S2170FB review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.6 (27 votes)
Ibanez: S2170FB
1

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.

18 comments sorted by best / new / date

    K!!LsWiTcH
    i have this guitar. its amazing but the stock dimarzios suck shit. way too thin sounding, not the quality sound you'd expect from an instrument that costs this much but once i changed the pickups i was very happy with it.
    joshtsavo
    I just got one of these about a month ago, fucking amazing guitar. Instantly went out and replaced the stock bridge with a Bare Knuckle Blackhawk and now this thing sings. Like no other guitar i've played, absolutely love it.
    Krauser
    I would like to clarify that I have been playing this through a 5150 for the last few months and it sure does scream. Pickups could use a little more output and clarity but it's incredible. I love this guitar to death.
    Krauser
    AEnesidem wrote: opeth without distorsion? then you mean porcupine tree and sound revieuw isn't really valuable since you're running it through a spider : p caus ethe ibanez pups aren't that good at all, aren't terribad either. but metal tone is available and quite well sounding -through a decent amp!-
    I realize that the Spider III turns a lot of people off, and I understand... I don't really have the need to shell out for a stack (partially cuz it won't fit in my dorm room haha) so it gets me by. But, I must say, I have played this through many a tube amp and I rather like the DiMarzio's... pretty well balanced IMO. And yeah, Opeth has a whole album of clean tracks called Damnation and most, if not all of their lengthy efforts, include many clean parts for electrics during their melodic, jazzy sections.
    KoGg3
    AEnesidem opeth without distorsion? then you mean porcupine tree
    No, I'm pretty sure he means Opeth, as a lot of their music has no distortion. Every album features an acoustic element,and is played live on electric guitars.
    AEnesidem
    opeth without distorsion? then you mean porcupine tree and sound revieuw isn't really valuable since you're running it through a spider : p caus ethe ibanez pups aren't that good at all, aren't terribad either. but metal tone is available and quite well sounding -through a decent amp!-
    Augustus Botak
    u guys shud try ibanez S770, i got 24 frets,change the standard pickups to ur liking, n the guitar will be one hell of an axe!
    joelisonfire
    Luke hoskin was an influence for me to get my ibanez s series guitar, mine's gotta glossy blue finish and you can see the wood-grain, and damn that guitar is amazing!! nice and light body, guitar playing is f***ing incredible on it, the neck is perfect and it is the most beautiful looking guitar i own, it plays just as good as it looks! one of my post prized possessions!!
    supersac
    nice i always wanted an ibanes S series although i cant find any left handed ones
    NickGiovanni
    Good Review. Covered everything pretty well. Next time, leave out the Spider IV, it will save you alot of hassle with the troll army on here.
    barden1069
    Linkerman wrote: barden1069 wrote: ....wat? You never heard the expression "jack of all trades, master of none"? It means that something/someone can do a lot of different things, but isn't especially good at neither one of them. What the reviewer meant is that this is a "jack of all trades", period. Good at everything.
    Ah okay. It just sounded really weird in my head when I read it lol.
    BlisteringDDj
    ProgJazzMath wrote: Changing strings is only a pain if you don't know how to do it. My friend with this guitar can change strings faster than I can on a fixed bridge. I really hate how people turn down such fantastic guitars for that sole reason. It's just a matter of learning guys.
    Completely agree. It's really easy after somepractice, especially on an Edge ZR bridge. You can't really mess up on that bridge. Intonation is also really easy after you've learned how it works. I also dislike people who says that Korean made guitars are so much worse than Japan made. I've had NO problems with my S2170 and it had excellent action, finish and intonation at arrival.
    Linkerman
    barden1069 wrote: ....wat?
    You never heard the expression "jack of all trades, master of none "? It means that something/someone can do a lot of different things, but isn't especially good at neither one of them. What the reviewer meant is that this is a "jack of all trades", period. Good at everything.
    barden1069
    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.
    ....wat?
    ProgJazzMath
    Changing strings is only a pain if you don't know how to do it. My friend with this guitar can change strings faster than I can on a fixed bridge. I really hate how people turn down such fantastic guitars for that sole reason. It's just a matter of learning guys.
    engage757
    Handcrafted? You are a funny person. ALL S-Series made in Korea until 2008? Seriously. DOn't talk about what you know nothing about.
    Krauser
    This comment's old as hell but I got a notification on it for whatever reason but yes, all the S series Ibanez Prestige models were made in Korea until Ibanez increased volume of their factories in Japan to take on the added volume of the S models for team J. Craft. The S series didn't have Prestige runs until well after the RG models, which were first, and, for this reason, when Ibanez introduced the S prestige models, they were Korean built in Prestige plants until Ibanez had the volume available to pump them out through Team J. Craft in Japan. All subsequent S models after 2008 were thus Japanese S Prestige models by J. Craft and any of the 2008 or prior model year that were S models and Prestiges were, in fact, Korean. I referenced this because that's a very important distinction to many people and they got a bad name for being non-J. Craft made Prestige models, but I thought the quality was on par. I have other Prestige models myself, including several RGs, and I do know this for a fact. Again, I just wanted to reference this because for anyone who for whatever reason is looking at this review and doesn't believe that, I just wanted to clarify that. This information is readily available online as well to verify this.