SAS36FM Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 04/15/2011 category: Electric Guitars
Ibanez: SAS36FM
The SAS36FM is thin around the edge to give you great comfort, and thick around the neck, pickups and bridge to give you great tone. Features a mahogany body with flamed maple top, IBZ pickups, SAT Pro bridge and more!
 Sound: 8.1
 Overall Impression: 8.4
 Reliability & Durability: 8.7
 Action, Fit & Finish: 7.8
 Features: 8.7
 Overall rating:
 8.2 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.3 
 Users rating:
 8.1 
 Votes:
 224 
reviews (9) 85 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
SAS36FM Reviewed by: sixstringbandit, on june 19, 2006
17 of 17 people found this review helpful

Features: The Ibanez SAS36FM is part of the '06 line of guitars; therefore there is not much documentation availible. It comes in 2 colors: transparent grey (TG, it is the most common) and dark red sunburst (RSB). Both finishes look amazing on the flamed maple top, I have the TG. Mahogany body, SA series shape (countoured edges with a flat back; very small). Flamed maple top (much more noticeable on the TG. S/S/H configuration (True Duo humbucker, which I will describe later in the review). Set neck (maple, 3 piece, 22 frets). // 9

Sound: Very versatile, I was able to achieve amazing clean and distorted tone on the single coils, the middle pickup sounds the best. The True Duo humbucker is specially made so that when you pull the volume knob out it becomes a single coil. It actually does have a difference in sound. It sounds more like a single coil than a traditional coil tap, but not quite as authentic as a real single coil. Altogether the humbucker is very agressive, well suited for heavy distortion. Altogether this guitar sounds great and offers a wide variety of tones. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: My guitar actual wasn't set up well, the action was respectable, but the intonation was horrible, I baught it from a local store so of course I brought it in and they set it up free of charge. When set up the action is perfect. Other than that there were no flaws, and most likely the intonation was messed up at the guitar store. The neck is not as thin as a Wizard II. It is very comfortable, and curved. Reminded me of a Les Paul, but a lot thinner. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This is a beautiful guitar and it has a set neck so I personally would not thrash around the stage with it, but I'm sure it could if needed. The strap buttons were actually quite nice, but I immediatley installed strap locks. This guitar really has quality and I expct it to remain in great shape for a long time. // 10

Overall Impression: This guitar is only $580, its actually very cheap for its specs, but it in no way feels budget or cheap. I feel like I can use this guitar professionally. It's great for players that play a wide variety of styles. It can go from clean blues riffs to quick aggressive metal. I would say that I love it clean, it has a very responsive and dynamic sound, it seems like each not evolves as you hold it. That reminds me, it has great sustain, due to its mahogany body with set neck. I hope this review helps, it's almost 5:30 in the morning so I'm sure some parts are mispelled or perhaps don't make sense. // 9

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overall: 8.8
SAS36FM Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 30, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 470

Purchased from: Marshall Music (South Africa)

Features: This guitar is very special to me. Frankly, for the price, this guitar is an absolute angel. Body: firstly, a thin body and neck makes this guitar quite compact. Set Standard with a mahogany body and a flamed-maple top, the guitar is peticularly light (for such a heavy wood). Its very shapely and easy on the eyes, even moreso than my girlfriend (I'm dead serious =P). The neck is rediculously thin, in fact, Im yet to find a guitar with a thinner neck. Bridge: the Ibanez SAT Pro II bridge is just great. Can't really say any more than that... It's a floating bridge, without the Floyd Rose clamps at the top and small tuners at the bottom, meaning you can't go racous with the whammy bar or else you'll be going out of tune within minutes. I like the fact that Ibanez guitar whammy bars work on ball bearings, meaning you have very smooth control of the bridge. The pro's and con's of the floating bridge are rather obvious. Pots and Pickups: S/S/H setup is very effective on this guitar. A True Duo Humbucker at the bridge allows you to Switch from hum to single (I'll talk about the sound later). The two Axis single coils sit at the middle and neck. The guitar comes with a single volume pot and tone pot and a 6way pickup selector. The volume pot can be raised to control the True Duo Humbucker. // 8

