Inspired by the classic, edgy look of the Jackson Warrior, the Ibanez Xiphos was first released in 2007. Two models were produced; the six string XPT700, and the XPT707, which is a seven string guitar. While the two exhibit the same wild design, the XPT707 is definitely the one to choose for any guitarist into metal or hard rock.
The first thing you’ll notice when looking at the guitar is its sharp design, literally. Resembling a violent interpretation of the Jackson Warrior, the pointed corners and wide angles give the XPT707 a bold look. The finish looks beautiful, and can come in either a Red Chameleon color or glossy black.
While traditionally most seven string guitars have wide, thick necks, the Xiphos maintains the thin, flat, fast-playing neck that has become a trademark for Ibanez. The input jack is located inside one of the spikes on the body, keeping the cable out of your way.
My only complaint about the design of the guitar, though this tends to be common among seven strings, is that it is too neck-heavy. Anytime I would wear the guitar standing up, the neck would slowly start tilting towards the floor. Even though it might not be a big deal to some players, for those who play extremely technical passages won’t appreciate holding the guitar neck upright while trying to play.
The guitar itself is packed with some very nice features. The bridge system is an Edge III, and while it’s not everyone’s favorite tremolo system, it works nicely. The locking bridge allows for some really steep dive bombs.
The Xiphos’ body is constructed out of Mahogany and has a neck-thru design, which means the body and neck are basically one piece. This allows for much longer sustain, deeper low ends, a more stable neck and a better tone overall.
Included with the guitar are two Dimarzio D Activator 7 pickups. Ibanez has stated that these pickups, which are passive, are meant to produce sounds that mimic active pickups. Depending on the amplifier you are playing out of, this might be true, but unfortunately to most players it won’t feel like psuedo-active pickups at all.
The tone, however, still sounds incredible, especially its low end. The low end of this guitar will be absolutely booming no matter what amp you are playing out of, and even though the low notes are usually muddy on seven strings, on the Ibanez Xiphos they remain crystal clear, distortion or not.
Soloing on this guitar is a dream come true. With twenty five frets and a jumbo fretboard, you will easily be able to reach those glorious high notes. Squeals and pinch harmonics will come out easily due to the high gain pickups, and notes can be bent and trilled as much as you need thanks to the long sustain.
One thing that I have seen many players complain about online, and I noticed it on my guitar as well, is that the guitar’s action is much too high out of the box. It will take a long time to tweak it just right, and I suggest seeking the help of a professional who has done many guitar setups before if you don’t feel comfortable doing it.
Besides the high action and the annoying neck weight, the Ibanez Xiphos XPT707 is a fantastic guitar that will meet the demands of most metal musicians, and deserves at least a try the next time you see it at your local guitar store.