All About Ibanez Guitars: Are They Worth It? Only For Metal? And Much More!


Have you ever asked about a guitar for beginners and heard the name Ibanez? Or maybe you have marveled at those beautiful guitars used by the DragonForce members.

If you are very new in this world, maybe you’ve just heard names like Gibson or Fender. But let me assure you that this brand is pretty comparable to those two.

Ibanez guitars are one of the most prestigious brands in the market. This manufacturer offers a wide variety of guitars and basses for various styles and different price ranges.

They were born in Spain, and became strong in Japan, to subsequently take over the United States market.

This is how Ibanez guitars are, today, one of the most popular brands of electric guitars in the world.

In this article you’re find answers to following, frequently asked, questions.

  • Where are Ibanez guitars made today?
  • Are they cheaper in Japan?
  • Are Ibanez guitars worth it?
  • Are Ibanez guitars good for beginners?
  • Are Ibanez guitars only good for metal?
  • Are all Ibanez guitars F spaced?
  • What strings Ibanez guitars come with?
  • Do all Ibanez guitars come with cases?

This, and many more, you’ll find out in this article. Let’s go!

Ibanez History

The origin of the Ibanez guitars is in Valencia and owes its name to the Spanish luthier Salvador Ibanez, who made excellent guitars. They were very successful in Japan. There they were distributed with very good results by a company that is still operating today called Hoshino Gakki.

The great recession of 1929 forced the Valencian company to close, so the Japanese importer started manufacturing Spanish guitars on his own. In 1935, Ibanez guitar was born.

In the 1960s, after buying the rights to the name, Ibanez embarks on the conquest of the US market. At first, the guitar design was inspired by other brands, better known at the time, but soon Ibanez began designing his own original models.

Ibanez guitars quickly took a prominent place in the competitive market of electric guitars.

Currently, Ibanez offers a wide variety of instruments such as electric, acoustic, bass guitars and other stringed instruments, for various styles and in different price ranges

But it was in the 1980s, with the rise of rock and electric guitars, when Ibanez guitars began to make big differences with their competitors. This was all thanks to the sophistication of their guitars, based on the design and development of new technologies implemented to the instrument

A fundamental point in this aspect was to meet the needs of new musicians. Until that time, most of the guitars had thick, round necks, consistent with the rock and blues styles of the 70s.

The new styles required an instrument that accompanied other ways of playing. New virtuous musicians appeared, and they came with a way of playing much faster than ever before.

Ibanez then implemented the elements that would adapt the guitars to the new times and that, in turn, would mean the glory of the brand. Ibanez guitars introduced much thinner necks in their designs.

Thinner necks implied a challenge for the stability of the mast and tuning, and the tremolo block system.

At that time, there were many “endorsers”, icons of the moment, who joined the brand. Some of them were, and remain, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, George Benson, among others.

This close relationship with so many renowned musicians led the brand to design models made according to their specifications, thus born the famous Ibanez Signature guitars: unique and exclusive models inspired and made by music stars.

Ibanez continued with the introduction of the DiMarzio pickups (Single Coil or Humbucker), the new EDGE and ZR (zero resistance) bridges – which give them the possibility of making higher vibrates -, micro tuning system and rope fasteners – they confer greater precision and clarity of sound – flat tuning forks – for faster execution -, innovative finishes and designs and much more.

As of today, Ibanez continues to create instruments with the highest quality, innovative designs and leading technological development, which is the product of the constant research and technological innovations carried out by the brand.

The Origins of Its Manufacture

Ibanez began his business at the end of the 20s. Importing his first guitars to Japan, originally made by the renowned Spanish luthier Salvador Ibanez.

The company decided to start manufacturing guitars in the 1930s. It was then that they decided to adopt the name of their well-respected creator.

  • from 1930s, and until the end of the 80s, the vast majority of Ibanez guitars were manufactured in Japan, in the factory of FujiGen.

Later, the brand began to manufacture in other Asian countries such as China, Korea and Indonesia.

  • currently, it is often the case that Ibanez’s low-end guitars are assembled in Indonesia. Those of superior range are assembled in Japan.