Sound: Well, I listen mainly to older Rock, from say the 60's and 70's... However, I feel this guitar's sound is very, very versatile to almost all players styles. I play through a Line 6, Spider 3 75 watt (which I will be changing shortly). Though I have not played this guitar through as many amps as I've liked to, I believe the sound is great and has great potential for guitarists. The humbucker is thick and creamy, and sounds best with some distortion. On clean the humbucker seems to twangy for my personal liking. Switching the hum to a single creates a thinner sound (duh), though I've heard better single coils before. The middle single coil is effective for clean and maybe a few bluesy numbers. It has a great soft clean sound. The neck single coil works well distorted and clean, and gives a thin enough sound to play rhythm on both settings. This guitars sound is, just, spectacular. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: When I purchased the guitar, everything was set to perfection, action and all. I've never found any flaws with the guitar, and I've been meticulous with my searchings. Pickups at correct hight, and so forth. The most irrating thing is changing strings for the bridge. The notorious floating bridge must constantly be adjusted for a new set of strings. This usually happens when you buy strings with a higher or lower gauge. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I've had the guitar for almost a year now and I'm yet to encounter any serious issues. Other than adjusting the bridge occasionally my guitar is completely flawless. As a gig guitar it seems almost perfect, forgetting the floating bridge. If you break a string, the bridge tends to detune all the other strings. This can however be solved by buying a specialised spring (forgot what the damn thing is called). Other than that. Your good to go. Believe me, this guitar will rock your socks off. // 8

Overall Impression: The Ibanez SAS36FM is a gem in its range. Complete value. I am absolutely in love with it. There are few other guitars out there in its price range that could match its value. If it was stolen, obviously I'd see what new products were available, but I'd definetly buy it again. Anytime. I love the variety of my guitar. How I can Switch from playing heavier rock to soft jazzy numbers. You can actually do about anything with it. In the future I'd like to look at different pickups, but thats just my curiousity looking for new sounds. // 9

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overall: 9.4
SAS36FM Reviewed by: D1D8ING, on april 27, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: The Ibanez SAS36FM is a solid Stratocaster, mahogany guitar. It has a flamed maple top, mahogany neck with 22 frets and a rosewood fretboard, a humbucker pickup (which is split-able) in bridge position and single coil pickups in middle and neck position. A 5 way selector Switch, 1 volume knob and 1 tone knob. The bridge is an Ibanez SAT Pro tremolo. // 9

Sound: I use a Roland cube amp, 30 watt. I know it's embarrasing but I have not gotten a tube amp myself yet. I run it on a clean setting and uses the Vox Satchurator (an amazing pedal) for my distortion. The bridge pickup (humbucker) is called the True Duo humbucker. It is a IBZ stock pickup. It's splitable so you can split it into a single coil. I find this pickup to sound quite good but to be rather weak. It does not have a lot of sustain or output. I found it hard to get a rich sound even through an expensive tube amp. And when you split it you can hardly even hear a difference.But it's got a good punkish/metalish sound if you have lots of gain on. It's also nice for riff playing, but not solos. The single coils are far more impressive. Through the neck pickup you can get really nice sustain and sound and it sounds great on a clean setting but even better with some smooth distortion. Perfect for those long solo notes, and shredding as well, I really like that pickup. The middle is more "funky". It got a really twangy sound to it which combined with the humbucker sounds incredible. I barely use this pickup (well part from playing Hendrix songs) but it sounds great on a clean setting, especially for the more funky riffs. The humbucker is not noisy at all and the single coils are not noisy either. I play everything from blues to punk to metal and this guitar can deliver! I have to say that I expected a little bit more from the humbucker but it does the job. Hey if it's not a DiMarzio pickup you can't expect it to be perfect. I've changed my humbucker pickup to a DiMarzio Super Distortion (also splitable) and I recommend this to everyone! You get rich, really fat tones because of the mahogony. A hell of a lot of sustain and power. If you add the 140 bucks you will never regret it. Sure if this will not be a primary guitar for you then you don't need to do it because the stock humbucker is still good but it's not as good as the Super Distortion. The sound is very all around, you can play practically everything. I'm giving the sound a 8/10 because the single coils are really good but the humbucker is only good, not very good. I still recommend to replace the humbucker, it's worth it. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: When I got the guitar the action was set up perfectly. The intonation was right on. The SAT Pro tremolo has a feature which allows you to change the tuning from the 12th fret so the octaves are perfectly in tune, this needs to be done in order to make the tuning last longer. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've played Live with this (3 times I think) and will play with it Live for hundreds of more times. There is nothing to complain about here either. Although because it is not a bolt on neck you might wanna be a bit careful on stage because if you damage the neck you can't replace it. The hardware will seem to last forever and the finish as well. I've accidentally bumped this guitar into some sharp ends and such but it hasn't even made a scratch on it. The finish it perfect. // 10

