NGD - Ibanez SZ320 - Wow! - Jemsite
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-27-2014, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
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NGD - Ibanez SZ320 - Wow!

Been searching for the right guitar for me and asked around about the SZ model... Ended up getting a very nice offer from a fellow forum member Dexter Morgan and just received it today. A 2006 SZ320 packed in a sturdy box and mummified in dense foam. What a beauty! I normally prefer stained wood grain to a painted guitar as a rule, but this deep gloss black looks wet and gorgeous. The wood binding looks great against the black, though it didn't focus well in the pic. Not sure if it's maple or what. Some of the SZ models had a maple cap, but I don't know which ones. Neck feels awesome (so far), a little more meat than a Wizard type neck... similar to my Les Paul in shape. A little lighter than the Les Paul, but still pretty beefy and solid feeling. Great sound and sustain with the Duncan/Ibanez pickups and 3-pc mahogany neck. Has a 3-way switch w/2 volumes and 1 tone. Although the switch doesn't work in the middle position (which I was aware of), but I think I can figure that out later. For now I'm a happy camper and ready to road test this beauty all weekend!

I remember seeing these referred to as a "Les Paul Killer"... Hmmm... So far I'm very impressed!

The pics from my old camera don't do it justice... and I just wiped the dust off with a soft rag.





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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-27-2014, 08:39 PM
 
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Re: NGD - Ibanez SZ320 - Wow!

Glad you like it! Yes it is a maple top. I sent you an email too with the best wiring diagram I could find... it is an odd switch for sure. Enjoy!
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-28-2014, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NGD - Ibanez SZ320 - Wow!

Thanks for the diagram... it is definitely not wired like the diagram. However both pickups have a red wire and the diagram just shows one with a red wire? Weird... and looking it up on Ibanez's website leads to a "file not found" error. I need to pull the pickups and make sure of what model they are, then I should be able to look it up on the Seymour Duncan website. I read they are a Jazz neck and Distortion bridge, but they supposedly have the numbers on the back to tell for sure.

On the other hand... it is actually kind of nice to have an "off" position too. I kept flipping to it instead of turning the volume knob down tonight.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-28-2014, 01:46 AM
 
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Re: NGD - Ibanez SZ320 - Wow!

Yeah that's why I said it's tricky. In the middle position, both pickups should split to the inside - I think the diagram shows that, but the wiring and such doesn't match up. Anyway I know you'll get it figured out...!
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-28-2014, 12:06 PM
 
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Re: NGD - Ibanez SZ320 - Wow!

The wiring can be tricky in cut coils in middle position only but for a thinner, cutting sound you can also reverse the neck humbucker, and carefully reverse the magnet (if possible) and get a nice out of phase sound. It's an approximation of a Fender sound from two humbuckers.

Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac did this to great effect. There's lots of tutorials on the Peter Green sound and a hefty guitar like yours, or almost anything with Les Paul on the headstock, sometimes does not have it in the high end department thus the Peter Green mod. I currently have two humbuckers with push pull pot giving me six sounds but may revert back to just humbuckers but with the reversed polarity humbucker mod so I can work with just three, versatile sounds.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-28-2014, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NGD - Ibanez SZ320 - Wow!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 63Blazer View Post
The wiring can be tricky in cut coils in middle position only but for a thinner, cutting sound you can also reverse the neck humbucker, and carefully reverse the magnet (if possible) and get a nice out of phase sound. It's an approximation of a Fender sound from two humbuckers.

Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac did this to great effect. There's lots of tutorials on the Peter Green sound and a hefty guitar like yours, or almost anything with Les Paul on the headstock, sometimes does not have it in the high end department thus the Peter Green mod. I currently have two humbuckers with push pull pot giving me six sounds but may revert back to just humbuckers but with the reversed polarity humbucker mod so I can work with just three, versatile sounds.
Thanks for the info... nice to know! Funny you mention the push-pull pots. When I started looking around at SZ's for sale I ran across one on ebay that had coil taps for each pickup. Using the individual volume pots I assumed. Interesting...
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-28-2014, 02:54 PM
 
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Re: NGD - Ibanez SZ320 - Wow!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FireEagle View Post
Thanks for the info... nice to know! Funny you mention the push-pull pots. When I started looking around at SZ's for sale I ran across one on ebay that had coil taps for each pickup. Using the individual volume pots I assumed. Interesting...
The good thing about the push pulls is that it gives you two guitars. One has the regular 3 position switch with two humbuckers. The other gives you the 3 position with two single coils. The big problem is that there's a large volume drop off. I pretty much either stay in humbucker mode or single coil mode and tailor sound around either type of pickup.

With the Peter Green mod, you can still get that Fenderish sound but without too much drop off in volume. There's still a dropoff in the middle position when you get the high end and quack tones so you have to try it first and see if that much dropoff is acceptable. It's still not the drastic dropoff of simply cutting off a coil which bothers many players. Yes, a split humbucker gets a single coil tone but it may not be useable if switching back and forth between that and humbucker in a live situation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFKOmkGkrTk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHOdXWLrxPk

Basically, the dual humbucker sounding like a Fender was an accident and botched up repair job from Selmer's when Peter Green took the Les Paul back to the store to fix the broken neck pickup. They took the pickup apart completely but accidentally switched the magnet AND put the neck pickup in upside down. It was really sloppy repair work but the result was a Fenderish sound in the middle position with the two humbuckers. From that mistake, music history was changed and it added a dimension to the Les Paul which was once considered only Fender territory.

