S520EX review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (309 votes)
Ibanez: S520EX

Price paid: $ 500

Purchased from: A Guy I Met At A Music Store

Sound — 9
It had great versatility as soon as I got it. The 5 way selector lets you select from bridge, north coil of bridge/south coil of neck, bridge and neck, neck in parallel and neck in series. The one thing I didn't like is the fact that the Bridge pickup is an Alnico and the Neck was Cermaic magnet. So the neck got swapped for a dimarizo pickup. Bridge will be following suit soon. I switched out the tone pot for a linear taper and changed the capicator. but overall, this was all personal preference and does not need to be done. sounds great as it is... I'm just a hopeless tinkerer.

Overall Impression — 10
This guitar can pretty much fit into any style of music. My biggest disappointment was that it was 22 frets and 24. Oh well. it's still a great guitar. Two things I do love about the new ZR Bridge: they included a screw that's part of the bridge, you can take off and screw in the back of each saddle piece and adjust the intonation without detuning. awesome idea! Second, the Saddle Lockdown bolts are offset from the string, another huge help. Good guitar to work with. Recommended to all.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I think it could withstand Live playing. I'm not light on my guitars. they get abused. If she doesnt't hold up, then she doesnt't hold up. I would never play Live with out having a back up. that's not saying anything about a guitar, I just don't think you should ever rely on one guitar. Finish is good.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I'm not sure how it came from the factory as I bought it used. The guy I bought it from wasn't too sure what he was doing with it. When I brought it home I tuned it and played it for a day or so before taking it to the bench to disassemble, clean, change parts and reassemble. I made a few adjustments, but nothing was to the point that it "had to be adjusted" or it wouldn't play. It was all personal preference again. The craftsmanship is out of this world on this guitar. All the electronics were superbly put together and the excess wires were actually secured with a cable tie! I also liked how the output jack is a stereo jack that's just wired for mono, so it's able to be retrofitted later on. good job Ibanez! it actually looked nice in the control cavity!

Features — 9
Features are the same as everyone elses. I got mine used from a guy at I met a music store who was looking to get back into playing bass again, so I didn't get a bag/case with it. But he did give me the manual and all the tools/parts that came with it. It's a mohogany super thin Strat style body that's grey. The new Ibanez floating ZR trem. Passive electronics, 5 way selector and master tone and volume. 22 Jumbo Frets on Rosewood fingerboard and Maple Neck. Inlay at 12 fret makes for a clean looking guitar.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    kalon1 wrote: I really like the looks of this guitar. Anyone know how much it would cost to get dot inlays installed on it though? I'm a newb.
    Get an RG350ex its a lot cheaper and just as good + it has inlays