Ibanez SA160QM [2001-2005]
Ibanez SA160QM [2001-2005]

SA160QM [2001-2005], STC-Shaped Guitar from Ibanez in the SA Standard series.

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All user reviews for the Ibanez SA160QM [2001-2005]

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Average Score:4.5( 4.5/5 based on 24 reviews )
 13 reviews54 %
 10 reviews42 %
 1 user review4 %
Audience: Beginners
King Loudness12/31/2011

King Loudness's review"Great mid level guitar"

Ibanez SA160QM [2001-2005]
The Ibanez SA Series in general is a great way for musicians to get into a killer shred guitar without having to pay a high premium or deal with the hassles of a locking tremolo unit. This particular instrument was one of my very first "good" instruments when I was quite young. It features a basswood body with a quilted maple top (likely a veneer) a maple neck with rosewood fretboard and 22 frets, sealed chrome tuners, an Ibanez non locking tremolo bridge and a trio of Ibanez designed pickups (two single coils and one humbucker). The guitar itself features a slightly thicker neck than is found on the RG models, which makes it ideal as well for musicians who like Ibanez guitars, but can't get on with the thinner Wizard profile found on so many of the guitars. It's not a baseball bat type neck, but it's got enough girth to be eminently playable.


The design of this guitar is quite ergonomic I would say. It's very thin and lightweight. I used this guitar from the age of 7 'til the age of 10 and never once did I have an issue with weight or holding the instrument for long periods of time. The SA shape is very comfortable and is easy to play as well. The upper fret access is great too, I learned a lot of classic Yngwie type licks on this guitar and never had issues getting to the top frets. This is due to the All Access Neck Joint heel that is used and allows the hand to extend right up to the 22nd fret. Very nice.


I used this guitar with various cheaper solid state Peavey and Yamaha amps. I always thought it had a good tone for what I was doing. I primarily used it to play hard rock and shred styles as that is what I was focusing on. However I did use the guitar in a jazz band for a couple years and it always held up well. The single coils had a nice bright tone, very Stratty and the humbucker was a medium output model that had a nice punch and sustain. The pickups weren't as good as DiMarzios or Seymour Duncans but they did do a good job at both clean and distorted tones for sure. It also had the 5 way pickup switch which allowed some cool "split" tones a-la a Strat as well.


All in all I think the Ibanez SA160QM is a great buy for someone who wants a classy looking guitar that is light and easy to play, plus has a range of very good tones within. I won mine in a contest, but I do recall them selling for about $700 new when I got it back in 2002. They can be had used for about $250 now which is a great deal considering that you're getting a good quality instrument that plays and sounds quite nice. Definitely worth a look if you want a guitar on which to shred.

MGR/Anonymous's review"Ibanez SA160QM"

Ibanez SA160QM [2001-2005]
Gamlins music

smooth and fast neck, the humbucker sounds very nice with plenty of distortion. Many sounds can be achieved with this guitar.

The middle pick-up sounds too muddy but the neck and bridge pick-ups sound great.

Made in Korea

• SA neck
• Quilted Maple top/Mahogany body
• Large frets
• SAT 30 bridge
• AS2 (S) neck pu
• AS2 (S) mid pu
• AH4 (H) bridge pu

Very good quality for the price looks and sounds great. ideal for gigging

This is one of the best guitars I have owned and for the money it's incredible! I have owned around 10 guitars now and I like this one the best. Right now I also own a Ibanez RG 320FM. This guitar blows my expectations away. A real steal for the money. I urge all serious players to own this beauty. A very versitile axe.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com

MGR/Cantrell's review"Ibanez SA160QM"

Ibanez SA160QM [2001-2005]
Bought it at the Lindberg Music Shop, Munich (Germany) and it costed EUR400,00 (this corresponds to USD450 or so). Taxation is a bit heavier over here, so it's probably cheaper elsewhere. Also, at least in Germany, you can get a good discount (10 or more per cent) at music stores (you get even more discount if you end up buying the guitar case and a tuner, for example). I acquired it because, after a five year pause, I wanted to start playing again - so, to celebrate this I wanted to make myself a nice present.

I originally wanted to buy something else, something more Les Paul-ish. I used to play a Strat, and - after the mentioned pause - I thought this is a good opportunity to try out something else. While shopping, I was trying out different Epiphones, which do really sound nice. Then, just for a comparison I took the next best 'strat-ish' guitar around, which happened to be this one. It was immediate love...

