The Ibanez AZ guitar – solid body electric – series was formally announced at Winter NAMM Jan 2018. The AZ brings back a modernized Blazer (introduced 1981) & Roadstar (introduced 1983) including the vintage style non-pointy 6-inline headstock. The AZ is poised to last longer Ibanez’ prior “vintage super strat” attempt, the 1992 RT Series (think RG, with vintage trem & vintage neck & pointy headstock).
In the last 30 years the AZ Series is one of the few new 6-string Prestige (not the cheap stuff) “series” Ibanez has actually introduced which wasn’t mostly derivative of an existing model (see list at bottom of this page).
Even though Ibanez is thought of as a modern guitar brand, we have decades of accumulated knowledge and a history of pushing the boundaries. The AZ series carries with it all of the hallmarks of these tried and tested Ibanez qualities: the smooth oval neck grip, the well balanced asymmetrical body shape, and the neck heel allowing unrivaled playability. – Ibanez.com
Prestige Ibanez AZ Models (Made in Japan by Fujigen)
AZ2402K-NT – Prestige Natural Finish. Koa Top on Alder body. 2018 List: $4,666.65. MAP: $3499. Prestige limited production (totals not announced – few per territory).
AZ2402-TFF – Prestige Tri Fade Burst Flat. Alder body. 2018 List $2666.65. MAP: $1999. Ibanez.com page here
AZ2402-ICM – Prestige Ice Blue Metallic. Alder body. 2018 List: $2666.65. MAP: $1999. Ibanez.com page here
AZ2204-ICM – Prestige Ice Blue Metallic. Alder body. 2018 List: $2666.65. MAP: $1999. Ibanez.com page here
AZ2204F-TAB – Prestige Transparent Aqua Burst. Flamed Maple Top on Alder body. 2018 List: $3333.32. MAP: $2499 MAP. Ibanez.com page here
MM1-TAB – Martin Miller Signature model AZ. Transparent Aqua Blue. Mahogany body with Flamed Maple top. 24-fret w/ abalone dots. H-H. 2018 List: $3333.32. MAP: $2499. Ibanez.com page here
TQM1-NT – Tom Quayle Signature model AZ. Transparent Aqua Blue. Alder body with Monkeywood top. 22-frets w/ abalone dot. H-H. 2018 List: $3333.32. MAP: $2499. Ibanez.com page here
AZ2402Q-RBB – Prestige Regal Brown Burst (Japan market). Quilted Maple top on Alder body. 24-fret w/ abalone dots. H-H. 2018 List: $. MAP: $. – Ibanez japan page here
AZ2402-GC – Prestige Gold (Japan Market Oct 2018). Alder body. List: $TBA MAP: $TBA. Ibanez.com Japanese page here
Premium Ibanez AZ Models (made in Indonesia)
AZ224F-BTB – Premium Brown Topaz Burst. Flamed Maple top on American Basswood body. 24-fret w/ black dots. S -S-H. 2018 List: $1,733.32. MAP: $1,299.99. – Ibanez.com page here
AZ224F-BIG – Premium Blue Iceberg Gradation. Flamed Maple top on American Basswood body. 24-fret w/ black dots. S-S-H. 2018 List: $1,733.32. MAP: $1,299.99. – Ibanez.com page here
AZ242F-TSG – Premium Tequila Sunrise Gradation. Flamed Maple top on American Basswood body. 24-fret w/ black dots. H-H. 2018 List: $1,733.32. MAP: $1,299.99. – Ibanez.com page here
AZ242BC-DET – Premium Deep Espresso Burst. Bocote top on American Basswood body. 24-fret w/ black dots. H-H. 2018 List: $1,733.32. MAP: $1,299.99. – Ibanez.com page here
Links of Interest
Ibanez AZ Product line at ibanez.com click here
Ibanez AZ Google trends last 90 days
Ikebe-gakki search click here
Ibanez AZ Google Search last week
Specifications Prestige Models (22-fret SSH, 24-fret HH)
- S-TECH WOOD Roasted Maple neck (22 or 24 fret neck). S-TECH special roasted treatment increases the wood’s stability, durability, water resistance and tolerance of temperature changes. The neck is sealed with an oil finish which helps make it feel similar to a well-played guitar neck.(Premium lacks S-TECH).
