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Rating and Reviews: Ibanez S520EX S-Series

Mahogany body. Three-piece maple neck. ZR tremolo. Ibanez Infinity humbuckers.

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"Best bang for the buck" submitted January 22, 2008

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Sound: ...but now a 10. I found the stock pickups to be pretty muddy sounding. After a month or so, I replaced them with nickel covered Duncan 59's and the guitar came to be one of my favorites. For a guitar with such a thin and light body, it projects tons of warmth. Mahogany body helps, I'm sure. Frets were pretty clean with no buzzing, although the edges needed some attention. Then again, this thing didn't cost much... Feature: If it had another volume knob and better pickups, I'd give it a 10. I NEED a volume knob for each pickup. Anyway, the tremolo is awesome, the switching is very, very quiet, and it's really ergonomic and light in weight. Ease of Use: I've got tons of guitars. Too many. But I'll get some more anyway. And that's another story. I like this thing a lot... shaped for playability, well balanced on a strap, has a great trem (it's HARD to get this guitar out of tune. It can be done, but it takes a lot of wailing), volume knob placement is set perfectly. I also find palm muting to be easier on this guitar than my other trem-equipped guitars (Jackson, Fender, G&L). Quality: I haven't seen or played a better guitar for the money than the Korean Ibanez's. You can find some with pretty tops and stuff, but they don't feel and play like the Ibanez. Don't get me wrong, it's not got the mojo of a good ole USA axe, but it's still a hell of a guitar. After you change the pickups... Value: See above. This guitar is a great value. The Wow Factor: A nice and practical addition to my setup. Overall: I'll definitely not sell this guitar. It sounds great, looks cool, and the finish on this one was perfect.
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"The Wonderful Shiny Black Beast." submitted July 27, 2007

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Rock, METAL
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Sound: On clean...this thing is a beast. On distortion, this thing is a beast with a nuke. This thing just sounds good all around. I can't complain at all about the sound, or tone of it. Feature: For an Ibanez, this is awesome. 1 volume, and 1 tone for an Ibanez is standard, but it also has an incredible ZR tremolo that will never go out of tune, so you can dive bomb all day. Ease of Use: Even if you aren't too good, it'll sound great. The Wizard necks are absolutely wonderful, so you can play ultra fast. Quality: I really like how everything is built solidly, and the tone and volume knobs are staying tight, so a 10 for this is well earned. Value: A friend of mine has a guitar at the same price from a more well known company. I think that all $600 of this guitar came out into the guitar, while others have a certain amount going into the name... The Wow Factor: This guitar is absolutely gorgeous. The pictures don't do justice to how much it shines. Overall: I plan on buying a different guitar in maybe a few years. In the future, I plan on buying another Ibanez.
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"Best Buy For the Buck" submitted May 1, 2008

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Sound: The Sound of this guitar is just amazing. It gives you a good distortion (if used with certain pedals or amps)and if you want to bring the tone down a little it can give you that classical guitar feel when it is on a clean station. Great sound the only problem i have with it, is that it has alot of base output which you can fix but its going to be hard. Otherwise its great. Feature: Love it the locking system is incredible and you could play almost anything. Ease of Use: The ease of use on this thing is great. The Type II wizard neck is really flat so you can move faster with less effort. Quality: The quality is awesome it has a great shape and look. And truly is worth the price. Value: Best buy for the buck Manufacturer Support: haven't had anyproblems with it yet. Overall: I expect this guitar to last a long time before i get enough money and want to start expiermenting with other brands...if you are unsure about what ibanez to get, get this one it fits every style of music and you can go from there.
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"Incredible Guitar for the Price" submitted February 12, 2009

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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Rock, Metal, Instrumental
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Sound: The stock pick ups are pretty good, especially if you are fairly new to playing. Those that a bit more picky about their tone, will want to upgrade the pup first thing. I exchanged the stock set with Seymour Duncan Hot Rodded Set (SH-2 Jazz Neck PUP and an SH-4 JB PUP. This thing is incredible. You'd be hard pressed to find a guitar at this price that sounds this good. Feature: Other than 1 Vol pot, 1 Tone pot, and a standard pick-up selector switch, it's biggest feature is the ZR Trem. Stays in tune no matter what you do to it. Like any locking trem, it is still a bit fiddly if you are one that likes to switch tunings often, but it works as well as advertised. Ease of Use: The Wizard neck is one of the most comfortable necks I've ever played on. Fast and smooth. The ZR trem works pretty much the same way most locking trems work, however, the ZR has an adjustment in the back that helps to lower and raise the angle of the bridge without the use of tools. Very helpful when changing string gauges. IT also comes with a built in intonation tool that screws into, and blend well, the bridge when not in use. Quality: This overall quality is easily that of a guitar that would have cost $300 - $400 more. Being an S series, it is very thin and sleek. Value: This guitar would definitely be worth buying at a higher price. And is well beyond most other guitars at this same price point. Manufacturer Support: Have had this guitar for over a year now and have not had to call for any support whatsoever. The Wow Factor: The lack of fretboard inlay markers, and the slightly chessy claw scratch inlay at the 12th fret may not be for everyone, but this guitar can draw the attention of most guitar player on a wall full of guitars. Overall: Expect to keep this guitar for as long as possible. I'd liek to have many guitars, so I am sure this won't be my last, but I actually debating on buying another one just to set it up slightly differently than I did with this one.
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"GREAT GUITAR" submitted January 30, 2008