Some believe that, since Ibanez guitars aren’t being assembled in North America means they’re of inferior quality. Personally, I consider that the Japanese tradition guarantees the highest standards of quality and performance for these guitars.

Even in its lower range, Ibanez’s price-quality ratio has no comparison and is one of the great virtues that separate the brand from the rest.

Are Ibanez Guitars Cheaper In Japan?

If Ibanez guitars are manufactured in Japan, does it mean they are cheaper if to buy them there?

The short answer is yes. There is a price difference in favor of Japan in regard to various models of the brand.

If you were thinking of visiting the Asian capital to get yourdrlf a new Ibanez guitar, it might be better to think twice. Although they are cheaper there, the cost of the trip will make it overall much more expensive.

What I can assure you is that in Japan there are models of Ibanez that you just can’t come across in other countries of the world. Therefore, maybe you should take it into account if, like me, you are a music fan.

Perhaps, if you’re looking for some model you just can’t find anywhere else.

Fun Facts About Ibanez

Ok, it has been a long walk through the history of this brand. As a summary, I think it would not be a bad idea to leave this little list of the most curious data before moving to other topics regarding Ibanez.

  • the origin of the brand comes from the Spanish luthier Salvador Ibanez, but the brand does not start business until 37 years after his death in Nagoya, Japan
  • the founder of Ibanez, the Japanese Hoshino Gakki, distributed the guitars of the Valencian luthier until the cessation of his activity by the Spanish economic recession of 1929
  • the shortage of the Japanese market pushed Hoshino to manufacture Spanish guitars on his own (copies of famous models) under the name Ibanez Salvador, a name that would later be shortened in the current Ibanez
  • after a process of crossing claims for rights, Ibanez began his journey by designing his own models such as his now legendary “Iceman” and the “Ibanez Roadstar”
  • the rise of rock in the mid-80s led Ibanez guitars to stand out thanks to new, more specialized guitars, risky and futuristic designs that joined a successful policy of representing great guitarists who served as prescribers
  • their approach to heavy metal came when these new designs, which included colorful finishes, thinner necks and flatter tuning forks (which allow faster playing), led to growing popularity with musicians of that musical style.

Are Ibanez Guitars Worth It?

I know, right now you are reading this and asking yourself: Are Ibanez guitars really that good? And why?

Ibanez is definitely a very good guitar brand. If you are in doubt, just ask someone who has bought it.

They will surely highlight its good prices and constant quality. In the end, they will tell you they are quite satisfied with their purchase.

The truth is that they are very similar to Yamaha. I mean, regarding the fact that you can choose an Ibanez in almost any price range and it will sound great.

This price-quality guarantee makes them an excellent first guitar option. So if you are hesitating to give it a try, you can be confident that nothing will go wrong.

Construction and Characteristics of Ibanez Guitars

Ibanez is one of the leading brands in guitar manufacturing and is characterized by offering the public a wide variety of models with an excellent price-quality ratio.

Each guitar to be made goes through a material selection process that meets the most higher standards. Each model uses different materials, among them: mahogany, flamed maple, linden, ash, among other top quality materials.

The brand’s models incorporate modern components and design, features that can be evidenced in its body, thin neck, fingerboard, and power electronics.

The company has the highest technology for manufacturing instruments, versatile pickups, innovative designs, powerful sounds, impeccable electronics that are always subject to improvements to ensure advanced instruments.

Precision

High-tech manufacturing techniques allow excellent levels of precision and ensure the strictest tolerances for wood, paint, design, and construction of the instrument.

Performance

Ibanez guitars have always been known for the design of their high-performance fast tuning forks, extremely versatile pickups and optimized electronics. These components are continuously improved to obtain cutting-edge instruments.

Execution and management

Performance and precision would be nothing without excellent handling and execution, which accompany these characteristics. Years of research and field trials with artists from around the world have helped develop distinctively unique and high-performance mast forms.

In the Prestige line, there is now a perfect guitar neck shape for every type of guitarist.

Why Ibanez Guitars Have Good Price-Quality Standards?

The reasonable prices of these guitars could be attributed to the following factors.

