Weapon: Beginner Guitar
Model: Gio GSA60 BK
This guitar is – caused by its price - definately to see in the beginner-range. It was also the first guitar I owned. But there's a little story about it I have to tell; maybe half a year ago I walked into the local musicstore, with the intention to buy a new guitar. My budget-range were around 600€ and I was willing to buy one. But as I played some guitars, I was really dissappointed, because they didn't sounded the much better, i exspected them to. To make it short, after playing over 4hours with several guitars, I left without buying anything besides a package of new strings, working home, happy with my ibanez gio.
workmanship and sound
To give you an impression I'll first tell you the basic facts:
- maple „GSA“ neck
- Agathis body Agathis body
- 22 frets / medium
- rosewood fretboard
- Pearl Dot Inlays
- SAT-10 bridge
- HSS (PSNDS-ibanez-pickups)
- Including gigbag and strap
The guitar is black, all mechanics and knobs are chromed and look pretty nice. The finish is very durable and does not scratch that easy. You have to knobs: one for volume and one for tone. The tone knob works very well, it takes also lots of gain, so you can vary your sound with that knob. Thats nice. Nothing special with the tone poti. You have a 5-way-pickup switch. That gives you the possibility to play each pick up singulary or combine the two singlecoils to a humbucker.
Switch position 1 (H)
The bridge position humbucker gives you a very fat sound that I like very much for riffing. It sounds quite well with little distortion or rocky distortion. When playing with a lot gain, it sounds very stranged and gets little steril. For Clean leads this pick up is very powerful, but when strumming chords it sounds little weird.
Switch positions 2+3 (S)
I describe the 2 switch positions in one, because they're both „useless“ in my opinion and I play them very, very rarely; they have kind of emotionless uncertain sound that can be useful for some country licks but only with bunches of effects. When adding gain, you get here a very thin, but – strangely- not warm tone, that sounds simply undefinite and quiet.
Switch position 4 (both S together)
You're able to connect them to a humbucker, that gives you a quite interesting sound; it sounds very row and, gives you kind of a growling in the tone. The tone is very dirty, but in a positive way, and when playing with distortion you can sound like Eagles or Jimmy Page (with correct amp settings ). This pick up is very useful for any lead sounds and gives you a very nice tone. It sounds very full and has lots of highs.
Switch position 5 (S)
The neck singlecoil is my first choice for leads in the rock/bluesrock area. If wou want to get a warm, moderate sound, you're right here. This pick ups sounds best with little distortion and if you like to get a typcial solo sound of the 90s.
All in all you can reach a great variety of sounds, which are, not perfect, but, still for a guitar of this pricerange very good. In my opinion this guitar is a very good solution for beginner guitarists or even for intermediate ones with a smaller budget.
If you take the guitar in your hands, it feels – very good. The shape is nice, and the guitar is also very light. Not that light that you could think it would be hollow, but, its nice. If you play standing the guitar is balanced well. All knobs and stuff are good reachable and the action of the guitar is very low. Only if you plug the low e-string very (very!) hard, it buzzes little. But in „ordinary“ playing this won't happen, only if you want it to. The finish is very resitant and feels nice.
It's a very useful guitar, but for giging it's not quite practical. It' not on the guitar itself, but see „Cons“ to know what I mean. It is very good workmanshipped, the finish is not able to get scratched (mine is over a year old now and still not one (!) scratch). The knobs are easy-going and the fretboard is very fast. The neck is very, very thin, not varnished, but waxed, and it's comfortable to play with. In this price range, this guitar is probably one of the best you can get, because Ibanez combines good quality without fluctuations with the needs for a low priced guitar: so you can't exspect to get a good tremolo or killer-pickups but the workmanship and overall quality is better than you can exspect it on some 500+€ guitars. So if you like Ibanez, have not much money, and want a goodquality low-prize guitar. Go for it.
Well, to be honest, the guitar has 3 cons:
there's the tremolo system first; it is unlocked and as a result the guitar stay not good in tune. But what could you exspect for a 250euro guitar? Well, so block it, and it's okay :)
The nut is made of plastic, that frazzles very fast.
staying in tune:
the tuning pegs in combination with the plastic nut result in a very bad tuning. If you are probably a quarter step out of tune, you can pull a 1,5step bending 3 to 5 times and seconds later it's adjusted. Unfortunatally that goes also in the other direction. When playing serious solos you have to re-tune quite often.