Ibanez 1997 Talman Reviews
I acquired this instrument in Kalamazoo, Michigan in the winter of 2002 from a friend of mine (a professional musician). He let me have it for $200.00.
I suppose the answer to, "why" I sought it out is simple: I had heard and seen it on several occasions (and in live situations) and fell in lust with it. Pete (my aforementioned friend) took pity on me and the old beat up Kay I was squeaking on at the time and, as I've mentioned, cut me a deal. That's it.
With the exception of its oddly shaped body (which is extremely artful but does take some getting around), and its rather weak (but quality) single coil lipstick at the neck, I have no complaints.
This guitar doesn't boast fancy appointments such as binding on either the body or neck, but it does come standard with Gotoh tuning machines, and an equally impressive Gotoh tremolo. The neck is a three-piece job (maple I believe), and the knurled chrome knobs are very sturdy and fluid.
This particular Talman also flaunts a very thick, and very unique finish: something like a dull matte green, with a three-ply pick guard of a similar hue. Oh! And did I mention the faux pearloid tuner knobs, wide frets, and outstandingly tuneful solid body?
Again, save for the thin sound from the lipstick at the neck, I don't have any contempt for this machine whatsoever. Wait! That's not entirely true. I do have a small issue with the weight of the thing. If you have a weak shoulder, forget about this guitar. But, and as I’ve also mentioned, its tone and sustain are uncanny, and are worth the pain involved, if you can take it.
This beast is top notch! I'm not so sure about the Korean-made Talmans, but every Japanese equivalent I've ever laid my hands on has been superb. These guitars are made to last. It's evident (at least to me) that a good deal of pride and care was taken in their construction.
In short, the 1997 Japanese Ibanez Talman is an incredible guitar. A little quirky to handle? Sure. A little heavy? Sure. But does it perform as a professional quality instrument should? Yes! Is it worth the price? Yes! And then some!
I can't say enough, really. Buy one is you are able.
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