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Guitarists are continually pushing the boundaries and expectations beyond what was once thought to be impossible. Quite often, you’ll find these guitarists to have an Ibanez guitar in their hands.
Ibanez has a long and cherished history amongst technical virtuoso types and more traditional players alike. Their guitars are the perfect blend of modern innovation, risk-taking, and tradition.
If you’re left-handed, the following Ibanez guitars are some of the best guitars to be found on the entire market.
Ibanez Artcore Expressionist AS93FML – Best Overall
The Artcore series has been highly celebrated amongst guitarists, specifically for their high value per cost. Jazz, blues, and rock players will usually opt for these over the ES-335-style guitars to save some money.
With the Ibanez Artcore Expressionist AS93FML (see price on Sweetwater, Guitar Center), you’ll find top-of-the-line quality. Nearly every aspect of this guitar is downright stunning, while ultimately remaining affordable for intermediates to professionals.
The AS93FML is a semi-hollowbody guitar with a body made of Flamed Maple. With its 2 f-shape soundholes and the violin sunburst, the AS93FML is a very classy guitar, indeed.
Its neck is crafted from a piece of Maple sandwiched between 2 pieces of Nyatoh. The Ebony fretboard provides a smooth experience across all of its 22 frets.
Perhaps the real star of the show here is the pair of Super 58 Alnico humbuckers. When combined with the 3-way switch and pairs of volume and tone knobs, it has a stunning range of tones.
Ibanez has only cut corners where they need to in order to keep costs down. This is mostly seen with the hardware, which features:
- Plastic nut
- Die-cast tuners
- Performer bridge (similar to a Tune-O-Matic)
Ibanez Prestige AZ2402L – Best Premium
This guitar features an Alder body in a modernized Stratocaster-type body shape. For the left-handed version, the guitar comes in the very distinct color option of tri-fade burst.
The neck and fretboard are made of Roasted Maple, which gives it a worn-in feeling. Its oval-shaped contour provides extreme playability at any point within its 2-octave, 24-fret range.
Versatility is packed into this guitar with its pair of Seymour Duncan Hyperion Humbuckers. A traditional 5-way switch, along with a master tone and volume knob, is provided.
The AZ2402L goes above and beyond, also providing a dyna-MIX10 switch. This essentially gives you 5 more usable positions in conjunction with the 5-way switch.
No expense was spared in this guitar’s construction. You can see that with its hardware, which features:
- Bone nut
- Gotoh Magnum locking tuners
- Gotoh T1802 tremolo system
Ibanez has also provided a hardshell case with the AZ2402L, which is an excellent bonus.
This guitar can truly handle just about every style of music you could throw at it. It’s practically a professional performer’s dream come true.
Ibanez Gio GRX70QAL – Best Budget
The Gio series has been widely renowned as one of the best budget guitar lines on the market. With the Ibanez Gio GRX70QAL (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon), you can take advantage of this in a left-handed orientation.
This guitar has a Poplar body with a Quilted Maple art grain top. The top is decadently showcased in a transparent blue burst, which is the only color available for lefties.
Maple is used for the neck, which has a fairly comfortable C-shape contour. Its fretboard is made of Bound Purpleheart, offering 22 frets, and a dark color resembling Ebony.
The best thing about this guitar, aside from its price, is the pickups, which come in an HSH configuration. These include a pair of Infinity R humbuckers and an Infinity RS single-coil.
You’ll find this to be suitable for most styles of rock music, even venturing into heavier genres. The guitar packs quite a tonal punch for the price, which is why it is considered the best budget offering.
Despite being an affordable model, its hardware is comparable to some other higher-priced Ibanez guitars. This includes:
- Plastic nut
- T106 tremolo system
- Machine tuning heads
This guitar is definitely primed for the shredder in training to hone their skills. Nothing is off the table musically when this guitar is in your hands!
While Ibanez’s electric guitars tend to get the most attention, their acoustic lineup shouldn’t be overlooked. The Ibanez AE295L (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) is an absolute workhorse that maintains a level of affordability.
This cutaway guitar features a body made completely of Okoume. With the guitar’s natural color finish, the AE295L has a chocolatey deliciousness.
