coil split

Evolutionary design makes this accessibly priced shred machine extra appealing and rewarding to play.

Excellent variety of distinct tones. Modern features that are not very common yet on production guitars.

No gigbag or case.


Ibanez SML721


In its current state, Ibanez’s new Axe Design Lab line of guitars seems conceived as a vehicle for unconventional designs. Twenty-seven frets? Fanned frets? Nine strings? If you want a guitar that throws the rule book out the window, the Axe Design Lab probably has it. In fact, the fanned-fret Ibanez SML721, which is reviewed here, looks pretty normal compared to much of the rest of the Axe Design Lab roster. And at $999, the Indonesia-made SML721 strikes a very nice balance between quality, affordability, and outside-the-box design think.

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