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Ibanez guitars are often highly revered for their extreme playability. In fact, many guitar virtuosos endorse these instruments as their mainstay guitars.
If you’re in the market for a shredding machine, an Ibanez guitar can be the perfect fit for you. No matter your budget, Ibanez has a guitar that will check all the boxes on your list of needs.
Here are some of the best Ibanez guitars available on the market, for every budget range.
Artcore AS73 – Best Overall
This guitar has a very traditional look, boasting a double-cutaway design with 2 f-shaped soundholes. You can be sure you’ll be channeling all of your inspiration from fellow semi-hollow players.
The AS73’s body is comprised completely of laminated Linden. Despite being a laminate, this guitar is quite resonant as you would expect a semi-hollow to be.
A gloss polyurethane finish is applied to the guitar’s body for the perfect shine. You also have a number of different color options to choose from, including:
- Tobacco Brown
- Olive Metallic
- Prussian Blue Metallic
- Transparent Cherry Red
The neck of the AS73 is made of Nyatoh and is connected to the body via a set neck joint method. This neck has a scale length of 24.7” and has a fairly thin contour, which provided a fast playing experience.
Walnut is used for the AS73’s fretboard material. This fretboard has a 12” radius, with 22 medium frets, and large acrylic block inlays.
For pickups, the AS73 is stocked with a pair of Classic Elite Humbuckers. A pair of volume and tone knobs and a 3-way switch allow you to make the most of these pickups.
Tonally, the AS73 has a bit of a gravelly growl towards the lower EQ spectrum, with a hint of warmth. The high range of the EQ spectrum is fairly precise in sound, retaining a solid balance with the overall sound.
For hardware, the AS73 has a plastic nut and closed gear tuners. The bridge is a Performer Bridge built by Gibraltar, which features a Quik Change III tailpiece.
What’s So Great About The Artcore AS73?
The Ibanez Artcore series is a serious contender for those that are interested in semi-hollow guitars. For years, this series has gained a massively positive reputation in terms of build quality and affordability.
Perhaps the best example of this is with the AS73. Although it is reasonably affordable, it does not compromise in too many areas.
If there was one thing that might be the biggest compromise, it might be the plastic nut. However, even plastic nuts have been shown to perform quite well when compared to other materials.
It is not often that you find such a playable semi-hollow guitar at this price point. You also won’t find a semi-hollow guitar that has the same aesthetic value at this price, either.
Just about anyone can likely agree that the AS73 is a massively attractive guitar. The color options and the block inlays really have such an iconic and timeless look.
Of course, we all know a guitar’s playability doesn’t depend on how it looks. But, thanks to the AS73’s thin neck, you won’t have any issues navigating this fretboard.
The double humbucker design really does allow you to take advantage of the inherent warmth built into this guitar.
If you’ve ever wished for a semi-hollow, this makes a great entry into that world. You just might find that it’s everything you really need in a guitar.
Be sure to give this guitar a try if you find yourself leaning towards these types of guitars. It will perform just as well as some of the more well-known semi-hollow guitars, at a fraction of the price.
Sure, that may be a bit of a bold statement, but it’s one that Ibanez themselves would likely stand behind.
Item Weight: 13.23 pounds
Package Dimensions: 45.75 x 19 x 5.25 inches
Prestige RG652AHM – Best Premium
This guitar is from Ibanez’s Prestige series, which aims to provide guitars that have superb craftsmanship and playability. For once, a promising line like this absolutely delivers, and you won’t be disappointed.
The RG652AHM has a double-cutaway design, with a body made of Ash. It has a gloss polyurethane finish and comes in the color options of:
- Nebula green burst
- Antique white blonde
Birdseye Maple is used to construct the 25.5” scale length neck. This neck has Ibanez’s Super Wizard HP contour, designed for blazing fast playing speeds and comfort.
The fretboard is also crafted from Birdseye Maple, with a radius of 16.9”. You’ll have a full 2-octave range with the 24 frets on this guitar.
For pickups, the RG652AHM is stocked with DiMarzio Alnico humbuckers. The neck features an Air Norton, while the bridge has a Tone Zone.
A 5-way switch, in combination with a single master volume and tone knob is provided with the RG652AHM. No humbucker tone is off the table with this guitar!
For hardware, the RG652AHM has an Ibanez Edge Locking Tremolo and locking nut. This is an original Ibanez design that is widely recognized as one of the best tremolo systems in the industry.
High-quality Gotoh tuners are also installed on this guitar for a premium tuning experience.
A hardshell case is included with the purchase of the RG652AHM, making it gig-ready out of the box. Although, at this price, you would hopefully expect an inclusion such as this.
What’s So Great About The Prestige RG652AHM?
The Prestige RG652AHM is truly a top-of-the-line guitar. If you’re a serious professional (or your chops demand a quality guitar), this guitar will serve you well.
