New AZ models for Andy Timmons, Marco Sfogli, Tim Henson, Scott LePage, Mario Camarena & Erick Hansel
After introducing the AZ line of electric guitars at last year’s NAMM show, with Tom Quayle and Martin Miller being the first signature artists, it seems like more Ibanez players are liking the AZ style and features. Andy Timmons and Marco Sfogli are adapting to AZ models and Polyphia’s guitar players Tim Henson & Scott LePage are getting their own AZ signatures as well.
We are currently in a period of time, where many Ibanez artists celebrate anniversaries due to the companies history and influence in the iconic 80’s. Shredmaster and Mr. Big guitarist Paul Gilbert celebrates his 30th anniversary with a really special model, sporting the body and neck design of his very first Ibanez signature.
The PGM333 comes with three DiMarzio PG-13 mini humbuckers, which have been designed for Paul who seems to use this pickup format most of the time recently. Further specs are:
African Mahogany body
5-piece Maple/Walnut neck
24 Jumbo frets
Gotoh MG-T locking tuners
Gotoh GTC101 bridge
Volume control, 3-way lever switch
It wouldn’t be a PGM model, if it didn’t have the classic f-hole designs on top, so of course this one does.
Now that I think about it…I was just 7 years old when Paul started his relationship with Ibanez Guitars. 30 years with one company definitely says a lot about the player and the company.
Current info says that the PGM333 will be available in late June this year and should sit around 2600€.
All info on Ibanez’ website and oh…did I mention that he also talked about this new model in a recent video? Check it out below!
Fanned frets, funny scale lengths and fancy electronics
Regarding the new Ibanez basses for 2015, we can actually talk about a premiere for the Japanese manufacturer. Because for the first time ever, they will offer bass models with fanned fretboards. If I am not mistaken, Ibanez might be the first of the bigger companies releasing instruments of this kind. And here’s the even better news… the SR series fanned fret 5-string is targeted to cost 900€. Now I wonder why they didn’t introduce fanned fret guitars… maybe soon.
Ibanez Fanned Fret Bass Models
On the expensive end, Ibanez will offer the Japanese-made SRFF4505 5-string bass with high-end features such as Nordstrand pickups, Prestige Fret Edge Treatment and custom electronics. As mentioned before, the lower-priced SR model SRFF805 with Bartolini pickups, Ibanez Custom electronics and Mono Rail-V bridge will cost 899€ street, the 6-string version with equal specs 949€. More info and hi-res pictures below.
Apart from Ibanez’ traditional guitar models like the RG, S or JEM Series, the semi-hollow lines Artstar and Artcore were extremely successful all around the world. The well-balanced mix of traditional shapes with modern day pickups and hardware has been adopted by a lot of huge artists as well.
For 2015, Ibanez releases three Artstar models with solid tops for the more ambitious player, Super 58 humbuckers and high-end hardware. But also the lower-prized Artcore guitars feature figured woods and beautiful finishes.
Ibanez Artstar SS300 Dark Violin Sunburst
The Ibanez SS300 features a quite compact body with Flamed Maple back and sides plus a solid Spruce top, which can be found on a lot of expensive American guitars as well. The top, neck and headstock come with a natural binding and the ebony fretboard has acryl/abalone block inlays set in.
Ibanez Artstar SS300-DVS Dark Violin Sunburst (click to enlarge)
While I had the impression that in the past few years, Ibanez almost overran the market with a huge numbers of new guitars and basses (plus swapping in and out different colors), 2015 seems to be more focused on keeping the good ones and adding what has been requested from a lot of players.
Ibanez ARZIR28 Iron Label
If you love a more classical body shape for your extended range instrument, here’s one for you. The Ibanez ARZIR28 8-string features a 27″ baritone scale for proper string tension and the classic singlecut design with an arched top. The factory tuning might be interesting as well, as the guitar is tuned between F (lowest string) to D#.
In 2015, Ibanez shows a tendency towards more affordable signature guitars with only a few exceptions. Especially the Adam Nitti Signature Bass for 7000€ might be something for the bass-playing dentist or lawyer.
KISS’ Paul Stanley returns back into the artist rooster of Ibanez Guitars & Basses. For the first time since 1996 the Japanese company and the KISS frontman collaborate for two Paul Stanley models, which are located in the 900€ and 300€ price range.
Ibanez PS120 Paul Stanley (click to enlarge)
Ibanez PS40 Paul Stanley (click to enlarge)
The Ibanez PS120 Paul Stanley Signature comes with a mahogany body/maple top combination and features a set-in mahogany neck with ebony fretboard and abalone block inlays. The two humbuckers are Seymour Duncan ’59 neck and Custom 5 bridge, which both have their own volume control. A special Ibanez gigbag will be included. The PS40 is a stripped-down version with poplar body, bolt-on maple neck and Ibanez Infinity R humbuckers. It also comes with a signed pickguard and Ibanez gigbag. Prices are scheduled at 899€ (PS120) and 289€ (PS40).
Apart from guitars like the Fender Stratocaster or Gibson’s Les Paul, the Ibanez RG is one of the best-selling electric guitars in history. It is based on the Strat design, but was always targeted to the more technical player, combining a comfortable body shape with a very flat neck profile, that no one had seen or played before.
While I am not so much into Floyd Rose-equipped guitars, I was always a big fan of the Ibanez RG, basically for the reasons mentioned above. A couple of months ago I got the chance to test the Ibanez RG721RW for a few days and I was totally blown away by it from the first minute.