Ibanez SML721 Overview and Best Prices

Ibanez SML721 Review
Add to Compare
FIND IT ON:
Reverb logoSweetwater logoMusician's Friend logo
  • 5 Prices - New from $885.31 >
  • From Ibanez's 2023 S series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5" to 25"'' scale
  • 15.75" Fretboard Radius
  • Nyatoh body
  • Maple/Walnut neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Q58 (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Q58 (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 5-way Switch
  • Mono-rail bridge
  • Wizard Bolt-On neck
  • 24 Jumbo Gold frets
  • Gotoh MG-T locking machine heads tuners
  • See all specs and compare >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 78
Sound 71
Build quality 69
Value for money 78
Overall Score 73
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Ibanez SML721
  • Gold Frets
  • Locking Tuners
  • Expensive Wood
  • Coil Tap Pickups
  • Luminescent Inlay
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $850, which means that the Ibanez SML721 costs around 18% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in Indonesia.

SET PRICE ALERT

These are affiliate links. We may earn a fee if you purchase after clicking. These prices are prone to error. Make sure you're buying the right product after clicking on a link from our site. We are not liable if you buy the wrong product after following these links. As an Amazon Associate site we earn from qualifying purchases.

User Feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

Weight

Vote

Tuning stability

Vote

Neck speed (thickness)

Vote

Neck access to high frets

Vote

Neck profile shape

Vote

Fret edges

Vote

Pickups noise

Vote

Pickups power

Vote
View all user feedback

User Reviews

No Reviews Yet

Videos

GOLD Frets? New Ibanez SML721
Ibanez Multi-Scale SML721 - New For 2023! - A Rose Gold Chameleon S-Series That'll Blow You Away!
Axe Design Lab SML721 | Kohei Okamura | Ibanez
2023 Ibanez SML721RGC Guitar Overview - Innovative Multi-Scale Guitar from the Axe Design Lab
More Videos

Often Compared With

Explore All From Ibanez >

Playability

The Ibanez SML721 meets 5 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

Ibanez SML721
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Locking tuners
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Ibanez SML721's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Ibanez SML721's 25.5" to 25" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Ibanez SML721 Scale Length Comparison
Ibanez SML721's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

The Ibanez SML721 features a multi-scale fingerboard, which means that it incorporates two scale lengths at the same time. This is present in some 7+ strings guitars to give a different tension to the lower strings and the higher strings. The thickest strings need more tension to avoid fret buzz (especially when tuned low), so the scale is longer for these strings, while the thinnest strings will need less tension (because they have a lower gauge), so they have a shorter scale to reduce stiffness for bends.

It can feel awkward if you've never played a multi-scale because the frets will have more separation for the higher strings, but a lot of people love their versatility.

Neck Profile

Ibanez SML721 Neck Profile
Ibanez SML721's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

The Ibanez SML721's neck thickness is approximately 0.71'' (18mm) at the first fret, and 0.79'' (20.1mm) at the twelfth.

These measurements were taken either from the official Ibanez website, or, in case this information wasn't provided, by researching multiple online marketplaces and forums where owners of this model have posted their measurements.

It has a Wizard type neck. This is a neck profile invented by Ibanez in the 90s and perfected throughout the years. It's thinner than the C profile that most people like. It's not as thin as their 'Super Wizard' version, so it's a good option if you like thin necks, but like to have a bit of thickness for resting your hand while playing.

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Ibanez SML721 has a 15.75" fingerboard radius.

Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Ibanez SML721 Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Ibanez SML721's fretboard radius compared to others

It's a radius that makes playing single notes (and bending, vibrato, sliding, etc) easier than on a classic Les Paul guitar. However, it's still more curved than some baritone and 7+ strings guitars.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Ibanez SML721 has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

Ibanez SML721
This model
Multiscale Scale Length
Wizard Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
15.75'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.625'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
Multiscale Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.643'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Ibanez SML721 Nut Width
Ibanez SML721 Nut Width

The Ibanez SML721 has a nut width of 43mm (1.693''). This is within the most common range of nut widths for a 6-string guitar. It offers a good balance of string separation at the nut. It's the size that most guitarists prefer as it gives them just enough space to play open chords without muting the strings, but without spreading the strings too wide and making bar chords difficult to perform.

Frets

The Ibanez SML721 has 24 frets. A lot of people mistakenly believe that having more frets will always be better because it gives you a higher octave. This is certainly an advantage, but there's also a disadvantage to this.

Since the fretboard will be longer, the neck pickup will need to be placed closer to the bridge. And as you may know, the further away the neck pickup is from the bridge, the warmer it sounds. This means you'll have a brighter-sounding neck pickup when using a 24-fret guitar, even if you use the same pickup on a 22-fret guitar.

Finally, this guitar has EVO gold frets. These sit right between nickel silver and stainless steel in terms of durability. They have the plus of looking absolutely stunning thanks to the golden finish.

