In 2014, Ibanez, one of the world’s most prominent and forward-thinking guitar companies, made a bold move – they decided to make a guitar-based on players’ preferences that allows them to express their personalities. Every aspect of the guitar was centred around the players, from heel sculpture to body shape. Four years later, in 2018, the company released the Ibanez AZ Prestige guitar range.
Read on to discover why you need to purchase an Ibanez AZ.
If you love metal, you must have heard of Ibanez, as it’s one of the most popular brands. Before the inception of the AZ series, the company’s flagship range was RG. In fact, RG was among the world’s best-selling guitars.
So, how does the company’s reputation affect the AZ line? As mentioned above, Ibanez designed the AZ series to bring out the best from guitar players. Its construction and design were inspired by the opinion of renowned guitar players, such as Martin Miller, Tom Quayle, Andy Timmons, and Marco Sfogli.
Precisely, the Ibanez asked the players what changes they would make to the RG. After making several prototypes, the AZ series came into the fray in 2018. The bottom line is – when you purchase an Ibanez AZ, you get a product that the worlds best approve.
The Ibanez AZ series packaging is not much different from the hard case the company uses on the Jem and RG series. However, the guitar itself spots a different look from previous models.
Besides being visually stunning, the heel sculpture is incredibly comfortable. Ibanez made more significant changes to the body shape by adding rounder and more curvaceous lines to the Alder wood.
At its top, the guitar has a 22-fret oval roasted maple neck with the Ibanez logo embossed next to the headstock. You won’t have a hard time playing this guitar, as the stainless steel frets are strategically positioned.
A standard Ibanez AZ guitar comes with a duo Seymour Duncan Hyperion pickups, although some signature models can be different. These pickups have Alnico-5 magnets that have been specially designed for this line of guitars. At the time of writing, you couldn’t purchase the magnets separately.
Despite being slated as medium-output, the AZ’s pickups perform better than average. They are well-rounded, handle large amounts of gain, and often produce clean sound with little or zero breakups.
When making these pickups, it seems that Ibanez wanted to develop a set that can work in a broad range of genres. As unachievable as that sounds, they have somewhat done it.
Unique Locking Tuners
Locking tuners typically have a pin that locks the string passing through them. Most of them have a rotary knob that allows you to lock them in a way that suits your needs.
However, the Ibanez AZ range has unique locking tuners. They work differently in that you start by threading a string through the tuning peg, followed by tuning up as you would do with a regular guitar. Once the turns are enough, the pin locks itself into place.
There are two iterations of the Ibanez AZ – Premium and Prestige. The Premium line is cheaper and comes packed in a soft case or gig bag instead of the hard case you get with the Prestige series.
Whether you choose Prestige or Premium, it is evident that Ibanez put a lot of research and development into producing the AZ range. All of the minor details suggested by top guitar players significantly improve this product’s performance. It is highly unlikely that you’ll find a guitar as versatile as the Ibanez AZ.