Best Ibanez Guitars of 2021- Complete Review

Thalia
| Last Updated: January 28, 2021

If you're an '80s rock music lover, there is no way you haven’t noticed all those iconic guitar heroes showing off with fast pace playing. It’s hard to imagine any guitar player of that era that hasn't been playing Ibanez guitars at some point in their career.

There are so many great brands available for the guitarist looking to try a new guitar. How do you ever choose between them? Is there something special between Alvarez and Fender? What about Taylor and Epiphone

Trying to decide could give you a bit of a headache, and no musician wants that. So, we took the initiative and decided that one of the brands you definitely must consider is Ibanez.

In this guide, we are going to give you the full rundown on this guitar brand, from who they are to what makes them great, all culminating in a carefully curated list of the best Ibanez guitars. So, without further ado, let us introduce you to a guitar brand that is going to change your life and your music.

Our Top Picks for Ibanez Guitars

  • HSH Superstrat setup
  • Fast and responsive action
  • Dragon Eye Burst finish
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  • Enhanced RG421 model
  • DiMarzio pickups installed
  • Flamed Maple finish
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  • Affordable and versatile
  • Inner shielding hum isolation
  • Quilted Maple art top
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Comparison of the Best Ibanez Guitars

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Superstrat model with HSH pickup configuration
  • Edge Zero II tremolo bridge system
  • Rare Dragon Eye Burst finish
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  • Upgraded RG premium model
  • DiMarzio pickups installed
  • Unique looking Flamed Maple finish
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  • Decreased hum from the inner shielding
  • Advanced 5-way pickup selector
  • Quilted Maple art grain on top
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  • Best Ibanez Electric Guitar
  • Wizard III neck profile included
  • Double locking bridge
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  • Best Ibanez Guitar For Metal
  • Double cut-away body design for better reach
  • A fast and slim Maple fingerboard design
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  • Best Ibanez 7 Strings Guitar
  • Equipped with high-output infinity R pickups
  • Quilted Maple art grain top included
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  • Best Ibanez Hollow Body Guitar
  • Separate volume and tone control for both pickups
  • Ideal for jazz and vintage rock music
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  • Best Ibanez Guitar for Beginners
  • Comes with 2 Power sound pickups
  • A Rosewood fingerboard is included
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  • Best Ibanez Bass Guitar
  • Custom Electronics installed with 3-band EQ
  • Ideal for all types of modern music
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  • Best Ibanez Acoustic Guitar
  • 2-band EQ with built-in tuner electronics on board
  • Phase switch for significant reducing feedback
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What Makes a Great Ibanez Guitar?

Having an idea of what to look for when you are trying to decide which Ibanez guitar you are going to go with can be quite a task. With so many options, we thought you might want a little buyers guide to help you weed out your choices. 

So, here are several factors that you should ponder on as you consider which Ibanez guitar fits you and your music style:

Size

When considering the guitar of your dreams, this may seem like a small thing. After all, shouldn’t you worry more about the sound and durability? Yes, those are important, but if you are uncomfortable playing the instrument or if it is awkward to hold, then what good does any of those do you? So, when selecting your guitar, you want to make sure the length and weight fit your physical frame. Those with shorter arms or smaller hands may prefer a smaller neck and thinner body like the S-series. Whereas if the shoe is on the other foot, you will want to consider the RG-series for sure.

Pickup

Making sure your transducer is going to offer you the right tone and texture is essential. This all has to do with the style of music you are looking to create. Ibanez does tend to use the S-series pickup quite a bit, or the IBZ/DMZ. 

These are great for most rock sounds. They do offer other options, and the better the quality, the higher the price.

Controls

Many models from Ibanez give you multiple controls to craft your sound to your liking. Though tone and volume may be all you need, some models also include bass, reverb, etc. 

Review of the Best Ibanez Guitars

Here is the list of the best Ibanez guitars on the market. We have excluded the j.custom and Prestige models to keep the whole list affordable and interesting:

With all that explained, it is time to dive into the models we chose as the best Ibanez guitars on the market today. Here are a few of those options, broken down to give you a better idea of why they were chosen.

Best Overall:
Ibanez S670QM

Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar, Right, Transparent Green Burst (GRX70QATEB)

PROS

  • Fast and responsive neck playability
  • Superstrat model with quilted Maple top
  • Ibanez Edge Zero II locking tremolo system
  • Beautiful and unique dragon eye burst finish
  • Versatile HSH Superstrat pickup configuration

CONS

  • Ibanez Quantum pickups 
  • A gig bag could be included in this price range

What Recent Buyers Report

Most people comment that this guitar is the best investment for the starters. The build quality seems to be quite alright and it appears that sounds even better than expected.

