My Gear », Les
Paul Deluxe, Hagstrom II, Ibanez SZ520
2004 Ibanez SZ520QM
- Link to "What a Hag" - Blues Jam I Recorded Using It
(same backing track as for the Hagstrom)
- In 2005 I was in the market for a new "every day" guitar. My '73
LesPaul was starting to show its age, it needed new frets and a good
general overhaul. I decided to relegate it to special recording where
an LP was absolutely required. I set out with a budget of no more than
$1,500. I quickly got bored with the same old offerings at l"Guitar
Center" & "Sam Ash" and decided to roam the smaller "family owned"
music stores of which there are plenty in New Jersey.
- One day I was driving down route 9 in Freehold, NJ when Ipassed
Freehold Music; a larger sized store than your average local music
store. I saw that aside from the usual Fenders and Gibsons that I didn't
want, they had a very large selection of Ibanez, which I had mostly
avoided because I didn't want anything with floyd rose bridges or thin
shredder type styles which was my impression of Ibanez. I told the
clerk I wanted a PRS type of solid feel. He showed me a few Shectors
and even a really cheap piece of crap litterally put out by PRS! Then
he pulled down a 2005Ibanez SZ725. This guitar was a solid hunk of
"set-in" mahagony with a way too flashy bright firebird red Quilted
Maple top and mother of pearl inlays jumping out everywhere and a completly
flat wide fretboard ( no gental rounded sloping from E to E like every
guitar I ever played)l. I laughed when he said it originally retailed
for $650 but was on sale for $450. But ," WTF" I'll give
it a try
- I was completely blownaway by howcomfortable that wide, flat wash
... um, I mean FRETboard,was. The
tone was really good and the sustain was stunning. After an hour I
almost bought it because I really really liked how it played, but
I really really hated how garish it looked. He told me that they had
other variations with less inlay, and that it did come in other colors
than the human torch. So I left, and decided to continue my search.
But no matter what I did, I couldn't get that guitar out of my mind.
Meanwhile, I stole an all original '65 Hagstrom II on ebay for $280
that only needed agood setup and was a guitar I had been searching
for for years. But still that SZ725 was in my head. Finally, I mentioned
it to a few friends one day and one of them said he had a 2004
SZ520that had a nice calm golden amber finish and
only one inlay on the 12th fret. He said he would take $350 for it,
so I bought it right there site unseen.
- This is a link to a the recorded I laid down on the day it arrived
which I called "Home to the blues" .
I never looked back and got two great guitars for @ $600 and to this
day the SZ520 is my everyday guitar - it is the most well built of
any Korean made guitar I ever played. I'm still amazed that I actually
prefer a $350 guitar to anything I tried in the $1,500 price range.
Official word on the SZ520qm
- The Ibanez SZ520QM is
an SZ series electric guitar model introduced in 2003. Features include
a mahogany body with quilted maple top, with "Gold
Amber Burst" finish, set-in mahogany neck and the Gibraltar III bridge
created for the SZ series.
first models were issued with Ibanez made SZ pickups, which were
replaced by the Seymour Duncan designed Duncan/Ibanez pickups specially
made for the series in 2005. In 2007, the SZ520QM got a visual update
with new inlays. These 2007 models were only available in the US.
they didn't sell very well because In 2008, all SZ models were discontinued
in favor of the SZR520 and SZR720. These initial SZ guitars were
a real diamond in the ruff, and one day they will get the recognition
they deserved. If I had one criticism to make, it was in the original
Ibanez pups and three way configuration. When in the center position
it shuts off the hummer and turns it into a single coil ... whaz
up wit dat?