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Ibanez SA260FM

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

  • £299
  • $599.99
The maple neck is bolted on.

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.

Pros

  • Can't argue with anything at this price.

Cons

  • It's not the prettiest axe in the world.
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The maple neck is bolted on.

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

The guitar features an unbound fingerboard.

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.