The AE295L’s Nyatoh neck has a contour designed for comfort, with the edges of the Katalox fretboard rolled. New guitars sometimes have sharp edges on the fretboard, which get eventually smoothed out naturally after years of play.
More often than not, rolled edges tend to be a feature seen on guitars of higher cost. Yet, Ibanez shows that they put it all into this guitar, especially with its decorative wooden vine fretboard inlay.
Plus, if you’re a performer, you can easily take this with you on stage. The guitar’s magnetic pickup and simplistic preamp system make plugging in a breeze.
Ibanez certainly did not hold back with regard to the AE295L’s hardware, either. You’ll find:
- Bone nut
- Bone saddle
- Katalox bridge
- Chrome die-cast tuners
The AE295L is a steal for any working musician who could use an upgrade from their lower-quality mainstay acoustic. It might have a simplistic and understated aesthetic, but don’t let that fool you.
Ibanez Steve Vai Signature JEMJR
Out of all of the guitarists in the Ibanez artist catalog, Steve Vai is one of the most iconic. And really, out of the entire guitar lineup, Vai’s guitar is probably the easiest to identify.
The Ibanez Steve Vai Signature JEMJR (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) is a top-class performer on a budget. It might not be fully decked out like the standard JEM, but it has all of the essential features.
That includes a Mahogany body with the iconic handle that is routed into the shoulder. Love it or hate it, you have to admit that it’s loud and iconic, to say the least.
You’ll also get a Maple neck with Ibanez’s signature Wizard III contour, designed for speed and comfort. The JEMJR’s Jatoba fretboard sports 24 frets, adorned by the signature acrylic vine inlay design.
Speaking of signature features, you can rest soundly knowing that the JEMJR comes with a tremolo system. It has a double-locking system to give you the best in stability.
The JEMJR also has an HSH pickup configuration using Quantum pickups. A 5-way switch, as well as knobs for volume and tone, give you an extensive range of tones.
Ibanez Standard RGA42FML
Some guitarists find it ideal to spend below certain price points, with the $500 mark being popular. If you’re wanting to spend less than that, consider the Ibanez Standard RGA42FML (see price on Sweetwater, Guitar Center).
The RGA42FML is built with the shredder in mind, which dimensions properly sculpted for speed. It features a Meranti body with a Flamed Maple top and is decked out in a blue lagoon burst color.
As you might expect, the Wizard III contour is featured on this Maple neck, providing lightning-fast smoothness. The Jatoba fretboard offers a full 2-octave playing range, meaning that you’ll have no issues playing any song.
With its pair of Quantum humbuckers, the RGA42FML is prepared to take on your punchiest riffs. You’ll be able to dial your tones in with the 5-way switch and the volume/tone knobs.
The RGA42FML has a fixed bridge, with a plastic nut and black machine head tuners.
For the right player, the RGA42FML is a definite value. It isn’t too often you find a guitar this playable at the price it’s usually being offered at.
Ibanez Artwood AC340L
With an all-Okoume body (including a solid top), the AC340L has a rich tone that maintains a balance. Its grand concert size lends it to be a very accommodating guitar to play.
The AC340L sports a Nyotoh neck with an Ovangkol fretboard, offering 20 frets to play. This neck is crafted to feel familiar and most people should find that it’s relatively comfortable to play with.
Where Ibanez’s craftsmanship truly shines is in the AC340L’s hardware, which includes:
- Bone nut
- Compensated bone saddle
- Torrefied Ovangkol bridge
- Chrome die-cast tuners
It isn’t very often you’ll find those types of components on a guitar of this price range.
The AC340L doesn’t skimp on aesthetics, either. It has a rich natural coloring accented with exquisite white binding, a decorative rosette, and a pickguard.
While the AC340L might be priced for beginners, anyone could likely find this to be a pleasant surprise. It certainly has everything needed to exceed the basic fundamentals of playing the guitar.
Something like the AC340L is a great choice for a beginner transitioning to intermediate levels of skill. It provides an excellent platform, and all that’s really missing is a pickup (which can be installed after the fact).
