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.

guitar models

Ibanez AZ Series new for 2018

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 AS200VYS Prestige Semi Hollow-body Guitar

The Ibanez AS200 Semi Hollow-body is a guitar that requires no introduction. It’s availability spans 40 years and yet could be the holy grail of Ibanez electric guitars. This sounds strange, but it might be the best kept secret from the guitar world & Ibanez enthusiasts.

The AS200 has been referenced extensively in the Ibanez AR2619 and Ibanez ASF180 Hollow-body guitar hands-on reports, as such this article is complete as a continuation of those.

The parallel histories of Jazz music and hollow-body electric guitars have been manifested in the Artstar. The influences of these legendary instruments are immediately apparent with bone nut, ebony fretboard, and Ibanez’s signature Super 58 custom pickups. The critical eye will appreciate the details like the smoothness of the fretboard and a skilled crimping technique generally found on instruments costing twice as much. The Artstar is a pure jazz-box that embodies the continual innovation that is Jazz. –


The Ibanez Signature Upcharge

Artist endorsed signature guitars are commonplace nowadays with all brands and at all price points. Simply put the hope is that you will be attracted to the “model” that is played & endorsed by a musician you like. Regardless of the quality, price or changes from a similar non-signature model you will pay more – often much, much more – for the signature model guitar. The Ibanez signature upcharges are shown below.

editorial guitar models

Ibanez Prestige, A Historical Explanation

Prestige represents the Ibanez instruments many have grown up to know & love even before they were labeled Prestige. This article references how Prestige was used for over two decades, how it evolved & how Prestige relates to those interested in Ibanez guitars today.

Simply put Prestige is a marketing moniker. One that is generally used to distinguish its better guitars & basses, separating them from the Ibanez guitars not made in Japan. Make no mistake these are dramatically better made with tighter tolerances & better parts…  the Ibanez guitars you really want to play & own. Best of all, the non-signature Prestige models are competitively priced.

Prestige indicates a certain level of quality the Ibanez player will see and feel then they pick up the guitar.

editorial guitar models

Premium JEM & Universe Pros & Cons

This post will discuss the pros & cons of the Indonesian-made Prestige JEMs from an objective standpoint. Full disclosure, the author has owned 50+ Ibanez JEM & Universe guitars since 1988 but is not currently interested in buying or owning Ibanez JEM or UVs of any origin.

Some terminology clarifiers:

  • Prestige – Ibanez guitars made in Japan typically by Fujigen
  • Premium – Ibanez guitars made in Jawa Timur Indonesia (part of the Cort factory) in what was termed in 2011 as a joint venture between Hoshino & Fujigen

Pros of Premium JEM/UVs (Made in Indonesia)

(+) Lowered Cost Signature Model

The Premium JEM/UVs offer a significantly lower cost to retailers/customers than Prestige JEM/UVs since they are made in Indonesia not Japan. The Prestige JEM7VWH list price is $4000 whereas the Premium JEM70SPF list price is $2000. Generally speaking these instruments are equivalent in terms of raw materials needed: wood, hardware, inlays & are finished with standard Ibanez paint.


Ibanez AR2619-VV 2014 Prestige Guitar Hands-On Report

Ibanez AR2619-VV Guitar Hands on Report
by Glen C 9/2016

Ibanez literature says: “The AR is a classic among Ibanez guitars. It was one of the first original designs produced by Ibanez and continues to be a sought after guitar. The AR series continues that legacy with pride.”

That is all true.


In 1974 Ibanez began to stop being a copy-guitar manufacturer by releasing its first electric guitar with a body shape that didn’t clone another brand’s guitar. The non-clones were the Ibanez Artist #2611, #2612, #2613 and #2614 . Each guitar featured symmetrical double cutaway bodies with carved, contoured tops. The first attempt by Ibanez was legit. These models were work-in-progress with their rounder cutaways, peculiar shaped pickguard and bolt on neck. The Ibanez “Artist Series” were their up-scale electric & acoustic guitars, unnamed and designated by a model number.

Huge first steps with more to come. Ibanez would release another original body design a year later in 1975 called the… wait for it… Artist #2663. This was briefly called the “Flash” (according to “The Ibanez Untold Story”) but we all know & love it as the “Iceman”.

Original AR guitars from 1974 with slightly rounder cutaways, bolt-on neck & pickguard. These appear to have a subtle top contour.

In 1976 the AR2619 was Introduced

It was impossible to know at the time, but this axe would be the “AR” the guitar world would remember decades later. As Philadelphia Freedom topped the US charts during its Bicentennial, Ibanez created a classic – the AR2619 – perhaps its first historic axe.


Ibanez JS1000BP Hands on Report

Ibanez JS1000BP Guitar Hands on Report by Glen C 7/2016

The playing time I have on Ibanez double-locking axes in the last few years can be counted on the minute hand of a clock. Mostly because the ones I still have just aren’t a good fit for me. So I was intrigued when presented with an opportunity to address this… “an Ibanez JS1000BP in great condition with case”. Really intrigued when I saw the price. Along with a few low-res thumbnail photos the only other detail to help clarify was the serial number F07xxxxx. Most notably the year determines the tremolo routing on the body and possible manufacturing defects or oddities that might be present. Ibanez tweaks things sometimes for good and sometimes for other reasons. For example, the neck width at fret-22 and famously the shift from Edge, LoPro, EdgePro then Edge again. Generally speaking it was not a great idea for Ibanez to design a new tremolo to avoid licensing fees without first vetting patent expiration! Since this JS1000 is a 2007 model I knew to expect an EdgePro tremolo without locking studs and 56mm neck width at fret-22.

It’s no secret that after having owned several dozen JEM, UVs & RGs over the years, I moved on from playing these superstrats. Not just because I prefer hardtails for tone, tuning stability, vibrato, intonating bends, simplicity, etc. You can make a JEM/RG/etc. into a hardtail in just a few seconds…  block its tremolo with an insert and pull a rear spring. This allows string pressure to fix the block against the insert against the body wall thus removing all tremolo movement. For a while I did just that… it provides the nicety of having the fine tuners right there at the bridge too.


As stated above they’re not a good fit for me. The reasons I moved on from the superstrats are the same ones I’ve encountered (if not labor with) for 3 decades. The same issues many of you might knowingly or unknowingly struggle with today… the fretboard is both too flat (430mm radius) & too wide (43mm nut, 56-58mm at heel) even for size LG hands. I’d call this simply fighting against the instrument or use the analogy of the mechanic using the wrong screwdriver. Combined with the meh ergonomics & relatively “basswood” (blah & muddled) tone at some point you stop and ask yourself the most basic question when you pick up that guitar to play… “why”?