Purchased from: Bellone
Sound — 10
I play mostly metal, in the vein of Opeth, In Flames, Metallica, Lamb Of God, etc. It handles that no problem. I play in a progressive death metal band, similar to Opeth only in style, (I dare not compare us musically to that band). We do osimilar transitions from heavy, distorted gutiars to mellow, acoustic/clean electric passages. All I do is Switch the channel, and set the pickup selector to the neck pickup and I get an amazing clean tone. And I mean amazing. As long as the setting on your amp is correct, you will get an incredible sound. Distortion is great as well. I play through a Peavey 160 watt amp (an old one) when I am playing with a drummer, but usually I used my Fender Frontman 15, which has a better sound that the Peavey. Great sound no matter which amp I use. I am looking to get a Laney, and I assume it will sound even better through that.
Overall Impression — 10
Works excellent for metal, as well as blues and acoustic, good accessibility to high frets, I have been playing close to five years, and this is my fourth electric guitar. (I keep trading them in) I started out with a Squier Strat (obviously), traded that in for a Fender Strat, realized that I did not like Strats, traded that in for an Epiphone SG, liked it alot, but it was not built very solid, the I got my Ibanez. I am not irresponsible enough to lose a guitar, but if it were stolen, I would hunt down the person who stole it, bash their face in with this guitar, and play it while jumping around their unconcious body. I am certain that it is built to solid it would sustain no damage throughout the process. I love absolutely everything about this guitar, I know that is said alot, but I really mean it. I compared it to only a few other guitar, my old Epiphone, and a Schecter Elite, I think it was, which was $1000. I didnt have the money for the Schecter, but even if I did I probably would have left the store with the Ibanez. Great guitar for the money. The only thing I wish it had is a button that I could press to make me as good as Mikael Akerfeldt.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I have played live once, but it was at my school's coffee house, and I was sitting down and playing a song on the clean channel. Itworked fine, but if I was playing live with my band, I would put the guitar through much more abuse, but I am sure it could handle it. The hardware seems fine, it will last, and it is chrome, which does not fade like gold, the strap buttons are solid, and I do not have a backup, but I definetly would feel confident gigging with only this guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
For the first six months, I played using the factor setup, and used Daddario 9's. Eventually, I took it to my friend/bandmates house, and he set it up for me. He is really good at it, and it cost me nothing. Its set up with Daddario 10's and it is incredible. The action is perfect, its just great. The guitar had absolutely no flaws when I bought it, other than the lousy factory setup. I wish I has gotten that changed earlier. The finish is beautiful mahogony wood. It very simple. Other Ibanez SZ series guitars has flashier finishes, but I liked the wood best.
Features — 10
This is the Ibanez SZ 320 MH. Frankly, it is a beautiful guitar. Set neck, string thru body for extra long sustain, beuatiful mahogony finish, gibraltor bridge, chrome hardware, this guitar is the real deal. I was kind of an impulse buy. I had been looking at Ibanez's online, but didnt consider buying one. I was taking my Epiphone SG in to get it set up, when I saw the Ibanez hanging on the wall. I played it for about an hour, through a variety of amps, and decided I had to have it. I traded in my Epiphone, and got more than I expetcted for it. I paid only $250 for the Ibanez after the trade. The pickups are Duncan/Ibanez, their designed in conjunction for Ibanez between the two companies. I don't think they are quite as good as real Duncan's, but they are great nonetheless. I also got a harshell case with it, because I traded in my Epi with a hardshell. I wouldn't dare put this in a gig bag, not that the guitar is fragile, its build very solid, but I want to protect it as much as possible.