Are Ibanez Guitars Good?

Ibanez makes some of the best-selling electric guitars on the market, but what makes them so great? From the storied history of Ibanez to their best models on the market today, we’ll cover everything you need to know about their guitars. 

From the early 1950s until today, Ibanez has risen to fame through the work of artists like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and Paul Gilbert. Many players have joined the roster of notable musicians who play Ibanez guitars. Ibanez has had plenty of time to perfect its craft and create a high-quality instrument that’s right for you.

Before you make your next purchase, take some time to explore these reasons why Ibanez guitars are good. This guide will explain all the ins and outs of Ibanez guitars so that you can decide if one of these instruments is the best for you. 

are ibanez guitars good

History of Ibanez Guitars

Hoshino Gakki owns the Japanese guitar brand, Ibanez. Hoshino Gakki, based in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan, was one of the earliest Japanese musical instrument businesses to establish a significant presence in import guitar sales both in the United States and Europe. The company was also the first company to mass-produce the seven-string and eight-string guitars.

Hoshino Gakki began as the musical instrument division of the bookstore chain Hoshino Shoten in 1908. Hoshino Gakki chose to produce Spanish-style acoustic guitars in 1935, naming them “Ibanez” after Spanish luthier Salvador Ibáez.

Ibanez’s offerings from the late 1950s and early 1960s show some unusual guitar designs. In the mid-1960s, Japanese guitar manufacturers primarily copied American designs. Ibanez did, too, with their own replicas of Gibson and Fender models at the time.

The crucial years for the Ibanez company were the late 1980s and early 1990s. At this time, the famous Ibanez JEM and Universe models were introduced as a result of Hoshino Gakki’s collaboration with guitarist Steve Vai.

Ibanez has remained a key player in the guitar marketplace since its popularity exploded in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The company now has an impressive portfolio of models and ranges, and it persists to keep innovating and develop new designs that enable players to fully express their musical talent.

Are Ibanez Guitars Good?

Ibanez guitars may not be as well-known as Gibson or Fender, but they are extremely well-made and have withstood the test of time. They are comfortable, have outstanding quality, reliability, and construction, as well as useful features.

Ibanez has been making high-quality electric guitars for many years. The company is known for its thin, fast-playing necks, accurate hot sound, and lightweight bodies. They offer electric guitar models in a variety of price ranges, making them an excellent choice for newbies through to advanced players.

Some of the things that make them good are:

  • Lightweight bodies
  • They are easy to play
  • They have thin, fast necks
  • Great tone for many music styles
  • Superstrat body shape allows for higher fret access
  • Durable construction

And with the many models available, there is sure to be an Ibanez guitar that does exactly what you need it to.

Are Ibanez Guitars Suitable for Beginners? 

Ibanez guitars are suitable for beginners because they boast a well-known industry reputation for being among the most comfortable and easiest to play. They have a wide range of superb entry-level guitars that are both affordable and of great quality. In general, the excellent playability of Ibanez guitars makes them ideal for newbie players.

Ibanez guitars are famous for their thin, fast necks. As a result, they’ve earned a reputation for being shredders in a variety of metal genres and subgenres. Their comfort is determined by every attribute of the neck, including materials, shape, fretboard width, and girth.

Ibanez’s necks are helpful for pinning your thumb, helping to promote more control, and making it easier to play intricate lead lines. Its flat radius encourages single note playing over chord and rhythm parts. This is why technical lead lines are easier to play. With all of this, it’s no surprise that Ibanez guitars are ideal for those with small hands or who haven’t developed any dexterity.

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Ibanez Guitars are Good for Metal and More

Ibanez guitars are ideal for metal music. They frequently include high output humbuckers, which are perfect for producing aggressive metal guitar tones. Numerous Ibanez guitars also have deep cutaways that allow access to the upper frets. This is useful for metal because there is a strong emphasis on the upper registers, especially for guitar solos.

While it’s true that an Ibanez guitar is primarily used for metal, this is not always the case. The misconception that they are only used for playing metal and rock genres originates from their popularity among guitarists, who made excellent use of Ibanez’s signature “Wizard Necks”. 

