The neck is very reminiscent of a Les Paul, slightly clubby feeling definitely slim enough to feel graceful when playing. Access to the 22 fret is possible, but may not satisfy shredders who want unrestricted access all the way up the fret board. To myself, it doesn't matter.
If you love playing a Paul but regret it halfway through a gig due to their weight, then this guitar is for you. Somehow, maybe due to a slightly smaller body and the double cutaway they have made a guitar thats several pounds lighter than an LP, and its very balanced and comfortable to play.
This is by far the most gorgeous-sounding guitar I have ever played. Granted I swapped in some Gibson P.A.F. pickups and that has sweetened it all the more. But to pick up this guitar and play it, and then remind yourself it doesn't cost 2000.00 is like a dream come true.
I play everything from hi-gain palm-muted metal riffing on the bridge pickup, to crunchy indie rock, to noodly jazz and Santana soloing, or back the guitars volume down to instantly clean it up for soulful bluesy licks and chords. When through a clean amp, the neck pickup comes through thick and almost jazzy, with enough fatness and sustain to satisfy me when playing mellow chords and licks. The neck pickup is also great for sweet overdriven soloing as this guitar will almost sustain like a real Paul.
I think the bridge pickup is a bit thin or lacking lower end when clean, thats my only real criticism. I usually reserve the bridge setting for crunchy distored sounds.
I've been playing this guitar for years, and will probably never part with it.
If I could have seperate volume/tone controls for each pickup like a Gibson, I'd be in heaven. As it stands I fiddle with the volume a bit to get the sounds I desire from one song or section to the next.
I have played Ibanez guitars before, various models, and I have played Les Paul Standards. To me this guitar is a good medium between them, and does things that really neither can do. To my ears it is more refined and sweet than most garden variety LPs which tend to be more raunchy and won't take you sonically where this guitar will; i.e. a santana solo sweetness or jazz fusion sound. It feels more akin to a shred guitar as far as playability without actually being one, but can still nail a decent shred-metal sound if you wanted one.
This is the best damn guitar I'll ever find for under 1000 bucks, and it only cost 500 used!! They don't make these anymore so if you find one snatch it up. You wont be sorry.