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Sound: The sound on this guitar is amazing you can go all out heavey screamo music with this thing and then you can if you want drop it down to a clean sustainable sound the sound on this guitar is incredable worth every penny Feature: This guitar has the ZR Locking System on it and you pretty much have to try to get it out of tune it is really hard to make it go out of tune. The neck on this guitar is also amazing its small enough and thin enough so its like your fingers glide over the strings. The only draw back to this guitar is that it has no fret designs to help you. so if you are looking for a challenge get this guitar. Ease of Use: well it depends on the type of pedals you use if you use a heavey distortion pedal you will get what you want. Quality: great quality light weight heavey sound. perfect black coating Value: personally i think its a good deal compared to the pretige models that are like Bill Gates expensive this moderate priced guitar still sounds like its worth a million bucks Manufacturer Support: havent had any problems with it yet. The Wow Factor: just read above it will answer this question Overall: The best guitar i have bought so far. I will be using this thing for quiet a while.
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"sexy quality in a mahogany plank" submitted January 9, 2008

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: hobbyist
Music Style: all
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Sound: The ibanez s520ex is a great overall guitar. the tone is amazing, the locking nut does it's job and we're all winners:) Feature: This guitar rocks. it has the infinity 2 humbuckers, a zr tremolo with a locking nut. the only thing i would wish for is a middle pickup. Ease of Use: great!!!!!!!!!! Quality: the guitar is of extreme quality and is crafted to perfection, has everything you want-believe me! Value: too much value to write about...well, you get my point Manufacturer Support: No needed repairs-like i said, we're all winners:) The Wow Factor: that sexy beast!!! Overall: I like it all man!
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"buy this guitar it is gr8!!!" submitted May 28, 2006

By a customer from hotmail.co. uk
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Musical Background: in a band
Music Style: heavy metal
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Sound: this things a monster, perfect 4 metal players Feature: wicked tremelo, an amazing pickups Ease of Use: thin neck for eazi shreddin, bit annoyin not havin any fret inlays but worth it an eazily fixed by sum stickers... Quality: just a great guitar Value: completely worth its weight in hundred dollar notes The Wow Factor: this guitar plugged into a line 6 spyder II amp is sex with strings... loud sex with strings! Overall: never stopps bein fun 2 pick up an play
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"S470" submitted July 21, 2007

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Sound
Features
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Musical Background: hobbyist, investor in instruments
Music Style: Metal, Hardcore, Thrash
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Sound: good, not great, but good. Could use an EMG 81 in the bridge Feature: The ZR tremolo is incredible for string bends and dive bombs. You can also learn some pretty cool tricks through using a ZR tremolo. Ease of Use: Its got a nice pickup set up. the 2 humbuckers and single coil, but the action is pretty bad Quality: Its made pretty well. beautiful color. Great neck. The Wow Factor: incrediblely good looking guitar. Overall: i expect to like this guitar forever, but i got over my "love" for this guitar pretty quickly. Its a good guitar, just needs to be adjudested. Its one of those guitars you play with(fix up) until you get it prefect.
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"great guitar !!!!" submitted October 20, 2007

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: hobbyist
Music Style: all kinds of rock
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Sound: the sound is beautiful for almost any style, and with a good amp, you might fall in love with it as well. the tremolo is a big plus because it rules out tuning because of wammying almost completely. overall, a great guitar Feature: comes with the best money can buy for its price Ease of Use: you may need some experience to use this one, because it has some features that new players would be like " what the -bleep- is this thing? " but if you ask a good player this situation can be "rectified" Quality: the mahogany gives out great sound and the pick-ups really live p to their name (its called a pick up for a reason peope who don't know what i'm taking about) overall great quality Value: geat price in tis website, i bought mine for 728 bucks and that was on sale!! Manufacturer Support: i did not deal with the company itself so i would just say select one.... The Wow Factor: crazy sexy ultimately appealing guitar Overall: the best for its price recommended for intermediate to expert players
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"This is a keeper!!!" submitted August 18, 2007

