SAS32EX Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 10/20/2014 category: Electric Guitars
Ibanez: SAS32EX
This is one of Ibanez's 2008 models; made in China, Mahogany body, 22 medium frets with a bound rosewood fretboard, 3 piece maple set-in neck. It features an SAS Special Inlay which gives the guitar a nice visual touch.
 Sound: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 8.3
 Reliability & Durability: 8.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 7.3
 Features: 8.3
 Overall rating:
 8.6 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.2 
 Users rating:
 8.9 
 Votes:
 59 
reviews (4) pictures (2) 30 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.6
SAS32EX Recently reviewed by: simonisaleftbac, on october 20, 2014
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 299

Purchased from: PMT Music

Features: This guitar features a slim mahogany body, with a 3 piece maple set in neck with a bound rosewood fingerboard with 22 frets, 2x True duo humbuckers with a 3 way switch, Ibanez SAT ProII tremolo bridge and one volume (coil tap neck) and one tone (coil tap bridge). The finish is a black lacquered finish with a pearl binding, and polished to a reflective finish. There is also a white version, which I want so badly! I believe the tuners are just standard Ibanez tuners, non-locking, and a nifty hinged truss rod cover, which comes in handy. I only give this an 8 because the retailer never included a case or allen keys etc. // 8

Sound: OK so first of all... If you want to buy this guitar for metal, be prepared to add labour, however keep reading, there's something in it for you. Now im primarily a heavy rock/metal player, although in my spare time i do like to indulge in other styles (blues, country, hard rock etc).

For the ORIGINAL setup, its perfect for country, blues and pretty much any genre of music that doesn't require insane amount of distortion. The reason for this is the amazing pickups, technically they are stacked single coils, with a 3rd coil wired in for a fatter humbucker sound. They have a pleasant amount of output, meaning they sing when you want them to without ripping out your eardrums, perfect for those hard rock and blues solos that possess more feel and dynamic. When you coil tap these, you truly are getting a single coil sound, I'm honestly astounded at the variety of sounds this guitar can produce. However because of the mahogany body, you wont get that "Fender bright" tone, even the slim body does not compensate. I play this through a Blackstar HT50h, and preset some EQ's, compressors and digital FX through my Boss GT8 with the 4 cable system. At high gain these pickups are noisy as hell! And somewhat microphonic. Now for the METAL HEADS... 

METAL PLAYERS, do not off load this guitar! After a while i switched out the pickups for a DiMarzio Tone Zone in the bridge, and an Air norton in the neck, which completely changed the the way this guitar sang. It cost me around £120 for the pickups including delivery, and an hours work swapping them out, and boy was it worth the effort. The guitar simply transformed into a riff eating monster. The dense mahogany really adds chunk and sustain to the sound, but the slim body brightens the sound a little, so you can leave the treble tone in the middle;) Keep reading however, it gets interesting ;) // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: For a production line guitar, it's set up so beautifully, with an impressive low action without fret buzz and dead frets. The balance in the string height from nut to bridge was very well set, and to top it off the angled headstock meant it kept its tuning very well. As with all Ibanez guitars you get a sense of high build quality, and a tight fit from all the components. Nothing was loose or misaligned, the colour was exactly what the picture advertised, and everything was adjusted to a great standard. Obviously i did some extra setting up myself but nothing that made me question the quality of the guitar, just general servicing stuff (strings, pickup height, intonation etc). The only flaw was the volume and tone knob, it took no effort to turn them, now this sounds petty, but when you're strumming away it was too easy to accidentally adjust either one if you were to catch them, or to confidently set them with ease. METAL HEADS KEEP READING! // 8

