SA220FM review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.6 (101 votes)
Ibanez: SA220FM
3

Purchased from: L.A. Music

Sound — 9
I'm mostly into metal (Lamb Of God, In Flames, Between The Buried And Me, As I Lay Dying, the Black Dahlia Murder) right now and my SA can get really good tone despite the fact that it's a fairly thin guitar. At the moment I use it mostly with my Vox AD15VT, which really allows me to experience the versatility of the SA220. It sound fantastic with the heavy distortion and pretty good in terms of bluesy clean sounds as well. Although it does have a 5-way pickup selector I usually only use 2 or 3 of the options. The bridge pickup is the only way to go with overdrive, anything else just sounds muddy. For cleans I use the neck pickup as well the parallel selection (the neck pickup is parallel connected), you get a pretty bright twang. Sometimes I play around with another option where both humbucks are supposed to act as single coils. The middle selection with both pickups is pretty brutal though, muddy and not really useful for anything. Overall you can get a lot of different great sounds out this guitar.

Overall Impression — 9
Overall this is a solid metal axe, and versatile. I've been playing guitar for exactly three years and this is my third guitar. The SA220 has actually been discontinued so you probably wont find too many more in stores. It was definitely the best guitar around in it's price range. I was comparing this guitar to other's that were hundred more in price and the SA beat them out without a doubt. The SA if an extremely comfortable feeling guitar. It's light, looks good and sound great. If this guitar were stolen I would probably spend the extra cash and go for an upgrade, perhaps an Ibanez Prestige S? I hear they're incredible.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I personally have never played a Live show but I have No Doubt in my mind that this guitar could take it. There are only two aspects of this guitar that might worry me a bit in the Live setting. The maple top of the SA seems somewhat fragile, I've but I small ding in it and when that happened I didn't really hit it too hard. If you were playing Live and accidentally hit something with the guitar it might chip easily. The other thing is that the strap buttons are pretty slick, I've had my strap slip off the button before but luckily I had a good grip on the neck. I'd advise getting strap-locks before playing Live with this guitar. Other than that the strap buttons are solid, the hardware is solid and I think you could depend on the SA in a gig without a backup. It doesn't seem likely that the finish will wear off at all, but it might chip like I said.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar came to me nicely set-up. Nice low action and virtually no string buzz. The pickups were adjusted perfectly. There were no flaws when I bought the guitar, although I don't really like the little cap on the pickup selector, it can come off easily which would be bad news in a gig.

Features — 8
- 2005, made in Korea. - 22 medium frets, thin and fast 25.5 scale SA maple 3 pc neck. - Mahogany Strat style body with a flamed maple top. - Floating SAT30S tremolo bridge (probably the worst aspect of this guitar's features, it tends to go out of tune easily when you use the whammy bar). - IBZ AH3 humbucking neck pickup and IBZ AH4 humbucking bridge pickup (not top of the line Ibanez but still solid). - 5-way pickup selector. - Standard Ibanez tuners.

27 comments sorted by best / new / date

    schwedengitarre
    Its no metal axe! It goes even better with usual rock and blues, the clean sounds are billiant! Very nice guitar but I prefer the Ibanez SAS32 FMDRS
    br4d
    i played that guitar and was going to buy it but someone else beat me to it im devistated... their so sexy but the only thing i dont like is the wammy bar style
    dentaro16
    steveoondyou wrote: the.spine.surfs : Guys, guys, guys. Who cares if it's overly "good" for metal? A strat sounds "good" enough for metal to most of us with enough pedals and cabs. no... no it doesn't. A strat is good for.... umm.... is a strat good for anything? Oh, right, STRATS ARE FOR POSERS
    is this strat good for something? EMG-81/SA/SA (active set) / Fishman Neo-D (clipped)(passive) w/ variance resistor wa wa wa
    breadstick
    steveoondyou wrote: the.spine.surfs : Guys, guys, guys. Who cares if it's overly "good" for metal? A strat sounds "good" enough for metal to most of us with enough pedals and cabs. no... no it doesn't. A strat is good for.... umm.... is a strat good for anything? Oh, right, STRATS ARE FOR POSERS
    are you kidding me!?!?! strats are the most basic guitars around. If you want to look like a poser then get yourself a friggin bc rich or a guitar with pentecost friggin symbols as the friggin inlay. u friggin guitar NOOB
    Fender_For_Life
    strats are good guitar all round. a quality guitar for any genre really. metal guitarists have played a strat shaped guitar before. its really what pickups are in your guitar. EMG are great. what matters most with a guitar is how you like the feel and the sound of the pickups. if u like the feel but not the pickups then buy new ones. its that simple. i dont see why everyone is at each others throats about this.
    OrdinaryManKJS
    steveoondyou wrote: the.spine.surfs : Guys, guys, guys. Who cares if it's overly "good" for metal? A strat sounds "good" enough for metal to most of us with enough pedals and cabs. no... no it doesn't. A strat is good for.... umm.... is a strat good for anything? Oh, right, STRATS ARE FOR POSERS
    oh yeah i forgot Jimi ****in Hendrix was a poser. thanks for reminding me how bad Jimi sucked. a start worked just fine for him.
    N_I_N-621
    steveoondyou wrote: the.spine.surfs : Guys, guys, guys. Who cares if it's overly "good" for metal? A strat sounds "good" enough for metal to most of us with enough pedals and cabs. no... no it doesn't. A strat is good for.... umm.... is a strat good for anything? Oh, right, STRATS ARE FOR POSERS
    oh, and what uber kvlt metal guitar do you have? a BC rich...? get bent. ESP FTW.
    Glen'sHeroicAct
    i have that guitar, its pretty good, i don't have enough distortion on my amp for metal, and all i have for pedals is a wah and a fuzz, so i have no idea what its sound for metal would be. im guessing it wouldn't be that great, especially with the stock pups. however, it's real solid, and its extremely comfortable to play. it sounds good on distorted blues stuff, and great on cleans. im probably gonna get new pickups for it, but its a good deal stock. if you saw one, i'd suggest it.
    Miggy01
    yeah steve sure cuz the guitarist of Iron Maiden are definetely posers fag
    sexmeister
    i have this guitar its not bad i like it when u play solos it doesnt sound that bad and when u play riffs and shit it sounds amazing and i would say its worth it for the price all ibanez guitars r pretty good i would have 2 say but thats just me
    steveoondyou
    the.spine.surfs : Guys, guys, guys. Who cares if it's overly "good" for metal? A strat sounds "good" enough for metal to most of us with enough pedals and cabs.
    no... no it doesn't. A strat is good for.... umm.... is a strat good for anything? Oh, right, STRATS ARE FOR POSERS
    the.spine.surfs
    Guys, guys, guys. Who cares if it's overly "good" for metal? A strat sounds "good" enough for metal to most of us with enough pedals and cabs.
    schwedengitarre
    Yeah the SAS 32 is one of my newer guitars and it's worth the (low) price! The RG is ok it has a super fast neck but its not very versatile because the pus have a hard sound, good for metal but that's all
    bigsanta33
    it sux i have used it and the pick ups are shit don't buy it i have an esp h-202 if u wan a half decent metal guitar try that
    anthman
    I have this guitar and I love its blues tone, even though it ROCKS ;
    sexmeister
    starts r ok i guess they r good for beginners and that also depends on what your taste is like the guitarist from deep purple plays a strat and hes an awsome guitarist because of his strat so steve go **** yourselfyour a just a wanna b who thinks hes good like seriusly get a life or learn how 2 play guitar fagget