5 great guitars from the new Ibanez range
Ibanez has today announced an incredibly varied lineup of new guitars for 2016, including a vast array of electric, acoustic, bass and left-handed models. Amongst the lineup there are fanned frets, sexy signatures, and even the return of a legend.
Though we can’t cover them all, below we take a look at five of the most eye-catching new models in the Ibanez 2016 lineup and their key features.
Return of The Ibanez Talman (TM302)
Potentially the most exciting announcement is the release of an updated Ibanez Talman, the TM302. The Talman is an icon of the 90’s and has been seen in the hands of guitar heroes including Tom Morello, Jeff Buckley and Sonic Youth. As it continues to be one of the most requested Ibanez guitar models of the past two decades, it seemed high time for a revamp.
This is not merely a retro throwback however, with Ibanez bringing modern innovation to the classic design. The traditional ‘C’ shaped 22 fret neck remains, but an updated Rosewood fretboard allows for smooth and easy playing. Playability is further enhanced by the distinctive flatter fingerboard radius, which also makes this model perfect for slide guitarists.
The Alder body gives a strong, full sound and the Ibanez “Custom Vintage” pickups allow for a rich sustain and tone, making this guitar a great choice across all manner of musical genres.
AEL With Fanned Frets (AELFF10-NT)
With the largest bodies of any Ibanez acoustics, the guitars of the AEL series always offer great tone and projection. The most striking feature of the latest model however is the fanned frets. The upshot of this design is that the scale length of the bass strings is longer than that of the higher strings. On this Ibanez for example, the scale length is 680mm on the 6th string side and 635mm on the 1st string side. Though slightly unusual to play at first, fanned fret guitars can be ergonomically helpful, especially beyond the 12th fret.
The main purpose of this design is to promote the tone of lower strings – Ibanez have worked hard to create deep, resonant lows without compromising the sound of the higher notes.
The design also helps to improve string tension balance, meaning that it is a great choice for guitarists that work with a lot of alternate tunings. Perfect if you happen to be a Nick Drake tribute act!
George Benson New Signature Model (GB10SE)
As one of the most popular jazz guitarists of all time, George Benson is a man who knows his guitars, and his new signature Ibanez is certainly worthy of closer inspection. As you might imagine, the GB10SE is a jazz guitar through and through, and provides a great entry point to anybody who would like to focus more on jazz in 2016.
The GB10SE is based on the classic Ibanez GB10, which has been at the zenith of jazz instrumentation for many years. The key difference is that the new model is being pitched at a much more affordable price.
Still, lots of the high-end features have been carried across from the GB10, including the GB special pickups. These float off the body to eliminate any feedback and provide a rich, warm jazz sound.
Talman Open Pore Mahogany (TCY12E-OPN)
The Talman Open Pore Acoustic is a beautiful, if slightly unusual-looking, instrument. With it’s double cutaway design, its offers a way for stalwart electric players to transition to an acoustic model without too much modification of their playing style. The TCY12E has a full mahogany top, back and sides and this wooden texture is preserved by the Open Pore Natural Finish.
To further enhance the natural resonance of the body, this surface coating has been kept to a minimum, and the model also boasts an Ibanez AEQ-2T preamp, as well as an onboard tuner.
Upgraded SR300 Lefty (SR300EL-IPT)
And now for something completely different. Somewhat of a ‘left-field’ choice, the SR300 is a beautiful left handed bass with mahogany body, rosewood fretboard, and a Maple/Rosewood neck.
The SR series has gone from strength to strength, and is hugely popular with players of all styles and budgets. Ibanez is constantly tweaking and improving the series and this year they have completely revamped the electronics in the SR300 models.
Versatility is improved by the 3-band EQ which provides 3 tonal options; Humbucking, Single coil, and Low-end enhanced single coil, and extra clarity is achieved via the PDC pickups with exposed pole pieces.
There are many, many other guitars in the new Ibanez range to explore, so don’t forget to check out the full range, accompanied by all the technical specifications and prices, on the Dawsons website.
About Lee Glynn
Lee Glynn is a guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who lives in Liverpool, England. After moving to the UK from Perth, Australia, Lee enjoyed a successful career as guitarist in Liverpool based rock band Sound of Guns.
After releasing two albums, a myriad of EP’s/singles and touring extensively around the world for 6 years including stops at Glastonbury, Latitude Festival, as well as the coveted Reading & Leeds Festivals, Lee decided it was a time for a change of scenery.
Utilising his experience in music journalism, Lee now works within the web team at Dawsons Music, where he can still relay his passion for music by producing great content for the Dawsons blog and social media. Lee is still an avid guitar player and writer.
Here are some fun facts:
- Before moving to the UK, Lee used to host a radio show in Australia at the age of 18. Lee presented the unsigned bands segment at Twin Cities FM in Perth, WA.
- Sound Of Guns enjoyed a short but successful career in music with many of their songs being used in television adverts, sports channels and the extremely successful videos Road Bike Party and We are Not Crazy We are Amazing.
- He also can’t play bar chords due to an accident so learned to play power chords by studying Black Sabbath songs and Tony Iommi’s playing style.