Overall Impression: I love this guitar. It has an amazing feeling, looks awesome and sounds awesome. The neck is also very thin so you can shred away very easy. It's an absolute dream to play on. My favorite feature is the fact that this guitar is made out of mahogany but it is not heavy. I prefer mahogany before other wood types because of it's fully, fat sound and this guitar really has that despite it's thin shape. Also I love the pickup configuration, humbucker-single coil-single coil... That's my favorite! The tremolo works good as well, it's not a Floyd Rose so you can't go crazy with the whammybar or else the guitar will go out of tuning quick. The only thing that I think Ibanez could've done better would be the humbucker pickup. But stick a DiMarzio in there and you will be 100% satisfied. If this guitar were stolen I would find the bastard who stole it and take it back and hit the guy in the head with it... The guitar would not even get a scratch! In case I did not find the guy I would buy a new one. This is an amazing guitar that will last for years and you should not even hesitate buying it! // 10

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overall: 7.2
SAS36FM Reviewed by: BubblsTheViking, on march 16, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: Marshall Music

Features: Absolutely stunning guitar, came with a gator hardcase and plenty of attitude. Beautiful transparent grey finish. It has 22 medium frets, thin C shape 3 piece maple set neck, stunning bound rosewood fretboard with pearl Dot inlays. The body style is your classic Strat shape and made from mahogany, it has a floating tremolo bridge. S/S/H stock passive pickups which gives you a wide range of tones, the humbucker can be split. 1 push/pull volume control and 1 tone control, with a 5-way selector, the tuners are stock Ibanez tuners. // 8

Sound: This is the guitar you want if your looking for great clean tones. If a les paul and a Strat had a baby this would be it. I play everything from jazz to metal and it suits my jazzy side just fine. I'm running it straight into a Marshall VS100 Combo and the sound is really amazing. The beautiful clean tones this guitar can create is truly the high point of this guitar, the neck pickup gives a very mellow and smooth sound, both clean and with overdrive, perfect for soloing, the middle pickup is slightly more twangy, using both gives me an amazing clean sound. The only let down with this guitar is the humbucker, its weak and shallow sound doesn't do the guitar justice. The tone is so thin its just unusable that I'm going to replace it asap! But otherwise this guitar has a very nice sound but I just wish it came with a better humbucker. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: When I received the guitar the action was a bit too high for my liking, the pickups needed to be correctly adjusted as well. Shame on you Ibanez! But after a quick service the guitar was amazing to play, it felt effortless, all my other guitars now look more like dusty ornaments. If you can you should really give this guitar a try, it improved my playing more than I thought a guitar possibly could. The finish is flawless and absolutely stunning! The one problem I have with this guitar is that I have to tune it regularly, it goes out of tune very quickly. I'll probably be replacing the tuners on this guitar as well sometime soon // 7

Reliability & Durability: I don't think this is the best guitar to use in a live situation because of it's unstable tuning and shoddy humbucker, but replace those with some higher quality parts and you have one Killer stage guitar, looks and sound wise! The hardware is all very solid and looks like it will last forever. The strap buttons are very solid and I feel I can rely on them, not once has my strap slipped off and I hope it never does. // 6

Overall Impression: I've had this guitar for six months now so I decided to write a review on it. I play everything from jazz to metal and back again, when playing clean this guitar is simply amazing, but for overdrive and distortion... ehhh not so much. I've been playing guitar now for 2 years and I own 3 other guitars, a Jackson ps-3 performer, a Cort X-1, and a Savannah drea this is the guitar I turn to for the softer side of music. If it where stolen I would reserve myself a spot in hell for the things I am about to do to whoever stole it. If I smash it over his/her corpse in a blind rage, then yes I will get a new one. Overall I love this guitar to bits, I'll be trying out some more of Ibanez's guitars in the future. // 8

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overall: 7.8
SAS36FM Reviewed by: nonpartisan, on november 01, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 250

