SA120 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.2 (194 votes)
Ibanez: SA120

Sound — 9
First I'd like to say it has a great tone with good natural sustain. I've been able to get some real good dirty growls out of this guitar. I use various effects gear such as PodXT, Dunlop Crybaby pedal and a few stomp boxes. I generally play hard rock, and found it very suitable for the sound. I've also had many nice clean sounds out of it, -but- I find the neck-end switches normally result in a much too bassy tone than the other guitars I've played. Moving from single-coils to humbuckers feels like the best move I have ever made when it comes to pick-ups. I now Live a noise-free life, until the pick hit's the strings!

Overall Impression — 9
SA120 + Hard Rock = Many smiles. I've played a lot of friends guitars, and they've played mine. For what I play now, it is better than my Fender Stratocaster by a long shot. I've also compared it to an ESP guitar my friend uses to play rock/metal. He would have swapped with me on the spot, despite his guitar costing Thrice as much as this one. I persuaded my friend to sell this to me for the original price he haggled it down to in-store (180). It was his first guitar, and he wanted to move on to a Les Paul model, so I got lucky. I've learned lead on this guitar, moving on from a Fender 50's reissue Strat. I can't express how much easier playing lead became when I picked up this model. I'm seriously thinking that this might be a one-off, considering the imbalanced quality:price ratio, because this model I have here is truly impressive.

Reliability & Durability — 10
As much as I love this guitar, I hit it on things all the time by accident! That said, it stayed in tune for the most part, and also, there don't seem to be any dents or markings on it. DURABLE. It would definitely last a good while, and would be fine to use in many Live shows, No Doubt about it. If I were stupid enough to consider not taking a backup, this guitar would be my partner in crime.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Perfect. Every fret plays brilliantly, with fantastic intonation. I am failing to pick any flaws with this guitar. Everything about the way it was set up just brings the word 'sturdy' to mind. Just remember that with 'Action, Fit & Finish' you really need to play the individual model yourself to judge!

Features — 9
The guitar was made in Indonesia. Neck (Maple) - It features 22 frets, where the neck is deeply cut-away for great access. The last fret might be tricky to reach. Moderately thin neck, great for playing fast lead guitar. This was MUCH easier to learn lead on than my Stratocaster. Body (Mahogany)- Sleek, sexy body. Comfortable to play sat down and stood up. Pick-ups/Switches - Two impressive humbuckers, with a 5-way Switch. One volume control, one tone control. Fantastic starter/intermediate PUPs. Finish - Charcoal Brown with a gorgeous Shine, and wood grain visible. Looks so good I was tempted to eat it.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Since i got this guitar i havnt looked back i love it to bits it goes very well withmy range of styles, from metal to funk to punk and post hardcore,its kept very well in the year ive had it, the only thing thats ever gone wrg is one of the the strap buttons falling off, but its never failed me at a gig and i cant wait to record with it =] anyone looking for great value for money and good range on a guitar, this is it =]
    BigDwii wrote: I'm into metal. i am somewhat of a beginner but more of an intermediate . i already own a guitar that is cheaper then this and i was thinking of this as my second guitar. i want a guitar that will do pinch harmonics on every fret and have no buzz. Should i invest into this?
    You can't have harmonics on every fret lol.