SA160QMAM review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.2 (68 votes)
Ibanez: SA160QMAM
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Price paid: $ 200

Purchased from: Used

Sound — 8
I play anything from rock to country, blues to metal and everything in between and this guitar can do it all reasonably well. The problem with all round guitars is that you will always lack somewhere. In this guitars case it could've done with a neck humbucker for metal and the middle pickup gets in the way when down picking, but then you won't have that "start-like" qualities for the old school rock and country. I'm running this guitar through a Randall RG50TC and used to play it through a Roland Cube 15 and when comparing it to other guitars I have played through those amps the guitar's personality really comes through. It has a warm and rich tone, surprisingly warm for such a thin bodied guitar. This guitar is the ultimate all rounder, being able to play everything reasonably well. I'll give it a rating of 8 again for the versatility of sounds it produces.

Overall Impression — 9
This guitar is really a good guitar and it falls in the price range of certain ESP LTD's, Jackson's etc and this guitar is the better guitar every time. If it got stolen, I would still have my Ibanez S540 (my main guitar) to jam on, but I will be pretty pissed, catch the thief and beat him to death with this guitar. I love the versatility and lightness of the guitar and the way it feels. It would've been a lot better of as either fixed bridge or with a licensed Floyd Rose as the strings go out of tune fairly easily with excessive use of the tremolo.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Like with all Live shows, it is stupid to gig with just one guitar. It will be able to do life playing with a smile. The hardware is still flawless after a good 7 or 8 years. This guitar was not made as a cheapish low quality beginner guitar. The strap buttons will hold fine, unless you're an "Yngwie Malmsteem" personality on stage. It is still as shiny as when it came out of the factory. It is built to last.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I didn't get the guitar direct from the factory, but it was set-up pretty good from the previous owner. Everything was in place and it is really easy to set the intonation, pick-up heights, action and truss rod. The guitar is getting older and still looks Brand New.

Features — 9
My Ibanez SA160 was made at the World Plant in Korea in 2001. It has 22 medium frets on a 25.5" scale length maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard. It is a quilted maple laminated top on a mahogany body. The body shape is a super start style with a SAT Pro bridge. It is configured with S-S-H style normal Ibanez pickups (could be INF pickups, I'm not sure). It has a 5 way pickup selector, a tone knob and volume knob. Note that the only difference in my experience between the SA160 and the SA260 is the headstock's color and that the SA260 has the coil tapping option on the humbucker with the push-pull on the volume knob. Overall is this all the features you need when buying a guitar like this in this price range. I'll give it a 9 for features, merely because the tremolo isn't very good.

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