NAMM 2019: Most Anticipated Ibanez Guitars & Basses

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Are you as excited as I am for Ibanez guitars and basses at NAMM 2019? They’ve managed to do something not many companies do: listen to their customers and players. You can’t ask for more from a company. Ibanez has reintroduced a very sought after guitar, created new colors, added new types of finishes, and tricked out already existing models. To brief, it’s great to see one of the top manufacturers still taking risks. In this article, we’ll showcase Ibanez Guitars & Basses set to premier at NAMM 2019 in Anaheim, California at the end of January.

Top Shelf Anticipation: Ibanez RG2027XL – bringing back one of the most sought after 7 strings

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Ibanez RG2027XL Baritone 27″ 7 String Guitar

Let’s begin with the the Ibanez RG2027XL was made available in 2003 under the model name RG2077XL. Ibanez’s RG2027XL features all of the bells and whistles of the RG2077XL, with the added scale length of 27”, and in a humbucker-only configuration. This guitar has been used by many metal bands, including Monuments’ John Browne, Daaths’ Eyal Levi (which I’ve been fortunate enough to play), as well as Vildhjartas’ Daniel Bergström. Why a 27” scale you ask? Easy answer: when you tune below ADGCFAD on any 7 string, you lose intonation, stability, and tension. Basswood makes a great tonewood for low-tuning, and we can’t wait to see these made available again!

Ibanez RGR5227MFX in Green: Slimer Called, he wants royalties

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Ibanez RGR5227MFX in Green; also available in 6 string
Slimer, gettin’ down with its funky self

Next! I love the nuclear slime green color chosen for the new RGR5227MFX. There’s something about the flat green stain on the ash top. To add to its excellence, a birdseye maple fretboard and African mahogany body. Included are Bare Knuckle Brute Force pickups. This guitar being a 25.5” scale makes this a guitar riff-machine, and I imagine it will look killer on stage. I’m sold on the color alone! This particular model comes in a 6 string RG5220 version [click here] as well.

Ibanez MAR10 Mario Camarena Signature: CHON Style

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Ibanez MAR10 is a Swiss Army Knife prog shredder tone tool

Now, this MAR10 Mario Camarena Signature model looks fantastic in purple. Mario Camarena is guitarist for the insanely precise clean-channel shredding group, CHON. Mario has a history of playing older RG models with the sharktooth inlays. So it’s no surprise that his choice for a configuration resembles that of his musical upbringing. The roasted maple neck adds stability and sustain. Strangely enough, I caught a ride from the convention center bus with the guys in CHON at NAMM 2016. To think that Mario is in his mid-twenties, has the level of skill he has, and has a signature guitar.

Ibanez SR2400 Florid: the Purple People Eater

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Ibanez SR2400 in Florid – not just a beautiful bass, but a vocabulary builder!

Admittedly, “florid” wasn’t in my vocabulary until they decided to update my lexicon. Thanks, Ibanez! “Florid” is defined as having flushed or red complexion. Furthermore, it also elaborately or excessively intricate or complicated. The origin of the word is derived from the words “blooming” and “flowery”. That said, I’d have to strongly agree with the color name for the SR2400 in Florid! This guitar represents a little bit of each bit of info provided. What makes it elaborate or intricate? The neck is made of a 5 piece Panga Panga/Purpleheart. The top is made of Maple and Panga Panga. The body is made of a now laughably simple (by name comparison alone) African Mahogany. The fretboard is a bound Panga Panga with Abalone oval inlays. Panga Panga is an East African wood similar to Wenge in both its appearance and working properties. Elaborate enough?

Ibanez JBM10FX Jake Bowan Titan: Periphery’s Soundscapists’ Expansion – prepare for a lesson in woods

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Ibanez JBM10FX Jake Bown Titan – have you ever heard of these tone woods before?!

Up next, Jake Bowan knows how to design a reservedly handsome guitar. The JBM10FX is an import model, but don’t let that fool you. This guitar has all of the premium upgrades you’d find in the higher end guitars of today. Jakes’ signature DiMarzio Titan pickups round out the tone capacity of this guitar. This particular model comes in a factory tuning of CGCFAD, aka the Killswitch Engage tuning (not that they invented it, but it was my introduction to it).

Brace yourself, the fretboard is made of bound Jatoba (not to be confused with Jabba the Hut), running in line with the maple top and Nyatoh body. Nyatoh is Southeast Asian wood found in India. Nyatoh is similar to cherrywood in a handful of ways, but mostly aesthetically. Jatoba on the other hand, is found in Central America and Mexico. Again, this wood is similar to that of cherrywood, often called Brazilian Cherry.

I’m very excited for Jake (and Periphery in general) and his continued success with his music and instruments. Jake and I first met in 2002 at our mutual friend Harry’s house, and Jake played Ibanez even back then. Jake and I have been on the same tour together before, and have played together a few times, so it’s great to see continued and well-deserved success for him!

