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I first bought this guitar as an upgrade from my strat copy about a year after getting into guitar. It was the only one in the shop that I actually like the look of (I'm a sucker for superstrat and sharktooth inlays) and at the time was the best thing I had ever owned.
Let me make this clear, this is definitely a beginners/backup/modding guitar, and not for someone who is an advanced player.
This guitar, with the right setup, can have super low action, and a great feeling neck, however that takes a bit of time. To get the most out of this guitar, I would definitely recommend blocking the bridge to get the most out of this guitar. Sometimes the single coil can get in the way, if you pick really hard, but for a beginner, this should teach them to avoid hitting the single coil, so they don't have to change their technique later on.
The hardware on the guitar is OK at best. It has lasted a few years and hasn't rusted, however the overall quality is not too good. If you are planning on giving it any whammy abuse, then kiss goodbye to any tuning stability you thought you had. Even with locking tuners, the bridge cannot hold up to any substantial whammy use. If you don't use the whammy, then a tuner upgrade would still be a worthwhile investment, due to the fact that this guitar slips out of tune often.
Most of the screws are absolute garbage, and get messed up almost straight away. If anything, make sure to replace the ones in the back of the guitar that hold the springs down, otherwise you will have big troubles when it comes to changing gauges, tunings etc.
The pickups are, surprisingly, pretty decent. Quite high output and can clearly pick up harmonics. I find they sound better with lower tunings, such as drop C. There's not really much of a difference in sound between them.
The 5 way switch is very useful, with a certain coil-tap like feature, where it will only activate half of a humbucker when in the 2 or 4 position. All the electronics were sound, and the knobs on the front are very heavy duty.
The guitar is built very well, and has withstood everything that I have thrown at it, including a couple of big drops. There is no dodgy neck work going on, with the frets being level, and cut to the correct size.
This is what makes the guitar perfect for beginners, it can withstand being thrown around a LOT!
Ease of use?
This guitar doesn't have a proper double locking floating bridge, it works just like a strat, so strings are fed through the back of the guitar to change them. This is perfect for beginners, as changing strings can be a huge pain, especially with a floating bridge.
Only 2 controls makes things ever simpler, the highest one controlling the volume, and lower controlling tone.
This guitar has high potential to be a modded guitar, or a guitar to practice your luthier skills on. I frequently use it to experiment with things such as pickup changes, action adjustment and string gauge changes. There's even space to route out a cavity and install some effects, like a phase-90 or fuzz factory, matt bellamy style.
I own a candy apple red version of this guitar and i love it!!! by far the best price to quality ratio on the market and would suggest one to anybody ranging from begginer to expert on gutar.
firsly we will try and establish which guitar this is a when selecting an ibanez alot of people are confused, as they all look pretty much the same. Most people get stuck choosing between the 170 and 270. They are both pretty much exactly the same apart from the 170 in question has a standard tremalo system (can only bend forward) and the more expensive 270 has a floyd rose floating tremalo (bends forwards and backwards)
I chose the 170 due to the tremalo it has is by far enough and causes less complications than the floatingone does and as i don't actually use the whammy bar too often whilst playing as it has a tendancy to detune the guitar
Playability of this guitar is fantastic and the action is as good as any £600+ guitar i have played and for around £200 a complete bargin, it has 2 controls on the body of the guitar, both pretty standard and basic one giving the option to turn the volume up or down and the other is a crude knob to change the sound from bass to treble (deep fuzzy sound to a harsh tinny sound) this is a very basic design as it is a cheaper model, the other trouble with these knobs and swiths is that non are labeled or have a scale, afetr using the guitar a couple of times you pick this up and should be able to remember directions and each ones function.. however .. we all know how bad or memorys can be whilst stood nervously on a stage with half a bottle of dutch courage inside us.
The 170 has 4 pick ups and a switch to select which pick up or combination of pick ups are used to get the best sound for you. (the pickup closest to the neck gives a warmer fuzzy sound and the pick up at the termelo gives a harsh tinny sound)
As mentioned above the 170 has a standard tremelo system.
This guitar is best used in playing metal mainly because if the ibabanez pick ups but there is no reason why this guitar cannot be used for any kind of music, or to learn on from scratch.
-Looks / Packaging-
The guitar comes in a cardboard box so i would suggest buying a case for the guitar whilst purchasing if one is not already owned, it comes supplied with a guitar to amp cable, A detatchable whammy bar, instructions for cleaning and upkeep of the guitar and a magazine listing alot of other ibanez products and 2 space springs for the tremalo system .. unfortunatly the instructions do not show you how to change these but i am sure that there are plenty of internet sites that will instruct on this. it is not supplied with any kind of basic strap (unless it is part of a store promotion) so i would also purchase a strap at the time of purchase, especially as compared to alot of other guitars i have played this guitar is quite heavy.
The guitar comes in various colours, the most popular i have seen in shops seems to be black or blue and i own candy apple red, all of the finishes are gloss with a glittery sparkly to them (even the black apparently but it just looked like plain black to me) all have l light maple coulored neck and a black pointed head stock
What i especially like about the 170 compared to the 270 is the ornamental fret inlays, whereas the 270 model has the standard (boring) dots to mark the frets the 170 has the tradmark white triangles to mark the frets
all in all this is a fantastic guitar and well well well worth the price you would pay for it, okay it lacks in a couple of features the more expensive models supply but it does not miss any of them. the worst thing about this guitar is the fact that it does not have numbers or descriptions of what the control knobs on the body do, but if i am paying only £200.00 for a throughbred guitar this is a flaw i can live with. I would also have liked to to be slightly lighter, but after a while of playing the guitar you body does become used to the weight.
Happy playing and remember who gave you your advice of guitar if you become a huge rock star.