Purchased from: Used

Features: Made in Korea in '06, 22 frets rosewood fingerboard, mahogany body with flamed maple top, set neck, super-strat shape, Les-Paul entry for electronics through the back (but not LP depth), Sat-pro bridge, passive pickups, Ibanez Neck, Middle and Tru-Duo 'bucker, push-pull volume for Humbucker vs Stacked single, tone, 5 way selector (7 tones in all.) Non-locking tuners, plastic nut. Abalone purfling and dots - very flash. Considering the MSRP for this guitar is around $1000 and it sells new for over $600 I would have liked a better nut and knobs. (For the price I paid it's an eleven though...) // 8

Sound: My music style is blues, I rarely dip to the humbucker. Using it with a Peavey Express 112 (not the "trans-tube.") I put on new coated slinkies right away (the original strings were rusting.) The humbucker doesn't really sound like a humbucker (others have noted this) but it does have a richer sound. The middle and neck settings are warmer/richer than a Standard Strat due to the set neck and mahogany body - very nice. It is a little noisy, looking inside the cavity they did use non-conductive paint but the tone path to ground appears to be via the paint - this is not an accident, the wiring diagram shows this and you don't see that on other Ibanez wiring diagrams. The humbucker generates feedback when distortion is being used but is fine on clean. Natural harmonics for the guitar are E and D - the humbucker feeds back on the low E and on clean the body naturally resonates to D. (Blues in D... very natural for this guitar - sweet.) The common complaint is it goes out of tune with the trem - I did a test... locking tuners won't make any difference. The nut binds on the strings plain and simple - tuning problems and trem problems both come from this. I put graphite (pencil) in the nut slots and the problem went away for most of the strings (perhaps with a little use the graphite will work onto the nut properly and it will go away entirely.) This is not a new problem, I've seen it with a tusq nut as well. If graphite isn't working then the roller nut may be the only thing for you. With graphite on it it stays in tune. If I dive with the trem and it goes out of tune I can bring the offending string back into tune with a quick bend - find the appropriate note in the song to toss in a bend and it is fixed on the fly. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: It was used, but "new." The person who sold it was given it as a gift, but not given an amp or patch chord so he carried on playing the guitar and after 3 years sold it. The action was quite low - fine for open chords but around the 14th fret he frets at the middle string buzzed so I raised the action. To say it wasn't set up at the shop - I don't know, years in the basement can do strange things to a guitar. The nut is poorly cut or there was some rust caught in there for the binding to persist after graphite application. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I would never go without a backup. This guitar is Ginger, I would still bring along Mary-Ann - my Acoustic - and maybe Sybil (the customized Squier strat) just because. The tone control popped loose inside the cavity the second day I had it. Even for a guitar sitting in the basement I'd like the controls to remain attached for a dozen uses. The finish is drop dead beautiful and looks like it would take a lot of punishment. Three months isn't a long time to say it would wear a long time, I expect the chrome to go dingy fast but aside from the strings and the inside of the trem-height adjustment screws I saw no signs of rust. // 8

Overall Impression: Middle and Neck positions match the blues I've been playing. I'm getting used to the sound of that humbucker. This is my first electric guitar (I'd been using my daughters for a few months before getting it) and was playing Acoustic for about 7 years before that. I still love the feel/sound of my acoustic. I love the simplicity of getting at the electronics in the back without taking off the pick guard. I hate their idea of noise insulation. Anything I wish it had? Nothing I won't be fixing over the year: 1)Proper shield/ground the electronics to silence the beast 2)The unused volume push-pull poles Switch tone caps to make the humbucker sound like a humbucker. 3)Change the tone pot to a push-pull that puts the bridge in series (with a different cap choice again... playing around when I hear the sound.) Note that the first thing is a common need for a lot of guitars out there - changing caps is a common thing - some caps just sound wrong with some pickups (and a cap change may fix the feedback issue.) Putting the bridge in series - not that hard to do even with the tru-Duo design. Proper shielding - that will be the thing I wished all guitars had. Lost or stolen? Hey, it is a guitar. I'd look around. Fender Strat? Gibson Les-Paul? Ibanez SZ? The Ibanez has a look that I like, just as long as I can find a sound I like with my eyes closed I am fine. This guitar "will do" - probably for the next decade or more once I have the sound dialed in. My rating looks low... but I am comparing it with a Les Paul or a PRS Custom 22... which are somewhat more expensive guitars but something the MSRP of this guitar suggests Ibanez was competing with. The sound doesn't quite match the price - it is good, but it seriously needs better noise insulation and a different cap choice for the humbucking bridge selection. // 7

