Ibanez S-521 (HH) Solidbody Electric Guitar

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 50+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$400
Ibanez S-521
Ibanez S-521

Ibanez continues to be the go to guitar for the likes of Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, George Benson and a long list of other virtuoso guitarists.

But they're not just a brand for the elite - rather they are well known for their good balance of cost and quality - hence the popularity of guitars like the Ibanez S-521.

To break free from the typical dual humbucker setup, Ibanez equipped the S-521 with a 5-way pickup selector that allows for more tone options.

It's an interesting configuration which lets you select choose from the following - neck pickup, neck pickup (coils running in parallel), both pickups, neck pickup's lower coil and bridge pickup's upper coil, and bridge pickup.

As expected, it comes with Ibanez' brand of low action playability via its wizard III neck profile. Finally, it comes with a fixed bridge for more sustain and tuning stability.

Specifications

  • Body: Mahogany
  • Finish: Blackberry Burst, Ocean Fade Metallic, Mahogany Oil
  • Bridge: Fixed Bridge
  • Pickups: Infinity Humbuckers
  • Neck: 3-pc Maple
  • Scale Length: 25.5”
  • Fingerboard: Jatoba
  • Fingerboard Radius: 15.7”
  • Frets: 24 Jumbo
  • Nut Width: 1.69”
  • Controls: Master Volume, Master Tone
  • Pickup Selector: 5-way Toggle Switch

Pros

Many are floored by how nice the guitar looks up close, so much so that it gets prominent mention. Having been made by Ibanez, playability is prominently mentioned, but surprisingly more users are impressed by its aesthetics. The availability of in between tones also gets thumbs up from players who are looking for more versatility from a dual humbucker guitar.

Cons

No noteworthy complaints, other than the usual comments about the default strings being either too old or too thin. Note that if you're looking for one with a tremolo, this may not be for you.

Overall

Overall, the Ibanez S-521 is a great buy for fans of Ibanez' smooth playability, or for those who are looking for a budget friendly rock guitar.

There are dual humbucker equipped guitars with higher ratings which you can see in our guide to The Best Electric Guitars Under $500.

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