  • rational use of materials

Above all, the intelligent use of materials during the manufacturing process stands out. The bodies end up being compact and thin. This, in addition to making the guitar lighter – and less tiring upon use – also saves a lot of wood.

There is a possibility that the factory can obtain two Ibanez guitars from the same wooden panel that is used to create a single Les Paul.

This in no way means lower quality. But it means a lower manufacturing cost.

  • low cost basic desings

The second consideration is that Ibanez has a group of low-cost basic designs. And then, from that base, they produce the designs of all other price ranges.

As the price increases, the wood finish or the inlay will be better. And we may find a tremolo instead of a fixed bridge present in the base model. But it will not vary so much in technical matters.

This makes us pay not so much for an increase in quality. Although obviously this will also increase as the price rises – but more for the extravagance of the guitar. The result is the famous “Consistent increase” in the quality of Ibanez guitars.

  • production

Of course, we cannot fail to mention its economy in scale. A huge number of guitars are manufactured in a year at the Ibanez factory.

The factory models carry the development and improvement of many years of work. What we buy today is nothing more than the culmination of all that experience.

In Ibanez, they know perfectly that a thin neck is not only easier to play, but it is also cheaper to produce (Because you get more necks per piece of wood). Other brands decide to generate everything in one piece, which wastes a lot of material.

If we want to understand what makes Ibanez’s manufacturing stand out, we could sum it up like this: the use of traditional luthier crafts combined with the efficient concepts of production engineering.

The conclusion is quite simple: You really can’t go wrong when buying any Ibanez.

Are Ibanez Guitars Good For Beginners?

Definitely yes, due to reasons mentioned before. We can conclude that it’s an excellent option for someone who is looking for their first or second guitar.

It should be considered that Ibanez guitars have a great ergonomic design and a fine neck, which makes them easy to play.

Its sound, as we have already mentioned, is excellent and has a good relationship with the price range.

They are light guitars (less than 7 lb), which helps us if we have to transport it often to classes or rehearsals.

Many affordable models have a Floyd Rose Tremolo System.

By the way, if you want to know everything about Floyd Rose, I highly recommend you to check out the article from this site about it.

It’s possible to find excellent options for beginners at prices ranging from 100 to 300 dollars. As for example, the Ibanez RG450DX RG Series.

If you want to see other recommended models for beginners, here is a link to an article (ToneTopics site) with more focus on the subject.

Are Ibanez Guitars Only Good For Metal?

There are many detractors of the Ibanez brand that suggest they are “useless” guitars if one pretends to play anything other than metal. Like for example, Blues, Country or rock in the style of Eric Clapton.

This, in my personal opinion, is quite false.

Although Ibanez guitars are great for metal, they’re also great for various other genres, such as rock, pop, grunge etc.

It is an association that was given by the fact that Ibanez became famous during a period of metal music.

While it is true that some brands seek to associate themselves with a type of sound – and even create models that highlight it – that does not mean that it is the only thing we can achieve with the instrument.

Some Ibanez models have a characteristic higher tone. Henc the conclusion that they only work to play metal.

But, let’s be realistic for a minute: Almost always, how well you can play is determined by the skill and knowledge of the guitarist. Having a good instrument is great and everything, but that’s all it is.

Also, let’s not forget that Ibanez has a wide repertoire of models, and among them, there are guitars to highlight all types of styles. It’s a matter of finding the right one. 😉

Are Ibanez Guitars F Spaced?

You may have heard another myth regarding Ibanez guitars that goes like this: All Ibanez guitars are F spaced.

Or on the contrary, you may have never heard this and now you are wondering, what does F spaced even mean?

Ok, first things first.

A long time ago (Well not so long, in the twentieth century to be honest) the world of electric guitars was divided between two types of designs: Gibson and Fender. A substantial difference between the two was the spacing of the strings.

Gibson had a narrower space between strings on the bridge than Fender.

Precisely, when we talk about F spacing we mean a wider spacing in the pads.

In general, guitars equipped with a Floyd Rose system have a wide string spacing. The same spacing used by Fender. From there the name arises to name these guitars: they were called “F spaced”.

