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Sleek, sophisticated, and heavy-rock capable.
The S520EX electric guitar from Ibanez is an axe any player can love--cool looking, terrifically equipped, and possessed of a dynamically smooth sound that can stoke up big time. The Wizard II neck plays fast. The Infinity pickup at the neck combines a warm, classic tone with high output, while the bridge pickup accentuates the mids, has great dynamics and string clarity. Locking nut and ZR tremolo keep you in tune through the wild times, and jumbo frets enhance playability.
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Most Liked Positive Review
I bought this S520EX in the flat Green, and looks like an army issue prop. I walk in guitar stores time to time, and I play anything with a trem and two humbuckers....Read complete review
I bought this S520EX in the flat Green, and looks like an army issue prop. I walk in guitar stores time to time, and I play anything with a trem and two humbuckers. I never believe in the hype of name vs. quality, I judge them individually, on the simple criteria of how the guitar plays. This one was the clear winner, even against the import Shectors, Jacksons, bolt on RGs, the only one that played better where the neck through body RG models, but they didn't have the Zero trem.I don't put a lot of credence in the actual tone, I just care if it sounds passable... besides, I'll slap a Duncan JB and 59 (F spaced) without hesitation. I will mention the pick-ups only because I don't think INF1 and INF2 pickups are designed for my simple set up. Both these pickups are in the top of the list in relative output. I measured them against the specs for the Duncan pick-up outputs. I think the bridge pickup INF had a 16k output, only second to Duncan's Distortion and Invader. Even though INFs had a high output, they were voiced quite dark. It sounded great on songs with a drop D, like "Never Again", and fast runs using the neck INF was very percussive. Because of the dark voicing, I think that a pedal board or amp modeler was more the amp suited for these pickups, because it seems to need a lot of pre-amp boost. However, my amp rig is simple, guitar > cord > Hand Built JTM45 turned all the way up. I need the Duncan's for the dynamic range.The action is flawless, the Zero trem stays in tune... and I shake the hell out of it, and dive bomb any chance I get. One thing about the Zero trems you might not know unless you've played this guitar; the counter tension is adjustable on the rear of the guitar by a thumb wheel. Also unlike many Floyd's, I can go to drop D without re-tuning the other strings.The body is light, and that is great when you stand for four hours at a gig. The wiring and pots are good quality and the interior is shielded. I have no problem recommending the Ibanez S520EX, except if I had to do it again, I might of considered the S320, because its cheaper, and I like the dots on my fingerboard. Though I must admit, it mesmerizes the wannabes because they can?t tell where you are on the fret board, when you got the hammer down.
Most Liked Negative Review
Why the S520EX sucks
Wow this guitar...Alright so the features are excellent. I love the pickups (and for being stock pickups, they're really clear and hot). The special tremello system they've got worked out...Read complete review
Wow this guitar...Alright so the features are excellent. I love the pickups (and for being stock pickups, they're really clear and hot). The special tremello system they've got worked out for these guys is really amazing. I've never had a guitar stay in tune that precisely for that long. I bought this guitar about three weeks ago. I'm the type of musician who makes live performance a priority. In fact, when I went into the local guitar store, I walked in asking "which one of these guitars can take a beating and stay in tune, and which one will last me the longest?" Well, needless to say the guy handed me the S520EX. I came back about a week after I bought it and invested in some straplocks so that when I threw it some more it WOULDN'T fall to the ground and break. Having installed the new straplocks, I threw it once. The guitar smashed to the ground and the body cracked all the way through in about 5 different places. I thought it was the straplocks that had come undone or messed up. What had really happened was the screw had ripped right out of the body. The screw RIPPED out of the body after ONE neckswing, and the body CRACKED all over. If they made these specific guitar's bodies with stronger wood, these would be the ultimate hardcore throwdown machine, but that's not happened yet.
Reviewed by 43 customers
I have had this S520ex for 3 weeks now. This was the first time I have ever ordered anything like this from MF. Out of the box it needed some work. I had to adjust the intonation. That was fun. First the good. This thing is light and feels nice to play. It looks pretty good. and the tremelo is the best I have played. DBL stop bends will work on this trem where they dont on other floating bridges. The ZR trem was my reason for buying this guitar and I don't regret it. Now for the bad. The pick ups that come stock are not good for live. They sound ok for practice but for live shows I get a crazy his and feedback thru the bridge pick up. But I knew when I bought it that is was gonna be that way. D'Marzio's or a DimeBucker will going in the bridge spot. If you are kind of new you will love this out of the box. If you are seasoned, with a little work this thing can realy scream! It feel nice.
