Ahead of the 2023 Melbourne Guitar show in Caulfield, we’re checking out a few choice models from Japanese juggernauts Ibanez.
Fret-sweaters rejoice: the Melbourne Guitar Show is making a return for 2023! Featuring must-see live performances, brand showcases and beyond, it’s a long overdue celebration of all things with strings, and we’re all totally amped to see what’s in store for this year. Ahead of the big dance in Caulfield, we’re checking out a few choice models from Japanese juggernauts Ibanez, providing a cheeky sneak peek of what models you can expect to see at this year’s show.
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TOD10 Tim Henson Signature Guitar
Polyphia are one of the hottest guitar bands going today, so it would make sense for their star shredder to wield such a dazzling piece as the Ibanez TOD10 Tim Henson Signature Guitar. With a slick roasted maple neck, an ultra-responsive ebony fretboard and some top-notch hardware, Tim Henson’s signature TOD10 is a premium model for prodigious players. It’s loaded with Henson’s signature Fishman Fluence pickups for true, articulate playing, while bespoke wiring lets you enjoy tonal versatility at its absolute best.
If shredding is your aim, make the RG8870 Prestige the game. A prestige made-in-Japan model with all the specs to boot, the RG8870 boasts a glorious five-piece maple/wenge neck with a stunning fretboard inlay, an alder body with a flamed maple top and a chambered body to alleviate weight and enhances tonal clarity. Gotoh tuners and a Lo-Pro Edge whammy are also included, and a trio of DiMarzio pickups help make this model a must for any dedicated metalhead.
The RGD3121 Prestige definitely doesn’t lack in the looks department! Boasting an iridescent finish, the RGD3121 also offers a slick Wizard neck for deft fretwork, a tidy MonoRail bridge and a pair of Fishman Fluence ceramic humbuckers. Luminlay side dots and Gotoh locking tuners also prove to be a nice touch, while an extended 26.5” scale allows it to play nicely with heavier string gauges for some meaty, down-tuned riffing.
For those who prefer more traditional S-type guitars, the AZ2203N Prestige might be the model for you. An alder body, roasted maple neck and rosewood fretboard provide a familiar playing surface to suit all styles, while appointments like an all-access neck joint, compound radius fretboard and non-recessed bridge cavity puts the AZ2203N a bar above what you’d usually find in an S-type model. There’s also an intuitive blend control wired in, and the presence of three Seymour Duncan Fortuna pickups is a welcome sight as well.
Unlock your true potential as a player with the RGA622XH. Featuring 27 frets, this guitar lets you reach areas of the neck like never before, with its beveled design and clean contours letting you shred harder than ever. An African mahogany body and maple/walnut neck makes for a steady pairing, and DiMarzio Tone Zone and Air Norton pickups are a nice touch. Add in the LoPro Edge tremolo, menacing black finish and gold hardware, and you’re looking at one serious shredder.
The compact, ergonomic curves of the Q547 might be off-putting for some, but with one of these guitars in your grasp, you’ll be more than ready to tackle the future. This sophisticated seven-string boasts an intuitive headless design and some truly tasty appointments, including a roasted maple/bubinga neck, nyatoh body and birdseye maple fretboard. A R1 / Q58 pickup combo delivers plenty of grunt, while the dyna-MIX9 switching system offers no less than nine variations – what more could you ask for?
Not willing to blow the budget? Try the GRG220PA1 on for size. Featuring professional appointments such as a poplar Burl Art top, roasted maple neck and classic sharktooth fretboard inlays, it’s a neat, affordable introduction to the Ibanez shredder type of guitar. A pair of Classic Elite humbuckers allow for chunky rhythms and articulate leads alike, and there’s also a T106 whammy bar for superior tuning stability.
Another sleek way to dip into the world of Ibanez guitars with minimal financial damage, the GRG120QASP is a stylish super-shredder to suit all kinds of applications. It’s got an eye-catching quilted maple top and a sturdy maple neck, as well as quality appointments like a T102 tremolo, mono-unit input jack and tidy black hardware. Two Ibanez Infinity humbuckers are also added into the equation, making for a guitar that screams out value for money.
Don’t worry bassists – we didn’t forget about you, and neither did Ibanez. Sleek, ergonomic and sonically rich, the EHB1005F is a five-string fretless wonder, and could prove to be a workhorse in the right hands. The lack of a headstock and the addition of a chambered body makes it lightweight and versatile, with a beveled contoured body providing a comfortable playing experience. Bartolini pickups are a big plus, while a VariMid three-band EQ allows you to flick between passive and active tones for unrivaled flexibility.
Few electric upright basses look quite as cool as the UB805! With a crisp Jatoba fretboard and maple body, this five-string is a true head-turner, and should be a no-brainer for any demanding session bassist. It’s loaded with a AeroSilk piezo pickup system for a balanced signal with plenty of articulation, and also comes with a Tama stand, bow and padded gig-bag: the perfect option for anyone on the hunt for a portable alternative to a conventional double bass.
If you’re after a more conventional low-end weapon, make sure to check out the SR5FMDX2: it’s an absolute beast. African mahogany, ash and flamed maple combine for an exotic aesthetic and wonderfully playable experience, and the five-piece Atlas panga and purpleheart neck is a joy to behold. The killer Nordstrand Big Single pickups boast some eye-catching birdseye maple wooden covers, and when paired with Ibanez’s custom three-band EQ and bypass switching, you’ll soon be in tone heaven.
All of these Ibanez models are available to see and play at the Melbourne Guitar Show, so do yourself a favor and get down to check them out for yourself!