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overall: 8.6
SAS36FM Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 28, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: Audiophile(Philippines)

Features: +Made in Indonesia Feb. 2008 #6257 +22 frets 25.5" +Mahogany Body, Flamed maple top Maple set in neck +Transparent Red Sunburst or Blackberry Sunburst +Strat style body +SAT Pro II bridge +HSS config pick-ups single coil for neck and middle and true d (Passive) Duo humbucker for bridge(splittable) +1 volume and 1 tone(push/pull for Bridge pickup) +Unranded mini-tuners non-locking +Cheap plastic nut that im gonna change to a Black Tusq +Comes with a cable allen wrenches // 9

Sound: I play out of a Roland30x amp It suits my style perfectly I play Raggae to pop to Rock to Metal to punk to alternative and stuff in between. The neck and middle pick ups are nice and twangy and warm and they don't make too much noise very straty the humbucker is not as heavy as others so not very good for metal and the really hard stuff so I'm planning to change it. But therye good just not very good when split the humbucker does sound a bit better than a normal split humbucker but not by that much. The mahogany body makes it a deeper warmer sound but still like a Strat so very good for my music. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: When I bought it the action and intonation were perfect but then again it was a display guitar last stock so they might keep it in tune for those who wanna test it. The pickups are set nicely. Everything here is quite good really nothing loose but the volume knob kinda stick halfway through I dunno if its because the top is curved/arched a it but it's just a small flaw. The finish is beautiful enough said // 8

Reliability & Durability: Even if its a set in neck it's very sturdy it can definitely go on a live show. The hardware is solid no complaints there.Strap uttons are solid but I'm still gonna buy straplocks. Very dependable I would play this without a backup if I have to. THIS WILL LAST. // 9

Overall Impression: Very good match for my style. Been playing for sometime now and I love it. I looked at MIM strats other Ibanez even an LTD but this one was really versatile love the neck it was for me. Well maybe HSH splittable pickups but that would be the uber expensive SV series so I'm happy and better Bridge pickup. I'm happy already. Great axe. Give it a try if u like =)) keep on playing guys. // 9

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overall: 9.8
SAS36FM Reviewed by: one_good_reason, on march 21, 2011
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Price paid: £ 389

Purchased from: JG windows

Features: It comes in a choice of two colours: trans gray and red sunburst, both of which are immaculate and add a certain extra special look to the guitar. Also, whilst on aesthetics of the guitar, the body; which is made from mahogany, is highlighted by a line of abalone, which is also used for the fret markers. Again, a nice touch. Curved body top and flat back with a maple cap on the top. Neck is a three piece maple neck with rosewood fretboard.the neck is the Standard Ibanez thin slim neck. Controls given are one tone that is tapped (which means it pops up to split the humbucker to get a single coil sound), a volume knob and a five way selector switch. Standard trem style Bridge which has a whole tone pull back and if pressed down, can pretty much pull the strings right out of the guitar. The tuners, which I believe are mini tuners are non-locking chrome heads. When I purchased this guitar two years ago, I got cables, a strap, gig bag and an Ibanez tour jacket thing that was apparently a limited edition give away. Can't complain. // 10

Sound: As far as my musical style goes, I play allot of blues and jazz styles, but also play metal, indie, prog rock and anything else in between.the Ibanez handles the all of these styles pretty damned well. It is my main guitar and to show how great and versatile this guitar really is: I use this guitar more than my Gibson lucille, my Gibson Les Paul or my Fender american deluxe strat. Its my favourite guitar and cost a third of any other of my electric guitars. There is noise when played with most distortion pedals but not so much that it becomes anywhere near an inconvenience. This guitar can make bright sounds, very rounded sounds... This guitar has no end to its abilities. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: When I bought this guitar, it was brand new and had not had a set up. Two years on and it still hasn't. In my opinion, there is no need to what so ever. The action was perfect when it came out the box and I have never needed to tinker with it at all. Pickups were ok, I adjusted the Bridge pickup to be closer to the strings, but that's just how I like it. As far as the controls go, I had to tighten the volume knob a little because it was a little too loose for my liking but that was it, again, only for personal preference. Everything else was brilliant, finish was fine, no rusty hardware, no crappy jack input. Everything was great. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I have used this guitar everytime I have played live. It stays intune brilliantly, I probably only have to tune it every four hours or so and that for me is great. By fur hours I mean four hours of continuous playing. Hardware seems to be lasting except for the strap button on the larger cutaway had to be fixed with resin... But that was under warranty so its all good I guess and it was due to using a crappy strap with it ( a guitar hero guitar strap :P). I have always had a back up guitar at any gig I have played, which is mainly the strat, but I have never had to use it. Finish also seems to be lasting well, a few pick scratches and a few bumps off hitting it of the wall... By accident. // 10