By a customer from mywdo
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Features
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Musical Background: hobbyist
Music Style: Hard Rock, Classic Rock.
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Sound: Above average plus. I've only been playing for 4-6 months, but I have played a few others out there in the same price range that sounded a bit better. Feature: The ZR is INCREDIBLE!! I jammed for a good 2 hours with a lot of dive bombs, and heavy whammy action. I checked the tune at the end and I swear to god the tuning was right in there. The E cord was a hair flat. Being a novice, the one feature I wish it had would have to be the shark tooth inlays. Ease of Use: so far so good. I'm a bit nervous when it comes time to restringing it. I may bring it in for the first couple times. Quality: The pictures do not even come close to the actual product. The black finish is flawless!!! The body is thin and sleek. The ZR action is reliable under HEAVY powercords and plenty of divebombs. I love it. Value: Worth every penny. I think it is priced right. Manufacturer Support: No support needed yet. The Wow Factor: I looked and owned a lot of guitars. This was by far the one I had to have. I also own a les paul red classic quilt. I can't wait until I grow into these guitars. Overall: This is MY guitar. I would want this exact guitar if it were stolen. At my skill level, I have a long ways to go to get the most out of this guitar and what it brings to the table.
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Ibanez S520EX S-Series Customer Review submitted October 8, 2007

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Musical Background: Musician
Music Style: Death Metal, Grindcore
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Sound: Thin body = thin sound. Though the thin body is very light and comfortable. The pickups are kinda poopy too, I've owned this guitar for about 2 years almost and I'm now putting an EMG 81 in the bridge spot to try and get more sound out of it. Feature: Locking tuners, ZR floyd rose trem, and wizard neck are nifty. Ease of Use: I'm a veteran when it comes to this stuff, but I can see how the ZR trem would be difficult to use for a beginner, esp changing strings and adjusting the set-up of the guitar. Quality: Mahogany is my favorite guitar wood, and the guitar has a very good finish. Value: I have thought about selling it a few times..... the flat sound the guitar puts out is a bummer, an active p/u should bring this to life Manufacturer Support: never called them
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"Go get it now!" submitted October 1, 2007

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Sound
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Grindcore, Hardcore, and Metal
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Sound: The Ibanez infinity pickups it comes with are ok, if your running a noise gate or something of that nature to supress the hum you get from these unbalanced pickups. A few days after I bought my s520ex, I purchased a set of EMG KFK. My S520EX now screams like a beast! and sounds so beautiful and clean. I barely need to use the EMG Afterburner switch for soloing. Feature: The ZR Bridge is a nice touch. Give you the flexibility of a floyd rose without all the hassle of a licensed or official floyd rose bridge. Once you have it in tune and you have your bridge flat. You can wale on that wammy bar all you want and it will never get out of tune.. thanks to the ZR spring tensioner and neck locks. Ease of Use: Wizard 2 Neck is very nice to the touch. If your going live, and obviously sweat it a huge factor in your soloing, and can slow you down compared to 3-piece necks or unfinished wood necks. But all and all a nice neck for the price. Quality: Nice wood quality. All parts are solid on this bad boy. Value: Great guitar for metal, so thin and so light. Takes a beating on the bridge and never goes out of tune. Even in drop C sets where your strings are loose and flying everywhere. Very Good buy. Manufacturer Support: Didnt need any yet! The Wow Factor: Yes. S-Series Body. Nice Neck. Glossy Black. 'nuff said. Overall: F'in well worth it.
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"Yeah I own it" submitted September 13, 2006

By a customer from msn.com
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Ease of Use
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Musical Background: Hobbyist, Active Musician
Music Style: Metal, Hardcore, Blues
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Sound: This sound is heavy, loud and bassy, I playing a spring of heavy music hardcore, metal, and it can get the job done and also has a very deep mellow sound for clean playing Feature: Its ZR trem is great mine rarely ever falls out of tune maybe a little flat at most you can yack on it doing dime tricks and what not Ease of Use: well for the most part this guitar is very good in styles of metal and blues well for my tastes Quality: I've been rough on it I gots a few dings hear and there and its kept up really well Value: I've gotten word from many other specs and according tough its made in korea this guitar has got to be the best in its branch Overall: this guitar can shake the glass off your windows with out that much pump
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