While it does cost a pretty shiny penny, your money is being well-spent with this instrument. Ibanez has truly delivered a guitar that even your guitar idols would not think twice about playing.
The first major point to make note of is how fast the guitar’s neck is. Many people who own this guitar say it’s the fastest (and easiest) neck they’ve ever played.
If you pick this guitar up, you’ll notice that the neck width is pretty thin. This type of design really helps you to navigate quickly, especially compared to C-shape contours.
When you combine that with a nearly-flat 16.9” fretboard radius, you have a serious shredding machine. There won’t be a technique that is out of your grasp with the RG652AHM.
Secondly, the tremolo system is by far one of the best locking tremolo designs to exist on the market. Steve Vai and Joe Satriani use this exact same tremolo design, which should be proof enough of its utility.
The RG652AHM is also a beautiful guitar in both of its offered color options. The Nebula Green Burst is especially eye-catching with its green top and a natural Ash color on the back.
In a way, the RG652AHM takes some inspiration from the famous Fender Stratocaster. Not only is the body design similar, but it has similar comfort contours on the front and back as well.
The hardshell case is seriously a nice addition, as it features a crushed velour interior. It’s pretty disappointing when guitars in this range do not come with a case included.
Item Weight: 10 pounds
Package Dimensions: 44.5 x 17.5 x 5.87 inches
miKro GRGM21 – Best Budget
Are you a beginner on a budget looking for your first shred-worthy guitar? Or, perhaps you (or your child) have smaller hands and need a guitar to accommodate?
The GRGM21 has a double-cutaway Basswood body design that is reminiscent of many of Ibanez’s other guitars. It comes with a gloss polyester finish and a number of different colors, including:
- Jewel blue
- Metallic purple
Maple is used to craft the GRGM21’s neck, which has a shortened scale length of 22.2”. This is significantly smaller than a regular guitar, so wide fret-related finger stretches should not be an issue here.
Jatoba is used for the GRGM21’s fretboard, which has a radius of 15.7”. This fretboard has 24 frets (2-octave range) outlined with Sharktooth inlays for a killer aesthetic look.
For pickups, the GRGM21 has a pair of Infinity R ceramic humbuckers. You’ll be able to achieve your favorite metal sounds without too much of an issue with these pickups.
A 5-way switch and a master volume and tone knob are also included to dial your favorite tones in.
For hardware, the GRGM21 has a fixed bridge with a 6-string saddle, a plastic nut, and closed-gear tuners.
Aesthetically, Ibanez has really made sure to provide that certain metal-meets-technical-player look here. Despite being a budget instrument, it still looks like one of the higher-end instruments.
You certainly won’t feel cheesy with this guitar strapped up!
What’s So Great About The miKro GRGM21?
There are a few things about the GRGM21 that make it a worthwhile guitar for just about anyone. The first has to be its price.
You really can’t argue with the quality of guitar you’ll be receiving with the GRGM21. This is a guitar that will likely surpass your expectations compared to other guitars in this price range.
This is actually a huge benefit to beginner players, who are often stuck playing less-than-ideal guitars. You won’t have to struggle too much here, as the GRGM21 does provide a fairly easy playing experience.
It’s also quite commendable that Ibanez has provided 24 frets on this shortened scale neck. So, not only will you be able to fret easier, but you’ll have a full 2-octave range.
This inclusion is a great asset, especially if there is a possibility of growing into a full-size guitar. Having this range means you won’t have to transition much as you’ll be used to seeing 24 frets.
Let’s not forget about how awesome the miKro GRGM21 looks! It really does look as if it’s built for the extremely technical guitarist.
All in all, if you’re on a tight budget, the GRGM21 makes a great solution for an inexpensive guitar. It will likely serve you quite well until you’re ready for a full-sized guitar.
Even then, you might find the GRGM21 to be the perfect companion for loafing around the house. After all, it’s never a bad thing to have a guitar at the ready at all times and locations.
Item Weight: 9 pounds
Package Dimensions: 37 x 14 x 3 inches
Genesis Collection RG550
Interested in a modified vintage reissue of a true Ibanez classic, and have a decent budget to work with? The Ibanez Genesis Collection RG550 is just the guitar you need in your life.
This model is essentially a reproduction of the RG550 that was produced in the 1980s. It is guitars like these that helped Ibanez to gain the widespread reputation it has today.
This guitar’s body is made from Basswood and has a gloss polyurethane finish. You can get this model in a number of different classic colors including:
- Desert sun yellow
- Purple neon
- Road flare red
The RG550’s neck is constructed from 5 pieces of wood, in a combination of Maple and Walnut. It has a scale length of 25.5” and features the iconic Super Wizard contour.
This Super Wizard contour is highly regarded as one of the fastest-playing necks available on a guitar.
