S520EX review by Ibanez

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

Price paid: $ 599.99

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 9
Fits my music style for really fast playing, as in metal with plenty of palm mutes. Amp used: Behringer GMX212 with a heavy metal UK sound. Equalizer: 10, 2, 8. Not a very noisy but it has it's own tone where you can hear the notes very crisply through distortion. Wonderful sound when clean as well. Guitar can make every sound that I can think of. Only one I can't do is whammy harmonics, I should've bought a whammy bar.

Overall Impression — 9
I play metal mostly, and this guitar is absolutely perfect for it, the distance between the bridge and knobs is just perfect for me, although for people with large hands I would not know. I have been playing for 4 years and I definitely do not regret even touching this guitar, after first playing it I could not put it down. I asked everything I could think of when buying this guitar, I asked about strings and changing gauges, how the bridge worked as well as the tuning machines. I'm very glad a had a very guitar-literate salesman. If it were stolen I would cry, but I would seriously consider buying it again. The thing I love most about it is the neck and how easy it is to play on it. I hate the locking nuts, but I can get used to it, it doesn't affect my playing. My favorite feature about it is the EMG pickups and how crisp the sound can be, of course, coupled with how good your amp is.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar will definitely withstand Live playing with the exception of smashing it and lighting it on fire. Coupled with the hardware and solid strap buttons, it is definitely reliable. I would definitely put my life on this guitar if any guitar, but to be safe as with everything would have a backup guitar. The finish is definitely excellent and will always stay on, but would need to be polished to keep it nice and shiny.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Not sure how the guitar was set up in a factory but the outcome was great, the pickups are rock solid and give just the right rock solid tone to go with it. Everything was great about the guitar, especially the nice finish. Guitar if any flaws, would have the locking tuning nuts open, instead of closed.

Features — 8
22 frets. Not sure what kind of neck, might be Maple, but it's slides really nice. Solid body. Shiny black finish. The cutaway is so great, easy reaching for those really high notes. 2 knobs, volume and tone, with 1 3-way selector to control both EMG pickups. Could've had a 5-way selector though. Locking tuning nuts. Bought the guitar alone.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Fzau, I have an S520, and I absolutely love it, but I wouldn't recommend it as a starter guitar because of the ZR trem. If you're just starting, I wouldn't want you to get discouraged by all of the nonsense that comes along with having a floating trem. But if you're really determined, then have at it.