Price paid: $ 732
Purchased from: gak.co.uk
Sound — 6
Unplugged, the guitar feels surprisingly loud and resonant considering how light it is. Plugged in, the stock 'Infinity' pickups seem a bit muddy, especially at the bridge. The neck pickup is very smooth, but the bridge pickup has a horrible lack of definition and the middle singlecoil is a flat and characterless unit, for occasional use only. This is an ideal candidate for a pickup upgrade; depending what you fit this guitar can manage a massive range of styles, though a decent bridge pickup is essential to get the most out of this guitar! A good starting point is the Seymour Duncan JB, which works quite well in this guitar for most rock and metal tones. Also, a decent singlecoil in the middle can achieve some passable Strat tones.
Overall Impression — 7
The S470 is a great piece of design, and is one of the most versatile guitars around. With better pickups and a good setup it'll excel at any style you choose to play, and is buoild well enough to be a five-nights-a-week workhorse. At around 400/$800 there's a massive bang/buck ratio, but be prepared to put in some work to unlock the full potential of this guitar!
Reliability & Durability — 7
Built solidly. The only causes for concern are the tuning heads and the mechanism which holds the tremolo arm, which in my case sheared off completely and needed replacement. This seems to be a rare problem though and in general it's a dependable, giggable guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
It's all good quality stuff, the machineheads are a bit flimsy (you won't be using them that often anyway) but the input jack and switches are rock-solid. The build quality's excellent for the price too, with uniformly neat frets and a snug fit in the neck pocket. Ibanez's 'ZR' trem is a superb bit of engineering! Okay, if you're after non-stop Vai style whammy madness, an Edge Pro would beat it, but for most moderate users it's ideal. Tuning holds well even on compound bends, but you can still pull off all the major whammy tricks without any drama. If you use it a lot, removing the tremsetter will give you a fully floating bridge, but for a lot people this isn't worth the extra hassle. It's a great step up for people used to Vintage style non-locking trems, too. The S470, like most Ibanezes, plays best with a medium-low action and for the average player is highly playable, perhaps even inspiring. The rosewood board is a little on the dry side, but it's a nice player. The jumbo frets and flat radius make it good for technical styles, but it's capable of a lot more besides. All in all, quite a lot of guitar for under 500.
Features — 7
2004 model. Standard S-series setup; HSH 'Infinity' ceramic pickups with a 5-way switch, Ibanez 'Zero Resistance' ball-bearing trem with built-in tremsetter. The slim body's made up of three pieces of mahogany with a quilted maple veneer, and the neck is a maple/rosewood 'Wizard II'. Basically it's an S470 with binding and better cosmetics, almost all comments apply equally to the S470 and S470DX!