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: $ 350

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 10
I play mainly alternative rock music, such as Foo Fighters, Radiohead, Deftones, Weezer, Smashing Pumpkins, Pixies, Babyshambles and so on. The guitar is great for alternative rock as you can get some very cool sounds, and really no matter what you would be playing I think this guitar will still sound amazing and fit that type of music. You can get a very wide range of great sounds with the guitar alone, exasserbated by the amp you are using and possbile effects, the sounds are pretty much limitless. It is hard to make this guitar sound bad!

Overall Impression — 10
I have been playing gutar for about 5 years and have never played a better guitar. I like the sound of Gibson SG's in sound but they don't have the same neck scale and I find them too stiff and don't like the strap lock positions, and I like Stratocaster necks but they don't have the same sound quality especially in tone or sustain. This guitar hits the nail on the head for me, as the neck makes playing solos and shaping chords very easy and sounds better than anything out there for the price, or even for three times the price. If you are thinking of buying a new guitar, try this one out at a music shop and you will definately want it, and for good reason! Good job Ibanez!

Reliability & Durability — 10
The guitar is strong and the body is resiliant. The strap locks are also a lot better than on any of the other guitars I have as they are alot wider making it virtually impossible for the guitar to fall. I would never advise anyone to use a guitar at a gig without a backup, but if you were going to do it, this is the guitar. The fretboard is also very tough and resiliant and will last a long long time.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
As I got the guitar second hand I have no idea how it was originally set-up, but I doubt it was set up very differently than when I recieved it. When I recieved it, it was set up perfectly and I have no complaints about this guitar at all!

Features — 10
I bought this guitar second hand when I was on holiday in Boston (I am originally from Belfast Northern Ireland). It was however in brand new condition when I got it. I think the person who sold it must have just needed the money really really badly and had nothing left to sell, because there can be no other reason for selling this guitar. Maybe he needed a kidney? I think the guitar was made in 2004 but cannot be sure, and was made in Asia but I cant be more specific. It has two humbucker pickups, placed perfectly in kneck and bridge positions. The pickups are amazing. I sat for about three hours the day I bought the guitar trying out the various guitars they had in the store (and they had everything). I tried Jacksons, Telecasters, Strats, Gibsons, other Ibanez guitars and they all sounded ok. Then I tried a Schecter and immediately noticed a massive increase in sound quality, however the build was putting me off. It didn't look very well made, the workmanship was cheap and sloppy looking. I was going to buy it however when I tried the Ibanez SZ250 as its good looks had caught my eye, and straight away you just know this guitar is special. The sound quality is in a league of its own. It blows all the other guitars out of the water (even the Schecters) due to its great pickups, excellent build quality, materials used, and bridge and kneck. All combined they give amazing tone and sustain. The Gibraltar III bridge is an excellent peice of kit, and the flame inlay on the fretboard is just another great bonus. I also love the neck on this guitar as it alows easy fast playing because it is thin, and the great sustain means you just have to touch the strings for great solos, but it is also great for playing chords, and can have a great acoustic sound and tone. I own the blue coloured SZ250 and love the colour, it looks sweet, but also professional.

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