- S-TECH WOOD Roasted Maple fretboard w/Black dot inlay. S-TECH special roasted treatment provides a superior attack and a well-balanced tone and a rich sustain. In order to achieve supreme neck grip comfort, the fretboard edge is finished with a smooth curve. (Premium lacks S-TECH)
- 305mm (12″) Radius fingerboard
- 25.5″ scale (648mm)
- 20.5mm neck thickness at fret-1, 22.5mm neck thickness at fret-12
- 42mm wide at nut, 56.4mm wide at fret-22
- AZ Oval C shape 22 or 24 frets. Oval C neck profile fills your hand nicely down low while providing a more modern feel up high.
- Super All Access Neck Joint – offers superior playability with its 8mm concave curve from the body top to the spherical surface of the joint area. By maximizing the joint area between the body and the neck, sustain and resonance are increased as well.
- Gotoh Magnum H.A.P-M locking machine heads (height adjustable post) which have an established reputation for tuning stability. Its H. A. P (Height Adjustable Post). system allows for the adjustment of string posts for the appropriate tension of each string.
- Luminescent side dot inlay – The luminescent side dot position marks make it easy for players to see fretboard position marks when performing on dark stages.
- Jumbo Stainless steel frets – boast excellent corrosion resistance. The wide and tall fret-type offers a quick response, good articulation when playing chords and clear tone when playing single notes.
- 42mm Bone nut oil-impregnated provides superior tuning stability and warm rich resonance. (Premium uses TUSQ XL nut)
- Alder body if not otherwise specified (Premium is American basswood)
- An ergonomic body back contour – A shallow body back contour and a big forearm contour make the guitar body fit the player naturally, thus increasing playing comfort. The AZ body has a deep waist and different radii on each body edge curve, making it easier to play in both standing or sitting positions.
- Ibanez exclusive Gotoh T1802 tremolo bridge with titanium saddles & machined steel block (Premium T1502 has steel saddles and a die-cast zinc tremolo block)
- S-S-H Pickups & switching
- Seymour Duncan® Hyperion™ (S) neck pickup
- Seymour Duncan® Hyperion™ (S) neck pickup
- Seymour Duncan® Hyperion™ (H) bridge pickup
- dyna-MIX 9 switching system w/Alter switch offers nine sound variations, and can easily switch between humbucker and single coil modes with just the mini switch. One mode is even able to simulate a humbucker sound from the combination of the 2 single coil pickups.
- H-H Pickups
- Seymour Duncan® Hyperion™ (H) neck pickup
- Seymour Duncan® Hyperion™ (H) bridge pickup
- dyna-MIX 10 switching system w/Alter switch offers ten sound variations, and can easily switch from humbucker and single coil modes with the mini switch. The power Tap mode provides a realistic single coil sound despite its two humbucker pickup layout.
- Seymour Duncan Hyperion Pickups feature a moderate output through Alnico-5 magnets to keep the clarity of the fundamental tone when using a distortion sound, and to deliver a clear pick attack. From treble to bass, the overall tonal balance is evenly adjusted., and works well with various effect pedals.
- Chrome hardware
- Gloss Polyester clearcoat
- Hardshell case included (not for Premiums)
Differences between AZ Prestige & Premium
- Prestige is Made in Japan by Fujigen. Premium is made in Indonesia.
- Prestige body is Alder if not otherwise specified . Premium uses American Basswood not Alder if not otherwise specified.
- Prestige S-TECH NECK special roasted treatment increases the wood’s stability, durability, water resistance and tolerance of temperature changes. The neck is sealed with an oil finish which helps make it feel similar to a well-played guitar neck. Premium lacks the S-TECH process.
- Prestige S-TECH FRETBOARD special roasted treatment provides a superior attack and a well-balanced tone and a rich sustain. In order to achieve supreme neck grip comfort, the fretboard edge is finished with a smooth curve. Premium lacks the S-TECH process.