Reliability & Durability: Now I've had this guitar for 3 years, and I've abused it immensely. I'm not the lightest player in regards my picking and fretting, nor do I stand still. Also I play live often, at least twice a week, and I take this guitar everywhere with me. I've dropped it, knocked it, hit people with it (unintentionally), hit myself with it, its fell over, been thrown into a van (in the case obviously) spilled my beer and other beverages on it and its even suffered at the hands of a toddler. After 3 years of punishment there is barely a scratch on it, other than the standard buckle rash and pick scratches. The hardware is still all original, excluding the nut, as a standard most production guitars come with a plastic nut, which eventually wears out and cause binding/tuning issues and action issues too (fretbuzz n shizz), so I swapped it for a graphite nut. I have abused the tremolo system a lot, and this thing holds its tuning like a dog to a rag toy, it will handle the odd dive bomb or trem flutter, and even some Van Halen style treatment, but if you start Herman Li'ing this trem system then be sure to run into problems fairly quickly, it simply isn't built for that. This is my go to guitar in both live and recording situations, and often play without a backup. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall this guitar is fantastic for the price, the only upgrade is the premium version (SA960). I'm after the white version and possibly the SAS36 as well. The original pickups hold such a dynamic sound there isn't really a genre they can't do, other than metal (wait for it!). After 3 years of abuse it still has the same reflective finish that I remember, and other than the standard servicing, it is practically indestructible. It comes well set up, with a high build quality and perfectly fit hardware. 

METAL HEADS! If you swap the pickups out for something more your style, I promise you wont be disappointed. The neck on this guitar is amazing, not so slim that you have to play with fragility, but slim enough to shred with the best of them. The neck joint is shaped and recessed for better access to the higher frets, and the balance in the action means you can shred all-over that mutha! The mahogany body adds chunk and sustain to your sound but the slim style means its lighter and more comfortable, with a slightly richer tone. You can wear it high for your more technical stuff, or lower for some badda-sery! Either way, it still looks mean! It will handle lower tunings provided you have the right gauge strings, but you may have to add a spring in the back. 

So it looks beautiful, sounds amazing, pretty much immortal and somewhat cheap. If you love your country, blues, hard rock, pop or anything in that end of the scale, this is your guitar. If your a metal head? don't spend thousands on that custom shop if you haven't got it, just grab some Duncans or Bareknuckles and slap em in this, it has the typical Ibanez shredder shapes and comfort but with a smaller price tag. But that's just my opinion! // 9

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overall: 8
SAS32EX Reviewed by: UTF, on april 08, 2009
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 289

Purchased from: igotmusic.co.uk

Features: This is one of Ibanez's 2008 models; made in China, Mahogany body, 22 medium frets with a bound rosewood fretboard, 3 piece maple set-in neck. It features an SAS Special Inlay (mother of pearl style with that similar design around the edge of the body also) which gives the guitar a nice visual touch. SAT Pro II bridge with tremolo arm and non-locking tuners. This model also features the true-duo humbuckers, which give the option of a single or double coiled pickup configuration. 1 volume control and 1 tone control, with 3-way pickup selector Switch and true duo switches activated by pulling up the volume control or tone control to go into single-coil setting. // 8

Sound: I mainly play a lot of rock/metal, styles such as Coheed And Cambria, Killswitch Engage, Fightstar etc, and this guitar suit's this music style nicely. I run it through a Bugera 6262 head with a 2X12 cab fitted with v30 speakers, and it holds up very well in both home practice and Live situations. Clean, Crunch or full on Overdrive, it can handle all of them without a hitch. This guitar is capable of achieving both a rich, deep sound and a bright sound, but due to it's slim body it won't quite go as naturally warm sounding in comparison to a Les Paul or a Gretsch, which is to be expected. Very little noise on whatever pickup setting I've had it on. Changing the configurations on the true-duo pickups only make a slight difference, the single coil settings slightly thin out the tone, and it's not going to get you a true Stratocaster single coil sound. But then again, if you want a Stratocaster sound, you play an actual Stratocaster, not a guitar with the ability to go between humbuckers and single coil. I nearly always keep it on the humbucker setting, and on that it has plenty of tone, I just expected a bit more versatility from the true duo pickups. I expect to swap them out for some Seymour Duncans in the near future. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar came fully set up with a set of.009 D'addarios in Standard Tuning (and even during transit managed to stay perfectly in Standard Tuning!) the hardware and body were pretty much flawless, the only issue was a very small dent on the back of the headstock. Action and intonation had no problems what'soever when staying in Standard Tuning or Drop-D, but when putting it into other tunings such as E flat, drop C# or D Standard, expect to do a bit of action and intonation adjustment on the bridge using the allen keys provided (which is pretty painless, just requires a little read through the manual and some patience! ) I keep it in drop C# with.10 gauge strings. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I must've played over 30 gigs on this guitar since buying it in December 08, and racked up many hours of home practice and band rehearsals, and it's withstood all of that fine. The strap buttons are larger than the ones on the other guitars I own and it took a bit of effort to actually get the guitar strap on them! So once they're on, they won't come off that easily. The buttons were too big to take the plastic straplocks I had so I had to go for the metal ones with a new strap button, but the stock strap buttons should see you through fine unless you move the guitar around manically whilst playing. The SAT Pro II Bridge doesn't take kindly to new tunings as I said above, so I wouldn't advise going into a different tuning with this guitar mid-set during a gig. It requires constant retuning of all 6 strings and takes a while to break into the new tuning. When kept in the same tuning however, it's solid and never really needs adjusting unless the tuners get knocked around. I always bring a backup guitar to a gig with me regardless, but I've never needed it, never had a string break on me or any hardware failure with this guitar. // 8