Speed is only increased with the 16.9” radius Maple fretboard. You’ll also have a full 2-octave playing range, as there are 24 jumbo-sized frets easily accessible.
An area where this guitar really shines is in its pickups. This guitar has a combination of 2 humbuckers and a single-coil pickup in the middle.
More specifically, it has a V7 humbucker in the neck and a V8 humbucker at the bridge. The pickup in the middle position is an S1 single-coil pickup.
A 5-way switch and a volume and tone knob will allow you to make the most of these pickups.
Another area where this guitar shines is its inclusion of the Ibanez Edge locking tremolo system. This is widely regarded as one of the best locking tremolos in the industry.
Item Weight: 15 pounds
Package Dimensions: 42.5 x 17.25 x 8 inches
Have an intermediate budget and looking for a beautiful shred machine to add to your collection? The Ibanez S670QM is worth taking a look at.
This guitar from Ibanez’s S series features a double-cutaway design with an aesthetic of beautiful meets aggressive.
The S670QM has a body made of Meranti and has a quilted Maple top. A gloss polyurethane finish is featured here, as are a couple of color options including:
- Dragon eye burst
- Sapphire blue
Maple is also used in the construction of the neck, which has a scale length of 25.5”. Ibanez’s iconic Wizard III neck contour is featured on the S670QM for comfort and an easy playing experience.
Jatoba is the wood material used for the S670QM’s fretboard. It has a 15.75” radius, with 24 jumbo-sized frets for a 2-octave playing range.
The S670QM really shines in terms of its electronics, as it has an HSH configuration. A pair of Quantum humbuckers and a Quantum single-coil pickup can be found here.
To make the most of this, a 5-way switch, as well as a master volume and tone knob, are provided.
Ibanez’s Edge Zero II locking tremolo is also featured on the S670QM. This tremolo is noted for its low profile and performance, making it a favorite amongst guitarists.
Also included on this guitar are Ibanez machine tuners. These will provide a smooth tuning experience for any tuning you employ.
Overall, the S670QM makes a great fit for any intermediate guitarist and professionals alike. The quilted maple top is especially attractive, as are the contours on the overall body.
You’ll enjoy this if you’re not a fan of Ibanez’s 1980’s aesthetics that are often found on their guitars.
Item Weight: 10 pounds
Package Dimensions: 44.5 x 18 x 6 inches
The intermediate budget range of Ibanez’s guitars offers quite a bit for guitarists to choose from. This range seems to be the area where utility starts to shine, proving these guitars to be a value buy.
Perhaps one of the best guitars from this range is the Ibanez RG450DX (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater). This guitar features much of the full functionality seen on the higher-end guitars, without the associated price tag.
The RG450DX features Ibanez’s iconic double-cutaway RG body design. Its body is made of Meranti with a gloss polyurethane finish.
You can get this guitar in a couple of attractive color options, including:
- Starlight blue
The neck is crafted from 3 pieces of Maple and has a scale length of 25.5”. It features Ibanez’s famed Wizard III neck contour for a perfect blend of comfort and utility.
This guitar also has a Jatoba fretboard with a radius of 15.7”. There are 24 jumbo-sized frets here, outlined in iconic Sharktooth fretboard inlays.
The RG450DX also has an HSH pickup configuration. It features a Quantum 3 (neck), a Quantum 4 (bridge), and a Quantum S3 single-coil (middle).
Dialing in your favorite tones will be a breeze here. A 5-way switch and a master volume and tone knob are provided for this purpose.
This guitar also features a double locking tremolo system, locking at the nut and bridge. You’ll have no issues performing light vibrato to heavy dive bombs with this system.
Ibanez closed gear tuners are also provided for an extremely smooth tuning experience.
Overall, the RG450DX is a great choice for an affordable guitar. It not only plays great but looks the part as well!
Item Weight: 9 pounds
Package Dimensions: 41.5 x 17.25 x 3.5 inches
Another excellent intermediate-range option to consider is the RG421AHM (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater). This guitar is priced similarly to the RG450DX, so if you don’t like that one, consider this one.
In some ways, the RG421AHM is a more affordable version of the aforementioned Prestige Series RG652AHM. Both guitars share a similar look and design.
The RG421AHM features a body made of Ash with a gloss polyurethane finish. It only comes in one color, which is a translucent blue moon burst that showcases the Ash’s natural wood grain.
Ibanez’s iconic Wizard III neck contour is featured on this 25.5” scale length Maple neck. You’ll have a comfortable and easy time navigating up and down the neck, with no issues whatsoever.
Maple is also featured as the RG421AHM’s fretboard. This has a 15.7” radius as well as 24 jumbo-sized frets for a full 2-octave playing range.
For pickups, the RG421AHM is stocked with a pair of Quantum ceramic humbuckers. A 5-way switch and a master volume and tone knob are provided for tonal control.