Fret Size

Ibanez SML721 Fret Size Comparison
Ibanez SML721's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Ibanez SML721's frets are Jumbo size. This is a tall fret size that is becoming increasingly popular because it makes it easier to press down the strings cleanly. With this fret size, you won't feel the fretboard when playing, so if you press down too hard, you will get the notes out of pitch. However, this is something you can overcome by getting used to the taller size.

More with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 90
Chord Playability 55
Solo Playability 90
Playability 78

Tone

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar or bass. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood

Nyatoh wood pattern used for guitar building
Nyatoh Body
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Neck
Rosewood wood pattern used for guitar building
Rosewood Fretboard

Nyatoh Body: It's a wood type found mainly in Indonesia. It's fairly hard and durable and is becoming popular for building guitars because it isn't expensive.

Maple Neck: This is one of the most popular types of wood used in all kinds of guitars. It's heavy, strong and compact, which makes it great for necks. However, it's also used for fretboards, bodies and tops due to its light color, resistance and beautiful patterns. When it comes to tone, it highlights the mid and high frequencies.

Rosewood Fretboard: Since the ban of Brazillian Rosewood, this has become a rare and expensive wood. It's not usually used for guitar bodies because of this, and also because it's heavy. Instead, it's used mainly for fretboards. Sometimes it's also used for necks because it's an extremely hard wood (even harder than maple). Its tonality tends to favor warm tones.

More made with the same wood:

Pickups

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with pickups from one of the top brands. This doesn't mean you will get bad pickups, but you might want to consider a pickup upgrade after some time.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a rounder sound and a moderade level of output.

The Ibanez SML721's configuration is HH. With this pickup combination, you'll get warmer tones and more output than using single coils. Humbucker pickups cancel the noise that single-coil suffer from, which also results in a warmer tone. This pickup combination isn't only for high-gain music like Hard Rock or Heavy Metal. Their warmness is also popular for Jazz, Indie, R&B, Blues and more.

More with the same pickups

Ibanez SML721
This model
24 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Q58 Bridge Pickup
Q58 Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Q58 Bridge Pickup
Q58 Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Q58 Bridge Pickup
R1 Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Q58 Bridge Pickup
Q58 Neck Pickup
Ibanez Q54
Compare
24 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Q58 Bridge Pickup
R1 Neck Pickup

Versatility

It gives you a good amount of tone options with its 5-way switch. You can use it to choose at least 5 different pickup combinations.

It has a Coil Tap option. This will allow you to get a single-coil sound out of your humbucker once you activate the power tap. The way it works is that it cuts part of the power coming from one of the coils, which ends up giving you a more real single-coil sound.

Diagram

Ibanez SML721 pickups switch selector and push knobs diagram
Ibanez SML721's switch options

What music genre is it good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with HH configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Hard Rock or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this particular one.

Sound Score

Pickups 55
Sustain 80
Versatility 72
Tuning Stability 75
Sound 71

Build Quality

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Ibanez SML721 is made in Indonesia. Many people prefer the quality of an Indonesian guitar over a Chinese. Respectable brands like Epiphone, Ibanez and Schecter are building in this country because of the great quality and lower price. Some people like to compare them to the ones built in Japan during the 80s, when Japanese guitar makers made a name for themselves.

Still, remember that we're taking about Ibanez here, which is a brand with good renown. They know how to use cheap labor in this country without sacrificing too much quality. So you shouldn't end up receiving a useless or ugly instrument.

Bridge

Mono-rail: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

More with the same type of bridge:

Tuners

The Ibanez SML721 comes with locking tuners, which helps with tuning stability and makes changing strings a lot faster and easier. As long as they're high quality, these are the best tuning machines you can have. The only disadvantage is that they are a bit heavier than normal tuners.

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Ibanez SML721 has a Plastic nut. This is a low-quality nut that you might want to consider upgrading soon. Bone and TUSQ nuts are the best for guitars with a fixed or simple tremolo bridge.

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Bolt-On neck joint. Even though this type of neck was looked down upon for a long time, nowadays bolt-on necks are well built and provide just as much sustain as any other join method. First of all, it's cheap to make because it consists of simply 4 bolts that attach the neck to the body. And you can travel with the guitar more easily, swap out the neck if you damage it, or upgrade to a more comfortable neck later on.

More with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 61
Features 75
Quality Control 70
Build Quality 69

All Specs

Ibanez SML721
General
Brand: Ibanez
Year: 2023
Configuration: HH
Strings: 6
Made in: Indonesia
Series: S
Colors: Pink
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Nyatoh
Bridge: Mono-rail
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Gotoh MG-T locking machine heads
Fretboard: Rosewood
Neck Material: Maple/Walnut
Decoration: Off-set white dot
Scale Size: 25.5" to 25"
Shape: Wizard
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.71'' (18mm) - 12th Fret: 0.79'' (20.1mm)
Frets: 24 Jumbo Gold
Fretboard Radius: 15.75"
Nut: Plastic
Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'')
Electronics
Switch: 5 Way
Knobs: Dome
Pickup Mods: Coil Tap
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: Q58 (Humbucker / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Q58 (Humbucker / Passive)