Maybe thess are the reasons:

The fretboard is longer and broader than the typical 'Les Paul' (22 medium frets). For my style of play, my fingers and such, this was the best fit. The 'feel' of the neck is as smooth as it can be (Maple Neck Material, Mahogany w/Quilted Maple top Body, Rosewood Finger Board).

It has a 5-way switch and a tone-knob (chrome-coloured), which allows for a wide and finely tunable range of sounds. (more specs: 2 single coils - mid and neck, and one humbucker at bridge)

It's incredibly light and the design is beatiful.

The price is absolutely fair.

Last but not least, the case (an optional, which I strongly encourage buying) is cast-on the guitar and is also robust and comaprably thin.

The tremolo bar does have its obvious disadvantages: a) If you use it too much, or like an animal, the guitar will detune. b) Bending and simultaneous playing another string is a problem to a certain extent. But then again, to me, this is of minor importance.

The design is very soft, you cannot use it making badass metal poses without looking ridiculous. Not that this is important to me, but if you're playing badass metal, you'd probably buy something that *looks* better.

The neck is *glued* to the body, this gives the entire guitar more resonance, a warmer sound.

Knobs and switches don't make that cracking sound - at least not right away.

Replacing strings is easy. All innards of the guitar are easily accessible and it all looks terribly easy to maintain.

A beatiful and versatile guitar. Buy it. (I don't give it a 5 just in case a miracle happens and I find an even better one.)

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com

MGR/andy's review"Ibanez SA160QM"

Ibanez SA160QM [2001-2005]
Local retail shop in cheltenham england, why? i just couldnt take my eyes of it and also read good reviews of it.

Looks georgeous, HSS pickup gives great sound. 5 tone switch is also very usefull. Gives a full bodies clear tone. Just feels right.... something to do with the weighting and the curves just fits into your arms.

Ummmmm? maybe a but dodgy when playing very high up the fret, but then again for its price thats to be expected.

quilted mahogany body, solid, light weight and oh so comfy.

A great all round beginners/intermediate guitar. Solid and reliable you cant go wrong with this guitar.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
MGR/Dazza the fret licking fly09/25/2003

MGR/Dazza the fret licking fly's review"Ibanez SA160 QM (amber)"

Ibanez SA160QM [2001-2005]
This Ibanez stood out in a music shop in manchester i was actually looking for a mexican strat but when i saw this i just when crazy the amazing quilted amber paint job just made me attracted to it i had never liked Ibanez's before but now im madly in love! And it only costs no more than £299.

The pickups are good quality AS and AH which using the pickup selector you can get a wide variety of tones. The SA range features pro level hardware and finish selection. And unlike any other brand in this price range the SA160 QM recieve the same high level setup as Ibanez's higher priced models. Anything you play rock,pop,heavy metal,classical,punk,ska etc... its just amazing!!!!!!!!!

At the price you can get them fr and the amount of quality you get theres nothing i dont like about it.

Heres the technical stuff:

It features a SA neck a Quilted maple top and nato body, medium sized frets, SAT 30 bridge,AS2 neck pickup,AS2 middle pickup and a AS4 bridge pickup.

Basically this is a really knarly guitar and i said i love it and i do i will never look back to my earlier guitars (Squire and a Vintage). Its just amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Go for it i did!

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
MGR/Bernard Piller12/16/2002

MGR/Bernard Piller's review"Ibanez SA160QM"

Ibanez SA160QM [2001-2005]
I was looking for a versatile guitar at a reasonable price. I bought it in April 2002 at Klangfarbe in Vienna, Austria for EUR 375,-

I changed the weak stock pickups for Seymour Duncans and changed the strings to .10s
I like the sound and the manufacturing quality of the guitar. Especially the SAT-30 tremolo is great, much better than on a Fender.

I don't like the slim neck with the flat fretboard, I think it is harder to play than a Gibson or Fender neck.

Very good quality, the quilted maple top of the mahagoni body looks awesome.