But, they also see this instrument as the ideal upgrade machine, as the Ibanez Quantum pickups aren't getting so much love from experienced players.

Why it Stands Out to Us

HSH pickup position feels the best for us as it will provide you with the most versatile tone options available on a single guitar at the moment. Also, a tremolo bar seems to be an irreplaceable part of Ibanez guitar lovers, so you will enjoy the new Edge Zero II tremolo system.

Who Will Use This Most

This model was meant for semi-pro players and beginners who are certain they will be serious about their guitar lessons. Shredders will enjoy the tremolo for both live and the studio, while the other players will enjoy having a single coil pickup in the middle so they can play clean guitar sounds.

Bottom Line

Ibanez S670QM is that type of guitar that would make your head turn if you saw it on some gig. And while it looks premium, the sound provides you with everything you will need for a very long time.

Runner-up:
Ibanez RG421HPFM

Ibanez RG421HPFM Electric Guitar (Blue Reef Gradation)

PROS

  • Suitable for all music genres
  • Beautiful and unique color finish
  • Thin and fast Wizard III neck profile
  • DiMarzio pickups with coil tap switch installed
  • Improved RG421 model with Flamed Maple Top

CONS

  • Might feel a bit more expensive
  • Tremolo bar might be missing for some players

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are in love with this guitar and praise how unique and beautiful the top looks like. Intonation seems to be on the spot and the sound is better than for the rest of the RG series.

The only thing they would like to change is to have a tremolo instead of a fixed bridge system.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Thanks to the Coil Tap switch this Ibanez has an improved tonal variety. It can work in regular humbucker mode but also as a single-coil instrument. 

And it’s not the factory pickups we’re talking about. Ibanez RG421 uses DiMarzio The Tone Zone at the bridge and Air Norton at the neck position.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a semi pro guitar that should suit all kinds of players. Newbies will love that Flamed Maple top appearance, while advanced players may enjoy having so many sound options at the finger and excellent Wizard III neck profile.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re up for real heavy metal sound or those catchy funky lines, Ibanez RG421 is a wonderful instrument that can be used in both situations respectively. It may cost you a bit more, but it justifies its price all the way.

Best for the Money:
Ibanez GRX70QATEB

Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar, Right, Transparent Green Burst (GRX70QATEB)

PROS

  • Neck design offers easy, fast playability
  • Decreased hum from the inner shielding
  • Quality of all hardware, both internally and externally, is of the highest quality
  • Perfectly designed pickup system with multiple styles for ultimate sound quality
  • Tonewoods used in overall construction are the best quality for the sound desired

CONS

  • Pickup's harmonic response is less than stellar
  • Not overall balanced with the neck being heavier than the body
  • Tuners are not lockable, so they tend to come out of tune frequently

What Recent Buyers Report

The sound quality brought on by the excellent hardware included in the design of this instrument is what most recent buyers are raving about. Though some take issue with the pickup response and the fact that the tuners are not lockable, the basic consensus is that this is easily one of the best guitars out there.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The biggest thing is sound quality, and that is exactly what stands out to us. The inclusion of a split-coil pickup system in high-quality materials leave this guitar with the perfect sound for almost any guitarist. When you add the comfort of play, you get an all-around A+ guitar.

Who Will Use This Most

This would be an excellent guitar for the musician looking for a punchy, crisp tone that needs a fast neck. So, guitarists playing heavy metal or even punk rock could get a lot from this guitar for sure. Looking for great control and a lightweight guitar so you can strut your stuff across the stage while shredding out the next solo? Then this is your go-to guitar.

Bottom Line

This guitar easily finds itself on the top of our list for several reasons, but one above all else. The quality of sound and the tonal spectrum this can produce makes it the best overall choice, no matter what type of music or style you play.

Best Ibanez Electric Guitar:
Ibanez JEMJR YE Steve Vai Signature

Ibanez JEMJRSP YE Steve Vai Signature Yellow Electric Guitar w/Gig Bag

PROS

  • Excellent price considering the value you get with the model
  • Able to feel the texture of the neck even though the finish
  • Great budget-friendly alternative to other Steve Vai series models
  • Crafted with a high-end neck that simulates its more expensive cousin (Wizard III)
  • For better and more extensive whammy-use, it is fitted with a double locking bridge

CONS

  • Humbucker pickups do not come with a coil tap
  • When changing strings, you will need to pay attention to locking bridge and nut
  • You may need some professional help to get this model ready to go with a tight setup

What Recent Buyers Report

Though you may need help getting this instrument ready to play, recent buyers have a lot of great things to say about this Ibanez guitar. They love the value you get for such a great price. With a build that is designed for superior performance, you will not regret choosing this guitar.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The pickup design and the overall build stand out to us. With this unique pickup system, you will get great sound quality from this fantastic electric guitar. With a build designed for enhanced playability and functionality, this is by far one of the best Ibanez guitars and certainly their best electric model.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great choice for that studio back up guitarist that may need to play multiple music styles. With a fat, wide, versatile range of tones, you can smoothly play anything from jazz to punk and still have the right sound.