This guitar does not have a tremolo system. Rather, it has an F106 hardtail bridge with a 6-string saddle.
Regardless, you’ll find that the RG421AHM actually has quite a bit of sustain within its tone. This could be attributed to the hardtail design of the guitar.
Elsewhere on the guitar can be found a plastic nut, as well as Ibanez closed gear tuners.
Overall, the RG421AHM is definitely worth checking out if you’re in need of an affordable guitar with extreme playability. You’ll feel right at home here, especially if you have no need for a locking tremolo system.
Item Weight: 7.26 pounds
Package Dimensions: 44.49 x 17.76 x 4.25 inches
The S521 features a double-cutaway Meranti body design with a gloss polyurethane finish. There are 2 color choices to choose from with this model, including:
- Ocean fade metallic
- Blackberry sunburst
No matter what color choice you opt for, the features and build are the same across the board.
Maple is used to construct the S521’s neck. This has a scale length of 25.5” and features Ibanez’s Wizard III neck contour.
Rosewood is used for the S521’s fretboard, which has a radius of 15.75”. There are 24 jumbo-sized frets here, with offset white dot inlays for a more modern look.
Where the S521 really performs is in its electronics. This guitar is stocked with a pair of Quantum humbuckers.
A master volume and tone knob are provided, as is a 5-way switch. It’s not often that you see a 5-way switch offered on a humbucker guitar.
As such, this will allow you to have a wide range of tonal varieties. The pickup positions include:
- Neck only (position 1)
- Parallel configuration (position 2)
- Both pickups (position 3)
- Combination of each pickup’s inside coil (position 4)
- Bridge only (position 5)
These pickups are also wired fairly hot, so aggressive music players will find quite a bit of use here.
The S521 also features an F106 hardtail bridge with a 6-string saddle, closed gear tuners, and a plastic nut.
Overall, the S521 is a perfect example of how Ibanez manages to pack in value at an affordable cost.
Item Weight: 8 pounds
Package Dimensions: 44.25 x 17.75 x 4.25 inches
Ibanez’s Gio series specializes in providing highly playable guitars at an affordable price. You’ll see that the GRX70QA not only provides a great playing experience but also looks great.
The GRX70QA has a double-cutaway body design constructed from Poplar with a gloss finish. It features a top made of Quilted Maple art grain, which is showcased in the following colors:
- Transparent blue burst
- Transparent black sunburst
- Transparent emerald burst
- Transparent red burst
- Transparent violet sunburst
Maple is used to construct the GRX70QA’s neck, which has a 25.5” scale length. Ibanez uses its designated GRX neck contour here for comfort and accessibility fitting for all types of players.
The fretboard of the GRX70QA is made of Purpleheart, which has a radius of 12”. There are 22 frets with white dot inlays found on this fretboard.
This guitar is also stocked with 3 pickups in an HSH configuration. It features a pair of Infinity R ceramic humbuckers, with an Infinity RS ceramic single-coil in the middle.
You’ll be able to dial in a large range of different tones with the GRX70QA. A 5-way switch and a master volume and tone knob are provided for this purpose.
Need a tremolo? The GRX70QA has you covered with its T106 floating tremolo system.
You likely won’t have any issues enhancing your notes with the expression of vibrato here. Dive bombs are also a possibility, although this won’t have the stability of a locking tremolo system.
Elsewhere on this guitar is a plastic nut and Ibanez closed gear tuners.
Item Weight: 8 pounds
Package Dimensions: 43 x 12 x 6 inches
History of Ibanez As A Company
Ibanez is a Japanese company that originally started out as an importer of Spanish classical guitars. Sometime in the 1930s, the company adopted the name of one of these guitar builders and made their own instruments.
Eventually, in the 1970s, word began to spread about the quality and playability of Ibanez guitars. The 1980s saw Ibanez being adopted by many world-class players, as guitar technique demanded certain instruments.
Today, Ibanez has an extremely well-built reputation for providing guitars suitable for the most technical players. The company has been at the forefront of innovation, creating the first 7-string and 8-string guitars.
Virtuosic players have largely endorsed Ibanez guitars as their mainstay instruments. Some of the guitarists that endorse Ibanez guitars (and have signature models with the company) include:
- Paul Gilbert
- Ichika Nito
- Joe Satriani
- Steve Vai
- Andy Timmons
- Tim Henson
- Nita Strauss
- Paul Waggoner
Top Ibanez Guitars For The Money, Final Thoughts
As you can see, Ibanez has worthwhile guitars for every range of budget and type of player. Even their most affordable guitars rival the playability of some of the best-rated guitars in the industry.
If you’re a technical player looking for a guitar, be sure to try out some Ibanez guitars. You’ll likely find that the craftsmanship and playability are consistent across nearly every model you try.