SAS32EX review by Ibanez

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  • Features: 8
  • Sound: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 3
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 6.4 Neat
  • Users' score: 8.8 (62 votes)
Ibanez: SAS32EX
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Price paid: $ 650

Features — 8
A China-made 22 medium frets solid mahogany body, 3 pcs. set-in maple neck. Superstrat-style body shape. A custom SAT PRO bridge which is basically some sort of combination of a classic strat and Floyd tremolo systems (no individual string locking but dual blades instead of 6 screws). A set of two passive Ibanez TDB humbucker pickups. 1 vol. 1 push-pull tone knobs with coil split. A standard 3-way switch. Non-locking brand-less tuners. Non-locking plastic nut. Beautiful pearl body binding. White plastic neck binding.

Sound — 8
The main issue with this guitar is a pickup's low signal output. I was looking for a versatile multi-purpose guitar for a vary range of music styles (currently playing music and future plans). From heavy, BFMV like distorted sound to clean bluesy-funky improvs. Due to coil tap any sound can be actually achieved. No extra noise over what you can expect from a normal mid-range humbuckers. Used mostly with digital Line 6 Spider 30 Watts combo amplifier with Boss DS-1, Korg entry-level processor. Good sustain.

Action, Fit & Finish — 3
A lot of issues actually has been detected in a few months of usage. An ugly fingerprint on a finishing around a head stock, poorly installed pearl inlays below fingerboard level makes it easy to collect a dirt from your fingers. Horrible frets installation makes it impossible to bend a strings on a higher frets (string starts to sound a higher note after bending to a next half-tone). Bridge screw sleeves has been reinstalled by myself with epoxy glue because of a bigger mounting hole than needed. Also, it seems that bridge were installed poorly (1 string in closer to fingerboard neck than 6-th). Hopeless finishing for a mid-level price guitar. One tremolo section cover screw hole is being drilled with wrong location.

Reliability & Durability — 7
A good guitar for long sessions due to pretty low weight. I'm not very satisfied with hardware (a cheap, soft metal for bridge and tuners), but it seems a common problem for chrome finishing. Can be easily used as a main guitar in a lots of situations (long rehearsal session, recording, live performance). Tuning stays ok wile playing (until tremolo bar is being used - do not recommend to do this due to friction issues on a nut). Installing top-lock, better saddles or even a whole tremolo system is a must.

Overall Impression — 6
It is a good choice for those who is looking for a versatile instrument as well as for those who needs a lightweight mahogany body axe. Pay additional attention to finishing and factory set-up before purchasing: a Chinese production quality may be an issue. I do not prefer guitars with medium frets - it's really hard to perform some standard 1 tone bends. Guitar requires scalloping or installing a taller frets. It's not a best choice for solo guitarist. Not just because of a frets but due to pretty fat neck profile.

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