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hands-on

Ibanez JS1600PSV Guitar

The Ibanez JS1600PSV is another impressive Joe Satriani signature model. This one is a hardtail with unique Premium Silver finish & the natural headstock that Joe wanted. These were full production models made in Japan (MIJ) from 2008-2010 by Fujigen & rather interestingly sold worldwide except in their homeland. The JS1600PSV follows previous Ibanez JS hardtails, which are the JS6OIL, JS6000SOL, JS6000TR, JS600BK, JS600WH, JS700TR (MIJ/MIK), JS2000CG (first to last, use the JS JAM interactive to see all the JS models). A decade after the 1600’s debut, it’s surely time for another fixed bridge MIJ JS – perhaps a 24-fret model like Joe now plays.

Please read the Ibanez JS1000BP hands-on for more a more encompassing overview of the JS guitars & many details which will not be retraced.

A Rock Guitar For Everyone

The Ibanez JS1600PSV features the Prestige neck treatment which means it feels great to the touch of your fret hand. The sweet JS body shape brings the same great feel against your upper body plus timelessly great looks. With the Sparkly Silver (PSV) finish Ibanez has given you a high performance guitar without the look of your daddy’s (&/or grandpa’s) 80s superstrat.

Joe crosses some musical boundaries but he’s an instrumentalist first & foremost. Of course he’s also a former instructor to notables such as Kirk Hammett, Steve Vai, Alex Skolnick, etc. No matter how you view it, Satch is forever linked with instrumentalists who emerged from the hair-rock era. During his prolific solo career Joe has toured with a diverse group of musicians & bands (Mick Jagger, Deep Purple way back & Chickenfoot nowadays)… it’s those gigs which are a better reference point to the JS1600PSV as a high quality & diverse rock n roll guitar. It’s not fair to view and limit the JS merely as a shred guitar for those who prefer superstrats. The neck, fretboard & body combo make the JS one of the better feeling guitars you can pickup & play today. This is not a guitar designed just for sheer indulgence.

Ibanez 1988 Catalog 540R
Ibanez 1988 Spirit brochure w/ 540R

In short don’t let Joe’s historic talent & wizardry turn you away from the JS1600 (or other JS models). These are very approachable instruments that are truly playable by just about anyone, of any age, of any ability or inclination. This is a credit to the original Ibanez Radius design as refined by Satch for the JS signature line introduced in 1990.

While this guitar has the famously comfortable & sleek JS body shape, this time around it features a body made of mahogany tone-wood. The JS1600 weighs 7lb6oz and slightly heaver than my JS1000BP which weighs 7lb2oz. The fixed bridge – somewhat neglected by Ibanez players of this genre for whatever reason – brings addition by subtraction. It’s one of the many differentiators between the JS1600 and dozens of floaty trem MIJ JS axes. First it makes the JS1600 completely stable & immediately tunable, although the floating trem models offer this too. Not only to pitch though, but instantly changed to endless alternate tunings. The fixed bridge also brings definition to notes & chords they ring true since the bridge doesn’t warble, float & flutter creating constant yet unintended oscillation of pitch. Last but not least the JS1600 is devoid of the large tone robbing body routings & cavities that floating tremolos require.

String thru, excellent neck joint/plate, minimal electronic cavity routing

Realistically, this bolt-on lightweight guitar won’t sustain for days like a set-neck 10lb Ibanez Artist or LesPaul (or Joe’s new Sustaniac equipped JS2480 & JS1CR30). It’s probably best to think of the JS1600 as being Joe’s take on the classic & likewise super accessible Gibson SG. Comfortable to strap on, easy to play, lightweight on your neck/shoulders/back, perfectly intonated with it’s fixed bridge simplicity & famously impressive tone.

Ibanez JS1600PSV Specs

  • Production: 2008-2010 (sold worldwide except Japan)
  • Made in Japan by Fujigen
  • PSV (Premium Silver) w/ Chrome hardware
  • Mahogany Body
  • Tilt Neck joint
  • JS Prestige 1-Piece Maple neck (compound rear radius)
  • Neck
  • 42mm width @ nut, 56mm width at last fret
  • 20mm thick at fret-1, 22.3mm thick at fret-12
  • Prestige fret end & neck treatment
  • Rosewood fretboard 25.5″ scale, 250mm radius w/ Abalone Dot inlays
  • 22 frets type Warmoth 6105 (0.095″ tall x 0.047″ narrow)
  • Neck Pickup: DiMarzio PAF Pro Humbucker. DP151, Alnico-5, DC Resistance: 8.4 Kohm, 300mV.
  • Bridge Pickup: DiMarzio FRED Humbuckers DP151, Alnico-5, DC Resistance: 10.38 Kohm, 305mV.
  • Fixed Bridge: Gotoh GTC101 bridge string thru body
  • Controls:
  • 1 Volume (push/pull up for high-pass filter) for both pickups)
  • 1 Tone (Push/pull up for coil split) for both pickups)
  • 3-Way Switch (Neck/Both/Bridge)
  • Locking auto-trim machine heads (Planet Wave D’Addario) 18:1
  • Angled output jack on body edge
  • Ibanez plastic molded case included
  • Weight 7lb6oz (compared to JS1000BP 7lb2oz, Gibson SG 6lb3oz, AM200 7lb1oz, AS200 8lb4oz)
Surprising lack of detail here using black screws instead of chrome for the bridge

Gotoh GTC101 Fixed Bridge

The Gotoh GTC101 is a quality, non-intrusive Japanese made bridge that allows every adjustment the guitar would ever need. This bridge provides a low-to-the-body mount, much like the recessed Edge tremolos featured on most JS guitars. I personally really like these bridges since they fasten to the body with minimal trouble (5 screws) & offer string-thru capability so a tailpiece is not needed. The chrome plating is great and the saddles are brass what more do you want? Combined with the locking machine heads this subscribes to the “keep it simple stupid” theory which always benefits the player.

  • Brass saddles with individual height & intonation adjustment
  • String spacing 10.5mm
  • Noiseless & simple to adjust any way you want it.
Gotoh GTC101 Bridge – Chrome Finish
Gotoh GTC101 Dimensions
Rounded body contour & angled output jack
This beauty simply looks gorgeous from any angle

auto trim locking tuners

very effective auto-trim
Pretty good whatever rosewood still available
Rosewood board & Prestige fret end treatment
JS neck plate & improved strat 4-bolt heel joint
1-piece maple neck w/ bubinga truss rod cap & compound radius back
natural headstock as Joe wanted

The pictures tell you pretty much everything you need to know about the JS1600. Ibanez – stuck on it’s “every guitar needs a tremolo” mindset – has has limited their offerings to players thus keepingfantastic axes such as this one out of their regular lineup. Less is more. 22-frets with the harmonic sweet-spot of the neck pickup will be embraced forever, maybe one day again by Ibanez & Joe.