Ibanez SA260FM review

  • £299
  • $599.99

The cheapest of three new additions to the super-slim SA range, featuring the soon-to-be renowned True Duo humbucker

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The maple neck is bolted on.
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The guitar features an unbound fingerboard.

Our Verdict

A standing ovation is due for the good price of this guitar and, even if it may not immediately appeal as a number one instrument, it would serve happily as a more than efficient back-up.

For

  • Can't argue with anything at this price.

Against

  • It's not the prettiest axe in the world.
Buying options

After returning to the mainstream well over two decades ago, Ibanez has subsequently attracted some of the coolest and hippest endorsees of any similar company.

The SA260FM is very affordable, with an unfinished three-piece maple neck that's a bolt-on, unbound fingerboard and a genuine flame maple top. All electrics, including pickup spec and switching, follow those of the SAS36 to the letter too.

As the rear of the neck boasts a matt finish rather than a painted gloss version, the feel is slightly different, and although this isn't meant to voice a positive or negative opinion either way as it's not a relevant criticism, we actually preferred this guitar's playing experience to the previous guitars.

Sounds

In theory the tonal character of a bolt-on neck when compared to those of a glued-in or through-body construction will often contribute, especially with vibrato, to a funkier, slightly more clipped Fender-like tone.

Interestingly that works to the SA260's advantage here, rounding off that intrusive high-end to leave the basic tone much more in the Stratocaster's ballpark.

The good points of the SA36's performance apply equally to this instrument, with rock and high-gain tones continuing to cut through, albeit without actually breaking the skin here.

Tech Specs

Available Controls5 Way Lever Tone Volume
Available FinishAmber Burst, Transparent Lavender Burst.
Body StyleDouble-cut
Bolt-on NeckYes
Case IncludedYes
Country of OriginIndonesia
CutawayYes
Fingerboard MaterialRosewood
Guitar Body MaterialMahogany
HardwareChrome
HeadstockMatching Flame Maple.
InlaysPearl Dot
Jack LocationFront
Neck MaterialMaple
No of Strings6
No. of Frets22
Nut MaterialGraphite
PickguardNo
Pickup Configuration1 x Humbucker / 2 x Single-Coil
Pickup Switching5 Position Blade - Bridge/Bridge and Middle/Middle/Middle and Neck / Neck
Pickup TypeIBZ True-Duo Bridge Humbucker, IBZ AHS1 Neck and AHS2 Mid.
Pickups2 x AHS single-coils Ibanez True Duo humbucker(bridge)
Scale Length (Inches)25.5
Scale Length (mm)648
Top FinishFlamed Maple Lamination
Top MaterialFlame Maple
TremoloYes
Tremolo DetailsIbanez SAT Pro Bridge.
Weight (kg)3.18
Weight (lb)7
Width at Nut (mm)43