S520EX review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (309 votes)
Ibanez: S520EX
0

Price paid: $ 550

Purchased from: Guitar Centre

Sound — 9
The Guitar has a lovely fat tone and you really can get some killer whammy effects with the ZR trem, however I am contractually obliged to use EMGs on every guitar I buy so the infinity pickups didn't get much of a test but trust me put a pair of '81, '85s in this and it will give you the most metal sound on the planet.

Overall Impression — 10
Like I said it is perfect for metal but also is a good all round guitar, I have been playing 7 years, my first guitar was a $100 destroyer and I've spent nearly 2 grand on ones before but this is the best metal guitar I've ever owned and although I look forward to buying a v blade it will have to go some way to compete with this. This goes perfectly with my Peavey cab and Boss pedals and I can replicate almost any guitar sound in the world an pull it off. Best features: definately the neck, the trem and those good looks. Worst features: not many even the stock pickups are good enough for most stuff. I thought about buying a similar priced Jackson Dinky but they're just not in the same league for playability or sound. If this guitar had emg's on the shelf and was made in the usa it would be one of the great guitars, as it is it's ceratinly one of the best metal guitars for for under 2 grand and would recommend it to everyone.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Solid as a rock, I've been using it almost on its own for lots of gigging for about 7 months and the trem is still as smooth and comes into tune as well as it did, the pup's still give killer metal sounds and even though I've dropped it a couple of times there still isn't much damage at all.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar was just about perfect and from the moment I picked it up I knew it was right, the action was lovely and low with no buzz at all and the strings were not too stiff either, the EMGs were perfectly installed whilst I waited and great, and the bridge is was raised just right. The overall quality of the guitar was superb.

Features — 8
2006 made in Korea, 22 extra jumbo frets on a binded rosewood fretboard, with a beautifully thin 3 piece neck and a solid top. the mahogany gives a wonderful fat tone.In satin black in the Ibanez s style Ultra thin body. The ZR bridge is the only one of it's kind in the world and the ball bearings give it smoothness, extreme whammability and always puts you perfectly in tune. 1 volume, 1 tone and a 3 way selector Switch. comes with two box style passive humbuckers (Ibanez infinity 1 and 2)and as the trem is double locking it locks at the bridge and nut. Came with the whammy bar (which wasn't the correct one but looks even more metal with the black one I got) and all the tools etc which you would expect to come with any guitar as well as a manual.

13 comments sorted by best / new / date

    p2fyre
    I tried one of these and it was excellent! The neck is so fast it just makes you want to shred! I had an Ibanez RG prestige in the past but thought the stock pickups were naff. I was really surprised about the ones in this though. Great pickups in an ibanez as stock.. what an idea. lol. Anyways.. mines on order at the mo.. 389 ($550 ish). I'll give it a few months then i'll review it myself
    Dithindious
    I have one question, do you need to cut the ball ends of strings before u restring this tar?
    punkMETALskater
    i jus got this guitar yesterday,ive only played one once,and i loved it then,now i own one,these guitars ****in rock,dont go outta tune one bit,the trem is great and smooth,and it sounds relle good,give it a few months,then ill give it my own review on here.
    Laslow
    i've had my first one (i'll explain) for ten months now and it just gets better everytime i play it. however, i am unable to find a guitar that is easier to play, i tried a yamaha rgx520fz and a warrior wrmg both of which got sent back and in the end i just bought another of these, they are so good i love them so much and im sure i will just keep buying ibanez s guitars until the day i die
    PsychoKNTX
    I own a strat and this guitar but.. This guitar will kill, rape, pillage and burn any stratocaster in its wake. It will play absolutely anything you throw at it, and surprisingly, it outdid my fender on ALL fields, not just metal. If your I.Q. hovers somewhere above 50, you should know how to tune and adjust this guitar within fifteen minutes of having it in your hands.
    I second the notion!
    =bert=
    i got mine in soundcontrol for 429 and i have to say it is brilliant. i only own the one other guitar (a Yamaha Pacifica 112) so this wasa massive leap up for me and i hav to say i am enjoying it very much. im not selling my first one, but lets just say i havent touched it since i got my ibanez...
    andresabello
    well i bought this guitar almost 1 month or 2 months ago and let me tell you is the best guitar i have ever played, the distortion sounds awsome and the clean is great, the 3 tone modules are very good each with the perfrect bright in each cord its supose to bring and with my Boss me50 they make a perfect couple... this guitar is very light when you play on stage you may jump if you like its doesnt weight anything... also the 2 microphones are amazing and the bridge is almost perfect it gives a great addition to the guitar, in conclusion this guitar is great
    Felony
    I just wanted to know; Does this guitar have dotted inlays? because on most pictures i have seen it doesnt.
    Zach2112
    No, the only marking is the flame(looks like a bear claw scratch to me) on the twelfth fret. I played this guitar @ guitar center tonight, it looks and feels the part. If my memory serves me right(which i hope it doesn't), they wanted something like $1000+ for it, and now I see that people are getting it for $500-$700. I REALLY want this guitar, going to see what I can fetch from my GAX70 and my bass, hopefully there will only be a couple hundred dollars difference after that.
    Laslow
    Blash wrote: i owned the guitar for like, a hour today. my grapa traded my fav strat today behind my back and got this for me today. i was really upset but i tried it and i noticed to sounded like total crap (found out i left my wah on the bassy part by accident lol)but i loved my old strat and i brought it back, i felt kinda bad, but i loved my strat :< (note the guitar didnt stay in tune at all, i tuned the open strings to normal but when i compared them to other strings they were completely off, and they were in tune...)
    that'd be because of the trem...
    Demonikk
    Man I saw this one on a website for 399 and fitted with EMG 81/85's. God I was so pissed off at being broke!!!!
    Laslow wrote: Blash wrote: i owned the guitar for like, a hour today. my grapa traded my fav strat today behind my back and got this for me today. i was really upset but i tried it and i noticed to sounded like total crap (found out i left my wah on the bassy part by accident lol)but i loved my old strat and i brought it back, i felt kinda bad, but i loved my strat :< (note the guitar didnt stay in tune at all, i tuned the open strings to normal but when i compared them to other strings they were completely off, and they were in tune...) that'd be because of the trem...
    *Sighs* Don't blame the guitar for your ignorance Nice education Laslow