In the case of Ibanez, as we have said, there are many affordable models that come equipped with a Floyd Rose system. Therefore, those models are actually F spaced. But this, in no way, means that all models of the brand follow the same line.

When we talk about such a diverse brand, it is never a good idea to generalize. Each model will be different and should be considered in particular.

What Strings Ibanez Guitars Come With?

The answer is always linked to the type of model and the price.

For example, a lot of Ibanez hard-tails models (like the S621QM) have .010 – .046 strings. But the Models with Floyd Rose in them generally have .009 – .042 strings.

Do Ibanez Guitars Come With Cases?

Some do, some don’t. It depends on the model you’re buying.

Ibanez Guitar Models

Ibanez has models for all tastes, which is why it is the favorite brand of many.

However, in the following list, I want to highlight some particular models. These are models that I have been lucky to try and that allows me to talk about them with a certain “acquired knowledge”.

Ibanez S6521Q Prestige (Official Ibanez Site)

This guitar belonging to the S Prestige series. It’s manufactured with cutting-edge technology and stands out for its completely innovative design.

In addition, all its features are based on recommendations made by guitarists around the world.

Therefore, this guitar highlights its rich sharp, its ease for playing, its high performance, and wild sound.

FRIX6FEAH Iron Label

This model of the FR IRON LABEL series is characterized by being an instrument in which simplicity predominates but with a wealth of tones.

This guitar is equipped with EMG pickups, which makes it an unmissable model.

AR420 (Official Ibanez Site)

In the AR series, this is one of the first designs made by the brand.

Built with flamed maple and okourme (body), it has a classic design on the top, back, and body. In addition, it is equipped with Super 58 Tablets, which give a spectacular vintage tone.

RGD71AL Axion Lebel (Official Ibanez Site)

This guitar is ideal for metal and has improvements in the ease for playing and the appearance.

This Ibanez model has DiMarzio Fusion pickups perfect for the powerful tone that this type of guitar should have, and it has Gotoh MG-T locking heads that achieve tuning firmness.

Artists Who Use Ibanez Guitars

Ibanez is a brand known to everyone in the world of music. Due to the quality of the products they offer and for providing models for all styles.

Many of those models were created to meet the recommendations of great stars. Among the list of the great ambassadors of the brand we can find:

  • Joe Satriani
  • Steve Vai
  • Sam Totman (Dragonforce)
  • Jake Bowen (Periphery)
  • JB Brubaker (August Burn Red)
  • Mario Camarena (Chon)
  • Paul Gilbert
  • Erick Hansel (Chon)
  • Tim Henson
  • Luke Hoskin (Protest The Hero)
  • Scott LePage (Polyphia)
  • Herman Li (Dragonforce)
  • Kiko Loureiro (Megadeth)
  • Chris Miller (You Me At Six)

Conclusion

Ibanez has a wide catalog of guitar and bass models. In it, we can find electric guitars of the RG series, Talman Standard, Hollow Bodies or Signature Series.

As for bass, there are models of electric bass series SR, Talman Bass, X Series, Acoustics Bass, among others.

As if this were not enough, Ibanez also manufactures classical, acoustic guitars, ukuleles, dobro guitars, mandolins and banjos. All these instruments are produced following the same criteria of quality and innovation that distinguish the brand.

Ibanez has not only created true standards as far as guitars and bass are concerned, but it’s also a reference brand of amps and effects pedals such as, for example, the two flagships Tube Screamer 808 and Tube Screamer TS9: two pedals overdrive with a very recognizable sound that has been imitated – but not matched – by many manufacturers.

If you want to check out these pedals, I recommend you to check out the list of I’ve made on this site. They are good not only for metal, but for alt rock, grunge, indie rock and many other genres as well.

Just remember that Ibanez is synonymous with quality, reliability and it’s a great guitar brand to start playing.

Its finest neck helps beginners to master the instrument. There are a lot of myths about these guitars. But it is best to ask those who have actually used them. Most likely, the answers we find will be positive.

I hope this article gave you valuable information and insight about Ibanez guitars. Don’t forget to check out other interesting articles from this site about various guitar topics and issues!

Cheers, and rock on!

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