S320 Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 08/12/2010 category: Electric Guitars
Ibanez: S320
The Ibanez S320 S Series electric guitar has a mahogany body that's thin around the sides for comfort and thick around the pickups for tone. The finish is a unique open-pore weathered black. It sports a super strong 3-piece maple neck that's a dream to play. The ZR tremolo bridge uses ball bearings for frictionless arming and fast return. Pickups are rocking Ibanez INF humbuckers.
 Sound: 7.8
 Overall Impression: 8.8
 Reliability & Durability: 7.8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.8
 Features: 8.4
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (5) 19 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.6
S320 Reviewed by: Sk8trpunk977, on july 24, 2008
8 of 9 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: Boogie Music

Features: This is a sweet guitar with a nice look and equally nice play. The solid black satin finish can be viewed for many styles. It stands out because of its clean looks. By clean, I mean it doesn't smudge, and it hides scratches very easily. The neck is one of the features that grabbed my attention. It has a three piece Wizard II Rosewood neck that feels amazing. It plays ultra-fast. There are 22 jumbo frets with a unique feature- the inlays. The only inlays are offset at the 12th fret which I find to be a very clean look that shows off the fretboard, but my band-mates find it to be somewhat annoying to count and see which fret I'm on. This is no problem for the guitarist though because it still has the indicators on the side of the neck. The head has a locking nut that will keep the guitar in tune through almost anything. The body is solid Mahogany with a taper to the edges that makes it light, sleek, and comfortable to hold. The S320 has dual INF humbuckers which are okay. The ZR ball bearing floating tremolo is made very well and is very responsive. It has adjustable tension for the trem on the back of the guitar. A few twists will make the tremolo more or less stiff. Tuning is done on the bridge as well to go with the locking nut feature on the head. It has 1 volume knob and 1 tone knob with a 5-way pickup selector which I find convenient. // 9

Sound: I have played many styles such as jazz, blues, and rock. This guitar can fit into any style. I run this guitar directly into my Peavey VK212 all-tube amp, and it's not only the tubes making the sound, the guitar compliments the tube sound very well. Even in my older solid-state amp, it produces a crisp sound for any style. Although it has only 2 knobs and a 5-way Switch, this guitar can produce just as many sounds as a guitar with many more confusing knobs. It is actually more convenient to have this set-up. On clean settings, it has a very prominent bright, but full sound that I love. The pickups aren't designed for any one purpose, but they are capable of many diverse sounds. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The action on this guitar is lightning fast with no fret noise to be found all the way up the neck. All of the hardware on this guitar is solid and made to last. I love the look of the Onyx-colored metal that shines in contrast to the subtle satin-finish of the body. The tapered body along with its good balance allows you to concentrate more on playing and less on holding it. It stays nice and flat against my body whether I'm standing or sitting. The guitar is also very light which puts little burden on your body for long periods of play-such as gigs or long band practice. The finish is also interesting as it hides scratches and smudges unlike other black guitars which show them off. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is like a tank. It seems so sturdy that you could run over it with a tractor, pick it up and it would play better. I'm obviously kidding, as it is still a wooden guitar with complex hardware and Precision manufacturing. Live playing, band practice, private show offs to friends, drops from a 10 story building, this guitar will withstand it all. Although it's stupid to go onstage without a backup guitar, I would truly consider doing it with this guitar. The only way it's going to break on stage is with a crazy fan hurling a cinder block at it, or an old string breaking. I have replaced the strap buttons with locking ones so that I don't drop it and I can do throws, which this guitar can totally handle. Even the most intricate piece of hardware on this guitar, the bridge, seems solid. I could constantly use the tremolo without worrying about tuning or harm to the guitar itself since the bridge is on ball bearings. I plan on keeping this guitar for many years to come and I don't expect the performance to change at all. // 10