I do remember the first time I heard this Green mod sound with Jimmy Page and I initially didn't like it because the middle position clean in his Les Paul sounded anemic and oddly like a tele which a Les Paul should be the opposite of. Later I found out Jimmy used a tele in the early days and on and off throughout his career in the studio and the out of phase mid position was Page's attempt to get a tele-like sound in his Gibson while playing live.

Your guitar is the perfect specimen to do a Peter Green mod in other than having the two buckers, it has the bright and hard maple sandwiched on the deeper sounding mahogany and all in a set in neck for sustain. The neck is bigger which helps with the sustain and warmer tone, too but the Green mod, if you choose it, can add the high end that a guitar like this tends to be missing. Other than Peter Green using a thick and warm Les Paul with a bright sounding mod, the only other counterintuitive move which changed the electric guitar's basic boundaries was when Eddie Van Halen popularized the full sized humbucker in a strat style guitar with bolt-on neck.

Last edited by 63Blazer; 06-28-2014 at 03:24 PM.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-28-2014, 07:39 PM
 
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Re: NGD - Ibanez SZ320 - Wow!

That's a sweet guitar Happy NGD man!

Sorry for my late congrats but I had a good hour of constant headbanging at a live house here for a band I only found recently. I just passed out last night in the middle of Brazil/Chile

Coil taps are funny things. My JB200 of course has coil tap mini switches but I think if you are using your amp for most of the work, and your amp has a built in boost (i.e. Carvin V3) then I don't think it's a big deal. If you need a pedal like the EP booster or something, then it can be a little annoying to deal with the volume drop.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-28-2014, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NGD - Ibanez SZ320 - Wow!

In searching for wiring diagrams... and getting a bit confused in the process... I ran across someone flipping the Duncan/Ibanez pickup around. Magnet too, if you wanted to keep it quiet... if I recall correctly. Right now I want to try it stock and see how the middle position works, but thanks for the info. One of the things I don't like about my Les Paul is the way the sounds get muddy so easily. Nice to know about another option. Thanks for the links!

Thanks Mattias!! Glad you got to get out and bang your head for a while... Good live music waits for no one!

I took the strings off, checked to see what kind of Seymour Duncan pickups they were, lemon oiled the fretboard, then put new XL's on it. The neck is an HB101N (or SH-1 PAF) and the B ridge is an HB103B (or SH-6 Distortion). I really need to make some sense of the 5 different wiring diagrams I found for the SZ... all of which have completely different wire colors going different places! Some missing wires completely. I need to start at square one and learn how the humbucker split works with the 4pdt switch and then figure out the wiring myself. Very confusing!
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-28-2014, 11:05 PM
 
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Re: NGD - Ibanez SZ320 - Wow!

Lol! See?!?!
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-29-2014, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NGD - Ibanez SZ320 - Wow!

Ha ha... Yes, I see! Stay tuned though... I think I have it figured out. After a couple hours of browsing and brain-busting I think I have it figured out. That is no ordinary 4-pole double throw switch in there. I mapped it with an ohmmeter and some of the connections with the outer poles maintain when in the center position. I think the root of the problem is that the switch was put in upside down by the guy who owned it before you! It is not symmetrical in the way that is maintains connections, so flipping it 180 degrees and using a slightly altered version of the schematic you sent me should get it working right. If it works, I'll post the schematic for anyone searching for SZ wiring diagrams in the future.

The one you sent me was correct, but they left off the black wire from the neck pickup and the red wire from the bridge pickup. They probably omitted them on purpose because they each just go to ground... but how was I to know that? I added to the diagram and also mapped out the switch connection matrix... now I just need to flip the switch around and resolder the connections tomorrow and see if it works.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-29-2014, 02:00 AM
 
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Re: NGD - Ibanez SZ320 - Wow!

these guitars are supremely underrated. I have owned a couple and they are solid. You can find them cheap too. I would take the finish off the neck if i owned another one.

The switch is a 3pdt switch. They do it so the middle position would combine the neck and bridge in parallel.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-29-2014, 07:20 AM
 
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Re: NGD - Ibanez SZ320 - Wow!

Noice mate
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-29-2014, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NGD - Ibanez SZ320 - Wow!

Quote:
Originally Posted by j.arledge View Post
these guitars are supremely underrated. I have owned a couple and they are solid. You can find them cheap too. I would take the finish off the neck if i owned another one.

The switch is a 3pdt switch. They do it so the middle position would combine the neck and bridge in parallel.
I know what you mean about the finish... but it looks so dang good! Not as fast as a more satin or oiled finish, but I noticed when moving positions it really makes it easy to plant your hand where you stop. I'm no speed demon... but its a great playing guitar for a below average player like me.

This one has a 4pdt switch with weird internal workings... threw me for a loop. Now that I figured that out... the way it is wired finally makes sense. Hopefully later today I can get time to try wiring it right.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-29-2014, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: NGD - Ibanez SZ320 - Wow!

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Originally Posted by karimbaig View Post
Noice mate
Thanks!!
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