SA320 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.6 (17 votes)
Ibanez: SA320
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Price paid: $ 1008

Purchased from: Local Dealer

Sound — 10
I mostly play heavy metal, and this guitar handles distortion great! At home I'm using a small Roland Microcube, and when going live I usually use Orange amps, and this Ibanez works very well with both. It's a rich and crunchy dist sound, that I find hard to get with any other brand. So I often play metal like Pantera, Metallica and System Of A Down, but I also play funk, like Red Hot Chili Peppers, and it works great too. Maybe you don't get this Fender "bounce" in your tones, but it's definately good enough for me. Also, the piezos make a good complement to an acoustic guitar. Overall, I think the sound features are very good.

Overall Impression — 10
I've been playing guitar constantly for about 3 years, and this guitar is perfect for me. I compared it too other similar guitars, like Jackson and Schecter, and all I can say is that this one kicks ass! If you love to play blazing metal-riffs, this is the one for you. No other guitar offers a neck as slim as an Ibanez neck, and that is according to me very important when playing metal. The Ibanez SA320 costs only about 800 euros, but it is as good as 1500euro-class guitars. Overall, a fantastic guitar, and I'm very happy I bought it!

Reliability & Durability — 8
I've used this guitar several times when going live with my band, and it is an good live guitar. Not excellent, but good. Holds the tune pretty well, unless you are a "smasher", that plays very hard, cause then you'll probably have to retune occasionly, but it works great for me. The buttons and switches all seem to be very solid, so I think that this Ibanez is a guitar that you definately can use on a gig without backup.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Since I bought this guitar from a local dealer, he fixed it for me before I took it home, so I can't really tell how it was when it came from the factory. All I can say is that the body was perfect when I got it, not a single scratch. The action is great, not too high, not too low, just perfect.

Features — 8
Okay, here we go! The Ibanez SA320 was made, I think, 2004 in China. And I can tell you, they've made a great job with this Strat-style Ibanez. First of all, I love the finish. The mahogany body has got this "clean" look, kind of like the Mike Mushok Signature, but with a beautiful red touch in it. The 25.5 scale neck is a typical Ibanez neck, super slim and super fast, and it feels pretty much like the RG neck. It has got a double sat bridge with a whammy-bar, that unfortunately, isn't that great. Use it a couple of times, and you have to retune (this seems to be a problem on most SA's), but since I hardly ever use the whammy it's no big deal to me. Double humbuckers that also can be used as single coils enables this guitar to handle most sounds. Special mics on the bridge (called Piezos) make it possible to get a decent acoustic sound too.

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