Ibanez have long been at the very top of the contemporary rock guitar market, and following their unintentional omission from our recent look at just seven signature guitars available today (read it here... ) here’s a quick trip around the current catalogue in order to take a quick look at the pick of the signature crop.
What’s more, Ibanez prove that you need to be, at the very least, an innovator of the guitar to get a signature model. Well, maybe excluding Noodles...
See what you think.
This – and it’s many derivatives – is arguably the most popular signature model of them all: in fact, only the Les Paul has out-sold Steve Vai’s squeeze and it’s a moot point whether the LP is even a proper signature model anyway (it is, though). Our favourite JEM will always be the Floral model, but the ultra-stable Edge trem plus the lion’s claw routing behind the bridge allowed Vai to truly up the ante as far as rock playing went, and invite the rest of us to follow, albeit stutteringly far behind.
Less flash and even more substance, Joe Satriani’s myriad JS models provide tone in abundance, alongside a similarly useable locking whammy and a gorgeously tactile body. High-end JS models do play differently to their JEM equivalents – and both offer distinct tones – and if you’ve never seen a Chromeboy in the flesh, you can’t say you’ve seen everything.
Paul Gilbert’s guitars have changed with his style and tastes, but what remains throughout his PGM range are a pair of faux f-holes that really set him apart from the herd. He’s much more into fixed bridges and sheer tone than pyrotechnics, but we’ll always remember the blue and neon pink version that has recently been given a very limited re-released: as over the top as the man’s technique
PM Pat Metheny
The Ibanez roster also includes a number of masters from outside the rock sphere. Avante-garde jazz Pat Metheny’s semi-acoustic gives unadulterated neck access thanks to a pair of off-set cutaways that are unique in the cobweb-festooned jazz world (joke...) and if you possess the chops, the PM will keep up with you...
AT Andy Timmons
Although the affable Texan guitarist Andy Timmons seems like he’s a new kid on the block, he’s certainly paid his dues several times over and his AT model is based closely on his Custom Ibanez model we’ve had the pleasure of actually strumming ourselves. A mix of parts of a JEM with parts of a Strat plus various additional voodoo, the AT has the tone and the chops. Do you...?
GB George Benson
At 30 years, the GB George Benson is actually the longest-standing of all of the Ibanez signature models and befits a man who has had an almost incalculable influence on jazz, pop and R&B. Still going strong, he’s just released an album recorded with the best bits of Toto, Luke an’ all.
E-Gen Herman Li
Dragonforce are easy to dismiss, but there’s no doubting the effect they’ve had on Speed Battle Metal (or whatever it’s called this week). Herman Li, one half of the band’s Axe Attack™ alongside Sam Totman, has approached the established Sabre/S deign with his needs for photon-velocity playing and has come up with something genuinely unusual.
Visit Ibanez here...