S470 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.2 (399 votes)
Ibanez: S470

Price paid: $ 585.6

Sound — 9
I play progressive rock and metal, mostly Afi, Muse and Dream Theater, and the guitar suits my style perfectly. I knew I needed neck and bridge humbuckers after getting some good sounds out of the neck pickup on my Squier Strat. This is my first guitar with humbuckers (and a locking tremolo, thin neck and mahogany body, too) and the sound I can get is amazing. I can finally whack the Gain dial on my Laney HCM30R up full and hardly hear anything. There's some very quiet buzzing from the amp, but I guess this is normal. Pickup switching is noiseless. Then, when I actually strum, I get some very rich and warm sounds from the bridge pickup, with a sharp, cutting tone. The neck is less so, with a soft rumbling tone that suits palm muting well and is good for backing chords. The single coil is brilliant, sounds excellent on clean, and I had to have an SC because when I tried out my mate's RG (with humbuckers) with a chorus effect, then my Squier's singles, I prefer the sound of a chorus effect on the singles. The three pickups give a wide variety of sounds, and there is great modding and upgrading potential in the guitar.

Overall Impression — 10
As said above, my main music tastes involve Afi, Muse and Dream Theatre. I also like power metal, like Dragonforce, and after hearing that Herman Li started on one of these guitars, I knew I'd found the right match. The sound is pretty good, though I'll probably get a new amp at some point, perhaps a Marshall and a better distortion system, alongside a chorus pedal. I've been playing since January 2007 (well, May 2007 on electric), and though I'm not particularly good, I still love it. It's a guitar I can improve on. I wish I'd had the opportunity to try it out before I ordered it online, but unforeseen circumstances stopped me, so I had to use the internet. I also own the afforementioned Laney HCM30R 30w solid-state amplifier, alongside my amazing Fender MD-20 1w battery-powered mini-amp and my Korg 105od Classic Overdrive distortion pedal. My first guitar was an acoustic, but my first electric was a Squier Strat Affinity, and the upgrade has shown me that, although the Ibanez is an excellent guitar, my Squier is still a good one, as I can go back to playing it easily. If the Ibanez was stolen, I would track the guy down and steal it back. I couldn't bear the thought of my gear in someone else's hands. Failing that, if it broke, I'd get another one without a second's thought, though if I had more money I might get an S Prestige just for the Japanese quality. I love the finish, the action, the pickups and the bridge, so pretty much everything. There is nothing to hate about this guitar, though maybe a small dislike that the body is so thin that when you sit down it digs into your leg after a while. Otherwise, my favourite feature is the action, so low and smooth, with the frets much taller than my Squier, so it's much easier to play, especially with the trademarked thin Ibanez neck. I've compared this with one mate's RGT, which has a painted thru-neck that feels thicker than this, but the finish makes it unnaturally smooth, so I prefer the wooden back of this neck. I've also played another mate's RG Prestige, which is very similar in many ways, but mine has a mahogany body whereas his is basswood, so with the right amps, mine probably sounds better. The S470 is visually, functionally and sonically stunning. I love this axe. And at 320GBP, it's an ideal first/second electric guitar. Highly recommended.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Most assuredly, this guitar is a gigging instrument. Thin and light, with plenty of toys onboard. The construction is solid, neck is joined securely and it is very comfortable to hold. Even the jack socket is great, very strong clips and the angle of the socket mean your lead is unlikely to fall/be pulled out on stage. The entire guitar feels like it was build to last, nothing moves, everything is solid. The ZR trem will endure many years of playing, and you can even lift the entire guitar solely by the whammy bar and it'll stay in tune. The strap buttons are kinda small, so I'd defintiely put on strap locks before playing live, but the buttons themselves feel solid, and my strap hasn't fallen off yet. I wouldn't gig without a backup just out of sheer paranoia, for the rare occasion that I do break a string. I'd have a spare guitar waiting just to make sure I could continue playing if that happened, cos it'd take me a few minutes to restring owing to the locking tremolo. However, since this guitar has a stopbar, the other strings should stay in tune even if I break one, so I might be able to get away with not using the backup if I did. The vinyl coating is very thick, and polishes to a very smooth, reflective Shine, the Shine that made me fall in love with my Squier Strat. It's gorgeous, and feels like it will last years.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action on this guitar was set up very well, nice and low. I was able to pick it up and play it the moment I got it out of the box (it was almost perfectly in tune, too). My only complaint about the ZR bridge is that you cannot adjust the action per string, it's just the whole bridge up and down. The pickups are perfectly placed, and the bridge, man, it's good! This is my first guitar with a floating bridge, and Ibanez have made things so easy. The ball-bearing joints prevent the bridge from drooping when you change strings, keeping it level. The bridge is adjusted with a simple thumbscrew on the rear of the guitar, it's recessed, so it's impossible to nudge by mistake. The screw adjusts the string tension immediately without even removing the trem cavity cover! The Zero Point System catches the trem when you release the whammy bar, and pretty much ensures tuning stability. Even if you break a string, the rest of them will stay in tune for you to finish your song! Finally, the intonation, I haven't tried this yet, but it looks amazingly simple. I've heard that the Cosmic Black finish on the pickup rings and bridge can tarnish, and unfortunately that's already happened on the rings, but I think the patterns look kinda cool. Meanwhile, the bridge looks as new. Nearly top marks here.

Features — 10
July 2007 Ibanez S470, made by Cort Guitars in Korea. It's got a 3-piece bolt-on maple Wizard II neck with 22 frets and a rosewood fretboard. The body is solid mahogany with a metallic black vinyl finish. It has a typical superstrat-type body, but with rounded horns and a gorgeously-thin body. It has a Zero Resistance double-locking tremolo unit with the Ibanez Zero Point System (like the Hipshot Tremsetter). It has three pickups in a HSH configuration; the neck is an Ibanez INF1 Ceramic Infinity-1 Humbucker, middle is an Infinity 1 Ceramic Single Coil and the bridge is an Infinity 2 Alnico Humbucker. These are controlled by 2 knobs, master volume and master tone, and a 5-way blade switch. The tuners are Standard Gotoh designs, they don't need to be locking because of the locking tremolo. I bought it brand new, so all it included was a bag of allen keys for the tremolo and a cable, but I already have everything else, amp, tuner, bag etc. Frankly, I don't think Ibanezs missed anything off this instrument bar a neck-thru.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    I know all you guys believe everything you read but on the contrary, Herman Li does not play a 470. The poster lies to get people to buy it. He plays Prestige S's and Mid 1990 S540s, so get your facts straight.