Bottom Line

A well-executed design that brings with it versatility like few others, this model is a great choice to add to your collection of guitars. Built to play the heck out of whatever sheet music is in front of you, the versatility of this model makes it the best electrical guitar from Ibanez.

Best Ibanez Guitar for Metal:
Ibanez RG450DX

Ibanez RG450DX RG Series Electric Guitar Starlight Blue

PROS

  • Multiple high-quality pickups for better sound crafting
  • Durable and well built overall for longer life expectancy
  • Neck design makes it a fast play, which is perfect for metal
  • Wide variety of color choices available to suit the musician’s taste
  • The overall ergonomic design that makes it fun and easy to play for long periods

CONS

  • Issues with the middle pickup’s volume
  • Some have taken issue with the overall tone
  • Issues with the quality and sound control of the volume knob

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers love the crunchy fat sounds that this well-crafted guitar has to offer. Crafted with great attention to detail, this instrument sports a neck design ideal for the fast play needed to inspire some headbanging. Some do take issue with the volume of the middle pick up and the quality of the volume knob. The overall opinion is that this is one rocking guitar.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The multiple pickups and great neck are what stand out to us. When you are ripping through those power chords, or getting down and dirty with an intense solo, this guitar is built for the metal head. The pickup system has three sets: the bridge, middle, and neck. All are constructed of the highest quality options, so you will be driving those crunchy chords right through your amp and into the audience with precision.

Who Will Use This Most

This isn’t the best for metal for no reason. This guitar will be used most effectively if you are getting your band ready to headbang your way to success. The crunchy tones and the amazing pickup system lend itself to a high powered, fast playing guitar built for those metalheads of the world.

Bottom Line

This guitar is metal! There is no sugar coating with a build and hardware like this; there is only one music style that will benefit the most from this model. That said, in truth any hardcore, crunchy, punchy playing musician should take a hard look at this Ibanez guitar.

Best Ibanez 7 String Guitar:
Ibanez RG7421PB

Ibanez RG Series RG7421PB 7-String Electric Guitar Flat Sapphire Blue

PROS

  • Decent low-end response
  • Ideal for modern metal music
  • Marvelous Sapphire Blue Flat finish
  • Unique 5-way pickup selector switch
  • Best introduction to 7-string guitar tone world

CONS

  • Tuners could be upgraded
  • A bit mediocre pickup sound in general

What Recent Buyers Report

They don’t find any significant flaw to this model except for typical complaints about Ibanez Quantum pickups. 

They generally agree that this guitar is a wonderful way to get into that world of modern guitars without breaking a bank which on top of that looks premium.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is one of the rare mass-produced 7-string guitars. The highlight is on the advanced 5-way switch selector that allows not just coil splitting, but the unique humbucker parallel connection at position #2. 

This is also the only model where tremolo is not missing as a fixed bridge will provide an even more solid low-end.

Who Will Use This Most

Metalheads, especially those who are into modern genres such as metalcore or djent will love this guitar and with the careful mixing, it could be used in studio recordings as well. Those who would like to learn how to play 7-string guitar could also rely on it.

Bottom Line

We believe that Ibanez RG7421PB is one of the most affordable 7-string guitars on the market for those players who would like to get as low as possible and it’s the best way to test out how much are you into such sound.

Best Ibanez Hollow Body Guitar:
Ibanez AS73

Ibanez Artcore AS73 Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar Tobacco Brown

PROS

  • HH Ibanez Elite pickup setup
  • Ideal for jazz and vintage rock music
  • Retro rectangle inlays on nyatoh fretboard
  • Separate volume and tone control for both pickups
  • Semi-hollow double cutaway guitar with laminated Linden top

CONS

  • Coil splitting option would be awesome
  • Cutaway design may feel a bit awkward to reach higher notes

What Recent Buyers Report

Most satisfied users came from playing a Gibson before and they comment in general that Ibanez is significantly more lightweight while still looking vintage.

