“The APEX, despite its lofty name, represents the darkness lurking at the bottom of the deepest well and harnesses the power at the lowest point of the pendulum.” – Ibanez® website
Ibanez®, a favorite among contemporary shredders, has long been endorsed by several well respected electric axe men, including Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Mick Thompson. Now pickers can add another unique signature to the Ibanez® product list: Munky’s Apex 100 7-string guitar.
The Ibanez® Company
Ibanez®, which is owned by Hoshino (USA) Inc., of Nagoya, Japan, began its American distribution in 1957. As a guitar maker, Ibanez® initially came to be known for producing expertly crafted replicas of famous models at an affordable cost.
About the instruments offered, the company explains online that, “Most of those guitars were Ibanez´ famous high quality (but very inexpensive) copies of just about everything – you name it, we probably made a version of it.”
The sound of Korn
Korn’s picker extraordinaire, James Christian Schaffer, better known to enthusiasts as Munky, generates his punchy exacting tones with an Ibanez® Apex 100 7-string guitar. Other than its jumbo frets, rosewood fingerboard and pearl dot inlays, there isn’t too much that could be considered mundane here.
Ibanez® guitars are known for having comfortable necks; the Apex 100 is no exception. Immediately, its five piece construction and maple/wenge tonewoods say this is something exceptional. What’s wenge? It’s a tropical tree that, when dried, yields wood that is similar to maple and just the right hardness for a guitar neck.
The thickness of the Apex’ neck smoothly increases from 19mm at the first fret to 21mm at the twelfth.
Available in “Tri Fade Burst” with a white pickguard, Munky’s “Strat-looking” alder body, a traditional design and proven winner, offers lingering low end sustain without any muddiness. Each Apex 100 is equipped with “Factory Tuning: 1D, 2A, 3F, 4C, 5G, 6D, 7A.”
Munky’s Apex delivers some serious tone with a DP 701 DiMarzio® Blaze™ single coil at the neck and for the bridge, a DP 702 DiMarzio® Blaze™ humbucker. Both pick-ups contain ceramic magnets which make for a more potent high-powered resonance.
A five way selector and one master control volume knob round out the electronics in this package.
Perhaps the Apex 100’s most distinctive feature is its bridge, the Lo-Pro Edge 7, featuring a “U-bar.” Instead the traditional “whammy” is a small U-shaped arm. What’s the big deal about the Lo-Pro Edge 7? According to Ibanez®, the distinctive component “lets you palm the bridge to get tremolo effects without palming the fine tuners.”
The “U-Bar” can easily be replaced with a normal tremolo bar at any time.
Ibanez® and Korn
How important is the Apex 100 to the Korn sound? Ibanez points out, “With Korn, Munky took a 7-seven string shred machine and turned it into a low-end bone crusher.”
Munky’s signature Ibanez® Apex 100 7-string guitar will set you back a cool $2,500. After trying it out, you’ll find it’s worth every penny.