Ibanez LHM1 Luke Hoskin Signature: Greener on the Front Side

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Ibanez LHM1 Luke Hoskin signature in a green gradation fade

Protest the Hero’s Luke Hoskin came up with one heck of a color scheme for his signature LHM1. Similar to that of the Mayones signature guitar for John Browne, the color gradation fades from an almost transparent grassy green to a faint natural flamed maple. This guitar comes factory tuned to Eb standard and .010 – .052 strings – something a bit out of the ordinary! Another guitar graciously outfitted with Fishman Fluence humbuckers – in a beautiful gold finish. A single volume knob alongside a 3 way pickup selector. Deceptively simple design underneath an otherwise outrageous color!  

Ibanez S61AL Black Mirage Gradation: Best S Series Configuration Yet?

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Ibanez S61AL Black Mirage Gradation – fade from black, then fade to black!

Okay, so, that’s going to be super debatable, I’m sure. But, in my opinion, the S61AL is the best S Series configuration yet. My first “real” guitar was an S370DX back in 2002, and Ibanez can thank Paul Waggoner of Between the Buried and Me for that sale. The gradation of darkness into light mirroring both directions is absolutely phenomenal. And only if you could see the back of the guitar whilst seeing the front! The Nyatoh body coupled with a 5 piece Panga Panga and Walnut neck looks freakishly good in a side-by-side shot of the front and back of the guitar. Bound Macassar ebony with white step off-set dots rounds out the perfect fretboard. Not many of us play lower notes past the 12th fret, so throwing those dot inlays to the treble side makes this guitar very functional for lead players.

Ibanez AS63T Sea Foam Green: Goodness me.

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Ibanez AS63T comes stock with a Bigsby B70 vibrato – YUMMY!

I’m a total sucker for Sea Foam Green ANYTHING. That said, this AS63T configuration drives home the desire-factor even further. A killer entry-level semi-hollow with a Bigsby B70 vibrato, absolutely stunning! The pearloid pickguard is a great aesthetic bonus to accompany the classiness of this heartthrob guitar.

Ibanez JS1CR Joe Satriani Chrome Boy: Galactus Approved!

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Ibanez JS1CR Joe Satriani Chrome Boy – now available in all universes!

I’ll always have a soft-spot for Joe Satriani and his weirdness. Ibanez’s JS1CR Chrome Boy is ready to be ridden through the galaxies, this time in a less limited fashion.

Galactus and the Silver Surfer: bff4l

Galactus chose to consume the Silver Surfer’s planet, but gave Norrin Radd a second chance. By doing so, Norrin Radd (Silver Surfer’s name) became herald to Galactus, seeking planets for the Devourer of Worlds to consume.

I can imagine the inner comic book nerd side to Joe Satriani feeling the joys of exploring the universe on his chromed-out surfboard of a guitar. This 30th anniversary model speaks volumes of the virtuoso guitarists’ passion for not just music, but all of the arts.

Ibanez AFR5FMP Affirma Bass: The 1990s Reborn

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Ibanez AFR5FMP Affirma Bass – Swiss Design for boutique bass fans

In the 1990s was an interesting experimental period. Namely, deciding to make high-end basses for the boutique seekers, like this AFR5FMP Affirma model. In contrast, the body of the was compact, sleek and it weighed much less than other basses. Designer Rolf Spuler of Swiss Luthiery fame designed the original basses. One of the areas of focus was removing limitations for players. Bassists are a picky bunch – the piezo, playability, EQ, shape, and balance of this bass catered specifically to that type of player.

Ibanez RG5120M Frozen Ocean: A Finish Unlike Any Ibanez Before

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Ibanez RG5120M Frozen Ocean – unique finish with a transparent sparkle over a transparent blue ash stain!

Next we have Ibanez introducing a transparent blue sparkle stain over an ash. This RG5120M looks incredible, in every way. I don’t have personal experience with Fishman Fluence pickups, but I love everything I’ve heard in demos. The added Fishman voicing switch between the volume and tone knobs make it easy to toggle the unique technology. The birdseye maple fretboard looks perfectly complementary to the body and headstock. As a result, this guitar is guaranteed to shred with the Lo Pro Edge tremolo. Luminlay glowing side dots help with low-light stage situations.

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Ibanez THBB10 Tim Henson Signature: Polyphia, not the Muppets

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Ibanez THBB10 Tim Henson Signature – Polyphia guitarist goes classy with this model

The THBB10 is the signature model for Polyphia guitarist Tim Henson. I’m not very familiar with Polyphia, but I did catch Tim and his fellow guitarist Scott LePage performing at NAMM 2017. While the music may not be my thing, their musicianship is very high-level, and they performed flawlessly. This guitar is VERY classy for this youngster’s age – and I say that as a compliment. Like many (or most) of the AZ series, the THBB10 sports a roasted maple neck and fretboard. The acrylic & abalone block inlays remind me of the Roadster series guitars from the 80s and 90s, which is a really interesting choice. Gold and black trim looks ultra-classy; I’m certain you could bring this guitar with you as your date to a wedding.

