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Ibanez RG 520QSTK

 
Dual humbuckers (Ibanez V7/V8), Edge trem, mahogany body with maple top, wizard neck with jumbo frets.


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Best RG5XX series for the money! featured

Sound The 520QS model has warmer, thinker sound with a naturally more bottom end, then a typical 5XX series because of the Mahogany body, as compared to the standard Basswood that is usually associated with the 5XX series. I run a Marshall JMP-1 to MPX-500 (FX) to Peavey Classic 50/50 power amp, to 1960 TV marshall 4x12 (green backs). Mostly used in a 80's hair metal cover band. I run D'addario .9-.42 in Eb. Stock V7/V8 pick ups currently. This guitar needs different pick ups. The stock ones tend to be muddy and get lost in a mix. Poorly matched for the Mahogany body of this guitar. I recommend crunch lab, evo 2 (stay away from original Evo in this body it can sometimes sound harsh), or paf pro for the bridge, and paf pro, liquifire (just a tweeked air norton), norton, air norton in the neck position. Norton in the neck will give you a creamy tone, and paf in the neck will be more typical sound. I haven't bought them yet but I am going Evo 2 in Bridge and Paf in the Neck onces there in I will let you know the tonal differences.


Action, Fit, & Finish I bought this used but again I think it is valid that I mention that the guitar is 10 years old and is in mint condition except for some belt rash on the back. This again is a testament to Ibanez's build quality.


Reliability & Durability Haven't owned it that long. I would probably take it with out a back up. It is my only guitar set up in Eb. So I guess technically I do lean on it.


Customer Support Never dealt direct with Ibanez. Have my own local guy.


Liked about it -Great value I paid 300 bucks from mine 3 weeks ago. (December 2010)
-Japanese built
-Edge Trem
-Wizard Neck AANJ
-Mahogany Body (Different from everything else I have, the different woods make a big tonal difference)


Didn't like -Stock pick ups poorly matched for body wood. Be prepared to spend about 250 bucks for 2 new pick ups and install when you buy this guitar, unless you find one already set up with some new pups. If that sounds steep you can always hunt for pick ups used in the classifieds here on Jem Site. If you know what you want just post a want ad and you will get someone on here to sell you a set of pups for the 520QS.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.5

By cpallstar
Dec 25, 2010
 
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A great all around rock guitar. featured

Sound I'll start this by saying that I play rock, shred, metal, blues, some jazz and classical type guitar. I grew up playing some sort of Ibanez for many years, I have no idea what model, probably another RG though.

At some point in my life I moved away to supposedly "better" guitars like Musicman and PRS. While I enjoyed the change and loving the guitars I was playing, I sold off my Ibanez guitars and never looked back. That is, until I picked this RG520 off the rack at a local store. It was used but in great condition. Within minutes of playing it I found myself questioning my decision about the "better" guitars.

How could it be that this used Ibanez RG, not even a high end model, could make me feel this way? It sounded full and rich unplugged, sustain for days without even an amp to help out. The whole thing just resonated perfectly. Needless to say I bought it and played it excessively for weeks, occasionally switching back to my "better" guitars. I always kept wanting to pick up the RG. It just sounded great through my rig.

My other guitars went in their cases after a while, and I upgraded the stock V7, V8 pickups to Dimarzio's currently a ToneZone (yes ToneZone in mahogany), with a PAF Pro in the neck, and it just took off, the guitar was definitely in the same league as the others now. Were my other guitars "better" quality wise or build wise, maybe, it's debatable. It comes down to I preferred the sound and playability of this one to all of my better ones.

This RG520 will rock out with the best of them, and the 5-way switch with the split and parallel positions gives you a lot of versatility. Of course, the tried and true Edge trem is standard and works flawlessly. I generally use .9's on Floyd Rose based guitars and they are perfect on this one. The wizard neck is superb, I was surprised at how much I missed that type of neck. The fretwork was excellent as well.

If you want a jangly strat sound, this is probably not for you. Some might prefer an alder or basswood guitar, but the mahogany works very well too. However, if you want a straight up high gain style shredder with tone and playability, this is fantastic guitar, and can be had for a very decent price on the used market.


Action, Fit, & Finish Mine was not new, but it was setup nicely when I bought it.