Overall Impression: I play many styles of music, and have chosen this guitar as my main electric guitar because of it's versatility. I played in my high school jazz band and this axe produced a very nice muddy tone perfect for jazz. However, my main gig is with a few other guys in a local band. It has the capability to produce many screaming distorted tones and awesome punk-ish crunch tones. If I wanted to, I could play just about any other style of music with this guitar whether it's metal or country. I love everything about it. This guitar is that versatile. The only thing I want for this guitar is 24 frets, but that's okay since I never go that high. For under half a grand, this is the best guitar that I have found on the market. It easily rivals guitars that cost double the money. If it were stolen, I would most definitely buy this guitar again, if not another Ibanez S series model for variety. // 10

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overall: 8.8
S320 Reviewed by: makko_abreu, on november 05, 2008
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 499

Purchased from: musiciansfriend

Features: This fine guitar has 22 frets (I wish it had 24) of 3pc maple with rosewood fretboard, very slim (sexy as hell) mahogany body with open pore finish. many people don't like the open pore finish, but I do because it emphasizes the contrast of the metallic components (the bridge, pup frames, knobs) and the natural wood look, which is beautiful. it has the ZR bridge, trademark of the s series, never goes out of tune. two passive humbuckers (Ibanez infs), very responsive, balanced and noiseless, although a little weak. the tone and volume knobs are very responsive. // 9

Sound: I play mostly metal and thrash with my band, but I study and play jazz, blues and folk rock/classical rock on my own personal time. I use an Orange Tiny Terror head and another small Orange combo amp, I use it mostly with my modded Boss ds-1 and the original DOD preamp overdrive as a booster, and sometimes a Zoom G2.1u multieffects. the bridge setting is great for rock rhythm and a little shred but tends to get a bit muddy, that's why I replaced my bridge pup with Seymour Duncan sh-4 JB. the neck pickup is very good for sweeping, and Ultra fast picking (clear notes), it's OKAY for blues and jazz, I prefer a single coil guitar for that. with the right pickups, this guitar can sound from mean and brutal to soft and dynamic, anything. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: the action on this guitar is great, pickups needed to be adjusted, and later replaced. the pickup selector is a bit noisy and annoying on stage, mine came with a few dents and scratches on the body, and the trem bar holder was loose, which was very annoying but is now resolved (I had to re set up the whole bridge because I removed the whole thing to tighten loose nut on the back that bites the trem bar holder). bad quality control for a great guitar. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I have gigged with it a few times now and I play it almost everyday. everything seems sturdy, I guess time will tell if this is a quality model. I replaced my strap buttons into Dunlop straploks (the buttons were small) I'd definitely use this without a backup, except of course if I'd have to play songs with a different tunings (tuning takes time, as with most double locking system based axes) // 10

Overall Impression: this is perfect for metal and rock (except for the 22 frets) okay for blues and jazz. this is my 2nd electric guitar the other one is a Washburn xseries guitar. the best things on this guitar are the neck, the ZR bridge, and the looks (sexy black) if I lost this, I'd save up for a higher s series model with 24 frets. I was choosing between this and an RG370DX, I chose this because of the zr trem and the overall feel. I wish the guitar had 24 frets. but overall, great guitar with the right pickups and a few minor adjustments. // 9

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overall: 8.8
S320 Reviewed by: unregistered, on october 05, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 499

Purchased from: guitar Center

Features: I think mine is a 2009 model from indonesia. It has a wizard neck with 22 frets. The finish is kinda cool because it does not show finger prints and does not look dirty. I love the zr trem. It is smooth and it actually stays in tune. I tested it in Standard tuning and droping the tuning a 1/2 step. You actully get a 5 way selector Switch and can achieve some nice tones. I like the two humbucker combo, I always hated the middle pickup in the rg series. I actually got this before I could try it. I had an rg and the guitar was good, but on great, something was missing. I took the rg back and got this. // 9

