Sound — 8
I use a Roland cube amp, 30 watt. I know it's embarrasing but I have not gotten a tube amp myself yet. I run it on a clean setting and uses the Vox Satchurator (an amazing pedal) for my distortion. The bridge pickup (humbucker) is called the True Duo humbucker. It is a IBZ stock pickup. It's splitable so you can split it into a single coil. I find this pickup to sound quite good but to be rather weak. It does not have a lot of sustain or output. I found it hard to get a rich sound even through an expensive tube amp. And when you split it you can hardly even hear a difference.But it's got a good punkish/metalish sound if you have lots of gain on. It's also nice for riff playing, but not solos. The single coils are far more impressive. Through the neck pickup you can get really nice sustain and sound and it sounds great on a clean setting but even better with some smooth distortion. Perfect for those long solo notes, and shredding as well, I really like that pickup. The middle is more "funky". It got a really twangy sound to it which combined with the humbucker sounds incredible. I barely use this pickup (well part from playing Hendrix songs) but it sounds great on a clean setting, especially for the more funky riffs. The humbucker is not noisy at all and the single coils are not noisy either. I play everything from blues to punk to metal and this guitar can deliver! I have to say that I expected a little bit more from the humbucker but it does the job. Hey if it's not a DiMarzio pickup you can't expect it to be perfect. I've changed my humbucker pickup to a DiMarzio Super Distortion (also splitable) and I recommend this to everyone! You get rich, really fat tones because of the mahogony. A hell of a lot of sustain and power. If you add the 140 bucks you will never regret it. Sure if this will not be a primary guitar for you then you don't need to do it because the stock humbucker is still good but it's not as good as the Super Distortion. The sound is very all around, you can play practically everything. I'm giving the sound a 8/10 because the single coils are really good but the humbucker is only good, not very good. I still recommend to replace the humbucker, it's worth it.
Overall Impression — 10
I love this guitar. It has an amazing feeling, looks awesome and sounds awesome. The neck is also very thin so you can shred away very easy. It's an absolute dream to play on. My favorite feature is the fact that this guitar is made out of mahogany but it is not heavy. I prefer mahogany before other wood types because of it's fully, fat sound and this guitar really has that despite it's thin shape. Also I love the pickup configuration, humbucker-single coil-single coil... That's my favorite! The tremolo works good as well, it's not a Floyd Rose so you can't go crazy with the whammybar or else the guitar will go out of tuning quick. The only thing that I think Ibanez could've done better would be the humbucker pickup. But stick a DiMarzio in there and you will be 100% satisfied. If this guitar were stolen I would find the bastard who stole it and take it back and hit the guy in the head with it... The guitar would not even get a scratch! In case I did not find the guy I would buy a new one. This is an amazing guitar that will last for years and you should not even hesitate buying it!
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've played Live with this (3 times I think) and will play with it Live for hundreds of more times. There is nothing to complain about here either. Although because it is not a bolt on neck you might wanna be a bit careful on stage because if you damage the neck you can't replace it. The hardware will seem to last forever and the finish as well. I've accidentally bumped this guitar into some sharp ends and such but it hasn't even made a scratch on it. The finish it perfect.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
When I got the guitar the action was set up perfectly. The intonation was right on. The SAT Pro tremolo has a feature which allows you to change the tuning from the 12th fret so the octaves are perfectly in tune, this needs to be done in order to make the tuning last longer.
Features — 9
The Ibanez SAS36FM is a solid Stratocaster, mahogany guitar. It has a flamed maple top, mahogany neck with 22 frets and a rosewood fretboard, a humbucker pickup (which is split-able) in bridge position and single coil pickups in middle and neck position. A 5 way selector Switch, 1 volume knob and 1 tone knob. The bridge is an Ibanez SAT Pro tremolo.