue I have had as far as mechanical is the nut that holds the neck volume pot in place, worked itself loose and I had to re-tighten it. It did not feel loose initially.When I rated this guitar I tried to keep in mind the price point of this guitar and how I feel about it now that I have it set up and playing how I want it, This is not a PRS, Gibson, or top of the line Ibanez and does not perform like such. It is generally well made and after adjustments plays extremely well. It is a bare bones guitar which I like, nothing fancy or over the top just a solid simple guitar that is nicely shaped and comfortable to play. Not much that can go wrong on it and very simple to adjust. It has a sound similar to a Gibson or Epiphone LP but is by no means identical to them. I personally like the sound and tone I get from it the way it is manufactured. It is a bit heavy when compared to RG's or S series guitars, mine is about 9-10lbs approximately. It balances well when strapped on and is surprisingly comfortable despite the weight, If you can I would highly recommend playing one before purchasing as this guitar is not for everybody. Overall I really like this guitar and would absolutely purchase it again.
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