SA220FM review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.6 (101 votes)
Ibanez: SA220FM

Price paid: A$ 800

Purchased from: Holden Hill Music Store

Sound — 8
I mainly play metal and although this guitar isn't really big and you wouldn't expect it to have a chunky metal sound, it actually does fairly well when I plug it into my Marshall MG50. I can get a really good distorted sound out of it depite the fact that it is so thin an light. I find it brillient for playing solos because of it's thin, fast neck when eaily allows my hand to slide up and down the neck. On the clean channel, it has a nice bright sound in the Treble notes but when I play some Bass notes, it drowns out all the treble notes and it sounds very unclear. Although I mainly play metal, I play a bit of blues and Jazz, and it turns out really clearly and you can really define each note you play.

Overall Impression — 9
My style of playing metal, I think it is a great guitar and proberly the best one of it's price range. I've been playing guitar for 5 years now and it is God-like if I compare it to my old Monteray and from playing my freinds guitars, I am really happy that I bought this one because it is a very good and affordable guitar. I love it's maple top flamed finish, it looks brillient in the spot light, the only thing I hate is how easily it goes out of tune when I use the whammy bar. If this was stolen, I'd proberly look around a bit and get a Jackson rr series or an Ibanez rg series, I here they're much like this one.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is very durable even though it looks as if it will chip easily, I've smacked my guitar around a fair bit when I get carried away playing and all I've had is a tiny chip on the tip of the headstock and the humbucker coming of it's spring. I have no major or visable scratches even though I've performed with this many times. It's is only a year old and it doing rather well for what it's been through and I expect it to last me a lot longer. From what I've been told, the strap buttons aren't very good for holding on straps but I've got a really tight strap and it has never fallen off once, even when I chucked it into the air and caught it by the strap.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
When I bought this guitar, it had no scratches and the strings that were on them were really good and I have had to replace them yet even though the guitar is a year old. I feel the qualitly in the strings are still there. The only thing I did not receive was a whammy bar which I later got free from the store because they forgot to put it in. Apart from that everything was how it was supposed to be when I bought it.

Features — 9
My SA220FM was made in Indonesia (as it says on the back of it's headstock), it has 22 frets with a very fast neck. It has a mahogany body with a maple flamed top. It has a SAT30S tremelo bridge and has two pick-ups: for the neck, it has an IBZ AH3 humbucker and for the bridge, it has an IBZ AH4 humbucker. It has one volume nob, one tone nob and a 5-way pick-up selector. The fingerboard is rosewood and the frets have pearl Dot inlays.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    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
    I have this guitar but in purple colour... head6969/DSCF5782.jpg Im no Steve Vai. But this is an amazing sounding guitar. The neck is nice n thin, and easy to move around on. The ONLY thing I dont like is when I have my cable in, it seems a tiny bit loose. Other than that, this guitar is amazing. I also have a metal zone mt-2 that ****in rocks it even more! 10/10
    The SA220 is great value for money. It's light, has a great low action and plays smooth. I play rock/metal with 010 strings and various tunings and after 3-4 years the SA220 is still going without any trouble. I pimped it with new pickups though; the active EMG81 and EMG85, better known as the Zakk Wylde set. It's even more amazing now. If you can get one still, do it!
    Like El-Martino, I also agree that this guitar is great for the money. I purchased this guitar in January 2009 with everything completely stock and it wasn't set-up or anything, for $300. The guitar itself played terribly when I first picked it up, but I chose it over the RG350MDX due to it having a fixed bridge instead of the locking tremolo on the RG. When I bought this, however, the music store informed me that someone had purchased the guitar brand-new in 2005 and never actually took the time to play it, and that it sat around in a case for the time the person had it, and then they sold it back to the music store because they didn't want it anymore. I had the guitar for about 7 months until I actually made it my preferred guitar, after using a Silvertone Paul Stanley Apocalypse Special that I equipped with EMG 81/85 and was my starter guitar. After that 7 months however, I switched the EMG's into the SA220FM, and it sounds absolutely incredible. This guitar has never let me down. This guitar is perfectly built to be played in Drop C, in my opinion. The only problems I have with this guitar is the bridge and nut, which never seem to stay in tune no matter how hard I try to keep it in tune. And I recently broke a tuner on it. But other than that, it's a great axe! Pick on up, equip it with EMG's, and enjoy the shit out of playing some August Burns Red like I do!