🥇The Top 10 Best Ibanez Guitar [Musicians’ Choice] – Unbiased Reviews & Buying Guide

Planning On Getting The Best Ibanez Guitar? Here Are Your Top Choices!

Back in the days when I was still tightening the strings of my classic acoustic guitar, I had no idea how awesome few electric guitars were! And when I picked one for the first time, there was no going back for me. One crucial aspect that got me into electric guitars was, of course, the lightweight nature of the instrument with a reduced footprint, which made it quite comfortable for beginners like myself. Add its low action, and I barely touched my acoustic guitar afterward.

On our last article on Best Acoustic Guitars With Low Action, we received tons of comments and requests for covering Ibanez with its catalog of rich electric guitars across all price segments and musical genres. Even we wondered, how we could miss such an awesome guitar manufacturer who is best-known for collabs with celebrities. We heard you and thus compiled our recommendations for the best Ibanez electric guitars, alluring to both professionals and beginners.

10 Best Ibanez Guitar – Musicians’ Choice

No, the list of products isn’t chosen by me! But with little contacts I had in the music industry, I received an opportunity in speaking with the one and only Dan Auerbach who is famed for being the prime guitarist and vocalist of The Black Keys. And with little help from his 20+ years’ worth of professional career, he guided me in choosing some of the finest Ibanez guitars. Ten products being specific, here are his choice-worthy collections which I compiled in this article.

  1. Ibanez Genesis Collection RG550 – Editors’ Pick

“As you would expect from an electric guitar of this calibre, its basswood body is ideal for warmer tones with biting mids and pair that with its contoured body, this model is unarguably one of the most comfortable instruments to play!”

Starting with the Genesis Collection, the Ibanez RG550 holds an all-rounder honor in our compilation. Introduced in 1987, the classic design along with its basswood construction not only adds modern flares but also retains the vibes of original Genesis. Our only complaint is with its low-quality electronics which make whiney noises. However, it justifies the con with an affordable price tag of just shy under one grand, making it the ultimate choice from the house of Ibanez.

Features:

  • Constructed out of solid basswood, giving it an enriched, warm, and growling tone with defined mids
  • Classic-style tilt neck joints with stamped metallic plates that provide the classic RG feel and sound
  • HSH pickup configuration yields an increased range of harmonic-rich tomes with solid intonation
  • Gotoh MG-T locking machine heads maintain stable tuning acoustics with eye-grabbing black hardware
Pros
  • Classic build with modern features inside
  • Moderate price for beginners and professionals
  • Offers an enriched versatility while playing
  • Designed and made in Japan
Cons
  • User complaints with poor paint quality
  • Cheap-sounding stock pickups

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Chopping the price down as much as 5x, the Gio series of electric guitars hold an affordable price tag which makes it quite alluring to beginners. Guess which model is hanging on my wall? Absolutely, it’s Ibanez RGA42FM! But don’t confuse its affordable price tag with poor build and sound quality. The feature that left me stunned is FAT 6 tremolo, which can produce tunes from whammy bars to dive-bomb effects. Ibanez just shook the budget electric guitar industry.

Features:

  • Three powersound pickups grace the Ibanez RGA42FM electric guitar with versatile tones and warmer mids
  • The comfortable neck gives you medium-sized frets that make playing chords and notes effortlessly
  • The Ibanez Ibanez RGA42FM FAT 6 tremolo is ready for anything, and solid and in-tuned when not in use
  • Offers an incredible range of tones from huge dive-bombs to subtle waggling to stutter-like warbling
Pros
  • Quite affordable for its offerings
  • Wide and rich range of tones
  • Tremolo bridge improves versatility
  • Best-suited for beginners and amateurs
Cons
  • Quality control issues reported
  • Quite cheaper electronics

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Now that we have covered both premium and budget models from Ibanez, let’s now drag the price slider to somewhere in the middle. In the $500 price bracket, the S Series S521 is one of the best-sellers on online marketplaces, thanks to Ibanez’s smart choices of having an ideal balance between prices and features. Alongside its classic RG shape and design aesthetics, add its Wizard III neck and DL Tremolo Bridge, and you can hardly keep your eyes off this product.

Features:

  • Classic Ibanez RG playability and comes at an affordable price tag, with all the necessary features of electric guitars
  • Fast three-piece maple Wizard-III necks let you customize your personalized shredding speed limit
  • Combination of dual humbucking with single-coil offers an immersive and wider tonal range to play with
  • The DL tremolo bridge lets you play expressively with exceptional tuning stability, like an iconic rock guitar
Pros
  • Alluring option for beginners and professionals
  • Versatile and well-built
  • Classic Wizard-III neck
  • Inbuilt DL tuning bridge
Cons
  • The INF pickups severely lack punch
  • Quality control issues reported

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“I have known Steve Vai for years and his grasp over Ibanez electric guitars is just crazy. With efforts from both Steve and Ibanez, we witnessed his Signature JEMJR series of guitars in 2018 that left the collaboration industry in storm!”