Overall Impression: For what I need it for, this guitar fit's the bill very nicely. I've been playing for over 10 years and also own a Squier Strat, a Les Paul Copy and an Epiphone SG, and this guitar easily gets the most use now due to it's sound and easy playability. I bought the guitar online after playing a similar SA model and being very impressed overall, but in hindsight it would've been safer testing this specific model out before purchasing, and finding out about the bridge's and true duo's capabilities. If this guitar was lost or stolen, I'd get the same model again without question, or a similar SA model. It's lightweight and the accessible neck makes it easy to play both rhythm and intricate lead passages on. One improvement I wished this guitar had would be better true duo pickups which give a more obvious, defined single coil sound. Apart from that, this is a very good guitar, definitely worth the price I paid for it and I can't see myself needing another one any time soon! // 9

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overall: 7.2
SAS32EX Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 19, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 350

Purchased from: GuitarGuitar

Features: I think the guitar was made in either 2007 or 2008, I can't be sure but I do know it was made in China (thank you back of headstock). The scale is 23.4 and this guitar has 22 frets. The neck is very round and not the thinnest of necks however it is very comfortable for shred as well as rhythm work. The body and neck are both mahogany with a set in construction. The fingerboard is rosewood with very unique looking mother of pearl inlays. It bears proudly the Ibanez SAT Pro II tremolo system which is non-locking. The pick ups are passives which a lot of people may dislike but I generally prefer. There are also coil taps on each humbucker, but I'm really not the guy to go to about how good the things are considering I don't use them. All in all, quite a high score for features although 24 frets and a floating tremolo would be nice. // 9

Sound: This guitar is great for all schools of rock and heavy metal music. I'm running through a simple rig of a Line 6 Spider 3 2X12 120 watt amp with a Dunlop Cry Baby (for gigs I normally rent a Marshall JCM 800 combo amp which it sounds great through as well). I've never been one for lots of effects so if someone is looking to use this guitar with effects and wants advice I'm afraid I'll be no use, but if you are one of the few like me who like simplicity and still love great rock tone then this is the guitar my friends. There is very little sustain which drags down the guitars mark a little but it makes up for it with the greatness of its natural voice and lack of feedback. I don't know about how this guitar would handle many styles outside of the rock schools, you'd need to ask someone else about that but in terms of rock music there's very little the guitar can't do. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Unfortunately the guitar lacks in score compared to the previous 2 segments here. The set up was fine for me because I never venture further in tunings then Drop D. However, this guitar will go no lower, so sorry to the extreme drop tuned guys but this isn't your instrument. For standard tuning and Drop D it is fine though. The springs in the back of the guitar for holding the tension of the bridge rattle around quite a bit. This however is probably due to the fact that I use 8 gauge strings and don't need much tension down there. However wrapping an elastic band around them will solve this problem. The strap lock has come out hundreds of times and the tuning pegs are forever coming loose. Replacing the hardware will do this guitar the world of good but very few people ever actually bother to do it, like myself, and unfortunately I have come to pay the price. // 5

