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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MGR/Cantrell 05/17/2004

Ibanez SA160QM [2001-2005] : MGR/Cantrell's user review

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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