Most people might assume that collabed products with celebrity signatures are expensive and that was true until Ibanez launched its collaboration with the legendary Steve Vai. And making matter even more hyped is the price. At just under $500, Signature JAMJR has become the go-to instrument for many. Although JEMJR seems like an affordable spin-off brand of Ibanez, it shares many of the functionalities of quality electric guitars that usually retail for over $1000.

Features:

  • A value-packed version of Steve Vai’s iconic signature guitar, making an incremental improvement with his tones
  • Dual Quantum humbuckers and another Quantum single-coil offers wide tonal ranges with solid intonation
  • The Acrylic vine inlay offers its iconic JEM style with its Wizard-III neck for ultra-fast playability
  • The JEMJR Steve Vai Signature packs Ibanez’s standard double-locking bridge which maintains tuning stability
Pros
  • Iconic look from Steve Vai collection
  • Highly versatile with the premium build quality
  • Double-locking bridge for tuning stability
  • Offers more features than its price
Cons
  • Low-quality components used
  • The monkey-grip handle isn’t for everyone

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Just like Steve Vai from our previous recommendation, Ibanez has also partnered with other celebrity guitarists as well including Nita Strauss. Celebrity appearances aside, Ibanez had done an amazing job of nailing the fundamentals right. The basswood construction, coupled with an ultra-fast wizard neck, the JIVA10 is unique for its rich tones. Catered especially towards rock music, the pickup offers everything from tight low tones to smooth highs for rocky harmonics.

Features:

  • Custom Pandemonium humbuckers (B/N) supply incredible output, scorching harmonics, and loads of punch
  • True Velvet single-coil pickup (M) offers up clean, punchy highs and mids with smooth ebony fingerboard
  • Edge-Zero II tremolo for bending and diving while maintaining perfect intonation and rich warmer sounds
  • Eye-catching Beaten Path EKG-style fingerboard inlay, topped with gorgeous quilted maple and nyatoh body
Pros
  • Built with top-quality basswoods
  • Unique look from Nita Strauss
  • Custom pickups and edge-zero bridge
  • Offers authentic DiMarzio pickups
Cons
  • Quite pricey for beginners
  • Balance between pickups isn’t perfect

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Even I confused this Ibanez electric guitar with an acoustic one at my first glance, and so do most people. Moving onto its features, the Ibanez GRG6 has Super 58 custom humbucking pickups, alongside its hollow body, for that smooth yet bass-rich tone you’re looking for. And the most awesome thing is that you don’t even need an external amplifier or DAC for experiencing its full glory and richness. Now imagine how awesome it will sound when plugged in.

Features:

  • Super 58 Custom Pickups deliver the smooth, nuanced tones and the biting growls with richer tones
  • The ebony fretboard with Artstar fret edge treatment provides a tight response and smooth left-hand fingering
  • The bone nut provides a richer tone from low to high and comes with both wood and adjustable metal bridge
  • Custom designed tailpiece includes hard-shell case and comes with both wood and adjustable metal bridge
Pros
  • Superb build-quality in its class
  • Comfortably handles rich and warm tones
  • No need for an external amp
  • Features binding and fret-edge treatment
Cons
  • Quite compact for taller guitarists
  • Only 20 frets, as compared to 24

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“Bass Electric Guitars are quite gradually becoming the topic of conversation in the guitar world. But not everyone is willing to pay a high price. Ibanez did an amazing job of delivering quality bass guitars with its GSRM25BK model!”

As Dan Auerbach pointed out, Bass Guitars are indeed an everyday topic in the music industry, even for those who are not into guitars at all. If you are just starting out with your guitar career or need something alongside your heavy-hitters, what better option can be there than the Ibanez GSRM25BK. Even if you are an amateur, you can comfortably access the upper frets without stretching your hands uncomfortably, all while having tight sounds, thanks to its thinner neck.

Features:

  • Features Wizard III Maple neck with flamed maple top and Mahogany body with rosewood fretboard
  • Every inch of this classic screams speed, fury, and expression with jumbo frets and fixed-bridge Quantum neck
  • The GSRM25BK features hardtail 6-string electric built around the Mahogany body with Flamed Maple top
  • Its contoured top not only looks sleek but also creates a softer, comfortable edge where the right forearm rests
Pros
  • Thin neck with tight spacing
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Premium basswood finish
  • Offers grain pattern appearance
Cons
  • Thin neck may cause shifting tones
  • Gets easily damaged

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Another hot topic in the guitar world is Jazz music, and Ibanez hasn’t left any stones unturned in this genre too. If you are into Jazz, the AM93 model from Ibanez can be an ideal option for you, without breaking the bank. With its classic vibrato, wide frets, and ART-1 Bridge, it has all the features you might need for having the perfect balance between old and modern. What’s even cooler is an addition of 2 more frets, 22 instead of 20, which makes it suitable for Jazz.

