Finding one of these guitars might be difficult. If you do, grab it. This one has already become a rare bird and I hope that I won't regret my decision.
Model Year: 1981
Price: $800.00 CDN
Where Obtained: Steve's Music - Toronto
Although I traded it away in 2004, I had owned this guitar since '85 and it was a pleasure from the beginning. Originally, these guitars sold for $800 US, so I got a fairly good deal, case included. This is a very high quality instrument with the flexibility that only comes from an arch top hollow body. Typical of Ibanez, the finish and build-quality are excellent. The jazz is smooth and mellow, the rock can be harsh and spine tingling.
Three way switch for the pick ups, separate volume and tone controls. Single cut-away, available in dark sunburst or blonde finish, chrome hardware, trapeze tail piece.
The bridge, pickups and poles are all adjustable to suit any style.
Two of the best features of this guitar is the smoothness of the neck and the fast action. The neckwidth is 1.68" at the nut. I've compared the FG 100 with Gibson 330, Gibson ES175 and Epiphone Casino (its closest rivals from a design, playability and sound point of view) and the Ibanez comes out on top. The Gibsons are overpriced, the Casino has a "cheap" feel to it, especially the tuning keys.
The hollow body and Super 58 pickups are the roots for a particularly versatile sound. I play a style ranging from jazz to Jobim and blues to Berry. The tones can be punchy or silky. Crank up the amp for that rich fat sound (a la Brian Setzer). My preference is for a flat wound string. Pick any big speaker amp; you won't be disappointed. I had considered adding a Bigsby, but uncertain about drilling into the archtop, I decided not to do so. Although, I think it would be a wonderful enhancement to such a fine-sounding instrument.
I played this guitar almost daily. I never had to adjust the truss rod or bring it in for repairs although a couple of the frets were wearing a bit thin. The Sure Grip knobs have never given me any static. Electrics are true.
The reason I traded the guitar was that my Ibanez AS-80 (see review) gives me all the sound I want from this type of guitar and the newly acquired US Strat rounds out my collection -- 6 guitars and counting!.