Overall Impression: This guitar is phenominal value for money. Could hardly ask for more. I love every single last square inch of this guitar. Plays any style of music I can think of and can truly withstand some rough playing. If this guitar were to somehow get stolen, I would cry... thats how much I LOVE this guitar. I did play other guitars before this one, a Gretsch les paul, a Epiphone Les Paul and a Fender Standard tele. Funny story - I went into the shop going to buy a gold sparkle Gretsch Les Paul and my dad saw this guitar in the wall, I plugged it into the amp, played it for a while and walked away the same day with am Ibanez guitar, and I would never look back. One thing I wish it had... Nope can't think of anything. // 10

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overall: 6.2
SAS36FM Reviewed by: SilverSpurs616, on march 23, 2011
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Features: My Ibanez SAS36FM was made in 2007 in Indonesia. It has 22 medium frets on a rosewood fretboard, with a red flamed maple finish on a mahogany body. Set neck. The body shape is comparable to a superstrat, but with more rounded edges and an archtop design. There is an attractive white binding around the edges of the body and fretboard. The Bridge is a non-locking SAT PRO II and the pickups are fat-strat H-S-S config featuring the Ibanez Tru-Duo Bridge pickup- which comes ready with a push/pull coil-split switch in the tone knob. The other knob is for volume, and there is a 5-way switch. There was little in the way of accessories provided, other than the indispensable allen key for adjusting the Bridge and the tremolo bar. // 7

Sound: I like playing a lot of Paul Gilbert and Vai styles of music along with heavier styles like Lamb of God and Trivium, and this guitar isn't the best choice for all of it due to the lack of 24 frets and a locking tremolo. I don't get along with the non-locking trem so I had it blocked, but of course trying to play Vai & Satch without a bar just isn't at all easy. I'm playing it through a Peavey Vypyr 75, Roland Cube 80 and Vox AC30. With the stock single-coil neck pickup, it doesn't suit the heavier lead styles though for rhythm the Bridge pickup provides nice and fat sound. The coil-splitting on the Bridge makes up for this by adding great versatility- perfectly suited for lighter rock, blues and alternative styles. The middle pickup is noisy when used on high distortion settings, though for clean sounds it allows a great lead/rhythm balance. When the neck and middle pickups are selected together, the sound is GORGEOUSLY glassy! This makes for a fantastic Stevie Ray Vaughan lead sound. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: I can't say how it was set up at the factory, but the store setup was poor. It had decently low action, but the Bridge wasn't setup correctly. I even had them set it up before I left, but still to no success. The way I use a trem, a non-locking system would not suffice so I later on had it blocked at the same time as I had a DiMarzio Air Norton S installed in the neck. The pickups were far too low for my liking, so I had to raise them considerably. The routing for the Bridge was exactly how I imagine it should be, no noticable issues. There is a slight overlap of the red laquer/finish where the white binding meets the neck- not too noticeable, but certainly an imperfection. The pickup selector switch makes a highly audible sound through the amp when used. There was some white substance on the fretboard past the last fret- I think this is glue. Also, there was some kind of indentation in the wood between the nut and first fret but this isn't felt when playing. // 4

Reliability & Durability: I've used this guitar live in a college musical, and despite having to play in a cramped space (during which I hit the guitar against metal scaffolding SEVERAL times! ) there have been no visible marks or damage. The strap buttons tend to come a little loose, so they'll have to be replaced. The guitar seems well-constructed aside from the aforementioned blemish on the binding and the glue on the fretboard, but I think Ibanez QC slipped up on this one. // 7

