8-String guitars are very popular these days and have definately arrived in mainstream. People are getting all exited about modifying RG8s with barenuckle pickups, customizing pickguards and what not. But some of you might just want to play the guitar instead of modifying stuff, so you need some well thought out instrument from the beginning.
The TAM10 is a candidate for such an instrument.
Developed as a budget modell of the quite expensive TAM100, it still has much of the features that make the TAM100 such an extraordinary guitar. It hast the same pickups, same neck and body shape and a very similar look to it. Some people might even like the bridge better than the one with finetuners. The locking nut is always one step more of tuning your guitar and be a little anoying.
My first impression of the TAM10 was really good – for one thing that is because every guitar you receive directly from the european distributor of ibanez is setup really well. It had new D’addario strings on it, and they rang like a piano. At this time I was using a RG8 which I had played extensively, and the strings had seen their best days long ago.
Digging deeper into the sound of the guitar showed me a great amount of sustain. You can hit the F# or B string and they will ring for more than a minute – it does not really get any better than this! So the dry-test of the guitar was clear: I would say, considering the price, 10 out of 10 points!
Now the guitar gets plugged in and the pickups come into play. The Ionizers are not your typical kind of metal pickup with tons of output. They are well balanced and you can use them for all kinds of musical styles you can think of. Even jazz – I am not kidding. Especially the clean sounds got my attantion. All in all, there are 8 different pickup selections when you count them, and they are all usable! DiMarzio really got it down, even the sounds with just splitted humbuckers have a nice sound to them. But you have to hear it to believe it, so here are some sound samples for you (using quite old strings I must say):
Clean Sounds (Pickup settings in order of appearence: neck PU split, neck+middle split, neck + bridge split, middle and bridge split, bridge split, neck humbucker, bridge humbucker)
I used Positive Grids BIAS Despktop for this, click here for the amp settings (default dumble clean)
Heavy Sounds (Pickups: Bridge for the rhythm riff, neck for the soloing)
The workmanship of the guitar gets a 8 out of 10 – every important part is done really well, with some minor imperfections. Some people might complain about that, I don’t really care as it does not diminish the sound in any way. And you have to really look closely.
The tuners are working nice and exact, though I would really wish for some locking tuners – changing 8 strings with standard tuners is a pain! Tuning stability is excellent, so I ask myself what benefit the locking nut and fine-tune bridge on the Tam100 should have. The bridge is solid as a rock and you can do palm-mute stuff very conviniently.
I know your question… And no, it is NOT funny
YES. It DOES djent
You can do all kinds of 000 000 0000 00 000 stuff with that guitar, but you can also shred on it and use it for very nice clean tones.
I know, this sounds more like a praise than a review. But I really like this guitar! Only thing I would consider for myself is thinner strings. The stock strings sound really good but are quite heavy for my taste. With the 27″ Scale a .010 e string is a heavy bastard. I probably would go the light top heavy bottom route and put a .009 set on the top. But that is a matter of taste I would say.
One thing I would really wish for? Ibanez, PLEASE make fanned fret guitars! If this guitar would be from 25.5″ to 27″, it would just be perfect!