SZ520 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.5 (230 votes)
Ibanez: SZ520

Price paid: $ 375

Purchased from: Rainbow

Sound — 10
The Ibanez is the exact guitar for me. I play rock and hard rock, so I'm very often using heavy distortion. Ibanez guitar are very well known to play this type of music and are very well suited for it. I play straight into my Ibanez 15R and it works very well. The guitar isn't at all noisy; the pickups are really great. The bridge pickup gives a more live and bright sound. The neck pickup is much more bassy. The third middle setting is a combination of both pickups, a little bassy but not as much as the neck. All three selections give a very rich sound and each can be used at different parts of songs.

Overall Impression — 10
Like I said earlier, I like to play rock and hard rock, so this gutiar is God for me. It fits my style perfectly. I'm 15 and have been playing for 6 months. I have to say, this is you of the best investments I have ever made. There is nothing a regret about this guitar. It's simpler than other Ibanezes, but also very good. Lock tuning was never a choice for me because of how I change tuning very often, but I still really wanted an Ibanez. This was the perfect match for my situation. If this guitar was stolen, I'd probably go crazy trying to hunt that a-hole down. But I'd definitely get another one. This is a great guitar and compares very well with other $1,000 to $2,000 guitars. You can save yourself alot of money and get jsut as good guality. I was originally planning to get an Epiphone Les Paul. Not only is the Ibanez cheaper by about $150, but it is a much better guitar. This Ibanez has a feel very similar to the les paul, but it is much lighter and of better quality. The Epiphone usually has problems with the tuners and very often with the pickup selector. This is something you won't find in the Ibanez. It is much more comfortable to play. Think of it this way. Gibson makes Epiphone, so Epiphone can not have as much time and quality put into it since it is soo much cheaper. No one makes Ibanez. Ibanez is the top of its company, so they must put their all into their guitars because it is their best and all they have. I also looked into the Schecters. These guitars also looked very nice, but a Schecter that was similar to the Ibanez cost over $600. There in nothing Ibanez should change about this guitar. It is perfect. It is a great investment for players of any skill level. Playing without inlays makes you look like a much better player too. If you like this guitar, make your choice quickly. The price of it is constantly going up. On Musician's Friend this guitar is selling for $480. It started at about $400. I got mine 2 weeks ago for $375. As you can see, I got a great deal for it, so that makes me all the happier. If the price is going up, that tells you something. It is a very good guitarthat is getting move expensive beacuse of its great quality. It is worth much more the $400. This one could go in the $1000 if it weren't an Ibanez.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar definitely looks like it will withstand live playing. I haven't played it live, but when I play at home, I can get pretty crazy. It's still just like it came from the store. The hardware will last you as long as you need it. Everything is sturdy and very well constructed. I doubt there will be any problems with the pickup selector, which is very sturdily constructed. If playing with this guitar, you wouldn't at all need a back up. It is very dependable and will withstand as many hours of continuous playing as you need it to. The finish is also rock solid. I really rock out on it and there isn't a single scratch. It isn't only beautiful but very reliable.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar was almost perfectly set-up. The action was and is great, not too high but low enough to eliminate any buzzing. The only thing was that I had to have the truss rod adjusted. The neck was a little too straight, causing a slight buzz. The pickups were also very well adjusted. The neck pickup is fairly low and the bridge pickup high, perfect for strumming and single string picking. All together, there were no flaws with the guitar. Everything is perfect and working properly.

Features — 10
This guitar was made in 2004 in Korea. It has 22 medium rosewood frets with a 25.2" scale. The neck has no inlays, but it really isn't something that should keep you form getting this guitar. There are markers on the side of the neck if you get lost. The scale is smaller compared to that of other Ibanez models like the RG, which has a 25.5" scale, but I find this scale much more confortable. One feature that really stands out in this guitar is the set-in neck. This is mostly found only in the more expensive models (Gibson, PRS, Schecter), so your getting great quality for an amazing price. The mahogany/quilted maple top is amazing and seems like it won't scratch. This guitar also has the Gibraltar III bridge, which is a very comfortable version of the tune-o-matic bridge. Instead of the sharp ends on the bridge, it is curved and smooth, making it more comfortable on your hand when keeping there and also extends string life. All the electronics are of very good quality and so far have shown no problems. The guitar has 3 knobs and a 3-way selctor. The knobs have different purposes than that of most guitars. The first is neck volume, the second bridge volume, and the third is a master tone. This is very helpful when switching between pickups to get a good variety. The pickups are also of very good quality (IBZ SZ1 (H) Neck and IBZ SZ2 (H) Bridge). One thing that really suprised me was the quality of the factory tuners. I tuned the guitar a week ago and it is still perfectly in tune. Every aspect of it is perfect.

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