Ibanez expands its Paul Gilbert signature series with the super classy, super shreddable PGM50 and PGM1000T

Ibanez and Paul Gilbert go way back. It is one of the most essential brand-artist collaborations in the world of electric guitar, and that world has just gotten a little bigger with the release of two more built-for-speed signature guitars, the PGM50 and PGM1000T.

These might look familiar as Ibanez and Paul Gilbert revert to the sharpened offset S-style RG body shape with the painted-on f-holes, but there are some surprises in store.

Let's start with the limited edition PGM1000T. It arrives in a buttery yellow Aged Cream Burst finish and, in a first for the series, it has a neck-through build. Gilbert’s PGM models, including this new PGM50 in Black, have all been bolt-ons. His FRM300 having a set-neck.

The PGM1000T’s three-piece maple neck thus extends right through the body and is flanked by two ash wings. It is equipped with a pair of DiMarzio Air Classics – Gilbert’s favourite DiMarzio humbucker – that are selected via a three-way blade switch that alongside a single black volume pot is discretely positioned on that ornamental f-hole.

Ibanez Paul Gilbert PGM1000T

(Image credit: Ibanez)

You could even say the Air Classics, voiced perfectly for creamy high-gain rock tones, match the finish. Gilbert has gone for a 16.9” radius ebony fingerboard with abalone dot inlays, 22 jumbo frets with J Custom edge treatment to make it feel even more smooth. 

His signature neck profile is whip-thin, measuring just 18.5mm at the first fret and 20.5mm at the 12th. This really is a high-performance electric. Elsewhere, the PGM1000T has a 25.5” scale, a Duracon nut, black hardware, Gotoh tuners and a Gotoh GTC101 hard-tail bridge and gold pickup coverings. 

Ibanez Paul Gilbert PGM50

Ibanez Paul Gilbert PGM50 (Image credit: Ibanez)

The PGM50, meanwhile, follows a more familiar recipe with a bolt-on five-piece maple and walnut neck, an American basswood body, a rosewood fingerboard with white dot inlays, 22 medium frets and Premium fret edge treatment. The neck is listed on the Ibanez site has measuring 20mm at the 1st fret, 22mm at the 12th, with a fingerboard radius of 15.7”.

Again we have a pair of DiMarzio Air Classics at the neck and bridge, with a DiMarzio PGM single-coil in the middle position, and a five-way switch to make this one versatile shred platform.

Complementing the black finish nicely, the no-fuss F106 hard-tail bridge and Gotoh MG-T locking tuners are finished in gold.

The PGM1000T ships in a hardshell guitar case, price TBC, while the PGM50 ships in a gig-bag and has a street price of $1,399. For more details, head over to Ibanez

And for a face-melting demonstration of what these guitars can do when played through a dimed Marshall guitar amp, check out Paul Gilbert demoing them in the video at the top of the page.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.