Ibanez guitars are definitely some of the finest rock machines in existence. A favorite of top musicians for many years Ibanez is without doubt at the forefront of the industry. Ibanez produces solid-body guitars, hollow-body guitars, acoustics and basses. Since this site is focused mainly toward Rock and Metal guitar, we're going to take a look at the solid-body guitars. For 2011, Ibanez guitars offers 12 series of rock machines and 10 artist signature models.
The RG Series was introduced in 1987 and was a derivative of the Steve Vai JEM/Universe Series. The Ibanez RG Series
has proven to be one of the most popular Hard Rock and Heavy Metal guitars ever made. The guitars in the Series share
many common features. They all share some of the thinnest and fastest necks ever produced on an electric guitar with a wide,
almost flat 24 fret fretboard, usually made of rosewood. The body features sleek, offset pointed double cut-aways allowing easy
access to the frets in the upper registers and are usually made of Mahogany or Basswood. The pickups are typically configured
in a 3 pickup humbucker/single-coil/humbucker or a 2 pickup humbucker/humbucker configuration. Most of the RG Series models sport
a variation of a Floyd Rose-type tremolo bridge.
The RGA Series consist of two subseries: the RGA Prestige and the RGA. Features they share in common are the flat, thin
Wizard necks and arch-topped mahogany bodies. Believe me, these Ibanez guitars are some hot, hard rocking machines.
The Ibanez Guitars RGD Series is built specifically for Metal and is designed to output clear sound
down to the lowest note without losing any playability. The RGD Series has two subseries: the RGD Prestige
and the RGD. Both subseries feature basswood bodies, a long 26.5" scale neck, an extra deep scoop on the
lower horn allowing easy access to the higher frets for the players who like to hold their guitars slung low
and are downtuned a full step from the factory. Both also feature 6 and 7 string models.
These things are designed to be all-out Heavy Metal Monsters.
The Mikro Series consist of three guitars(no subseries). The Mikro is a compact 22" scale that is perfect
for beginners or as an instrument that can be played on a tour bus where a full-sized guitar wouldn't fit. With its
compact size, high quality, great sound and careful set-up, the Mikro has quickly become one of the
most popular of the Ibanez guitars. The link below will take you to a page where you can get the particulars on the Mighty
Mikro(when I get it built, that is).
The Ibanez S Series first made its appearance in 1988. The S has evolved over the years to its current configuration:
lightweight, thin, beautifully carved mahogany body for great tone and playing comfort, thin and ultra-fast Wizard necks
for superb playability, unbeatable tremolos and great pickups. This combination makes all four subseries, the SV Prestige, the S Prestige, the S
and the SA pretty much unbeatable instruments for any music genre.
The DN or Darkstone Series currently consists of one model, the DN500K. The DN is designed to be the new standard
in Metal guitars and sports strong construction, a cool looking take on a fairly traditional body style and has a very powerful
sound. Usually, I prefer the more "weaponish", pointy styled Metal guitars but I think this thing has a unique
and attractive look that definitely says, "I'm METAL!" I have a feeling that this is going to turn out to be
one of the most popular of the Ibanez guitars. Give it a look(when I get the page built, anyway):
Now we're getting into a set of guitars that have the look that I favor(don't get me wrong - I think the RGD Series looks great). The
X Series doesn't have any subseries as such but contains three very edgy, Metal body shapes: one that resembles the
Jackson Warrior, one that resembles the Gibson Exlporer
and Ibanez's own venerable Iceman. Now we're talkin' METAL! Check 'em out.
The Ibanez Artist Series consists of three subseries that are designed to provide everything from traditional Rock tones
to full-on, melt your face off Heavy Metal. The models of all three subseries have mahogany bodies with set necks, which we all
know to be a great combination that yields fabulous tone and sustain for days. Sporting 22 or 24 fret fingerboards and 24.75"
to 25" scale necks, the Artist Series Ibanez guitars have something for everybody's playing style and preferences. In addition,
for those that(unlike me) prefer a more traditional design, the Artist Series guitars range from a single-cutaway, Les Paul-like
body style to the same style with double-cutaways. These Ibanez guitars are some seriously nice instruments. Give them a look.
Introduced in 2008, the FR has a look somewhat like an angular Fender Telecaster. With pickups designed and voiced for the FR,
an ash body and the Tight-end bridge, the FR is a very versatile guitar capable of a wide range of tones. About the only change I know
of from the original models is the neck. For 2011, the only model in production is the FR1620(at least that's all that Ibanez lists). Give it a look(when I get the page built).
The GIO Series is basically the Ibanez entry level series. The GIO Series provides all the Ibanez quality at a very affordable
price. The GIO subseries models provide the style of some of the more popular and high end models in a much more affordable package.
The GRG/GRX subseries provides the RG styling, playability and quality. The GRGA is basically an entry level RGA series, the GART series
is basically the entry level Artist series and the GSA Series provides S Series features and quality at a rock bottom price. Any of
these Ibanez guitars would make a great beginner's instrument or a quality stage backup for the working musician. If you're looking
for the styling, quality and playability of the high end Ibanez guitars at super affordable price, you need to give these guys a look.
As I said earlier Ibanez currently offers 10 Artist Signature models. They cover a wide variety of musical styles and
each guitar has been developed in conjunction with the particular artist to refelct their musical style and craft the
sound and looks the artist wanted. These are some seriously cool guitars.