Price paid: £ 400
Purchased from: Regent Street Guitars
Sound — 9
I still use the stock pick ups with mine, which are great. The Bridge pick up is a aggressive attacking kinda sound which sounds good with gain, good for stuff such as metal/punk. The neck pick up is a warm tone, good for blues. The pick ups aren't noisy at all to be honest. This guitar has the same kind of versatility to a les paul, and does it very well.
Overall Impression — 9
I usually play stuff such as, Arctic Monkeys, The Cribs etc, generally indie pop/rock whatever you want to call it, the same as my band plays. I've been playing for 3 years now, my practice amp is a Fender Frontman 15G, hopefully upgrading to an Vox AD50VT in the near future. In band practice I use an AVT50 half stack which I get a good tone out of. I've also used it in a Peavey valve combo for recording, but I can't recal which model it was, whatever one it was, it made it sound very good. If this guitar were to be stolen I probaly would buy something like a Epiphone Les Paul prophecy or Zakk Wyldd Epiphone, but that's only because I love having new guitars, but the Ibanez SZ520 is a very good guitar for the price and I would suggest it to anyone. The only thing more I could of asked for the guitar to have is coil taps, but even without them the guitar is still very versatile.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I've bashed it off my slanting roof in my bedroom quite abit, and it's that spikey artex kind of texture, finish hasn't been chipped yet. The hardware is all nice looking even after the year of abuse it's had from me. The strap buttons are quite good, but I'd defo buy a strap lock when if I started to gig properly. I'd use it without a back-up for the occaisional gig I do with my band, but every guitar needs a back up. The finish is top notch.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar was set up well when I purchased it, I'm not sure if the guitar shop did anything because it was bought for me as a suprise. Everything seems to have been in working order in the year I've had it. The pick up height was nice. The finish as I stated earlier is very nice. I got mine in 'Transparent Purple', I love the look of the dark purple with the ripples of the quilted maple in it.
Features — 8
22 average sized frets with 25.1 inch scale, allows good reach to higher frets. Solid mahogany body with quilted top which looks VERY nice. Gibraltar 3 bridge. 2 volume, 1 tone and 3 way selector controls. Seymour Duncan Pick-ups. Good stock tuners that don't let the guitar go out of tune easily. The guitar is quite heavy, bit lighter then a les paul, I like the weight of it as it isn't to heavy but allows you to feel as if it isn't going to break easily. There was no acessories with the guitar I bought.