S420 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.6 (113 votes)
Ibanez: S420
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Price paid: $ 200

Purchased from: sheeby

Sound — 8
The mahogany body really makes chords sound aggressive and heavy. Basswood is more of a light crunchy sound, mahogany is more like the sound of an earthquake. Pros and cons between these woods, but basswood is generally better if you solo alot, but I prefer mahogany when doing heavy riffs. The 24 frets is a nice addition to the S series, over all not bad, comparable to a Korean made S guitar. Had only 1 fret that needed leveled, not bad. The action was shit but I set the action nice and low the way I like it, radius of neck allows bends all over with no fret out or dead notes. My action is about 1.2 mm off the high e on the 12th fret, which is pretty low but not so low. Mainly I play this with a Boss GT-8 and a Line 6 Pod HD500, as I live in a neighborhood so I sold my 5150 and Marshall because they were just too loud, they could hear it 5 blocks away on 1. Sounds very good with these, of course you have to tweak them to get it just right but it plays great with them, sounds even better in a 5 watt class A tube amp with a metal muff or a tube screamer.

Overall Impression — 8
I play everything really, this guitar is ok for just about everything it will do it it may not be the best jazz guitar but you can fake it and hopefully nobody will notice. It's an Ibanez it's a metal guitar hombre. Hate the paint job though it is butt ugly.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I have found Ibanez guitars are tough. I've had them fall off the stand, off straps, hit the ground and not go out of tune. I had an Epiphone once and the first time it fell the headstock broke. Never bought an Epiphone again. Ibanez are built pretty well they may not be the best but they are good value for the money and I prefer cheap guitars anyways because I can do what I want with them and if they get stolen I can just buy another one. I won't buy expensive guitars anymore too many freaking thieves at every show waiting to rip you off.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I have a particular preference with action, I like it low but I hate buzz and I won't accept it or any frets that won't bend cleanly. Ibanez necks are excellent because of the radius and width, and are very comfortable for my giant hand to play on. Most Ibanez guitars I can setup to my preference with minimal effort but sometimes I need to level and polish some frets. My action is about 1.2mm at the 12th fret on the high e and about 1.25 or so at the low E, about 1.3mm at the 24th fret. I also like my neck pretty straight, which causes problems with buzzing in the lower range on crap guitar, which sometimes requires some fretwork but not on wizard necks. I do it myself because no tech I have ever found knows how to set it up the way I like it and they rip me off with a shitty setup.

Features — 8
2010 Indonesian, 24 fret, Ibanez ZR tremolo with ZPS2. Solid mahogany body, very thin. Ugly matte black paint job, I am planning to paint over it or strip it. Neck is wizard 3 maple with rosewood. Standard Ibanez Infinity pickups found on cheaper Ibanez, not bad, not great, can sound good if you have the patience to play with your eqs and your amp but they're not the best pickups, but they can sound ok with some work. You get one volume and one tone, 2 humbuckers with a 5 way switch. Allowing also for a coil tap on both in one position and selecting between them. Paint job is hideous, but I love the S shape body and the sound of the mahogany wood. Compared to basswood it is a deeper, heavier sounding tone, very crushing with distorted power chords, but not as bright as basswood.

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