|Body And Neck:|
Ibanez S series is a rather old family of guitars, but one that keeps on surprising us even after all this time. They’ve designed the S line to showcase their latest tech, but over time many found it to be a sanctuary of proven performance in all price ranges where it’s available. The one we are looking at today, the Ibanez S521, is a perfect example of what that means. For $500, this is probably one of the best guitars you can grab at the moment.
S521 features the standard slim S line body shape that we’ve seen being used many times by now. Tonewood of choice is mahogany while the Wizard III neck is made of maple. Speaking of the neck, the rosewood fretboard it’s fitted with sports that trademark S line inlay configuration. Ibanez offers this model in several finishes, including the beautiful Blackberry Sunburst. Aside from being a very comfortable guitar to play, Ibanez S521 features great build quality and a lot of attention to detail. If looks are a factor to you, then this guitar is definitely not going to disappoint you.
When it comes down to hardware, Ibanez S521 keeps things simple but effective. You have a fixed bridge with six fully adjustable saddles one end, and a set of great die-cast tuners on the other. While it is far from extravagant, the hardware choice they’ve made for the S521 is rock solid and that is all that really matters. You get great tuning retention, comfortable action setup, and lots of sustain.
Ibanez went with their Quantum humbuckers for this build and it’s not hard to understand why. These pickups have been around for a while, and have proven their worth over and over. You get a decent amount of clarity for a passive set, all of the expression potential that is expected and just an awesome range. Pickups are wired to a set of two knobs – one for volume and one for tone. Along with the pickup select switch, these are all you get for tone shaping.
There’s just something about well made ceramic magnets that gives them a unique tone. Ibanez S521 offers a bright sound that is pretty clear, clean and often times clinical. With that said, there’s plenty of mids to work with, as well as lows. If we had to describe the tone of this guitar in one word, it would be – dynamic. Ibanez S521 is by far one of the most versatile guitars in its price range.
With this relatively new addition to the family, Ibanez has once again proven that their S line is among the best at what it does. Great design solutions, comfort rarely seen in this class, and an awesome tone is why we can recommend this guitar to anyone. If you’re on a budget but you’d like to have a more refined guitar, check out the Ibanez S521. You won’t regret it.