- Prestige Oil-impregnated Bone nut provides superior tuning stability and warm rich resonance vs the super smooth. Premium uses Graphtech TUSQ XL nut increases tuning stability, sustain and clarity of sound.
- Prestige Ibanez T1802 synchronized bridge (Made by Gotoh). T1802 tremolo bridge features machined titanium saddles and a machined steel tremolo block for a quick response, thick lows and rich highs. The 10.5mm string spacing allows for easy picking across strings. Its snap-in construction makes it easy to load a tremolo arm. Premium Ibanez T1502 synchronized bridge (Made by Gotoh) T1502 tremolo bridge features steel saddles and a die-cast zinc tremolo block for a quick response and improved articulation. The 10.5mm string spacing allows for easy picking across strings. Its snap-in construction makes it easy to load a tremolo arm.
Differences from RG Prestige
- TREMOLO – Gotoh T1802 two-post modern vintage (no locking nut ) with locking tuners (AZ) vs Edge double locking tremolo (Typical RG)
- NECK JOINT – Super All Access Neck (AZ) vs AANJ or original Tilt-neck joint
- NECK PROFILE – Thicker neck & different Oval-C profile (AZ)
- FRETS – SS frets (AZ) vs Nickle-Silver frets (RG)
- FRETBOARD – n305mm fingerboard (AZ) vs 430mm fingerboard (RG)
- SIDE MARKERS – Luminescent side dot inlay (AZ) not yet standard on most RGs
- SWITCHING – Alter DynaMix switch w/ 5-way (AZ) vs typical 5-way wiring (RG)
- CLEARCOAT – Gloss Polyester clearcoat (AZ) vs Polyurethane clearcoat (RG)
New Ibanez Guitar Series (incomplete list)
- AR Artist 1974 – (Double-cutaway solid-body MIJ/MIK/Indo/China)
- Destroyer 1975 (Gibson Explorer ripoff)
- AS 1977- (ES-335 thin body semi-hollow body MIJ/MIK/Indo/China)
- Blazer 1981-1982 & 1995-1998 (Strat-like MIJ)
- Roadstar 1983 (Almost a superstrat MIJ)
- Axstar 1985-1986 (x-shape pointy MIJ)
- ProLine 1985-1986 (MIJ)
- Maxxas 1987-1989 (MIJ)
- JEM mid-1987 (MIJ/MIK/Indo/China)
- RG mid-1987 (MIJ/MIK/Indo/China)JS 1990 (MIJ/MIK/Indo/China)
- Roadstar II Pro 540R Radius mid-1987 (MIJ)
- Roadstar II Pro 540P Power mid-1987 (MIJ)
- Roadstar II Pro 540S Sabre mid-1987 (MIJ)
- EX – 1988-1993 Korean-made RG not called RG so as not to tarnish the name
- RT 1992 (RG w/ thicker vintage Viper neck & vintage trem MIJ)
- Ghostrider 1994-1996 (Korean made)
- Talman 1994- (Vintage retro style MIJ/MIK/Indo/China)
- SF 1992-1994 (hardtail S 24.75″ scale derivative MIJ)
- SV 1992– (modern vintage trem S model MIJ/MIK)
- SC 1997-2004 (hardtail S 25.1″ scale derivative MIJ/MIK/Indo/China)
- AX 1998 (pointy double-cutaway SG style AR style body)
- SA 2000 (S derivative thicker body MIJ/Indo/China)
- SZ 2003 (hardtail S 25.1″ scale derivative MIJ/MIK/Indo/China)
- RGA 2005 (RG archtop MIJ/Indo/China)
- ARC 2006-2007 (LesPaul style body made in China)
- ARX 2006-2012 (pointy cheap AR style China)
- ART 2007- (pointy LesPaul style body Standard/Gio line)
- FR 2008- (pointy-Telecaster MIJ/Indo/China)
- SZR 2008-2009 (SZ-ish from China)
- ARZ 2010- (pointy LesPaul style body w/ 24-frets. Some MIJ 2015-)
- DN 2009-2013 (offset double cutaway China)
- RGD 2010 (RG with bevels & mostly longer scale MIJ/Indo/China)
- AZ 2018 (MIJ, Indo)