SZR520 Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 07/06/2010 category: Electric Guitars
Ibanez: SZR520
The Ibanez SZR520-DVS was released in 2008, made in Korea and has a strong mahogany body, flamed maple top, set-in mahogany SZR neck, 22 medium frets, rosewood fingerboard, Dot inlays, Gibraltar III bridge, chrome hardware, IBZ ND1-N humbucker and IBZ ND1-B humbucker pickups.
 Sound: 8.3
 Overall Impression: 8
 Reliability & Durability: 8.7
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.7
 Features: 8
 Overall rating:
 8.6 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.3 
 Users rating:
 8.8 
 Votes:
 17 
reviews (3) pictures (2) 4 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.4
SZR520 Reviewed by: Gingernutsjonny, on march 26, 2009
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 250

Purchased from: Back Alley Music

Features: The Ibanez SZR520-DVS was released in 2008, made in Korea and has a strong mahogany body, flamed maple top, set-in mahogany SZR neck, 22 medium frets, rosewood fingerboard, Dot inlays, Gibraltar III bridge, chrome hardware, IBZ ND1-N humbucker (neck) and IBZ ND1-B humbucker (bridge) pickups. It has 2 Volume, 1 Tone, 3 Way toggle controls. Mine did not come with any accessories but most of them come with a gig bag and cost about 320. // 9

Sound: I mostly play heavy rock and detuned metal and it suit's both styles very well. I've been using the Line 6 UX2 with my very small Stagg amp and it works perfectly. it's very versatile and has a very full sound, I've used it to play almost everything from Beatles to Slipknot And it still sounds fantastic. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The Ibanez has been put together perfectly I've found no flaws at all. I don't know of the Pickups have been adjusted, they probably haven't but they've worked %100 percent of the time perfectly. The finish is great mine is Dark Violin Sunburst and it looks awesome. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will Easily withstand Live playing I've used it without backup and It's worked perfectly every time. I've changed the strap buttons to metal strap locks for under 5 and they where definetly been worth it. This guitar is very strong and durable I've hit it, stood on it, dropped it, banged it and the only marks on it are two dents in the fretboard from when it fell over onto a chair. // 10

Overall Impression: For Metal I would strongly recomend this guitar. I've neen playing for around 3 years now and This is only my second Electric guitar (my first was a Fender Squier) but I've played lots of different guitars like Gibson Les Pauls and some Deans but this by far is the best I've played. If it where lost or stolen I would definitely re buy this guitar. I really like the look of this guitar and some of the great colours it comes in my favourite (the one I have) is Dark violin Sunburst. The one thing That is missing from this guitar is a Whammy bar and the shape and weight of the body is quite similar to that of a Les Paul, other than that a great guitar. // 8

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overall: 7.4
SZR520 Reviewed by: =MetaL=FanatiC=, on july 06, 2010
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 700

Purchased from: Ebay - Private seller

Features: - 2007 build - Solid mahogany string through body - 1 piece mahogany set neck, 24.75 inch scale, 22 medium frets, painted/laquered neck - Bound rosewood fingerboard with Dot inlays - Flamed maple top (Emerald) - Gibraltar bridge - Standard 43mm nut (replaced with a bone nut due to some wear on original) - Chrome hardware - 3 way pickup selector (Bridge, split and neck) - 1 Tone knob, 2 pickup volume - Passive Ibanez "Neo Z" humbuckers - Standard Ibanez tuners - Came fitted with 0.09 - 0.42 gauge strings (replaced with 0.12 - 56 gauge strings) // 7