Ibanez RGA61AL Axion Label Indigo Aurora Burst: Psychedelic & Shreddy

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Ibanez RGA61AL Axion Label in Indigo Aurora Burst – trippy or what?

The tricky wizards at Ibanez are at it again! This RGA61AL Axion Label guitar would emit cosmic rays at a Phish festival if it appeared on stage about an hour into the show. Wookies from all over the land would gravitate like moths towards its galactic emanation of hues. However, I gather that a Phish fan would probably go for something a bit more retro and boutique-y. If for some strange reason a Phish fan decided to get into the shredditory waters of RGA models, this is the one! Bare Knuckle Aftermaths in burnt chrome guarantee sonic devastation. It’s important to note that the transparent charcoal Nyatoh body looks amazing on the backside of the guitar.

Ibanez SLM10 Scott LePage Signature: Polyphia Co-Shredder

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Ibanez SLM10 Scott LePage signature – Polyphia is clearly having an impact on the industry!

Hopefully it’s okay for me to say that this looks just like a Suhr guitar? Well, if not, I did say it, and I apologize if I’ve offended anyone at the ever-changing Ibanez factory. There is nothing wrong with inspiration – it’s how we’ve all managed to get to wherever we’re at today. And if they takes nods from boutique builders like Kiesel, Mayones, and Suhr, I say the more the merrier. Conversely, they add their own flair to this SLM10 Scott LePage signature model. A roasted maple fretboard and neck fits the daring transparent red matte quilted maple top planted above an American basswood body. DiMarzio True Velvet pickups (great name, by the way) finish the tone elements of this killer looking guitar. I’m certain Dracula himself would have a hard time not sinking his teeth into this one.

Ibanez RGD71ALMS Black Aurora Burst Matte: from a Distant Galaxy

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Ibanez RGD71ALMS Black Aurora Burst – fanned frets, Fishman Fluence pickups, and a chameleon finish – I’d say this is a unique guitar

People are turning their heads at their screens like a young puppy. Fanned-fret guitars like this RGD71ALMS have become very and popular. Why is that, you may be wondering? After you get hip to the feel of the frets, you’re afforded a longer string length on the bass side of your guitar. There’s much importance to this for anyone drop-tuning, entering the lower frequency spectrum, or just plain old intonation nuts. Owning a fanned-fret guitar allows you to use regular or even lighter string gauges for your tuning. The significance here is that you’ll be able to intonate your guitar more precisely. Guitarists who like to drop-tune to Q^7324XYZ flat will enjoy this feature the most; avoiding massive string gauges helps preserve intonation and playability. The Fishman Fluence pickups are a really nice added touch to this chameleon finish.

Ibanez EH10 Erick Hansel Signature: CHON Again!

Ibanez EH10 Erick Hansel signature – proof that CHON knows how to play, and design guitars that look great and serve the player

I quite like the ominous and subtle transparent green matte finish on this EH10 guitar! CHON’s guitarist, Erick Hansel, went for a slightly different approach to the build. This guitar comes fitted with Seymour Duncan pickups and off-set white block inlays. The Walnut top is a nice pairing for the Nyatoh body, and Jatoba fretboard. In detail, if you’re wondering what Jatoba and Nyatoh woods are, slide up just a bit to the JBM10FX Jake Bowan signature model for a short lesson on woods you’ve never heard of.

Ibanez RG1070FM: J Craft and J Custom Owners May Look Twice

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Ibanez RG1070FM – upon first glance, I’d assume this came from the old-school J.Craft stock!

Lastly the Premium RG1070FM looks light years beyond its price point. There was once a craze for J Craft and J Custom guitars. I have friends who collect those guitars to this very day. Older J Craft models have a certain mysticism to them, the one thing that is clear is that they can nail the aesthetics no matter what.

The RG30JCLTD is a J Custom RG series introduced by Ibanez in 2017.

The flamed 4mm maple top sits against an ever-resonant African mahogany body. Bound Panga Panga looks killer on the fretboard with Mother of Pearl off-set dot inlays. And let’s get to the 11 piece Panga Panga/Maple/Walnut/Purpleheart neck! Why so many pieces, you may be wondering? The more woods conjoined together on the neck, the more stable it will be.

There’s really no stone left unturned with this model when looking to reignite the Japanese-made J Craft vibes.

In conclusion of our excitement for Ibanez Guitars & bass at NAMM 2019

In conclusion, what are you thinking? Are you excited for more Ibanez in 2019? It had been a long time since the company had a consistently similar year of production. But it seems like this is a revamped approach to further modernizing their lines. We’re excited to get some of these in stock! Which models would you like to see us carry?

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