SZ520 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (230 votes)
Ibanez: SZ520
3

Purchased from: Nevada Music

Sound — 10
I play mostly metal, and this guitar gives me exactly want I want. I currently play it through a 30 watt Zoom, and although this isn't the best amp in the world, it still sounds amazing. The bridge pickup gives me a perfect heavy distortion sound whilst staying perfectly clear (good for Trivium), and the neck pickup can create a great bright, clean tone for stuff like Funeral for a Friend and other more mellow stuff like Wheatus. The SZ is never noisy, no matter how much gain I put through it, and when your playing metal this is a really good aspect to have. I dont really know how much variety of tones this guitar can kick out, but I acspect it'll deliver no matter what your playing style. I compared this guitar with an Ibanez RG, and in my opinion the SZ is a much better guitar, especially if your a metal player, and the RG is supposed to be a purely metal guitar. Now that says something.

Overall Impression — 10
Like I said, I play metal, and this guitar is perfect for me. I've been playing for almost 2 years now and accourding to some of my more experienced friends I've learnt very quickly. My band is competing in a battle of the bands competition in a month or two, and I can't wait to get this guitar out on stage, as just looking in the mirror whilst practising looks amazing, because its only got one inlay and its an amazing colour, so playing it in front of a crowd should be great. If this guitar was stolen I would definately but anohter one, without a doubt, I'm even thinking of getting another one just so I've got 2 to play. The best thing about this guitar is how it's such good quality, its got a thru-neck, a revolutionary bridge system and it wasnt stupidly expensive, this is by far the best guitar out there for this price, and it could easily sell for 500. I don't wish this guitar had anything different about it, except maybe some EMG's, because EMG's sound even better.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I haven't played this guitar live yet, but it has had a bit of rough play, and it's withstood that like it was nothing, it hardly ever goes out of tune, it's easy to clean and you couldn't harm the hardware even if you tried, yet alone the finish. The stock strap buttons were good, but I still changed them to strap-locks anyway, because strap-locks rule. I dont think I'd ever do a gig without a backup, 'cause that's just stupid, but if my other guitar wasnt available I wouldnt worry, because this guitar really is as solid as a rock.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
This guitar was nicely set up from the factory, but I tweaked it to my own preferences, which was incredibly simple and quick to do, I didn't even need to use the excellent instruction leaflet that came with it, and now plays incredibly fast and smooth, and the 25.1" scale is much easier to play on. The only thing I found a bit annoying to do was set the innotaion properly, but thats only because I changed the string make and the action slighty, but it was made easy but the Gibraltar 3 bridge.

Features — 10
I don't know when this guitar was made but I do know it was made in korea, but whenever this thing was made it was almost perfectly in tune when I took it out of the box! It has 22 medium frets with no inlays, except a rather cool looking SZ-flame at 12th. Also, it has a 25.1" thru-neck design, and the whole guitar is made of mahoghany, of which you would expect to be quite heavy- but its strangely light. I bought the blue quilted maple finish and I have to say it looks amazing, and the blue finish even goes up the neck to the headstock, which looks and feels amazing when your playing. It has 2 special SZ passive humbuckers which sound amazing, 3 controls (2 volume, 1 tone) and a 3-way selector. Probably the best feature of this guitar is the Gibraltar 3 fixed bridge with thru-body stringing, this is like a Tune-O-Matic but with smooth edges and no stoptail, add this to the set neck and it results in massive sustain, almost as good as a les paul. Also, the stock tuners on it are pretty damn good, as it takes ages to go out of tune, like I said, it was in tune out of the box.

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