SA260FM review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.1 (149 votes)
Ibanez: SA260FM

Price paid: € 350

Sound — 10
I mostly play rock, from heavy metal to bluesy stuff, but occasionally some jazz. And even though mine hasn't got the coil taps, this is still a very polyvalent guitar! Use the bridge pickup for everything that has to scream, the neck pickup for the bluesy, more 'round' sound. I don't really use the middle pickup (actually, now that I think of it, I NEVER use it...). Weirdly, my bridge pickup broke down (the guy at the shop told me he'd never seen it happen on an Ibanez), so when it was time to change it, I changed it to a Paf Pro. What a difference! The original humbucker isn't bad, but it's not great either. I'm using the SA260 on a Marshall DSL 50 or a London City Pershing (great amp for it's price btw), on a 4X12 London City cabinet. Of course, it rocks. Whether you play a fat blues with the bridge pickup, or a super heavy metal thingy with the humbucker, it's just awesome. With my band we play some pop rock stuff, older rock and songs that require a clean sound. Our other guitarist plays on an Ibanez Prestige (don't exactly know which one) on an Ibanez tube amp. Basically, he paid 800 for the same thing as me. Clean? They sound almost the same. Distorted, there was a difference, but now with the Paf Pro, mine sounds even better.

Overall Impression — 9
Like I said, it's a very polyvalent guitar, it'll play anything. I've been playing for 6 years now, started with a Yamaha Pacifica 112 that I replaced with this one, recently bought a Prs SE Custom semi hollow (great sound too). Amp-wise I had a Roland Cube 30, now replaced by a London City Pershing + 4X12" cabinet, and a Marshall DSL 50. They're all a perfect match, though that's not a hard one, now is it? The Ibanez is so amazingly flexible; you can play it with anything. It's incredible what you get for so little money. If stolen, I'd probably buy it again. When I decided to buy another guitar, I wanted something that would sound a lot better than this one. For a Fender or a Gibson, you'd have to go 2000+ to find one with a decent finish and sound that would make a difference. Deusenberg wasn't bad, but that was 1400. That kind of tells it all, doesn't it? Conclusion: if you're thinking about buying this guitar; just do it. You'll get an amazing sound from the neck pickup, and the bridge will sound perfect with some disto. Eventually, you'll change the tuners. And it's probably the only thing you'll ever have to change. (my apologies for my English, it's my third language, I'm not used to talk/write it)

Reliability & Durability — 10
I've had this guitar now for 4 years, and the only thing is that the humbucker failed, and the guy from the shop told me he'd never seen it happen before. I've played at gigs with it without a backup, and if necessary, I'll do it again. It has never failed on me, it feels rock solid (though it's a very light guitar), all the components still feel like new, the finish is still perfect, With a tad of polish, I'd be able to resell it as a new one. Not a trace on this baby, and I'm not really the most caring guy! Hard rock is meant to be played hard, and that's what I do. And this awesome guitar just takes it all, shows no pain, sounds like it should.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Action, Fit & Finish... Well, like every Ibanez, it was just perfect. Incredible how they manage to do it, but everything was set up perfectly. I did lower the bridge pickup a bit, but that's just me, it wasn't really necessary. After 4 years now, the action is still perfect, the finish is exactly like the first day, what more can you ask?

Features — 8
Check the previous threads for all the features, even though mine is an older version of the 260FM (it hasn't got coil taps), they're the same. The only complaint I had, and apparently we all share it, is that it doesn't stay in tune when using the trem. The solution was mentioned before, some locking tuners (mine are Schaller, worth the money, seriously) and maybe a graphite nut. Didn't change the nut, it's not really necessary. It doesn't eliminate the problem, but it helps a lot! Of course, you can't expect them to put locking tuners on a guitar in this price range

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    people keep saying how this guitars goes out of tune quickly - well ive had this guitar for over 3 years and ive done no modifications to it, and ive had no more tuning trouble than you would do from any other guitar
    Any guitar will go out of tune if you use the Trem? Im sorry but that is simply not true. Ive got vintage trems, Wilk's, Lic. FR and Many OFR's....all stay in tune if setup correctly. The only way they dont is if you use a Wilk like a Double locking trem.....even then with Schaller/Sperzel Lockers....they help alot. Ive got this and an ESP 103....very close in cost and features....both are great beg/intermediate guitars. Rock and Roll
    i have had the 260 for about a month now and love it, though im thinkin of changing humbucker to a seymour duncan because this one doesnt stand up to the high gain very well
    Is the guitar also suitable for death and trash metal (which is more my genre of music, with bands like machine head, children of bodom, in flames, ...)? Or is it better, if I want to play this type of music, to buy a grg/rg? I tried out this guitar and the clean sound was amazing, and overdrive too, and I played a lot of metal with it. I'm afraid the clean sound at the grg/rg isn't so great because it's more for the metal type. Or am I wrong? (I hope you understand what I said )
    Leichim17, go for rg321 which has a fixed bridge. The Edge III trem on the RGs has got a bad rep. U can also check out Schecter guitars.
    insatanity wrote: Leichim17, go for rg321 which has a fixed bridge. The Edge III trem on the RGs has got a bad rep. U can also check out Schecter guitars.
    ok thnx, but I want to try it first
    This is an amazing Guitar. When i first got it, it had some issues with staying in tune but i adjusted the innotation and the action just a little bit and now i can fiddle with my tremelo bar for hours and my tunning wont go out.