Ibanez MiKro GRGM21M Jewel Blue — review

The Ibanez GRG miKro puts out sound way beyond its size. When you look at the specifications, it is obvious why. The miKro shares the same Powersound humbuckers at its larger siblings in the Ibanez Gio range.

The specifications are:

  • GRGM Maple neck
  • Basswood body
  • Medium frets
  • Fixed bridge
  • PSND1 (H) neck pu
  • PSND2 (H) bridge pu
  • Hardware color : Chrome
  • Scale : 560mm/22″
  • Colors : JB (Jewel Blue), RD (Red)

Recommended retail is $279, but it is easy to find these guitars for cheaper.

So what is it like to play?

Ibanez miKro GRGM21M guitar

Ibanez miKro GRGM21M guitar

Hmm. Not that great really.

The Ibanez miKro came set up okay straight out of the box. The string action was low, there was no fret buzz. I did tweak the intonation though, which is pretty easy to do.

The electronics are on the cheap side — see the warranty claim comments below.

The pick-ups are squawky and have a distinct quack to them. I do not particularly enjoy the sound of the guitar. Oh well, at least you can give your kid headphones when they are practising so that you do not have to listen to it!

If the Ibanez miKro is anything to go by, I would steer clear of buying a guitar from the full size Ibanez Gio range. Spend the extra money and get a guitar from their RG (Road Gear) series instead.

But for a beginner’s guitar, which is where this guitar is aimed at, it is fine. For some reason, my daughter much prefers to play her Cort Earth Mini acoustic guitar in the school rock band, rather than the Ibanez miKro. I still have not figured out why.

Warranty issue

I have had a warranty issue with the guitar. A couple of months after purchasing the guitar, the bridge humbucker stopped working. I took it back to the shop. It turns out the problem was not with the humbucker, but with the selector selector switch.

To their credit, Ibanez did not hesitate to repair the guitar under warranty. A new selector switch was sent from Ibanez (although it did take a couple of weeks) and the Ibanez representative installed the switch.

The guitar works like new again.

Upgrade potential

There is plenty of potential to upgrade the Ibanez miKro. Noteably, the pickups are the same as those used in their full size guitar. In theory, that should mean any standard humbucker pickup should fit, giving plenty of opportunity to select better pickups.

Under the scratch plate cover is a very large hole into which the electronics are mounted. The pick-up selector and volume and tone knobs are screwed directly to the pick guard. Again, there should be plenty of room to install some decent electronics from full size guitars.

But the question is, why would you bother? No matter how much you spend on fancy electronics, you still have what is essentially a children’s instrument. I guess if you have really small hands, then this guitar with an electronics and pick-up upgrade could be a possibility …

While the upgrade thought has crossed my mind, by the time I get around to doing it, my daughter will have outgrown the guitar. I am much better putting the money into a full size instrument … that I can play too!

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