Sound: On initial use of this guitar, the sound, in every way sounded superb, though this guitar being only the second guitar I had ever purchased after an Ibanez GIO as a starter of about 2 years, anything was a vast improvement. Using this guitar for about 2 years now, I've come to find the sound to be a tad shallow, the lows and mids thanks to the heavy mahogany body and neck are a stronger point, producing warm cleans when set to the neck pickup and reasonable low end crunch when set to overdrive. When playing clean, a great, mellow sound can be produced on the lower strings, the high strings towards the top frets sound a tad scratchy and harsh however with both clean or distortion even when using the neck pickup. Being a solid metal enthusiast (A few main influences being Nile, Opeth, Suffocation, The Faceless, Tool, Hate Eternal) with the desire for a heavy, full sound when using distortion, the Szr520 falls short, especially when running it through my Marshall MG100DFX. Pinch harmonics are relatively weak on the lower strings and fade out quickly and the when the volume is set midway to high, a large amount of feedback is present, due mainly to the average passive pickups. The distorted sound is still quite shallow running it through various other amps, including a Peavey 6505 and Marshall ATV50. With some tweaking and maybe the inclusion a decent fx pedal, a reasonable heavy sound can still be produced, though don't expect a Karl Sanders or Fredrik Thordendal explosion. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was purchased second hand and was set for lighter gauge strings, the intonation was perfect infact, until of course I went nuts and fitted it with 12 - 56 gauge Ernie Ball strings. I reset the action, raised the strings slightly and replaced the Standard nut with a bone nut cut to compensate for the lower tunings, drop A was as low as I went, to my surprise it handled it quite well with the Gibraltar bridge and string through body stablising the tension better than most other bridge/body combination, though I wouldn't recommend such abysmal tuning to anyone, buy a Baritone or 7/8 string. Even despite my constant tuning up and down from E Standard right down to drop A, I've never broken a string and the neck has only ever needed a slight adjustment from the inevitable bowing. A pleasure to tune by the way. One of the three knobs has become slightly rough about half way down the thread, but that's no big deal. As for rust, the only visible signs are in the corner screws for the pickups shrouds, which can replaced if need be for next to nothing. The action is set very low, very fast, though does produce a bit of buzz when not grounded, which I'm prepared to compromise but stays in tune extremely well. A beautiful neck to play when kept clean and oiled (and when light strings are fitted), bending, sweeping, trem picking and vibrato is easy and precise, though the 19th fret on the high E tends to fret out when bent above 1 step. The flamed maple emerald green top is absolutely stunning, it alone would have led me to purchasing this guitar. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I've never had any hardware issues with this guitar, the strap buttons are immovable, even with my sometimes erratic playing, I don't play live as such but occasional jams with my mates prove this to be a very tough axe. Be careful when fitting a capo however, it may imprint on the back of the neck. The tuners, pickups, bridge and electricals are all built to quality and show no signs of imminent failure. // 9

Overall Impression: With my budget being my greatest limitation, this guitar was quite a buy, basic, yet well constructed and convenient design make this guitar a good investment for any intermediate player and if fitted with better pickups, would perform like a top end guitar. An unlacquered neck would improve the playability if your hands sweat profusely. Being solid mahogany with no weight reduction of any sort, it is a particularly heavy guitar, keep this in mind if you plan standing and playing, the set neck makes it extremely easy to access the upper frets. As a guitarist of about 4 years, I suck at music theory as I'm self taught so take that into consideration when reading this review, I do however highly recommend this guitar for people looking for a reliable, visually stunning and well performing instrument at a modest price. // 7

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overall: 8.2
SZR520 Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 16, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 290

Purchased from: Guitar Guitar

Features: Chinese manufacture, Mahogany Neck and a flamed maple top on a Maple/mahogany body. Mine is a US import finished in tranparent Blue Burst and looks stunning. The body style is heavier than other Ibanez Guitars but is shaped to fit the body. It is fitted with a Gibraltar Bridge and strung through the body of the guitar. Two volume controls and a tone control with a 3 way Switch. The pick-ups are Ibanez NeoZ. // 8

Sound: I rend to play rock and blues and this guitar suit's that perfectly, crank up the distortion and it makes a loud metal guitar though. I play through a DigiTech RP150 into a Line 6 Spider III 30. The pickups cope with anything and produce very warm tones with excellent sustain. Ibanez describe the sound as fat, and that's just what it is. There are no unwanted sounds from this guitar. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I bought the guitar direct from the shop and it was set up excellently, though needed to put 9's on rather than the 10's that were on it, and had t make no adjustments at all. Pick ups are perfectly set and so far, in a week, I have found no flaws at all with any electronics or hardware. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I am not a Live player, merely an enthusiastic amatuer and have been playing for about 20 years. This guitar thoughis solidly built and have no concerns that it could not withstand gigging. The finish is excellent and I doubt it would wear easily. Locking strap nuts would obviously need t be fitted, though this is a minor point. // 7

Overall Impression: I am extremely impressed with this guitar and for the money, it is far richer and rockier than any Epiphone LP, and quite frankly, looks so much better. It is a great rock instrument. I also have an Ibanez SA260FM and this is beefier and louder by miles, though the 260 is also a good guitar. If it were stoleen or lost, I'd need to track down another import, as the non UK colours are much better. My only complaint is that Ibanez did not carry on the colour scheme on the front of the headstock. // 9

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