So I go up to my local Sam Ash to pickup some strings n springs n things and I start BS'n with a couple of the guys up there, one of which was doing setups on new arrivals. Behind the counter on a rack of about 5 guitars something catches my eyes and I flipped out.
Is that a Used S540LTD? being the old school S freak that I am, I immediately got excited.. I ask and he says no it's not while handing it to me. I first notice the lack of a middle pickup as it was an HH config. So I check out the back of the headstock and its a Black S320DX made in Indonesia. (ehharggmm.. excuse me I just threw up in my mouth a little)
First thoughts Im like huh? having not seen this on any site let alone Ibanez's site Im shocked for a moment. So while Im checking out the Black one he pulls a white one off the rack and begins to set it up, starting with what in his opinion was a much needed truss rod adjustment, lol. (and this guys knows guitars and is an awesome player)
SO getting over the initial shock and excitement the first thing I do is take a pic with the camera phone haha.. so I could show all you guys. Then I begin to inspect it. Black finish, same thin S body, Bound 3PC maple WizII neck with Sharktooth Inlays (which is what caught my eye to start), ZR Trem, HH config with INF1&2 and a 5way switch.
That said, there were some major issues IMO. The Binding looks cheap, and had a couple small dings in it, shipping maybe? The Inlays looked okay, although the frets were horrid, with scratches all over and the fret wire looked and felt "cheap". The trem was a bit crooked, and the routed cavity for the trem was awful. Choppy is the best word to describe it, with little jagged edges that seemed to have been "missed" or skipped" by a dull bit(one was almost an 1/8th of an inch and inexcusable), which made the front line of the trem cavity far from a straight line and unlike any I have seen thus far. Even the pickup rings had worn finish around the screw holes. Then I just happen to touch the painted area inside the recessed area at the output jack. WOW, completely unsanded, rough and gritty, worse than I have ever seen. Usually they are at least somewhat smooth and finished until you get deeper in towards the actual jack. Not this one, it was really bad. Even the white one wasn't that bad when I checked it after.
So I start to play it. It played and sounded completely reflective of its build quality.
Every S I have ever touched and played since 1989 has had that "S" tone to it. Deep, smooth and rich as a result of its mahogany body. Again, Not this one. At best it sounded and played like a recent/cheap RG, thin and buzzy on almost every fret, and sounded worse than what you expect a beginner guitars to sound and play like. And with a not so beginner price of 599.99. Very disappointing to say the least, and a direct result of where it was built IMO. while I have every intention on going back to play the white one after having been setup, I don't have much hope.
Since Ibanez stopped making the S540LTD and even before, I have wanted an S Series guitar with a bound sharktooth Inlay neck. this is NOT the one. As I looked this guitar over and made my findings and presented them to the guy at the counter, he looked and surprisingly agreed! awful...
Anyway, as a side note, I had typed up a much better worded and detailed description that was more concise and to the point, but I accidentally hit the back button on my mouse and lost it all.
SO this elongated novel version will have to do.
so anyway, Thoughts? Comments?
below is the pic I took at the store. I did a search for S320DX when I got home and found only a page on the Sam Ash site for it, but I cant link it here cause of the name in the link.
So just search S320DX and its the first return in google presently.