But with such weight comes the shorter sustain and this might be an issue for some archtop guitar lovers out there.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Soundwise, semi-hollow guitars are somewhere between solid body and full hollow body instruments so they share a bit of both trait, especially when they are equipped with HH pickup configuration. And unlike the typical hollow body model, this Ibanez comes with reduced body size for an archtop model.

Who Will Use This Most

People who are into vintage music genres such as rockabilly or jazz will enjoy playing this guitar.

Also, any genre that prefers guitar sound where distortion isn't an overwhelming effect will find a way to utilize it, so we can imagine this guitar being used for some blues, vintage, or indie rock music as well.

Bottom Line

As Gibson semi-hollow guitars can be very expensive, Ibanez AS73 seems to be an interesting choice if you would like something else than a regular Epiphone. Its may be an ideal solution for those transferring from a solid body to hollow body instruments.

Best Ibanez Guitar for Beginners:
Ibanez GRX20ZBKN

Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar, Right Handed, Black (GRX20ZBKN)

PROS

  • Pickup system is crafted to enhance overall sound performance.
  • Quality of the investment versus the price tag is outstanding.
  • All materials, both internal and external, are of the highest quality.
  • Neck is smooth, and the frets need no filing, which makes it easy to play.

CONS

  • No bag included for transport.
  • There have been some issue with fret buzz.
  • Some initial adjustments may need to be made (i.e. intonation, string action, etc).

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers love the quality of materials used to craft this high performing model. They seem to love that you get a guitar that gives you great sound for a good price, though some do take issue with the lack of a gig bag. Another problem is that you may have to take a few extra minutes to set up a particular aspect before getting to shred on your guitar.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Easily this is one of the best options, primarily because of the fantastic hardware included in the build. Therefore, we chose it to be one of the top guitars on this list. With its use of high-quality electronics mixed with amazing tonewoods like maple and alder, you cannot go wrong.

Who Will Use This Most

The build of this guitar makes it an excellent choice for the beginning guitarist. When you are working on building your calluses and speed, you want a guitar that has a slick neck and frets that are gentle. This model has that, plus a comfortable frame for ergonomic appeal as well.

Bottom Line

This model was so close to being the overall best, but the runner-up spot isn’t bad. You still get all the intense and finely crafted sound qualities with this option for a little bit of a cheaper investment. So, no matter whether you choose the one above or this amazing model, you will most assuredly be one happy camper.

Best Ibanez Bass Guitar:
Ibanez SR405EQM

Ibanez SR405EQM 5-String Bass Guitar (Surreal Black Burst Gloss)

PROS

  • Handy Power Tap audio switch
  • Ideal for all types of modern music
  • 5-string Quilted Maple top with Mahogany body
  • Ibanez Custom Electronics installed with 3-band EQ
  • Available in different colors and as a four-string model

CONS

  • Trebles could be a bit more clear
  • Tuning machines are a bit mediocre

What Recent Buyers Report

Most players bought this instrument because of the finish on the top at first as it makes you feel it costs twice as much. Luckily, they say that the sound is more than decent so they would gladly recommend this instrument to all kinds of players out there, especially for those who are a bit short on a budget.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Ibanez bass guitars have quite a different neck profile when they are compared with the other bass guitar models. It’s super fast and playability along with the sustain seems to be right on the spot.

Soundwise, it won’t drop your jaw with the sound quality, but you will be happy to see how versatile its tone can be in general.

Who Will Use This Most

Five-string bass guitars seem to be essential not just for heavy metal music, but for all kinds of modern music genres. Active electronics will be appreciated for advanced players while the newbies may play around with the Power Tap switch until they learn a bit more about sound shaping.

Bottom Line

Ibanez SR405EQM is one of the cheapest ways to get a decent sound that could be used for most professional recordings. Nowadays, five string bass is a must have instrument for every modern bass player. 

Best Ibanez Acoustic Guitar:
Ibanez AW54CEOPN

Ibanez AW54CEOPN Artwood Dreadnought Acoustic/Electric Guitar - Open Pore Natural

PROS

  • 2-EQ with built-in tuner electronics on board 
  • Phase switch for significant reducing feedback
  • Acoustic-electric guitar with single cutaway design
  • All Mahogany instrument with rosewood fingerboard
  • Vintage pickguard, binding and rosette details on the top

CONS

  • 3-band EQ would be nice
  • A bit average build quality and basic design

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers say that it matches the price you’re paying for it. The wood design makes the tone loud and bright and when compared with other guitars it is often described as twice as loud.

