REVIEW: The Ibanez SA260FM Electric Guitar

Ibanez is a Japanese guitar company owned by Hoshino Gakki and known for offering musicians in the rock/metal genre a guitar that offers all the necessary options to shred. The modern era of Ibanez guitars began in 1957 when Hoshino Gakki began importing Salvador Ibáñez guitars from Spain.  Over the years, the Ibanez popularity has risen and gained a following amongst seasoned musicians. Did you know that early Japanese built guitars are considered as good as, if not superior to US built axes of the same period?

Off The Rack

My first impression of the Ibanez SA260 was that I thought it was part of the Ibanez S series of guitars without the Floyd Rose tremolo. Like the S series, it also has a thin body design but with a few different modifications. As most Ibanez guitars go, the SA260 has a sleek aggressive look and a beautiful finish. The SA260 is ultra lightweight with a super fast neck, which is a trait that is common to the Ibanez lines.

Specs

The Ibanez SA260FM has a thin 25-1/2” scale bolt-on neck with a rosewood fretboard. The SA260 has a lightweight mahogany body with a beautiful flamed maple top. The SA260 comes standard with a Sat Pro bridge that is smooth and keeps superb tension.  The Ibanez SA260 with the True-Duo Bucker pickup system that lets you get real single-coil tone or humbucking tone with the pull of a switch. The SA260 comes with cool chrome hardware that accentuates the flame top finish.

The Low Down

The Ibanez SA260FM is a nice thin body guitar at a fair price.  The humbucker tone is what you expect from Ibanez guitars with the added single coil tones from the neck and middle position. The single coil tones are similar to the later model fender tones. Even though they are less expensive than the S series thin bodies, there are more tonal capabilities with the SA series guitars because they utilize single coils.  The neck is comfortable, fast and has amazing playability. The Sat Pro bridge is much like a floating bridge that it is balanced by tension springs for dive bombs and extreme vibrato. The SA260 has great action and stays in tune perfectly.

Pros: Excellent price, light weight, great single coil tone, three pickups, beautiful look and superb playability. Although offered at a fair price, it could be a little less given the fact that the S series is only $50 more but offers better pickups and a locking tremolo. Not a big deal though, the SA260 is still a great guitar.

Cons: 22 frets. Needs 24 in my opinion. Middle single coil pickup is a bit thin.

MSRP – $449.00

Till next week, thanks for reading and keep on shredding!

Nick Arrietta is a staff writer at SMG. Nick is a professional Music teacher from California and has been playing the Guitar for 24 years. Along with teaching music he is a touring guitarist, studio musician and songwriter. Email: nick@sharemyguitar.com

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  • Ross J Feickert

    I looked at one of these guitars, and, frankly, the non-locking tremolo was a major selling point. Locking tremolos can be a real pain to restring and tune (although they do stay in tune once tuned). The reason I ultimately didn’t purchase the guitar was that the fretboard on the one I was looking at was slightly discolored and I didn’t like the design of the receptacle for the cable. I was afraid that the guitar would get scratched from plugging in and unplugging the guitar.

  • Gary Smith

    I’ve had a SA260FM in gorgeous emerald sunburst finish for about a year and I am very satisfied with the quality and the excellent playability. It was wonderfully set up right out of the box, and features the second most comfortable neck I’ve ever played (the first being my 1992 Gibson MIII Standard). I was very satisfied with the pickups for about six months, but I have recently been considering changing them out. I’ve been thinking of putting a SD Pearly Gates in the humbucking bridge position, and I’m still investigating what I should replace the middle/neck single coils with. The stock neck pickup sounds good, but the middle single is so-so. Regardless, this is a great guitar for not very much money at all.

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