Introduced in the 1980’s, the Ibanez ‘Sabre’ line was a unique option for guitarists looking for something a bit sleeker and lighter. The more recent ‘S’ series of guitars take some notes from the ‘Sabre’ line, but introduce some neat, modern appointments. Today, we’ll be playing with an Ibanez S6521Q to see what it’s all about!

Let’s start with the specs!


  • Quilted Maple Top w/ Natural Binding
  • Mahogany Body
  • Bound Marbled Rosewood fretboard
  • Super Wizard HP 5pc Maple/Walnut Neck w/ Titanium Truss Rods
  • 24  Jumbo Frets 
  • Gibraltar Standard II Bridge
  • Dimarzio Air Norton/Tone Zone Pickups
  • Cosmo Black Hardware
  • Gotoh MG-T Locking Machine Heads
  • 1x Vol/1x Tone/5-Way Pickup Selector
  • 17” Fretboard Radius
  • 25.5” Scale Length

Okay, so first thing’s first, this guitar is pretty attractive. Green isn’t always the easiest color to pull off, but the green burst looks really great on the Quilted Maple here. On top of the hot finish, the Cream Binding and Natural Mahogany really ties the aesthetic of this guitar together.

I often find Rosewood boards to be lackluster these days, as I’m really just not into the way they look in comparison to Ebony and Maple, but the Marbled Rosewood has a bit of extra ‘flavor’ to it as it features some interesting and unique figuring that looks really great paired with the Quilted top.

The Super Wizard neck profile won’t be every player’s cup of tea, but I really adored it. 17mm at the first fret and 19mm at the 12th makes for effortless rhythm playing, with a bit more neck on the high end to add some grip for fast playing. In combination with the thin neck is the super light, thin body of the S-Series, that just makes for an exceptionally ergonomic guitar which really shines when standing up and playing. I don’t find the ‘S’ body shape to be particularly comfortable while sitting down, though, as I found it likes to slide around my leg a bit.

Ibanez S6521Q Prestige


Regarding the tonewood choices, I’ve always been a huge fan of a Mahogany body with a bolt-on Maple neck. It adds a nice, deep tonality, while maintaining a fast attack. There is a reason Mahogany/Maple is one of the most popular tonewood combinations around!

(Learn more about the qualities of wood in our Tonewood Guide)

The Tone Zone pickup is one of Ibanez’s go-to bridge pickups and sounds absolutely killer in this guitar. Now, I will say that it’s fairly bass-heavy and can sometimes have a flubby low-end when using a low tuning, but for rock/shred-style applications, this guitar really shines.

If you want something that maintains ridiculous tightness in low tunings I’d maybe recommend a pickup swap. Maybe try the new Seymour Duncan Alpha/Omega set!

The Air Norton Neck pickup has a lot of the same qualities as the bridge, although it’s quite a bit brighter. It has a great sound for Jazzy, mid gain tones.

Build Quality:

I’ll be totally honest, when I first saw the picture of this model, it was next to a picture of the Iron Label Six6dfm, and I was a bit underwhelmed considering this guitar is double the price of the Iron Label. The big difference comes in when you actually see it in person, pick it up, and play it.  The amount of attention that went into making sure this guitar played perfectly is immediately recognizable. Everything from the neck, to the tuners, to the bridge just feels so great.

This may sound silly, but the shining feature (in terms of build quality) for me was how beautifully the binding job was performed. It just looks immaculate, and it perfectly separates the colorful mahogany body with the really nice top.

Final Verdict:

The Ibanez S6521Q Prestige has a lot going for it without even offering an overwhelming amount of features. It’s a basic guitar from Ibanez that has been built to some seriously high standards.

While it’s shape and tone aren’t for everyone, this guitar is one of the best feeling/playing instruments that I’ve played by Ibanez in the past year.


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This article was written by Zac Buras, our editor located in Louisiana.

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