SAS32EX review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (62 votes)
Ibanez: SAS32EX

Price paid: £ 289

Purchased from:

Sound — 7
I mainly play a lot of rock/metal, styles such as Coheed And Cambria, Killswitch Engage, Fightstar etc, and this guitar suit's this music style nicely. I run it through a Bugera 6262 head with a 2X12 cab fitted with v30 speakers, and it holds up very well in both home practice and Live situations. Clean, Crunch or full on Overdrive, it can handle all of them without a hitch. This guitar is capable of achieving both a rich, deep sound and a bright sound, but due to it's slim body it won't quite go as naturally warm sounding in comparison to a Les Paul or a Gretsch, which is to be expected. Very little noise on whatever pickup setting I've had it on. Changing the configurations on the true-duo pickups only make a slight difference, the single coil settings slightly thin out the tone, and it's not going to get you a true Stratocaster single coil sound. But then again, if you want a Stratocaster sound, you play an actual Stratocaster, not a guitar with the ability to go between humbuckers and single coil. I nearly always keep it on the humbucker setting, and on that it has plenty of tone, I just expected a bit more versatility from the true duo pickups. I expect to swap them out for some Seymour Duncans in the near future.

Overall Impression — 9
For what I need it for, this guitar fit's the bill very nicely. I've been playing for over 10 years and also own a Squier Strat, a Les Paul Copy and an Epiphone SG, and this guitar easily gets the most use now due to it's sound and easy playability. I bought the guitar online after playing a similar SA model and being very impressed overall, but in hindsight it would've been safer testing this specific model out before purchasing, and finding out about the bridge's and true duo's capabilities. If this guitar was lost or stolen, I'd get the same model again without question, or a similar SA model. It's lightweight and the accessible neck makes it easy to play both rhythm and intricate lead passages on. One improvement I wished this guitar had would be better true duo pickups which give a more obvious, defined single coil sound. Apart from that, this is a very good guitar, definitely worth the price I paid for it and I can't see myself needing another one any time soon!

Reliability & Durability — 8
I must've played over 30 gigs on this guitar since buying it in December 08, and racked up many hours of home practice and band rehearsals, and it's withstood all of that fine. The strap buttons are larger than the ones on the other guitars I own and it took a bit of effort to actually get the guitar strap on them! So once they're on, they won't come off that easily. The buttons were too big to take the plastic straplocks I had so I had to go for the metal ones with a new strap button, but the stock strap buttons should see you through fine unless you move the guitar around manically whilst playing. The SAT Pro II Bridge doesn't take kindly to new tunings as I said above, so I wouldn't advise going into a different tuning with this guitar mid-set during a gig. It requires constant retuning of all 6 strings and takes a while to break into the new tuning. When kept in the same tuning however, it's solid and never really needs adjusting unless the tuners get knocked around. I always bring a backup guitar to a gig with me regardless, but I've never needed it, never had a string break on me or any hardware failure with this guitar.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar came fully set up with a set of.009 D'addarios in Standard Tuning (and even during transit managed to stay perfectly in Standard Tuning!) the hardware and body were pretty much flawless, the only issue was a very small dent on the back of the headstock. Action and intonation had no problems what'soever when staying in Standard Tuning or Drop-D, but when putting it into other tunings such as E flat, drop C# or D Standard, expect to do a bit of action and intonation adjustment on the bridge using the allen keys provided (which is pretty painless, just requires a little read through the manual and some patience! ) I keep it in drop C# with.10 gauge strings.

Features — 8
This is one of Ibanez's 2008 models; made in China, Mahogany body, 22 medium frets with a bound rosewood fretboard, 3 piece maple set-in neck. It features an SAS Special Inlay (mother of pearl style with that similar design around the edge of the body also) which gives the guitar a nice visual touch. SAT Pro II bridge with tremolo arm and non-locking tuners. This model also features the true-duo humbuckers, which give the option of a single or double coiled pickup configuration. 1 volume control and 1 tone control, with 3-way pickup selector Switch and true duo switches activated by pulling up the volume control or tone control to go into single-coil setting.

26 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Sounds like a good guitar, but i gotta say its a very good looking guitar i like the white one.
    Corpsegrinder7 wrote: Paramecium302 wrote: what's with this 22 fret stuff? i dunno about you but I like me at least 24 You could always bend the note up
    ahhh but what happens when u have to bend on the 24th and you only have 22 ^_^
    I got this guitar in summer and It's awesome. The only and i mean only bad thing about it is the stock pickups that come in it , But I'm installing emg 81 and 85's into it!!!
    i'm thinking about getting it but doesn't it look to indian whit the bounding?
    I just bought this about 2 hours ago actually, I'm not totally sure.. I own An ESP-V401DX and An Ibanez RG350DX as well. I love the sound, and just noticed 22 frets. hahaha! But honestly, this guitar is great.. Another thing I didn't notice Is that there True Duo's and not EMG 81's. When I bought it I swore I saw EMG's Written on them, but it's not a big deal. I'll be changing them to Seymour Duncans/Emg 81/85's in the near future. Rock on and Great review sir.
    Paramecium302 wrote: what's with this 22 fret stuff? i dunno about you but I like me at least 24
    You could always bend the note up
    Nice review, I've seen this guitar and I really think about buying one of these as my next axe.
    saint_berzerker wrote: Made in China? No, When did they sink to that level? At least they kept the Prestige J-craft line going.
    i wouldnt worry about that. ive owned a made in china ibanez and and build quality was superb, and i also own an indonesian rg. also great quality!
    that sounds like a nice guitar, but the pickups stand in the way of perfection.
    I almost bought this guitar the first time i saw it.The Inlay is so nice.very quality feel to it,it's pretty cool. but I'm only really buying RG's really. If you put some hotter pickups in it, you would destroy all.
    Made in China? No, When did they sink to that level? At least they kept the Prestige J-craft line going.
    I have the flame maple version its pretty sick. I usually keep it on neck humbucker for the mostly bluesy stuff i play. I find the middle(neck + bridge) on single coil has decent jangle to it. Bridge humbucker sounds great with lots of gain. Its not made to but i pulled the bridge down all the way so it stays in tune better since im not a big trem user. Id reccommend this guitar to pretty much anyone its very versatile and plays awesome.
    I don't think I can edit reviews, but there was one factor that I would like to clear up. The true duo switch was only thoroughly tested on a solid state Marshall MG, and through that amp I could hear little difference between single coil and humbucker. Through a tube amp though, the single coil configuration is alot more obvious and defined, especially with cleans; you get a much more strat-esque twang to your sound. This became apparent last night after I'd already submitted the review though!
    !-twisty-! wrote: Corpsegrinder7 wrote: Paramecium302 wrote: what's with this 22 fret stuff? i dunno about you but I like me at least 24 You could always bend the note up ahhh but what happens when u have to bend on the 24th and you only have 22 ^_^
    Well you snap a string my friend. Anyway I just submitted my review and it should hopefully be up soon. I have a few interesting counter points to what the first review says so be sure to check it out before buying one as well.