I read some reviews that compared this guitar closely with a PRS. The older models have become somewhat collectible. After I bought this I was in the market for a Les Paul and was repeatedly asked "why? you've basically got one already". I'd buy another one even if this wasn't stolen. The best things about it are the neck and the many sounds and styles you can squeeze out of the pickups. Not your average LP knock off.
Model Year: 1981
This was made in Japan (surprise), but it holds up pretty well against a US Les Paul. 24 flat frets on a rosewood fingerboard, mother of pearl block inlays, set neck. I love the neck heel, it's the best and smallest I've ever played. Ibanez locking tuners. Pretty nice mahogany body with cream binding. Finished in what Ibanez calls "antique sunburst" with gold hardware. Gibraltar bridge with slotted stop tail piece makes string changes a breeze. Overall the workmanship seems pretty good, possibly a bit better than later year Ibanez'
Playing this guitar is great. Even though it has flat frets, they are detailed nicely. Even Les Paul owners will like the neck joint, accessibility is great too, obviously some real quality workmanship was done here. It will stay in tune for months as well! The body is contoured in the back which also makes it a bit more comfortable to play. The only flaw I find is that it is a bit tail heavy, mostly due to the double cut away I believe.
I personally love the pick ups in this thing. Ibanez "super 70s" pickups....can't say enough about them. I've also heard them called "butterflys". The gold covers have a butterfly engraved on them which was probably a really nice touch before I beat the crap out of them. 2 mini toggles give you coil tap and phase options. You can get a pretty believable strat sound by mixing p/u's and coil tap options, run it full out on the bridge p/u and it growls as good as ANY Les Paul I've heard. The neck p/u reminds me somewhat of a "Lucille" great for blues or jazz. The only thing I considered doing was having all the gold replated.
I've owned it for 17 years and never had to adjust the neck. I replaced 1 volume pot about 5 years ago. It will stay in tune forever! I set up the intonation about once a year. The wiring is nice and neat and fully shielded which makes it pretty quiet even in coil tap mode. I gig with it all the time.