S520EX review by Ibanez

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

Price paid: $ 799.99

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 10
It suits my music style perfectly. I am a big Death metal fan and this guitar suits me and my hardcore needs. I am currently using a Drive amp ( but will be getting a Spider III amp) and a Boss metal zone pedal. it's not noisy at all. it hum, rattle or anything. It really can produce harmonics like a beast. both artificial and natural harmonics. and so much more I'm still finding out.

Overall Impression — 10
I play death metal and rap metal as of now, and this guitar is versatile enough to supprt my needs. I've bheen playing for two years and I own a Yamaha pacifica, a Drive amp, a Boss metal zone (MT-2) pedal, and my Ibanez S520EX. I wished I asked about the perfect amp it would go with, but I kinda like looking for the right one... for now. If it was stolen I would be infuriated for a long time. And I would buy another one becuase I'm an Ibanez fanatic now. I love the action and look of the guitar, I hate the pickups they sound kinda chepa to me. My favorite feature is the freat marker-less fretboard, it makes me look more skilled than I actually am. I compared it to an Ibanez RG-7, an Schecter Hellraiser.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar has already withstod some of my gigs and is doing great still. the hardware will last for a while even though the finish on the pickups is wearing to the gold layer a little bit. The straps buttons have gotten a little loose since the initial purchase. I could go on stage without a backup since I'm still a local musician, but if I go on tour I could use a backup. The finish will last a long time trust me, it barley scratches as is and is near impossible to crack or chip.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
It was set up near perfectly at the factory, no real flaws with it. The action like I said was real low so it's good for speed and sliding. the bridge was properly routed, still no problems and I've had it for almost a full year. the pickups were adjusted perfectly to the bridge system.

Features — 9
This guitar was made in 2006 in Korea, so good quality. It has 22 Jumbo frets and the action is really low so it's good for fast up and down neck movements. This guitar is perfect for metal and Rock N' Roll in general. It's a solid top and has a very nice gloss finish. And is using a zero resistance ball bearing bridge, so it makes your tremelo vibrato come out crazily clean. It has two humbucking pickups, one in the neck position, and one in the bridge position. The pickups are Infinite pickups, but if you wanna swap them out..good luck because on a count of how freaking skinny this guitar is you'll have to cut away a cavity to store the pickups parts if you do swap them out. And it has locking tuners at the bridge and a locking nut at the neck so it helps for hardcore jamming without going out of tune.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i really like this guitar. I used to own a fender "i don't know what the exact model was" but then i wanted to play faster music and shred. So i talked to my local music store and they gave this guitar to my hands so i tried it out and i loved it. Its been 2 1/2 years since I've been playing with this guitar. I gave my other fender to my friend.