When the Xiphos came out a few years ago I think it was Ibanez's first modern foray into the world of super crazy shaped guitars. Now they have a new model called the Falchion. It is named after a sword. It has a similar shape to the Xiphos but has more beveling on the body and to me feels more comfortable to play. The specs on this guitar are pretty good. The body with its crazy shape is made out of mahogany instead of basswood so that is a plus. The bolt on neck is maple with the Wizard 3 profile. The fretboard is rosewood with 24 jumbo frets. The fretboard is also free of any inlays for a super clean look. Up top you get a locking nuts and the bridge is an Edge 3 tremolo which is a pretty nice design. The pickups in this guitar are great for a stock Ibanez. The pickups in this guitar are a set of Ibanez active pickups. These pickups are a lot better than what you would normally get in a stock Ibanez. The controls are super simple with a single volume knob and a 3 way toggle switch on the lower horn.
Ibanez playability is rarely bad and this guitar is no exception. The neck on this guitar is super smooth with the thin Wizard 3 profile. The fretboard is flat and wide and gives you lots of room to play on the big frets. Some people may not like the fact that there are no inlays on the front of the fretboard but there are side dots. The body has great balance and the beveling on it means it does not dig into you in any place. Since this guitar has active pickups they have included a battery compartment which is nice. This means you do not have to open up the whole guitar to change the battery.
When it comes to active pickups there is one name everyone is gunning for. That name is EMG. These pickups are similar to an EMG 81/85 set. The Ibanez pickups have their own advantages and disadvantages. Compared to a set of real EMG's this pickups are slightly less defined in the low end. It isnt terrible but compared to the high dollar pickups you can hear a difference. Them being a bit less harsh and tight does give them advantages in other areas. It seems that the Ibanez pickups have better clean tones overall compared to a set of real EMG's. Overall these pickups are many times better than the normal Ibanez pickups and with a guitar like this you wont have to instantly throw out the stock pickups when you get an Ibanez.
With guitars like these Ibanez is getting more and more into what the modern metal guitar market is like. Nowadays you cant just sell a guitar on its playability. Just about every guitar nowadays plays well. You need to play and sound well out of the box nowadays and a guitar liek this with active pickups is more like what the competition is offering. If you are looking for a metal looking guitar that plays and sounds great this is a good option. I hope Ibanez starts offering these better pickups in their RG series guitars. That would really put them back near the top.