Sound: It fits my playing well. I play alot of Van Halen and hard rock. So not only does it shred, but its great for the rytham. I tuned it down a 1/2 step and I like the thick sound I get from it. The intro to panama sounds pretty dead on. The pickup selector Switch is aliitle noisy. These pickups get basked alot, but they are not bad at all. I may upgrade in the future, but thats personal taste. I like the way it sounds now. Its has a raw sound, but I got it to sound warm as well. The five way selector switch gives you options. I did get some nice tones using it. Almost like an Acoustic on the clean channel. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Setup from the factory was perfect, in Standard tuning. It played well, but I like to tune down. The cool part is that the guitar does not need tools to adjust the spring tension. It has a roller type setup on the back. From there you can simply adjust the srping tension. Ibanez says that did their best for a toolless design. I love the guitar. // 9

Reliability & Durability: this thing feels really durable. I gigged with it once. Played about 8 songs with it and it stayed it tune through some whammy abuse. Everything seems pretty solid. I have heard the trem is made up of cheap metal and has had the bar attachment get snapped. I tighten mine all the time. Ibanez has confirmed this and reissues the zrtrem 2 for the higher end models. Mine seems fine. I think if the bar is loose maybe that's when it snaps, not sure. it's been good for three months. // 8

Overall Impression: I have been playing for almost 10 years. I have many guitars, including a Peavey wolfgang. I play hard rock and metal. This guitar can suit many styles. I play this through a Peavey Vypyr and it plays great. A normal rg would cost 399-499. This guitar is a little for expensive, but you get a better trem than the edge 3. Better pickups. The s body is awesome. If they put this trem on a rg 350-370 they would sell many more rgs. I have not compared this guitar to the S520EX. // 9

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overall: 6
S320 Reviewed by: I Fbd I, on april 05, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 369

Purchased from: Digital Village

Features: Everyone above has got all the features so no need to repeat really. I very much like the finish on this guitar, Basswood body does make it beautifully light, this and the guitars nice thin body and neck means it's so so comfortable. Goodlooking guitar, the finish on the body mixing with what I see as a dirty looking chrome hardware it's just got a subtle look about it, don't need radical designs when simplicity can look this good. Howvever I'm gonna mark this section down a bit because the hardware in terms of playing not looking didn't cut it. // 7

Sound: I mainly play metal, the heavier stuff and it done the job it must be said. It could play evil chuggy riffs in Bflat and nice little solo licks. I used a variety of amps with this guitar my only consistance is Boss HM2 Pedal and I believe this guitar could fit to pretty much anything you give with it and still sound good. But! If you wanna hold notes forget it...even after raising the action, putting some EMG's in it running it through a beautiful Vox amp the sustain was terrible. Huge dissappointment. Even acoustically the sustain on this guitar was non exsistant. Great sound otherwise shame really. // 5

Action, Fit & Finish: Fresh out of the factory this thing was playable, going back to what I said about being able to play this guitar with any setup it could come out the factory setup badly and still feel more comfortable than most, if your looking for a guitar with good action and finish you have to set it the way you like it anyway. Sadly I found that nice body a bit too easy to carve up, I mean, I dropped my phone on it accidently and it went straight through the top layer of wood and left a pretty hefty chip. As for little scatches though, you have to go looking for them to see them on this finish, no fingerprints either. Pick ups could do with changing and the jack hole is a bit dodgy, I find you need to use a bit of force sometimes to get it in the hole, not really a problem, and also quite amusing if you have a dirty mind.. If your looking to do Dime sequels you will be dissappointed, you simply can't move the bridge enough to really get the crazy harmonic sequels, again though not really a big deal just a little annoying. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I haven't done gigging with this but I can confidently say it wouldn't be smart to use without back up. I found that it lost its tuning way too much and it just don't feel as solid as many other guitars, the cost of it being so light and comfortable. Iv had quite a few issues with the locking tuning (it not locking) and despite taking fairly good care Iv felt the whole tuning system and tremelo bridge to be a massive let down, so much so that Iv been put of the idea of getting a guitar with a similar systems again. // 4

Overall Impression: I can say, aside from it's flaws this is a good guitar. Yet because thats stupid I'm gonna say if your interested play it before you buy because I regret not putting my money somewhere else. Iv just ordered a 7 String Schecter now though xD. I love the comfort and the playabilty of this guitar truely it's effortless. Iv hated the ZR tremelo system and locking system and that useless sustain... My favorite feature it the fingerboard looks great feels great and the guitar lets you get good fret access all over. // 7