However, they do comment that the missing strap buttons are a bit of a strange decision, though.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We love the fact that although it’s an acoustic guitar model, it still has a cutaway design so you can reach higher frets much easier.

Also, it’s not so often to find a phase switch button that prevents unwanted feedback at this price so consider this as a professional add-on on a budget model.

Who Will Use This Most

Newbies and weekend guitar players may find this instrument more than suitable for their needs. It will be also ideal for smaller gigs or acoustic lounge shows as well thanks to the Fishman Sonicore pickup and acoustically it should cover most camp nights or seaside events.

Bottom Line

Ibanez Artwork acoustic guitars are not the current state of the art in the music world, but they will do the job you’re expecting from them. The preamp will come in handy sooner or later and your wallet will say thank you for such a choice.

Who is Ibanez?

Ibanez is a guitar brand based in Nagoya, Japan. It’s one of the first Japanese companies that made a breakthrough in both the USA and Europe. It was officially formed in 1957 but they have been making guitar instruments since 1935. 

Along with copying Fender and Gibson guitars, Ibanez has been working on original models as well which eventually led to collaboration with American musician Steve Vai and the birth of the Ibanez JEM series. It got famous because of its incredible sound versatility and neck playability. Because of its low price policy, it made an easier headstart possible for so many players out there.

Thanks to the success of the JEM series, many other models and other guitar instruments entered mass production. It’s also worth mentioning that Ibanez is the first company that ever made 7-string and 8-string guitar models on a mass-production scale.

Who Owns Ibanez Guitars?

Ibanez is owned by Hoshino Gakki company.

Where Are Ibanez Guitars Made?

Ibanez guitars are currently being made at three facilities in Indonesia, China, and Japan. JapanThere is also a Custom Shop located in California as well.

Photo Credit: Ibanez.com

Where Are Ibanez Artcore Guitars Made?

Based on the year, Ibanez Artcore guitars were first made in China until 2017, and the production line is now moved to Indonesia.

Where Are Ibanez Prestige Guitars Made?

Premium Prestige models are being made in Fujigen, Japan while the midline models are made in Ibanez facilities in Indonesia.

How Do You Pronounce Ibanez?

The “I” part in the word Ibanez could be pronounced as in the 1st person pronoun - “I”. 

However, as the company origin is not from the USA, it’s most likely that part should be said like “ee”. So the correct way could be either “ay-ba-nez” or “ee-ba-nez”.

But, because the name Ibanez is used to honor Spanish luthier Salvador Ibañez, perhaps the Spanish way of pronouncing could help so while no one says “ee-ba-nyez”, the “ee-ba-nez” seems to be the correct way to say it.

What Kind of Warranty Does Ibanez Offer?

Ibanez offers a 1-year limited warranty if you purchase their instrument from authorized US dealers and it will cover regular repairs and part replacements. The warranty is not applied on any non-factory parts, accidental or intentional damages, and normal fret wear or plating on metal parts or cracking or other damage on the finish.

History of Ibanez Guitars

This guitar company was originally founded in Spain. They carefully focused their attention on designing and crafting high-quality stringed instruments. In 1935, the Hoshino Gakki company began to import Salvador Ibanez guitars. This Japanese company, which was a subdivision of a book company, began to produce the designs and export them to Europe and America. 

In the 50s, the shape and design began to change to accommodate the new sound of music, and it kept evolving to this very day, though it wouldn’t be until the 70s that the name would be recognizable by guitarists around the world. Thanks to the burgeoning metal and hard rock scene, artists like Steven Vai and Joe Satriani would make them their go-to brand, along with many other famous musicians.

Photo Credit: GuitarGearFinder.com

How Do Ibanez Guitars Compare to the Competition?

Many brands produce outstanding guitars that any musician would love to play, but Ibanez brings its own unique qualities. Many things set this brand apart.

Body Types

This brand sticks to two main solid body styles, unlike others that have a variety of options. This allows them to fine-tune and perfect their designs down to the finest detail. The two body styles are the RG and the S. The RG is a 24-fret neck with a thicker body, and the S has 22 frets and is a thinner build. (There are a few other styles, but they use arched tops).

Floating Tremolo

Though not all of their models have a floating tremolo, the vast majority do. This means that you have space between your tremolo and the body. It will give you a little better action to work with, along with more rumble and vibration.

Craftsmanship

Every brand will tout its exquisite designs and high-performance build, and many may be right. But Ibanez has held onto the love and care that Salvador Ibanez put into his original guitars. Crafted with high-quality materials, both internally and externally, the craftsmanship plays a huge role in the rich sounds you get when playing an Ibanez.