Reliability & Durability: I have gigged this guitar and not had any problems during a gig. However before gigs and when playing at home the strap buttons have come out like I said as well as the loose tuning pegs. Amazingly enough though, even with the low quality tuning pegs the guitar stays solidly in tune. I would definitely bring a back up to a gig. The finish however is incredible there are no blemishes at all on this guitar and it looks great. My only regret about the finish is that I didn't get it in white. // 7

Overall Impression: As you can probably tell I have very mixed opinions about this guitar. I do love it I just feel that there was some what of a lack in quality control at the factory where it was made. The only major problem is the huge number of loose screws but I feel that my guitar may just have been a one off with this as I have 2 friends that have this guitar and neither of them have had this problem. The guitar is a great match for me though. It's very comfortable to play and meets all my tonal requirements for rock and heavy metal (despite it's severe lack of sustain). I really wished I'd asked about the life-span of the hardware as I feel the tuning pegs on mine are drawing to a close end. If it were stolen or lost I might consider re-buying this guitar. However, I would definitely look around at other options first (probably an S series of some sort, still an Ibanez though because I love their guitars). I love the neck on this guitar and the general feel of it. It feel's like a rock instrument. When you pick it up you feel ready to rip out great songs in jams with your band. I compared the guitar with a lot of Ibanez RG guitars, as well as a few Jacksons and a couple of Dean guitars. I chose this one because at the time I wasn't interested in another guitar with a floating tremolo but now that I have a guitar without one I realise how much I do miss them. I also wish it had 24 frets simply because I like having them there even though I rarely use them, it's a comfort thing. All in all it is a great guitar but don't say I didn't warn you about the hardware issues and lack of sustain. // 7

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overall: 8.8
SAS32EX Reviewed by: C.Alvestam, on april 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 650

Purchased from: Long&McQuade

Features: This guitar is one of Ibanez's 2008 models. Made in China (honestly, what isn't made there). It has 22 medium frets, with a set in neck. This guitar also features very unique, and beautiful pearl inlay in the neck, and around the body. This guitar features an SAT Pro II bridge. It has a 3 way selector, Volume and Tone. This model also features the true-duo humbuckers, which give the option of a single or double coiled pickup configuration. The neck isn't one of their thinnest, but it doesn't impede my playing. // 8

Sound: I mainly play Death Metal, Melodic Death Metal (Scar Symmetry, Solution.45, etc) And it suits the genre fairly well. I run this guitar through a Line 6 Spider Mark IV. I don't play any live shows, but it sure does rock out at home. This guitar can handle many sounds and genres, whether you're playing clean, crunch, or overdrive. It has a full sound, very clear, and basically no feedback (although it does depend on the volume you're playing at). But if you're looking to improve the guitar in any way, switch in some Seymour Duncan's. Overall, this guitar brings a lot of versatility to your playing no matter the genre. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar came set up to drop C (usually is set up standard, but the tuning might have been tweaked or something. Everything was was flawless, when it came to the finish, or the hardware. I couldn't have asked for more. The action was perfect. I have had only one issue with it though. The bridge has pulled up, probably due to me switching the tunings and such. If you're planning on buying this guitar, make sure you don't plan on playing around with it. // 8

Reliability & Durability: So far, it has been able to take all I have thrown at it. I don't do any gigs, as playing guitar is just a personal hobby. When tuning, you will have to tune for a while, as the SAT Pro II isn't exactly fond of new tunings. I don't know whether it would be reliable during gigs, seeing as I've gigged before (which I have previously mentioned). The finish seems to be lasting, but finger prints and such are moderately prominent when looked at with light reflecting on it. But overall, I haven't had any problems with it, and I don't foresee any in the future (hopefully). // 10

Overall Impression: For what I play, and what I need at the moment, this guitar perfectly suits my playing style. This guitar has great sound, durability, and looks fantastic. At the moment, I don't think there are any other guitars that I would prefer over this one. I do wish it had better tuning stability, and better pickups. But overall, It's everything a metal guitarist could ask for. // 8

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