The guitar came to me with a stock setup that already sounded mean and was really easy to play. Love the Wizard II neck, don't know if I'll like playing on other guitars after this one. Hope it last as long as it looks durable! The Pickups and tremolo system are unique and satisfy my needs as a modern metal musician. It also has a great clean sound for classical and jazz. I put some heavy strings on it and got the bridge and neck setup for a dropped C tuning. Sounds so good!!!
One thing I have to say about the guitar is its weight. This thing literally feels like it can just float. I have 5 reasons I love this guitar.First would have to be the feel of this guitar. The S series by Ibanez is one of a kind. At its thickest point (1 3/4") tick, this thing is super thin in size. And it's sturdy, NOT FOR THROWING ON THE GROUND, i mean why the heck would you do that?Second is the tremolo, this thing uses ball barring friction to make it bend soo smoothly. The ZR tremolo also gives the benefit of having a ZERO point which allows you to pull up and go back to normal pitch.Third is the wood. Mahogany is a very great wood for guitars. Its tone is great and very solid for soloing AND rhythm. Lastly the neck is made out of maple and rosewood which feels awesome!Forth is the quality. This thing went through 6 COUNT EM 6 inspections before it got the okay to be shipped to the US. Also the Wiring inside is very neat and not sloppy so you don't get any feedback or cables touching.Fifth would be the way the ONLY inlay at the 12th fret looks. It seriously looks like a bear scratch. and just the originality of the mark is very cool. Also the 22 jumbos make it awesome for soloing too!
Awesome guitar, great for all Genres.Pros:Awesome, comfortable neckSolid feelCool finishVery Versatile with new pickupsHuge soundCons:Pickups are MehTrem is a little extra workI own this guitar along with an S2170FB prestige and I prefer this guitar. Needless to say, the prestige is for sale
Overall this is a great guitar especially if you play heavy music with a lot of gain/distortion. The neck is slim and large frets and neck radius make it easy to play. The trem system is AWESOME with the only complaint being that bar connection could be improved but it isn't a major issue. The guitar is slim and light. Stock PUPS are o.k. but I replaced the PUPS with S/D Hotrodded H-buckers and push/pull coil split in the volume pot. My biggest problem with the guitar is that when played clean there isn't enough presence on the High E string but doesn't seem to be an issue when the gain is up. 12th fret inlay is kinda weak and everyone I play with wish it had fret markers. I play through a Roland GT-10 into either Crated V50, Fender Deluxe Reverb ReIssue, or a Modded Fender Blues Junior. Since I've purchased a Am. Deluxe Strat and a Les Paul Classic this is my knock around guitar. Overall a GREAT first/intermediate/knock around guitar.
I only gave this a 4.5 on overall due to the stiffness of the tremelo bar, but that's not really a huge issue for me as I don't use it that often.After stretching the strings out of the box to break them in, it stayed in tune all night after a long series of soloing with lots of bends and playing around with the whammy bar.I'll likely swap the pups with an EMG 81/85 combo, but the stockers will do fine for the time being.The lack of fret symbols wasn't as bad as I had thought since the dots on the side of the neck are still there, and I play at an angle where I don't really see the fret board flat.Very light and comfortable with a fast neck.If you're into playing metal, this guitar is a great buy, but it can serve for other genres as well.
I absolutely LOVE this guitar. I have had it for about a month now, and I play it every day. I have only been playing guitar for like three months, and I really love learning how to with this instrument. The only bad thing is how difficult it is to try playing in different tunings, but that is the case with any floating bridge guitars.
Well when i got some extra cash, i wanted to get a second electric to replace my electric from a starter kit. I've tried many guitars. I tried an ibanez rg350, sa260,a semi-hollow-body(not sure which), a Parker p-42, an rg5ex, and a lot of others. i stumbled upon this guitar at a guitar center and it was amazing. the neck is incredibly fast, the body is extremely this, and it's got that cool inlay! i got this guitar after some negotiating i got it for 500. you don't even need a hex-wrench! Try it!
Pros: This is a great, light guitar. It locks in tune and stays in tune for a while. It's very easy to tune it if out of tune which it only gets out of tune slightly. Whammy bar stands strong with divebombs. And it has a really cool 12th fret mark inlay :DCons: Nothing much actually. String height adjust screw is really tough. When I tried to lower the action it actually stripped the allen screw port or what ever it's called. I get fret buzz at some of the high frets but I think I can fix that if I adjust the neck bend.Over all it's a great product for beginners.
I have been playing for over 25 years, but needed another guitar with a decent trem based system for under a grand, and the feel of this guitar sold me right away. My only complaint were the pickups, but that was an easy fix, and still kept the guitar at an over all low cost verses value ratio. This really is a lot of guitar for the money.