Comparison Overview

Let’s try to make a quick comparison overview of how Ibanez guitars stand against other brands:

Fender vs Ibanez Guitar

Fender Stratocaster was definitely a guitar that Ibanez was most inspired by, especially Superstrat which sky-rocketed in the ‘80s. It may be odd, but it was Ibanez actually who made this possible.

They both have a huge collection of guitars available on market, so they have guitars for all types of players and, thanks to the Squire by Fender sub-brand at every price as well. The only important difference is that Ibanez has a much better offer for left handed players and also has in collection 7-string and 8-string guitar models.

On the other hand, Fender stock pickups are way better than Ibanez and advanced players tend to upgrade it very often.

Soundwise, Fender guitars are a bit more retro oriented so they will fit the vintage rock, blues, funk, and jazz genres much better. Ibanez will sound wonderful for any kind of aggressive-oriented rock styles such as punk, hard rock, heavy metal, metalcore, just to name a few.

Gibson vs Ibanez Guitar

Along with Fender, it was Gibson that made the guitar world possible. They may fit the same guitar types, but they don’t have so many things in common as Fender and Ibanez had.

First, Ibanez guitars are significantly more lightweight. This also means that Gibson has a much better sustain length. Also, the neck profile is different and the Ibanez type seems to be much more rewarding for fast playing while the Gibson seems to be more “meaty”.

Next, the tremolo bridge system is something you don’t relate to Gibson guitars. Ibanez, on the other hand, uses this system frequently.

Speaking of the pickups, Gibson always comes in a dual coil setup which leaves Ibanez a bit more “open-minded” for various music genres because of its HSH or HHS setup. This versatility is also confirmed with Gibson’s shortcoming of 7-string guitars.

And what seems to be maybe the most important thing, the general feel about those two instruments is that Ibanez tends to provide you a bit more bang for the buck than Gibson. Gibson guitars may be premium, but so is the price as well.

Fender vs Ibanez Bass Guitar

Fender bass guitars were one of the first modern bass guitars ever made and these Precision and Jazz models represent the cornerstone of how the bass guitar should sound even today.

Ibanez bass guitars are made with a bit of a different idea. First, there are many affordable and useful models from the Soundgear series and those are also a bit more modern oriented bass guitars in terms of sound. On the other hand, the neck on those bass guitars is much thinner when compared to the Fender so it will be much more suitable for guitar player.

Yamaha vs Ibanez Bass Guitar

Yamaha bass guitars are much better placed than its electric guitar counterparts. They tend to target the same audience as Ibanez. Bass guitars from their offers are available up to 6-string size and for both right-hand and left-hand players. But, with the current offer, Ibanez seems to have a much bigger model collection.

Speaking of design, Yamaha is a bit more conservative so don’t expect to find body shape variations, flamed or grained tops. If you need it, Ibanez is your definite pick. They will also provide you many color options. 

In the end, the truth is that both guitars have models for both newbies and professional players. Yamaha may have a slight edge regarding tone qualities, but the price-quality ratio seems to be on the Ibanez side.

Ibanez SR405EQM

Other Equipment Made By Ibanez 

Here’s what else you can find under the Ibanez label:

Bass Guitars

The Ibanez Soundgear bass guitar series became popular because of their thin, fast neck along with the smooth, guitar-like body. It varies in price range so it covers all ranges from entry-level to professional tier including both 5-string and 6-string models and left-handed options, too.

While being more than decent to any bass player, these models are especially interesting to guitar players as the neck profile is very similar to electric guitar so they can make an easier transition to bass guitar instrument.

Acoustic and Hollow-body Instruments

Acoustic guitars made by Ibanez are intended for players on a budget at first. They tend to follow the brand philosophy of making affordable instruments and the Artcore series seems to nail that aspect well for hollow body guitars as well. 

It’s worth mentioning that there are acoustic bass guitar models included in the current production line as well.

Other Instruments

Besides standard guitar instruments, Ibanez is also making Mandolins, Banjos, and Ukuleles. 

Speaking of the latter, acoustic-electric Ukuleles are also provided and appear to be decent and affordable models that may have your interest.

Guitar Effects

Ibanez doesn’t have any interest in entering this market completely, but the legendary Tube Screamer overdrive is something every guitar player should know about it. It's been in production since the late 1970s. Apart from Tube Screamer for both guitar and bass, they are also making Fuzz pedals and all kinds of modulation effects as well.

Tube Screamer in timeline Photo Credit: (GuitarVerdict.com)

Other Equipment

Apart from instruments, there are several bass and guitar combo amps available. They are intended for semi-pro players with being portable as their main feature.