Reliability & Durability Super solid build, tough as nails Japanese build. It's wood and paint, so of course you can't drag it behind your car or anything, but it holds its own as far as a guitar goes.


Customer Support I've only ever dealt with Ibanez once before, in the 90's and it was to inquire about a replacement neck for one of my first Ibanez. They were pretty much useless other than to tell me it would be very expensive and that my guitar wasn't really worth the trouble. So two thumbs down for me here.


Liked about it Playability and feel? As overdone as this phrase is, it really does "play like butter." It is the nicest playing and feeling guitar I own now. I love the tone, the low mid emphasis is nicely evened out with the maple neck and maple top. Top notch quality for a low cost guitar. I love the guitar, but I'm not super worried about dings and bumps like I was with a $3000 Musicman.


Didn't like I was not overly fond of the stock pickups and quickly replaced them. I replaced them with Dimarzio's pretty quickly. I'm not super fond of the color, it is described as "transparent black" but it's more "root beer brown" to me. I do not like the fact that since I picked it up used, someone else loved her before me. Had I only found one of these sooner, I may have gotten back into Ibanez a much sooner. I now own several Ibanez guitars again.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By blackspy
Oct 26, 2009
 
Last updated: December 08, 2009
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This is 'the' guitar AMEN!

Sound The original V7 / V8 pickups used in this guitar, out of the box, sound......nice. The combination of sounds that is able to be acheived is suitable for most genre of music from metal to rock to blues to jazz. I generally play rock and blues. I also (attempt to )play music from Satriani and Vai and given my fondness for the sound of Satriani and the look of an RG I installed Dimarzio FRED an PAF Pro pickups in to my 520. It sounded absolutely incredible in combination with the mahogany body. In fact I liked it so much I bought another 520 and installed a set of evolution in it - just to see what it sounded like - and it was again awesome. I then went out and bought a third 520 which is awaiting the installation of a FRED and PAF Pro just as a backup. With either combination of pickup you can't go wrong.


Action, Fit, & Finish I have purchased two of these guitars new ('99 and a '00) the third is a '01 model. There are 'very' minor differences in the neck profile which is to be expected with any model guitar and is what in fact endears us to individual guitars. The sapele finish on the mahogany body is also a stand out feature of this guitar.


Reliability & Durability One of my 520s is my absolute player and has taken a few hits and knocks and has stood the test of time perfectly. I can say that in the 10 years plus that I have had this guitar there has been no issues. Given that I have three of these guitars and there have been such issues I think that this provides a fair sample of the durability and reliability of this model of RG.


Liked about it 1. The overall look and feel of this guitar
2. The sound of this guitar (# noting the pick up change, the stock pick ups are still a great base line pick up)
3. The value for money of this version
4. Ease of modification and accessibility of parts


Didn't like Look I would be lying to you if I said that there is a bad thing about this guitar - just get one!


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By Wolfram
Apr 23, 2011
 
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RG520QSB

Sound Very versatile shredder and my favorite in my collection. The 5-way switching allows me to go from full out scream in the bridge position with the volume rolled up to nice and jangly in the split coil positions with the volume rolled back. I actually really like the V7 & V8 pickups because of the wide range of tones I can get from them. I thought I would be changing them when I got the guitar but they are a nice medium output passive pickup that work really well in my rig so I figured why fix something that isn't broken. I'm using a Marshall 2266 Vintage Modern which is VERY interactive with the controls on the guitar. This guitar is the perfect match with that amp. I can go from clean and jangly open chord picking to searing '80s hair metal lead all with the controls on the guitar.


Action, Fit, & Finish Outstanding fit and finish which is typical on Japanese built Ibanez. Not a flaw to be found.


Reliability & Durability The guitar has weathered 10 years of heavy playing without incident. The jumbo frets have even held up well with very light wear which is surprising because I do A LOT of string bending. They will need dressing at some point to level them out but they aren't there yet. The volume pot is just starting to get a little scratchy and could use a shot of cleaner but other than that the guitar is a good as it was the day I pulled it off the rack.


Customer Support I've never dealt with Ibanez directly.


Liked about it I love this guitar's thin, wide, flat neck, rock solid Edge trem and 5-way switching that provide a wide range of tones.


Didn't like Nothing at all. My only regret is not having another in brown.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By Riffraff
Mar 05, 2011
 
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