These necks are fantastic for shredding. But they’re also excellent for other genres if a guitar player prefers a thin neck. That said, Ibanez guitars are not solely for metal. 

Ibanez has also released a line of guitars geared at a wider variety of music genres, including country, jazz, and blues. These guitars are included in their Artcore series, which has lowered the output of the pick-ups to yield them a softer tone suited to more relaxed musical styles.

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Which Guitarists use Ibanez?

Ibanez guitars are used by many legends and technically proficient players, including:

  • Joe Satriani
  • Steve Vai
  • George Benson
  • Tosin Abasi
  • Pat Metheny
  • Paul Gilbert 
  • John Scofield 

These music legends collaborated with Ibanez to create their signature models. These guys have the means to buy whatever they want, but they prefer to play Ibanez guitars.

Ibanez guitars are popular among well-known musicians because they are particularly well-suited to technically demanding music. They have some of the thinnest and fastest necks on the market, in addition to being extremely tough, making them hold up well on tour for years.

Which Ibanez Guitars are the Best?

There are a lot of great Ibanez guitars out there, but they all have their own unique sound and feel. Here’s a quick look at some of the best Ibanez Guitars that you can buy if you’re looking for something that will stand out in a crowd.

Ibanez GRX40 GIO

Ibanez GRX40 GIO

The GRX40 GIO is an excellent beginner electric guitar for those on a tight budget. This guitar has electronics and quality that exceeds its price level, and it includes features like the ‘mono-unit’ output jack that make this guitar even easier to get on and play.

The pickup configuration of this guitar allows a beginner to get many sounds, from great Stratocaster-like cleans to more aggressive styles, with a quick adjustment of the 5-way switch.

Ibanez AZES31

Ibanez AZES31

The Ibanez AZES31 is one of the best budget electric guitars available today. This Ibanez AZ Essentials model, like the GIO, has a maple neck, jatoba fingerboard, and poplar body. These features enable them to provide the bright, snappy tones that so many guitar players prefer.

And with the addition of the Dyna-MIX8 switch, you are capable of 8 different types of tones with one instrument.

Ibanez RGA42FM

Ibanez RGA42FM

The RGA42FM has the standard maple neck and jatoba fingerboard combination, but the body is meranti rather than poplar. Its flamed Maple top paired with any of the finishes offered make this guitar look epic.

It has a thin, fast,  wizard III neck and dual humbuckers making this a shredders dream. But it doesn’t stop there, this instrument is very versatile and can do many types of tones. The 5-way pickup switch can provide an incredibly broad range and interesting configurations.

The RGA42FM is very articulate thanks to the Quantum pickups, but also has a great low-end thump and very present mid-range.

Conclusion

Ibanez is a great brand for all musicians. They make several guitars suited for different kinds of music and individual preferences. This combined with their high build quality is why we think Ibanez guitars are some of the best on the market.

Hopefully, this article has helped you to better understand whether an Ibanez is right for you, and will give you enough information that you can now go out and make the choice with confidence.

FAQs

Can you play blues on an Ibanez?

Yes, while Ibanez guitars are considered to be more of a metal or shredders brand, they have many other models that are great for other styles. Their AZ line is perfect for blues, jazz and country should you desire to play this type of music.

Are Ibanez guitars good for rhythm?

Yes, Ibanez guitars are great for rhythm or lead. They have thin fast necks, which makes them more desirable for solo and lead work, but they do rhythm just as well as other brands.

Why are Ibanez guitars so good?

Ibanez has been around for a long time. They have perfected their guitars by trial and error. As a result, they have designed and built some of the most comfortable, articulate, versatile, and durable guitars on the market. As a result, they are just good!

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Don East

My name is Don East, I'm the editor for Killer Rig. I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and have designed and manufactured products like guitar amps, effects pedals, and more. Over the years I have played in many bands and have a deep love for quality gear. I am an electrical engineer and have a passion for music gear, and now want to share what I know with the community!