SZ520 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.5 (230 votes)
Ibanez: SZ520
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Sound — 10
This guitar is quite versatile. It is best for that les paul style sound, although with the coil split, Strat-like sounds are somewhat attainable, albeit without some of the beef. I currently use this guitar with a Mesa/Boogie Single rectifier combo amp (50W, 6l6 tubes). It is almost a match made in heaven. The bridge pup produces a very full rich overdrive tone with plenty of balls while remaining warm. For stock pickups, the SZ is well ahead of most guitar companies. The neck pickup excels on a clean channel/amp setting. Very warm, thick and melodic. Do be aware that string types can severely affect the tone. I use EB power slinkys and this thing sings! Clean sounds are bright, clear and warm. Extremely versatile guitar. Does clean, overdrive, and heavy distortion very well. I personally prefer it for those huge singing clean notes with a bit of delay. The sustain on this guitar is stunning.

Overall Impression — 10
I play a lot of different styles, from lead guitar to heavy rhythm to searing clean, this guitar does it all. I've played Teles, Strats, Pauls, none of them compare. This is the best guitar out there for the money, nothing else comes close. If it was stolen I would buy another one in a second. If I had one other guitar, it would be a Telecaster, but this one will never be replaced, only accompanied. I love it for its looks and tone. The clarity is remarkable, the warmth and depth are incomparable. I would recommend this guitar to anyone.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Straight from the factory this guitar is stellar. Action required only a half turn on the bridge. Slight buzzing on the 7-9 fret, but it is hardly noticable. Intonation is perfect, and has not needed adjustment yet. The tuners are good as long as they are kept tight. I have noticed the B and G string tuners coming loose and resulting in detuning of the strings. This is only slight, and easily reparied with a screwdriver. No flaws whatsoever in the finish, pickups were adjusted perfectly, absolutely no complaints at all. Perfect as is straight from the factory.

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