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dci100 27/09/2008

Ibanez MMM1 : la opinión de dci100 (content in English)

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So this is the Mike Mushok's (guitarist for Staind) signature model. It's basically an oversized strat body made from solid mahogany with a stripe of purpleheeart wood going through the middle for some detail. The neck is also mahogany and has an additional chunk of wood behind the nut to give the headstock a little extra support for handling the massive strings this guitar can handle (it is a baritone after all).
It comes stock with custom Super 58 pickups in the neck and bridge positions. While these were specifically designed for this guitar, I found the output (esp. of the neck 'bucker) weak and limiting. I have since swaped them out for a pair of DiMarzios (the D-Activator in the neck, and the D-Sonic in the bridge. AWESOME!)
Controls are simple, three way toggle, master volume and tone.
The bridge is another custom piece. It is massive and again, custom to this guitar. It provides a rock solid anchor for the super heavy gauge strings to pass through, and squeezes every drop of sustain possible.

UTILIZATION

The neck, like the rest of the guitar, is not bathed in a heavey lacquer, gloss or paint. Its a raw wood guitar, and that is great for me. The bodies deep cutaways provide easy access to the topmost frets but it's a baritone guitar (ie tuned REALLY low) so it's not a huge part of this guitars sound.
The guitar does weigh a good amount (solid mahogany tends to do that) but it well balanced and comfortable to play sitting or standing.
The sound of this guitar is what really sold me. The depth and power of the baritone guitar is unreal. You can really play convincing bass lines with a clean sound or sound like the whole band (minus drums) with a distortion box engaged. Kudos Ibanez for making a unique niche-filling guitar that can really play.

SOUNDS

I used this guitar in a rock setting that infused funk, metal and punk and performed perfectly. The heavey gauge string (low B string is a .72!) are capable of being slapped like a bass (cool for fake basslines and instrumental breaks). I played this guitar through two different amps. The first was a Laney GH50L (see my review on that for specifics), the second was an 80W Traynor combo (review coming soon). Distortion control is the key to getting good sounds out of this guitar. Too much fuzz washes away the definition and character this guitar has.
I preferred a distorted tone (esp. for rock rhythms)but many clean "countryish" lines can be attained by using the neck pickup and a little reverb or delay.

OVERALL OPINION

I've had this guitar since 2002 and have never had an issue with it. It was kind of a one of a kind guitar when I bought so I couldnt compare it to many, but it feels better to me than any 7-string model out there. This guitar looks great, feels wonderful and can sound as good as you want it to. Be careful with your distortion settings and you'll be rewarded with hours of low-end chunk or slap guitar funk.