Essential guitars from the 2016 Spot Run range
2016 has been a remarkable year for lovers of high quality, and of course, highly limited guitars with some epic products being revealed as part of the Ibanez Spot Run series. Now we usually do these blogs in a top 5 sort of scenario, but there were just too many good guitars to choose from, so today we’re looking at our 9 favourite Ibanez Spot Run guitars and basses from the 2016 range, which spans gorgeous, versatile guitars to suit a variety of playing styles. Now it’s no secret Ibanez guitars are championed by those in the metal scene and those who love big riffs (who doesn’t?!), but the addition of some interesting pickup combinations and some splendid hollowbody models to the range shows just how the brand can appeal to a larger demographic. Let’s take a look.
The Ibanez GRGM21M Spot Run is a smaller scale guitar that has been firmly aimed at children, or perhaps those who may have smaller hands and want a professional grade guitar that is not only comfortable to play, but will last a lifetime. Despite its modest price tag, clocking in at way under £200, this guitar is packed to the hilt with high quality hardware and some gorgeous sounding pickups. The solid poplar body is resonant and feels comfortable to hold whilst the maple fingerboard with 24 medium frets make it easy to learn on and eventually fly up and down the fretboard when you’re ready to shred with the rest!
This by no means a toy, but an impressive electric guitar that is a highlight of the RG miKro series and one that will stand up to a vast majority of electric guitars out there – it’s a smaller scale monster!
Back to the full size guitars, we have the Ibanez GIO GS221 Spot Run in a lovely Chocolate Brown Sunburst. Unlike the RG models, the Ibanez GIO GS221 has rounded off edges, moving this guitar away from the more aggressive looks and towards the more Jazz or Rock territories with its attractive colouring and smooth, and dare we say it, sexy curves…? We said it. The Infinity R humbucking pickups make sure you have enough options to go from crystal clears to gritty growls when used with a nice distortion pedal or high gain amplifier. The GS Maple neck is comfortable to play and the 24 fret bound rosewood fingerboard make sure you have the enough room to get through as many scales as you can. Perfect for a variety of musical styles, this limited guitar sounds as lovely as it looks all for under £200.
A real highlight from the Ibanez 2016 range comes in the form of this stunning Ibanez RGIT20FE, which takes inspiration from one of the most recognisable guitar profiles – the iconic RG shape. This double cutaway design allows you to get up close and personal with the higher frets whilst you let the Ash Wing body, Nitro Wizard neck and powerful EMG pickups take you to heavy metal heaven. This lightning fast guitar allows you to shred to hearts content and sound great doing it. By far one of the best looking and sounding guitars of the range.
For those who want their guitars to look a little less extravagant, but still menacing, may we recommend the Ibanez 2016 RG421-LVS Spot Run in a cool Light Violin Burst finish. This model hails from the RG series of guitars and features a beautiful solid mahogany body with double cutaway and signature sharp horn like edges, you have 24 jumbo frets to play with as well as the awesome Dual Quantum pickups that can be blended between single or humbucker tones thanks to the 5-way toggle selector. It’s lightweight, yet reassuringly solid and the neck is very comfortable to hold thanks to the slim Wizard III profile. A mean looking guitar that is perfect for professionals or those who want a budget friendly 2nd guitar.
A standout item from the spot run bass range is the Ibanez SR375EF-BBT Spot Run 5-String Bass. Just like the name says, you have 5 strings to play with on this beauty making sure you have plenty of low end to back up those heavy riffs or extra scope for those intricate jazz scales. The interesting thing here is the fact it’s a fretless rosewood fingerboard, that is still marked out allowing you to utilise all those intricacies and beautiful sliding sounds without getting lost. This is a beautiful looking and sounding bass that gives the player plenty of options thanks to the passive PowerSpan Dual Coil pickups as well as the Ibanez custom onboard electronics with 3-band EQ and 3-way Power Tap switch. The brown burst finish with Cosmo Black hardware that includes the B125 Accu-cast bridge, makes it stand out on stage whilst the maple body assists in the resonance and bite of the bass sound.
Next up we have the glorious Ibanez AFV10A-TCL Spot Run hollowbody guitar that is a contender for one of the best looking guitars of the year thanks to its stunning weathered finish and beautifully relic style hardware that not only adds to the visual aesthetic, but the overall tone and playability. This is ideal for the likes of Jazz, Country and Blues guitarists who want a wide variety of tones to choose from as well as a standout instrument that is eye catching. As previously mentioned, the relic style Ibanez AR1 bridge and VT60 tailpiece are entirely functional, optimising intonation and sustain whilst look cool too! This guitar really sings thanks to the onboard Classic Elite passive humbucking pickups and hollowbody design as well as the all maple construction of the body. A solid mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard ensure you feel confident playing this thing as hard or as soft as you want. A beautiful guitar perfect for hard touring or studio work and one of our favourites in the Spot Run line.
The ultra-slim Ibanez S Series body profile of the S670QM Spot Run is striking anyway, but with the added option of choosing between Transparent Gray Burst or Sapphire Blue, it becomes an even more enticing guitar. The mahogany body paired with a gorgeous quilted maple top not only makes it look cool, but adds a resonant quality that those who love to solo will undoubtedly appreciate. Coupled with a 3-piece maple neck with a slender Wizard III profile boasting 24 jumbo frets and rosewood fingerboard, you already have a formidable and extremely comfortable option, but when Ibanez add the likes of Quantum pickups and an Edge Zero II tremolo bridge for epic dive bombs, well they’re obviously just trying to spoil you! This guitar has been crafted for shredders who need to stay in tune and feel comfortable throwing it around on stage, so you’ll be pleased to know the hardware is robust and the construction quality is up to the usual stringent Ibanez standards. A great looking guitar for guitarists who need a reliable piece of kit that can keep their sonic options open.
Remember what we said about Ibanez spoiling us? Well, the Ibanez 2016 RGIX20FESM Iron Label Spot Run guitar is another major highlight and a contender for one of the best looking guitars of all time. The RGIX20FESM features a spalted maple top which gives it a unique pattern – no two guitars look exactly the same as each piece of wood will have its own intricate pattern. Ibanez have paired this with a basswood body and added the option of choosing between two glorious colours, namely Foggy Stained Blue and Foggy Stained Black, both of which are beautifully crafted finishes. But enough about the look! This RG model is fitted with EMG 60 and 81 pickups for a huge sound output, making it a formidable stage guitar and one designed for those who need high output models. A Fixed bridge ensures your tuning stays solid. Ibanez have kept it simple in terms of electronics here opting to include a Volume and Kill Switch, however you still have a 3 way pickup selector to change your pickups when needed. As far as Ibanez guitars go, this is a standout addition to the 2016 Spot Run range and something that will surely become a collector’s item in time thanks to its unique look and setup.
Finally, we have the luxurious Ibanez 2016 AR725-VLS guitar. This stunning solidbody electric guitar is the perfect combination of superb construction and beautiful design. The mahogany body provides a warm tonal quality whilst the double cutaway allows for greater access to the upper frets. The 3-piece maple neck has been set in, ensuring greater sustain – which is a great feature of the guitar. The “old banjo” fingerboard inlays look great too! The pair of Super 80 pickups produce a classic high output tone and can really wail when you throw some distortion at them. A beautiful looking guitar that also sounds amazing!
Take a look at a whole range of great Ibanez electric guitars at the Dawsons Website.