Overall Impression: For the styles I play, this guitar is actually a terrible match! But something about it appealed to me, ever since before I started playing electric. I've been playing for 4 years now and bought this as I wanted a guitar that looked "less metal"- which is certainly does. Compared to my Ibanez RG350, it certainly looks like a more modest instrument but the lack of extra frets and a locking trem mean it is ill-suited for my needs. I wish I had given it a more thorough check before buying it, as it wasn't until I got it home that I noticed the imperfections. I love the feel of it, especially the lightweight body(despite being mahogany) and the neck join- smooth and high access! I disliked the single-coil in the neck, though I liked the glassy tone from selecting it along with the middle pickup. I later had a DiMarzio Air Norton S humbucker installed- now it suits Paul Gilbert-style playing far better! On the whole this is an attractive guitar with a wealth of sound options available, and with the addition of a humbucker in the neck it can suit a range of styles up to some metal. It isn't the best option for my needs- I'm STILL trying to adjust to a 22 fret neck. I plan on keeping this guitar however, there's just something about it. It's easy to play, comfortable and looks fantastic! If it were stolen or lost, I'd likely replace it with something else such as the new Ibanez RG Premiums. // 6

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overall: 8.2
SAS36FM Reviewed by: Sparky-MMA, on april 15, 2011
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Features: bought 2 years ago now, as a present for passing college and getting into university, my parents thought I would need a nice versatile guitar with subtle but unique looks, Thus I came home from my last day at college to find this in the front room. Korean Built, Set neck (but feels like a thru neck); Mahogany body and neck; Fretboard Rosewood; True Mother Of Pearl inlays and binding on both body and headstock. The FM in the name is the characteristic of the top wood, Flamed Maple, I have this in purple (or as Ibanez puts it 'Transparent Lavender'). Its a superstrat shape that Ibanez do so well. And feels insanely nice under my fingers. It has a non locking floating bridge, that I refuse to use due to it being non locking, but I have been told that when set up perfectly it stays in tune amazingly well. Passive Ibanez pickups, in a SSH configuration with a coil tap on the tone pot to split the humbucker. Tuning pegs are Ibanez's own again. The whole build feels solid, I look after this guitar like a baby, partly because of how good it looks, and partly to show myself I can keep a guitar looking rather nice for a long time, happy to say there's only belt rash on the back. Its taken a few knocks here and there, and no chips, dents or cracks anywhere on the body, neck or headstock. Very light for mahogany, if I play this after my les paul, this guitar feels weightless. Even playing it on its own, feels weightless. Very well built. 10 (based on my own guitar). // 10

Sound: Most people when playing a guitar ask what styles will it work for? This guitar its a different question, what doesn't it work for. At uni I play in the jazz band, I have a blues band, pop punk and I have my metal band outside of uni, this guitar not only looks the part for all of them, it sounds amazing in all respects. I have run it through various amps, a couple of Marshall MGs (100DFX and a 10CD) and it sounds awesome, manages to make the distortion sound nice, Line 6 Spider 3 and 4's, a Line 6 Valvetronics and an Orange Tiny Terror, and with a little fiddling to find the spots you have all the tones you need to play any style, and you wont look out of place doing so. My only problem is the clean can sound a little twangy when on the split humbucker. So with that it gets a 7. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: The action on this guitar when I picked it up was phenomenal, perfect for me to play on, everything was set up perfectly and I was able to sit and play how I play with no need to change anything, there was no fret buzz, no sticking on the nut, everything felt excellent under my fingers. But this is a biased opinion on the matter, what's right for me may not be right for you. However, when it came to up the gauge of strings, the time it took to balance and get the action right again was immense, took around 2 hours to do. Lots of fiddling with the Bridge to get it to balance right, then trying to find the sweet spot to stop buzz. Lots of fiddling, but well worth it when its done. Amazing to play, annoying to set up, 6 // 6

Reliability & Durability: This guitar has played countless gigs with no backups and its never failed me yet. The finish is built to last, the strap buttons come loose after a while (this is recent, I have this thing for nearly 2 years now) so I wouldn't say that's a manufacturing error, more of a general wear and tear. As such 10. // 10

Overall Impression: For what I do its amazing, blues, jazz, metal, pop punk. I've been playing for nearly 16 years now, and I own about 20 guitars and numerous amps. If this were stolen, I would first find who stole it then rip their throat out, then go buy another one. I didn't compare it with any other products, as it was a present. Overall I give it an 8, its fantastic, but there are a few niggly problems that are unavoidable. // 8

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