Ibanez is also manufacturing a lot of accessories such as soft bags and hard cases of various shock-proof qualities. Guitar stands, capos, straps, picks, tuners, and strings are also included in this offer.

Ibanez Guitar Types

The last record says that Ibanez currently has 165 bass guitars, 130 acoustic, and more than 300 guitar models available so instead of focusing on differences between RG, RGA, RGD, S, and other models we will focus for now only on solid body guitars and the sub-brand classification Ibanez is using to organize them:

Gio

Gio guitars represent the Ibanez version of Squier by Fender models - budget-line models optimized for complete beginners. While the build quality is often more than fine, the pickups are mediocre at best, so these guitars are often used either as first guitar choice or project guitar suitable for various upgrades by more experienced players.

You can tell that the guitar belongs to the Gio series by the G prefix, for example, GRG or GRGA.

Standard

These guitars belong to the regular production line and you can tell they belong to this series by the absence of any additional prefix and its model will contain up to three numbers. It will be named simply as the RG550 or S520 model.

Premium

An upgrade from the Standard series, these guitars are also made in Indonesia but with higher quality control and using premium materials. It will share the same as standard along with the suffix Premium.

Prestige

Prestige guitars are Ibanez top line models that are made exclusively in Japan. They have the exceptional build quality and the rest of the hardware and pickup equipment also matches such aspects.

These guitars will have a Prestige word as a part of its name and most often four numbers, for example, S6570 or AZ2402.

j. custom

j. custom guitars are the finest guitars Ibanez is making at this point. They are equipped with the best pickups on the market, have 5-piece neck profiles, reinforced truss rods along with Ibanez’s best Edge Zero tremolo system.  

Ibanez Premium (ElectricGuitars101.com)

How to Restring an Ibanez Electric Guitar

If you want to restring your Ibanez electric guitar with a tremolo bridge, you will need wire cutters, a 2.5mm and 3mm Allen wrench, and string winders to handle the tuners more efficiently.

First, check with the 2.5mm Allen wrench if the saddles on the bridge are tight. The best way to do it is to turn until it resists and don’t try to overdo it. Then place the fine tuners on the saddle to the middle position.

Now, remove the pressure pad at the locking nut by using the 3mm Allen wrench. Remove the old string by loosening the block lock with the same tool. Now cut the ball lock from the new string and insert it into the string retainer block and lock it back. Pass it over the nut and under the string tree and through the peg head so you have around at least a palm length on the other side.

Now bend the string upward and start to turn the string winder counter-clockwise. Cut the excess and set up the pitch. Repeat the same process for the other strings and remember that it’s much more convenient for this type of bridge system to change one string at a time.

Once you’re done get the pressure pads back on and place them back to nut position but don’t secure them yet. Stress the strings lightly several times first (like you would use them for a slingshot) and fix the tuning if necessary. Now you can secure the pressure pads and recheck the tuning as it’s going to be affected a little bit because of locking the pads.

If you would like to watch a video tutorial about the whole process, please check the video down below:

Conclusion

Perhaps Ibanez didn’t have that crucial influence on the world of the electric guitar like Fender and Gibson had, but it played an important role as it provided some nicely balanced models so that many guitar players could become a pro.

We hope they will do the same for you, too.

So now you have a little information on Ibanez and what makes this brand so amazing. We have gathered together this list of the best Ibanez guitars in the hopes that we can make your search and final decision just a bit easier. We wish you the best in selecting your new guitar and all of the musical exploits that will ensue.

Recap: 
Top 3 Picks

Here's a refresher of the best Ibanez guitars :

  1. Ibanez S670QM
  2. Ibanez RG421HPFM
  3. Ibanez GRX70QATEB

People Also Ask

There are countless questions about Ibanez, so we’ll try to cover the most important. We’ll break the myth of Ibanez being guitar only for metal, explain how they make both good and cheap models, and remind you what guitar heroes are using their products regularly.

Are Ibanez Guitars Only For Metal?

While Ibanez is an excellent guitar for all kinds of metal music you can use it in other genres, too. It’s always about playing techniques and effects at first. There is no reason why you couldn’t use it in hard rock, punk, funk, reggae, pop, blues, or even jazz.

Photo Credit: Ibanez.com

What Do Ibanez Model Numbers Mean?

Model numbers represent the tier of the Ibanez series. The lower the number, the more entry-level the model is. But, numbers 5 or 6 at the end (SR505E and SR506E e.g.) can tell that model is a 5-string or 6-string bass guitar. 7-string guitars come with number 7 at the front (GRG7221QA)

Is Ibanez a Good Guitar Brand?