For the price this is a great guitar. After I changed the pickups it even sounds fantastic.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
MGR/Sam Carter (phuktheindustry@hotmail.com)08/27/2002

MGR/Sam Carter (phuktheindustry@hotmail.com)'s review"Ibanez SA160QM"

Ibanez SA160QM [2001-2005]
This is the best purchase i have ever made! I asked to try out an Marshall MG50 amp a few weeks ago, and picked up this guitar at random to play through it, i instantly fell in love with the ibanez and bought it yesterday!! I paid £249 for it, but its worth a great deal more.

Beautiful finish, plays excellently and the neck is really smooth and easy to play, hardly any effort is need to glide up and down the fretboard, and on a clean channel the guitar sounds really great, lots of great tones can be gained from this guitar by using the shiny metal tone control control, very good for deep, heavy metal. The pickups are INCREDIBLY good quality for a guitar at this price.

There is nothing i don't like about this guitar, it really is that good.

Sturdy Construction and very Solid, its light and easy to carry around.

All i can say is go out and buy it! Its great! I'm so pleased with it you wouldn't believe!

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
MGR/Alex Ellis05/28/2002

MGR/Alex Ellis's review"Ibanez SA-160QM"

Ibanez SA160QM [2001-2005]
at www.zzounds.com for $340

Great neck, beautiful finish (I got the gray quilted one), and a great sound. HSS, the neck pickup gives a really nice tone, kind of like a strat neck pu. The humbucker at the bridge gives a great tone too.

It came with several allen wrenches, but the one size used for adjusting the string height at the bridge end seemed to be missing. It is possible that I lost it, but it may be worth looking into, if you need it. Otherwise, no problems at all.

Very solid construction, and a beautiful finish. Set up playable out of the box, but needs a little tweaking. The workmanship is great.

Great guitar, well worth more than I paid for it. List is about $550, and it's even worth more. I fully recommend it.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com

MGR/Jeff's review"Ibanez SA160QM"

Ibanez SA160QM [2001-2005]
I came across the SA160QM at Guitar Center. It struck me first with it's appearance, the flame maple top being quite striking. It played well enough for my price range, so I paid a good $410 for it.

It plays well and looks sharp. Stays in tune very well, while I creep it to dark lows or crank it to screeching highs. The 5 tone switch is much appreciated.

After purchasing the unit, I later found out that for about the same price I could have gotten a locking tremolo and better pickups.

Construction is of a fine quality. Playability is great, and tonal output is of a moderate level. It gets a little fuzzy and not too clear when you're playing higher on the fret boards, but not too bothersome.

The bottom line is that it was worth what I paid for it. It's a great beginning guitar for one such as myself. Great for standard riffs, and nothing too fancy.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
Elias de Kelewich08/09/2009

Elias de Kelewich's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Ibanez SA160QM [2001-2005]
In which country was it made? (USA, Japan, Mexico, France ...)
Made in Korea

How many frets, what kind of microphone and their configuration?
22 medium frets
A double two singles

What type of bridge (Floyd, Wilkinson ...)?
Sat Pro floating bridge

What are the settings (volume, tone, micro switch ...)?
5-way switch

What kind of stick?

Very well made guitar


The handle is it nice?
Very flat and unglazed typical of the brand very nice

Access to acute (last string) Is it easy?
Indentation ideal

Ergonomics is it good (in terms of shape, weight ...)?
Lightweight and ergonomic. Sabre design identical to the upscale

Do you get a good sound easy?
Given the choice (no push-pull) is connected and it plays


Are they suitable for your style of music?
It is quite versatile with its configuration HSS

With what (s) amplifier (s) or effect (s) do you play?
Tonelab home
Mesa head out of the house (or off if you prefer)

What kind of sound you get and with what settings ("crystalline", "fat ",....)?
Rather bold on the single sleeve, very nice clean sound
Incisive on micro center
Nice crunch and distortion on the bridge


For how long have you been using it?
Around 5 years. Purchased as umpteenth grattoune to carry around everywhere. It responds quickly and well. Mecas take the road if we do not hit too much vibrato. I carry with me always in addition to my guitar "of record". I use to open and I mounted 11/52. The neck has not budged.

What thing do you like most/least about it?
Value for money impeccable

Did you try many other models before getting this one?
I tried the brand models above.
I felt that the investment for them was not justified in terms of qualities of this entry.

What is your opinion about the value for the price?
Excellent. At the time bought 350 euros. A perfect entry level guitar even situation.

Knowing what you know now, would you make the same choice?
Yes definitely