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overall: 8.4
S320 Reviewed by: vjh, on august 12, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 550

Purchased from: Fleet Sound

Features: First review and I'm not a professional. Just saying. This guitar also didn't cost me $2000, so if you equate that with quality, this this guitar is junk I guess. I'm reviewing it based on its class. Please keep that in mind. Specs: Model year:2007 22 jumbo frets, Rosewood fretboard Mahogany Body, Maple neck "Weathered Black" finish Ibanez "zero point" Bridge Passive Ibanez INF1 and INF2 Humbuckers (2) One volume, Two tone knobs Stock tuners with locking nut. I bought this guitar becasue the body of the "s" series is VERY comfortable to play with. Seriously its like you now have six strings attached to a snuggie or a cup of cocoa by the fire. Like that weird feeling when you put new socks on right out of the bag. THAT comfy. This guitar is also very light. 8 pounds to be exact. So if women can carry children around all the time until birth, you can gig with this guitar until last call. // 8

Sound: My music style has changed over the last few years and I have only used this guitar. When I first started using this guitar I was playing in drop b tuning (I'm sorry) and everything sounded clear (as clear as drop b can sound). I've heard (might not be true) that the guitars Protest the Hero used (Luke Hoskin at least) on Fortress contained the original stock Ibanez pickups, and its easy to see why. The pickups are very bright and can be almost difficult at times to soften up. I switched to using mostly open tunings and this guitar can still produce acceptable sounds. I little less twangy then what I would prefer at times, but the comfort makes up for that. I Use this guitar through a Crate FW120 HS (review in a review - Crate FW120 HS = 3/10) and when using the high gain channel and a WH-4 you can get almost exact "icky thump" tone (Jack white claims to use a plastic guitar. I don't know if that is a good or bad thing for this review) I do get feedback when turned up loud on the high gain channel, but I'm standing right beside the amp (so don't do that/own a FW120HS). Overall this should be used for heavyer or higher gain music, but it will suit just about anything (I wouldn't suggest bluegrass) // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: From the factory the guitar was perfect minus the action. I like low action so really its not the factories fault. Other than adjusting the action to personal prefrence, this guitar came right out of the box ready to go. Nothing wrong with the pickups, and certainly no flaws in the paint (although, the finish is desgined to look and used, so they could have made mistakes and no one would know) Overall a good experence. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've used this guitar multiple times without a backup ever. Thats becasue I am not David Gilmour I only have this and the first guitar I ever bought. It still works perfectly, so I would definately suggest this to live players. I do have a concern about the hardware though. I sweat a disgusting amount and the hardware is beggining to rust in places (this is my 3rd year with the guitar). It can be polished up but if you want a guitar that will "age" well, I would not suggest this one. What really surprised me the most was how well the finish holds up. The "weathered black" is basicly black paint with grain etched in. I assumed that this would chip and peel after not long (even when playing humid nights outside/dry days in the sun/getting beer poured on it) but it was resilient. I put straplocks on this guitar shortly after buying it, so I'm afraid I cannot speak for those as I can't remember what the stock ones even looked like. Overall its been my guitar for 3 years and I use it for everything and it has yet to fail me (it even fell off a stage. Maybe while I was playing it maybe not but thats not important) // 7

Overall Impression: I use this guitar to jam with my friends at parties playing mostly classic rock. Its really a nice fit because its EXTREMELY comfotable. I can't stress that enough. I will soon be in my fourth year with this guitar and if it were stolen I probably wouldn't go with this paticular model, but I would no doubt 100% buy another Ibanez S. The finish and rusting and brightness of the pickups can be an issue, but for $550 CDN (new, when it came out) this guitar is perfect. If your a begginer who is looking for a new guitar but you didn't recently become the Monopoly guy, then I highly suggest this guitar. Personaly I am refinishing mine to be white with a black binding, clear coated, and covering the pickups. If I can maintain the hardware, this might be my kids first guitar. // 9

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