Price paid: C$ 700
Purchased from: Ibanez Distribution Center Canada
Sound — 7
I play metal mostly, and for being an "extreme metal" guitar, I wasn't that impressed, I still have it sitting in my room with all my other guitars, and I prefer my $500 Dinky to it to be completely honest. It does have a thick mahogany sound to it, very warm, but it just feels lacking to me. All in all a decent sound I guess.
Overall Impression — 7
Overall I didn't particularly like this guitar all that much, it's a beast when it comes to holding up and staying solid, but none of the other features to me stood out all that much. I was pretty disappointed with this guitar, but I guess beggars can't be choosers.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Apart from all the bashing I have done on this guitar, Ibanez has always to me been a pretty solid guitar manufacturer. This guitar has lasted me years, and I have played the hell out of it to try and make it work for me, and just screwing around and jamming, I have never played it Live, but it can withstand a beating. The strap buttons, when I got them like I said were loose, but they do hold up after a little tightening. For thin little toothpick of a guitar, it holds up with the best of em.
Action, Fit & Finish — 5
I'm a bigger guy so I need a guitar that will fit me properly without me feeling like I'm cradling a small child that I could crush in any moment. that's the impression I got from this guitar, it just feels feeble. I hate to just sit here and bash the guitar, but it's about time for a real review. I don't like the small body, it was too too slim. The neck is a whole other story, I understand some people do like thinner necks for "shredding" ability, but for me it was too slim, I the back of the neck almost felt flat to me, like it had the round sanded down or something. There were definately a few screws loose as well. The bottom strap peg was loose, and the tremolo was the most difficult thing to change (I play in drop B#, I got it in Standard). Not the greatest first impression.
Features — 6
The S520EX was my second choice of guitar when I took my trip up to the dist center. I was kind of disappointed when I was handed the guitar, but I figured for lack of a better reason I should just try her on for size.The features from the super thin, super small body, to the horrible trem, I must say were pretty lame. The tremolo didn't allow the guitar to stay in tune for long enough, and any drop or rise in the trem would cause the strings to go completely out of tune. The pickups (for my taste) were extremely weak, but that's probably just because I'm used to playing EMGs. The finish is a very nice, I thought, but easily chipped away. For me, perfect amount of knobs, I don't like too little or too much so it was a good balance. I guess you get what you pay for, this guitar comes from Korea, and though I don't like to admit to Japan, or USA made guitars being better, the proof is in the playing.