What To Look For When Buying A Left-Handed Ibanez Guitar
It can be a difficult road if you’re a left-handed guitarist looking for their next mainstay axe. There aren’t many options available to you, so you’re kind of forced to choose between a few select models.
If you’re thinking you want an Ibanez, this does help focus your research efforts. Use the following information to supplement your research.
You’ll find that you can adapt this information for guitar purchases of any brand.
Before you can get lost down the rabbit hole of the guitar market, you need to have a direction. After all, it’s best to spend your time exploring the most relevant rabbit hole for your specific needs.
Ibanez makes both acoustic and electric guitars, so it’s best to decide which type you’re after. Their acoustic guitar lineup tends to be more traditional in build designs and is appropriate for any player.
However, when it comes to their electric guitar lineup, you’ll need to use some honest discretion. Much of Ibanez’s electric guitars are designed for those who utilize advanced and nuanced techniques.
It is for this exact reason why so many virtuosos, including Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, use Ibanez guitars. This is all fine and dandy if your playing style runs in a similar vein as their musical styles.
Those who play progressive styles will love Ibanez for their 7 and 8-string guitar varieties.
If you’re not in those styles, you’ll need to explore a bit deeper, as Ibanez does offer more traditional designs. These will still usually feature superb craftsmanship and innovative construction ideas.
After you have an idea of the type of guitar you’d like to have, it’s time to consider your budget. This will give you data on the exact guitars that are available to you at certain price points.
It’s generally thought that $250 and below is the most appropriate for beginners. If they have a larger budget, no more than $400 should be considered.
Similarly, it’s far more rational for a professional to purchase a guitar beyond the $2000 level. Intermediates and advanced players tend to have some overlap, but an intermediate shouldn’t spend more than $800.
Of course, your particular budget and performance needs may change things a bit. Because of that, it’s important to take the time to honestly assess which price range is the most comfortable.
Keep in mind that Ibanez is known partly for its great craftsmanship. So, even a budget guitar will tend to have a pretty decent playing experience.
It also doesn’t hurt to check the used market occasionally to see what might be available. Used guitars generally cost less, which might afford you a more expensive guitar at a value price.
Some discretion is needed, especially when shopping on online used marketplaces. It always helps to be able to see the guitar in person.
When it comes to Ibanez, you really need to have an idea of the kinds of features you want. Ibanez is known for being incredibly progressive and innovative, and its guitars tend to their unique special features.
If you’re playing an electric guitar, consider what kinds of pickups you’d like. Ibanez offers many different pickups and pickup combinations to appeal to every tonal palate.
Similarly, other features, such as extra strings, headless designs, and tremolo options, need to be considered. Ibanez is loaded with offerings, but in turn, caters to every type of player.
In general, it’s best to buy the guitar that will enable you to become the guitarist you’ve wanted to be. Every guitarist usually has an ideal tone they hear in their heads when it comes to their guitar of choice.
If you internally hear a certain sound you need to make sure the guitar has those components equipped. You’re bound to regret your decision a little if you overlook that specific aspect integral to your internal tone.
While Ibanez is generally known for its craftsmanship, you still need to inspect its guitars for quality. Pay close attention to how much time and detailed work was spent on the neck and fret area.
Also, visually inspect the guitar to ensure it is free from blemishes, especially if it’s in brand new condition. As usual, play the guitar to get a feel for whether the build jibes with your preferences.
The History Of Ibanez
Ibanez is a Japanese company that really takes pride in its craftsmanship. The company has been incredibly groundbreaking over the last few decades, being one of the first to offer extra-stringed instruments.
Ibanez continually improves their designs for the most modern and demanding players. Their entire line of instruments is designed for many different types of players, with value and precision at every price.
Top Ibanez Left-Handed Guitars, Final Thoughts
It’s pretty hard to beat Ibanez craftsmanship when you are looking for guitars with a high value-per-cost ratio. Ibanez seems to continually raise the bar expected of their own craftsmanship with every model they release.
They also cater quite well to left-handed guitarists, making it a no-brainer to at least try their guitars. Chances are likely that you’ll be blown away by the playability of these instruments, regardless of budget.