SZ520 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (230 votes)
Ibanez: SZ520

Purchased from: Tom Lee and Ebay

Sound — 9
I have two of these guitars and they both have Seymour Duncan/Ibanez pickups. The pickups are pretty good considering that they are stock. They are quiet, they suite any style fairly well, and they are probably one of the best stock pickups I have ever used. Some models don't come with these pickups for reason I don't know. I have never tried those ones out but from what I have heard, they are not as good as the Seymour Duncan/Ibanez pickups. Another interesting thing is that each guitar is slightly different in tone. I have two of these and they don't sound the same even with the same set-up. One is heavier with a darker tone and the other is slightly lighter with a brighter tone. I'm not sure if it is just my guitars or all of them are different.

Overall Impression — 9
Overall impression... Well, I bought two of them. I bought one for $650 at Tom Lee and totaly loved it. Soon after, Ibanez replaced it with the SZR model, which I don't like, so I went out to find another one. They were not available in stores so I check ebay and bought a new one for an incredible price at $300. It was a no reserve auction and I got lucky. It is hard to find new ones these days. If you are looking to puchase one, it will pribably have to be used. For the price and quality, this guitar is 100% worth it. At least check it out if you are even slightly interested.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This is one of the best manufactured guitar I have ever played. The quality is superb and can be compared to higher end guitars. The hardware, starp buttons, electronics, finish etc. Are all great. You can definately count on this guitar. Everyone needs a backup when playing a show incase of any misfortune, but your chances of needing to use the backup is very slim.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I'm not sure how well the factory set-up was becuase I normally change the strings, tune and adjust everything the second I bring any guitar home. The only thing wrong I guess are the tunning pegs. It is not a big deal though, they were just a little loose and needed to be tightened. The electronics and everything else on the guitar was fine. Oh..also after playing for a while, the hardware start to oxidize (get kind of cloudy looking. It is caused by sweat and I not sure if it can be prevented or if it is a big deal.

Features — 9
I'm not sure when it was made, as I have never really checked, but I do know that it is made in Korea. The body is made out of mahogany with a quilted maple top and the neck is made out of maple. It is a set-neck and the joint where the neck and body connects is very very well made. It looks and feels very smooth almost as if it was a neck-thru. There are 2 volume knobs, 1 tone knob, and a 3 way toggle switch. The fretboard is made out of rosewood with a unique flame/skull inlay at the 12th fret. They come with Seymour Duncan/Ibanez pickups (although, some models don't). It is also a string-thru body with a set bridge.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    no criticism? can not be true! i own a SZ520,too. i cant find any bad qualities, but there need to be anything...
    Well let me say that if you love the tone of an LP but don't care for the feel you can rest cause salvation has come from Ibanez. I got my SZ520 for 200.00 used mint condition at the fl guitar expo2013 and so glad I did. It has the fat warm tone I just love and feels great. Plays like an old friend and looks real cool as well. I still have not yet figured out the out of phase tone in the mid position but the neck and bridge are more than I could ask for. Find one buy it and sit back for a comfy ride. Ibanez ya did it again.Thanks