Ibanez S

Ibanez S

Infobox Guitar model|title=Ibanez S series

period= 1987 — present
necktype=Bolt-on, Set-in
woodbody= Mahogany with Poplar, Maple, or Bubinga top (except for cheaper standard, non-GIO versions, which just have mahogony)
woodneck=3pc and 5pc Wizard II Maple with Bubinga
woodfingerboard=Rosewood; 22 fret (1987-2007); 24-fret (2008-)
bridge= S: Lo-TRS Floyd Rose Licensed(1987-2003); Ibanez ZR locking Tremolo (2003-2007); Ibanez ZR-II locking tremolo (2008);
SZ: Hardtail with tune-o-matic;
SA: SAT Floating tremolo;
SV: synchroniZR Floating tremolo
pickups=H-S-H, H-S-S (SA only), or H-H IBZ Infinity pickups; Ibanez AH pickups

The Ibanez S Series (also known as the Ibanez Saber Series) is a guitar series produced by Hoshino Gakki. This series was introduced in the late 1980s. Despite the fact that it uses Mahogany (known for being very heavy and dense), it was touted as an extremely thin and comfortably designed guitar, that still packed a punch visually and tone-wise, retaining the resonence of mahogany. Like the RG series, it also has prestige models, as well as derivatives, namely the SZ, SV, and SA series.


The Ibanez Saber (S) series was introduced for the 1987 model year, around the sametime of Ibanez RG. At the time it was introduced, it was known for its sleek, contoured mahogany body that conformed perfectly to the torso, as well as a fast, unfinished maple neck that was the slimmest on the market at the time (17mm at the first fret). These first models used an "HSS" pickup configuration with an IBZ/USA humbucker at the bridge, and IBZ/USA hum-canceling single coils in the neck and middle positions or "HH" with humbuckers at both neck and bridge spots. Originally the pickups were selected via individual mini switches, but at some point in the 1988 model year Ibanez replaced them with a five-positions blade switch. Like many Ibanez guitars of this era, the Sabers were equipped with a double locking Edge Tremolo System, licensed under Floyd Rose patents. To help keep the guitar in tune after a string breaks, the guitar also has a "Stud-Lock Backstop" in the spring cavity which limits the range of the bridge.

Current models


The current (2003 and 2007) S series uses a Zero-Resistance (ZR) tremolo system, and, according to Herman Li, "Stays in tune no matter what kind of crazy things I do." The system uses ball bearings and a built in backstop system, which acts similar to a hipshot tremsetter, in that bending strings will not cause others strings to become flat. Essentially this means that the bridge isn't floating freely however the stop-bar can be removed to change the tremolo to floating operation. Also, the ZR Tremolo have a spring tension adjustment screw, allowing adjustment without screwdrivers to pop open the backplate.

Frank Gambale endorsed a Saber model in the mid-1980s, which became the basis for his signature FGM Series guitars of 1987.

Herman Li stated that he uses an S series "straight off the shelf" and he only occasionally changes the pickups. [Hermal Li Video Interview on his S Series Guitars http://youtube.com/watch?v=h3jGFukH-Mo] .

2008 S series

The 2008 S-prestige [ja icon [http://www.ibanez.co.jp/japan/archive/product_news/2008Prestige/S5470.html Ibanez 2008 Prestige | S5470 ] ] are Japanese-made high quality guitars. Sporting a ZR-II locking vibrato system and a 2-octave rosewood neck, it was first tried out by Herman Li as a Double Fat Strat model, which became the basis for the E-gen. It comes with true-duo coil tap system.

Z series

The Ibanez sz series is a derivative model, basically the hardtail version of the S series, with a thicker and heavier body and a shorter 25.1" set-in neck. Unlike the S or SA, it has 3 way positions, at which the mid position is two single-coil (inner coils of the humbuckers) instead.

ZR series

The Ibanez SZR series is a series introduced in 2008 to replace the SZ. Like the SZ, it has a thicker and heavier body (60mm thickness) and an even shorter 24.75" set-in neck, similar to Gibson's guitars. Otherwise, it is identical to the SZ, with 2 tone knobs and a 3 way position selector, at which the mid position is both humbuckers in split coil mode using the inner coils.

A series

The SA series is a more "standard" series, in that its S-based body, but slightly thicker, has a flat back and an arched top, with a smoothed off, hidden-plate bolt-on neck. It also utilize the SAT single-locking (only at bridge) floating tremolo. Prior to 2008 series, SA is the only standard (non-budget) range of solid-body guitar that use non-locking tremolos. It is also the only series that have Fat Strat configurations offered. SA is derived from being the Fender Strat Assassin.

V series

The new SV series [ja icon [http://www.ibanez.co.jp/japan/archive/product_news/2008Prestige/SV5470F.html Ibanez 2008 Prestige | SV5470F ] ] sports a 24-fret neck, along with synchroniZR, basically a non-locking ZR trem, but utlize locking tuners and graphite nut. It comes with true-duo coil tap system; on an H-S-H configuration, the True-Duo coil-tap system allows it to have the tonal quality of a traditional S-S-S config guitar.

As the S, SZ, and SA series are designed to cover as wide a range of music as possible, they either have the "True-Duo Bucker" coil-tap humbuckers, or are able to connect the humbuckers in parallel, resulting in a tone similar (though not quite) to single coils. All three have their own Prestige model. The SA and SZ also have the budget Ibanez GIO models. (GSA and GSZ, respectively)

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