Price paid: $ 1049.99
Purchased from: Pat's Desert Music
Sound — 9
I play mostly metal for enjoyment but the music I write myself tends to be cleaner and mellower. I delve mostly into melodic and progressive clean music without much distortion. Think pretty much Opeth without the distortion. For this, the guitar is unbelievable. More than I could have imagined. The range of tones that are possible from the HSH of this guitar is phenomenal and the DiMarzio's themselves are very well rounded with excellent response and tonal quality. That being said, when I do play metal and rock, the bridge pickup is in no way a screamer. It's not hot by any stretch of the imagination. Sure you can get some great distortion out of it but it's clearly not this pickups forte. Put it this way, if you're looking for a guitar to play metal and solely metal, this isn't exactly it. That said, throwing a really hot pickup in the bridge of this Prestige would make it scream. But this is a review of the stock setup and, with that, the pickups are great for stock, but not exactly the hottest. As always, the single coil provides great tone but can, depending on your style, get in the way. The problem is, dropping the single coil into the body if you don't use it doesn't really work too well as it can't go that far into the body due to the slimness of the S series so if you plan to buy a guitar without a single coil, this isn't the guitar for you. I run this through a Line 6 Spider III and absolutely adore the sounds I get from it. From clean to distorted, relaxed to twangy, and smooth to anything you really want, this guitar covers it all. Versatility at it's best. That said, distortion nuts are going to want to swap the bridge pup sheerly because I believe it could stand to be hotter and doesn't truly open up like it should. Oh, and the what could I say about the ZR trem that isn't already known... the thing is brilliant. With even heavy use, it stays in tune and the zero point system is great for further stability.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, I adore this guitar, and while I may sound biased here, just hear me out; this is the best guitar I have ever personally played. That being said, it may not be the guitar for you, but if you like the Wizard necks of Ibanez and a sleek and comfortable guitar (and boy is the S series comfortable and sleek), than look no further, you have found it. Not going to lie, the Floyd Rose style locks that come with the territory of such a tremolo system are annoying and make string changing and tuning a pain, but I knew that coming in and this holds tune like nobodies business. Regardless of the genre of music you play, this guitar is more than adequate to accompany you. It is truly an excellent instrument and I consider myself lucky to own a handcrafted piece of ART like this S2170FB Prestige. I have nothing but praise for it.
Reliability & Durability — 9
From what I've seen so far this thing is tough. I have owned a few Ibby's and they are all built like rocks. They take abuse rather well and while I don't plan on throwing my thousand dollar baby around like a toy, I trust that it can take some mistreatment and abuse. The only complaint is that apparently the metal for the arm holder on the original ZR's is of poorer quality than the rest of the trem. I personally have not noticed such but if you are a real whammy bar abuser you might want to watch yourself. This aside, the guitar is a tank and really feels solid. Nothing is lose, everything is tight and sturdy and well machined, and in place like it should be. Nothing stands out to me as vulnerable and I see myself playing this beauty long into the future.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I hear a lot of people saying "oh, it's not a Japanese made Prestige so it must be terrible." If somebody says that, it means they have never played or owned one, and are probably a 12 year old kid who is only saying such because they heard someone else say that who heard that from their friend who heard it from... yeah... you get the idea. I received the guitar set up almost perfectly. The only complaint I had was that the action was a little high for my taste but that is more of a preference thing. The intonation, truss rod for the neck bow, pickup height, and everything else was perfect. All the routing was top notch. The top is absolutely gorgeous, the 5 piece neck is stunning, and when I say there were no flaws in this guitar, I mean it... there were none. The frets were perfectly filed, the wood finished perfectly, the hardware was all top notch, the tuners were set and tightened, the nut was perfect, the saddles, the pickup selector, the controls, the knobs, the wiring, the inlays, the binding, the machine work, the neck... I could go on and on... all perfect. As a matter of fact, I could not find one flaw in this guitar other than a few tiny knicks in the wood (which I knew of already from the seller). So point being, don't let this guitar's stigma of being Korean made Steer you away. My S2170FB is up to, if not surpassing, the finish and quality of MIJ Prestiges I have seen and played. Truly excellent. I love it to death.
Features — 9
My particular Ibanez S2170FB Prestige is a handmade Korean guitar (yes, all S prestiges were made in Korea until 2008... but don't let it discourage you, it's a truly epic guitar) and was made in 2008. It has 22 frets with a 25.5" scale, jumbo frets, rosewood fingerboard, and single abolone Dot inlay at the 12th fret with no other markers. It has a beautiful figured bubinga top (hence the FB in its model name) and a mahogany body, all finished with a natural oil and laquer coat. It features the original ZR bridge with the ZPS, or zero point system, and a HSH setup with passive DiMarzio/IBZ pickups. This particular model features Gotoh non-locking tuners and mine came with a hardcase and the necessary adjustment keys and hex wrenches. All in all, the guitar itself is very well featured and extremely versatile. Then again, the S series was always known for its versatility but this truly is a jack of all trades without the whole master of none part. It's an all around excellent and feature packed instrument.