Features:

  • Designed to look as natural as its sounds, this hollow-body electric is an addition to the Expressionist family
  • Featuring fine wood design, classy hollow body, and style pickups, this guitar is great for versatile guitarists
  • The dark wood of the fretboard is contrasted with acrylic block inlays, interspersed between 22 medium frets
  • The four gold knobs controlling individual pickup volume and tone are great for adjusting to musical genres

 

Pros
  • Perfect choice for intermediates
  • Suitable for playing most guitar genres
  • Decent performance at an affordable price
  • Exceptionally accurate and smooth tones
Cons
  • Calibrating the bridge is tricky
  • Stronger output might be required

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Ibanez has saturated the electric guitar industry across every price segment and genre, even across portability options. The GAX30TCR revision from Ibanez is meant exactly for the last one – who carry their electric guitars in the wild. At just 7 lbs, this model is unbelievably lightweight, and it doesn’t even compromise on the build. Carved out of solid basswood, it features a flamed maple top with stylish white binding, making it both structurally and ergonomically rigid.

Features:

  • The Ibanez High-Performance series delivers high-end performance and road warrior dependability
  • The GAX30TCR features an exotic Ash and Nyatoh body back for an impressive visual aura and warm tones
  • The Jatoba fingerboard and jumbo frets offer effortless fingering up and down the length of the fingerboard
  • Features Wizard III Roasted Maple Neck w/ Jatoba Fingerboard and Dual DiMarzio Fusion Edge Pickups
Pros
  • Extremely lightweight in its class
  • Reliable no-break bridge design
  • Ideal for heavy-metal guitarists
  • Inbuilt coil-split switch controls
Cons
  • The Jatoba fretboard isn’t the smoothest
  • Calibration requires more accuracy

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“Even with my decades of experience with electric guitars, even I couldn’t make out it’s an electric guitar. I don’t know how Ibanez accomplished it, but the functionality of an electric guitar is miraculously packed inside an acoustic body!”

You are not alone Dan, even our editors double-checked the fact that it’s not an acoustic guitar! Before researching for this article, But how did Ibanez accomplished this feat? As Dan hinted, Ibanez is something called an internal X bracing mechanism, which balanced the notes, making it ideal for either strumming or picking – or whatever the music may require. The guitar also comes with an onboard tuner that helps you stay in line with your favorite tunes.

Features:

  • Ibanez created the Artwood Series for an ode on their rich tradition while adding the modern accouterments
  • The AEG50N is visually stunning with solid Mahogany top that really shows off Mahogany woodgrain
  • Its aesthetic charm is the black and white multi-rosette and the rosewood AW bridge with bone saddle
  • The Ibanez AEG50N preamp features an intuitive 2-band control, which makes adjusting the tone seamless
Pros
  • The strings are quickly swappable
  • The complete package is battery powered
  • Features an impressive vintage look
  • Comes with an inbuilt tuning for beginners
Cons
  • Not versatile with limited controls
  • The stock strings must be replaced

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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Are Ibanez electric guitars good for beginners?

 

Whether you are an expert with your guitar, or just starting out, the only brand you will come across first in the US is Ibanez. With decades of experience and collabs, Ibanez is best-known for electric guitars across every price segment.

 

Which guitarists use Ibanez electric guitars?

 

Few renowned guitarists who have been spotted using Ibanez electric guitars are Joe Satriani, who plays on an Ibanez JS series electric guitar. However, Ibanez is more popular for collabs with musicians like Steve Vai and Alice Cooper.

 

Which series is better; Ibanez Premium or Ibanez Prestige?

 

Depending on what genre of music you prefer, you can either choose an Ibanez Premium model or Prestige model. In terms of affordability, Prestige series is more popular, bit if you need granular controls, then Premium series is worth.

 

Why are Ibanez guitars cheap?

 

Ibanez guitars are not cheap, not by any means. Ibanez has offerings across every price bracket, and while we often see affordable models, we do miss out on more premium offerings and collaborations with guitarists such as Steve Vai.

 

Who made Ibanez guitars before it was popular?

 

Till the 80s, the majority of Ibanez guitars were being manufactured by the FujiGen guitar factory in Japan. Since then, Ibanez guitars have expanded its signature presence in Asian and American countries as well such as Korea and China.

 

Wrapping Up

The model you choose affects how you will be playing, and it’s essential to make the right buying decision that would impact your performance. If you are just starting out, an intuitive guitar would be ideal with easy playability. Bumping up the expertise, if you are intermediate, then your preference should be the sonic quality and more precise controls over your tones. Lastly, if you are an avid professional, I would suggest an even higher quality body and smooth action.

But whatever option you might be looking at, is there really better options than Ibanez? Over the decades, this guitar manufacturer has proven itself for being the gold standard for electric guitars across every price segment and musical genre. And with our catalog of the best electric guitars from Ibanez, you can definitely pick one that suits your style. Let your fingers rolling with these best Ibanez guitar so that you can mesmerize your listeners with your exceptional music.

Also Read: 8 Best Acoustic Guitar Under 300 worth buying in 2021

8 Best Small Body Guitars you Should Buy in 2021

Best Jumbo Acoustic Guitar Under 1000 in 2021

Best Acoustic Guitar Amp Under 200 (2021) Available on Amazon

Joy Smith Administrator
Hi, I am Joy Smith and I love to play guitar daily. I got into guns when I was around 22 and started with YouTube videos, scouring forums, and eventually taking a bunch of classes. I soaked up as much information as I could online, at competitions, and from tinkering in my workshop. Now I hope to answer some of yours!

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