Depending on your musical taste and needs Ibanez varies from being mediocre up to an excellent brand. Entry-level guitar models and bass guitars are providing exceptional bang for the buck while more premium guitar models seem to be irreplaceable for any kind of metal or modern rock-oriented players.

Why Are Ibanez Guitars Cheap?

Ibanez decided to approach the newbies in a different way than other companies. They completely understood that beginners won’t care too much about pickup so instead of sacrificing the build quality, they have provided cheaper pickups to maintain their price. This way, you can easily upgrade your instrument in case your playing evolves.

Does Ibanez Make Custom Guitars?

At this moment, due to high demand, Ibanez has decided to close their Custom Shop, at least for regular users. They are saving labor time in those workshops for endorsed artists only. Those Artist models are made in Yamaha Japan factory or California.  

Who Uses Ibanez Guitars?

Many famous musicians are heavily relying on Ibanez arsenal, so let’s just name a few:

  • Steve Vai (Whitesnake, Alcatrazz, Spinal Tap, The David Lee Roth Band)

  • Joe Satriani

  • Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big / Racer X)

  • Marty Friedman (Megadeth)

  • John Petrucci (until 2000)

  • Fredrik Thordendal and Mårten Hagström (Meshuggah)

  • Reb Beach (Winger, Dokken)

  • Herman Li (Dragonforce)

  • Vinnie Moore

Steve Vai- Photo Credit: Ibanez.com

How Much is an Ibanez Acoustic Guitar Worth?

Ibanez Acoustic guitar models may range from under $200 up to $1,000.

Bear in mind that Ibanez Acoustic Guitars don’t have a hype aura around them, so its resale value may not be so high. That’s why it would be best if you’re about to buy such a guitar to keep.

What Year is My Ibanez Guitar?

Ibanez serial numbers may vary depending on the year when you purchased it but usually, the year is located in the first numbers and letters on the back of your headstock.

Instead of decoding for yourself, we would recommend you to use this website instead.

How Much is My Ibanez Guitar Worth?

Ibanez guitars usually don’t have higher resale value on the used market and it’s very unlikely that it will ever become more expensive than it was when you bought it initially. Getting a signature from Steve Vai on limited edition Ibanez Jem could help a lot, though.

How to Identify Ibanez Guitar Model

Take a look at the back of your headstock beneath the tuning machines and try to find a number with a letter prefix. Letters represent the series (like RG series), the number stands for model and the suffix tells you a bit more about the model or represents the color code. 

Why Do So Many Metal Guitarists Play Ibanez Guitars?

Ibanez made its breakthrough back in the 1980s when metal and rock music was extremely popular. Those models were designed to match the need for fast playability and thanks to great endorsement deals with the current guitar heroes such as Steve Vai, they have gained the reputation for the best models for such music.

How to Remove a Pickup From An Ibanez Guitar

First, remove all the strings from your guitar. Then, take off the plate panel on the back and cut the wiring at the base as close as possible. Now, remove the screws from the pickup mask and gently slide it out and remove the single-coil pickups last.

How to Change Guitar Pickups Ibanez

Once you have removed old pickups, all you have to do is to set up a new one the opposite way. Set them in the cavity, make screws firm but not too tight, and solder the wiring connection on the back of your instrument by using the diagram provided with the new pickups.

How to Fix an Ibanez Guitar Bridge

If your tuning is not so consistent, one of the solutions could be to prevent the bridge from lifting in a standard position. Most of the time it occurs because the screws on the bridge are set too tight. Always remember that there should be no angle on your bridge system.

What Gauge Strings Come on Ibanez Acoustic Guitars?

Based on the manufacturing year, Ibanez Acoustic guitars may come either with D'Addario EXP11 coated 80/20 bronze or Ibanez stock strings. 

In both cases, they are equipped with regular .012/.016/.024/.032/.042/.053 string gauges.

Ibanez Buyer Guides

In the market for a new Ibanez guitar? Luckily, we've compiled all of our buyer guides related to Ibanez and related content. Feel free to review each guide and find the one that fits exactly what you're looking for. Be sure to check back soon as we'll be updating this page frequently. 


Thalia

Thalia has spent most of her life loving two things - writing and music. Thalia's passion for music saw her learning to play several instruments throughout her childhood and teen years. This passion also led to her earning two qualifications in Sound Recording Engineering, which she now uses by writing about musical instruments, studio gear, and the processes involved in making and producing music.