SZ520 review by Ibanez

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  • Features: 9
  • Sound: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (230 votes)
Ibanez: SZ520

Purchased from: Local Ad

Features — 9
The guitar was made in 2003. It was produced in a Korea factory. The built quality is very good and better than most Korean guitars I've owned/played. It has only 22 frets which is plenty enough to do some solos. The neck is perfect for me. It's not too slim or too fat. It plays like butter. The scale length is 25.1 inches. I thought it would take time to adjust to the length but it caused no problem. The body and neck is mahogany. The neck is set which I really love. I have the bright blue model. It has a beautiful quilted maple cap. It's most certainly not a cheap maple veneer. The guitar is hefty but not Les Paul heavy. It's like a Strat style body but a lot thicker. The bridge is very nice. It's a Tune-o-Matic but with smooth saddles that won't irritate your hand. It's actually a better Tune-o-Matic than the ones a Les Paul comes with. Mine has passive pickups but I replaced the stock pickups with some Dimarzio pickups. It has two humbuckers, a 3 way toggle switch, indivdual volumes, and a master tone. They really make the guitar sound like it should. It brought out a great tone from the guitar. The original tuners were soild and held up to years of abuse but I ended up replacing them with a set of Gotoh locking tuners. Since I bought it used it came with no accessories but I'm pretty sure the new ones didn't include accessories either.

Sound — 9
I mostly play metal and hard rock and this guitar easily does all of it. It sounds nice with distortion and overdrive but the cleans are great too. It is a very warm guitar with the neck pickup on and its still sorta warm with the bridge pickup. I tend to use the bridge a lot and it does the job perfectly. I have used it with many amps (Peavy, Kustom, Fender, Line 6) but I currently own a Fender Mustang I V2. It still sounds great while using a little amp like mine. The guitar can scream with gain and charm you with its cleans. It is a versatile guitar and could suit many different styles of music.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
When I purchased mine it was setup by the previous owner. He has it setup quite nicely with the action low and the neck relief spot on. This guitar can have very low action without fret buzz. My guitar does have finish flaws but all of it was caused by the original owner and other people. Scratches don't make me shy away from it since it plays better than lots of guitars I've played with. Everything on the guitar is good quality and I've never had any problems with the hardware. The bridge is corroding but that doesn't matter to me.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I have not played gigs with this guitar yet but I know it would easily do it. I trust this guitar and I would use it as my main stage guitar. I do believe the hardware would last a long time and I honestly don't think it will ever cause problems or break down. Now the strap buttons are maybe a concern since they are small. It's very easy to swap them out but the stock ones are soild. I would be worried a strap would fall off of it but it's never happened yet. I would still bring a backup guitar no matter what but I do believe I wouldn't need it. It's a solid instrument and the hardware is tough. I doubt it will breakdown over time.

Overall Impression — 9
This guitar is a perfect match for my style of music. My only regret is waiting so long to buy it. If it were to go missing I'd buy another since it's perfect for me. I can't say I hate anything since it's a great guitar all around. I would recommend this guitar to people. If you've been thinking about buying one then do it. You won't regret it. It's a killer guitar and you can still find them on eBay for decent prices. I am actually thinking about buying another SZ520 to mod it so I can have two solid gig ready guitars.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Lovely guitar.Love the weight of it( Solid body mohogany) it´s crunch sound is a bliss as cleans. 5***** axe