There’s no NAMM Show this January, but that isn’t stopping gear brands from following tradition and getting our G.A.S pumping for the new year. Ibanez is straight out of the gate with its revamped Premium RG and AZ guitars, with a host of upgrades across both ranges.
Starting with the RG Premiums, and the big news is the inclusion of thru-neck construction (a first for the RG line-up). Meanwhile the AZ Premium range sees the addition of a 7-string, new fretboard woods (ebony or rosewood) and DiMarzio pickups arranged in an HSH configuration. Let’s take a look.
Ibanez AZ Premium AZ427P1PB
The AZ Premium range now has a seven-string model in the AZ427P1PB ($1,933), and it’s packed with features. There’s a roasted maple neck with rosewood fretboard, basswood body capped with Poplar Burl, 24 jumbo stainless steel frets. We get some premium hardware too, with a Gotoh bridge, Gotoh MG-T locking machine heads and Graph Tech nut.
Electronically, there’s a pair of Seymour Duncan Hyperion 7 humbuckers, but the fun really starts with the dyna-MIX 10 and Alter switching system, which adds up to ten tone variations, and Ibanez says that its power Tap switch will turn the Duncans into some convincing single coils too.
Ibanez AZ Premium AZ471QM
The AZ471QM ($1,866) adds a trio of features that are new to the Premium range - an ebony fretboard, HSH pickup configuration and the inclusion of DiMarzio humbuckers.
The full pickup layout is and Air Norton in the neck position, True Velvet in the middle, and The Tone Zone in the bridge position.
That body is American basswood, topped with Quilted Maple which has been finished in a stunning Black Ice Burst and outlined with stroking white binding.
The roasted maple neck features an ebony fretboard, and as with the rest of the series, 24 jumbo stainless steel frets. Throw in a Gotoh bridge and locking tuners, luminescent side-dot markers and we’re looking at a fast, cutting shred machine.
AZ Premium AZ42P1
The AZ42P1 comes packing yet another first for the series - this time in the form of a rosewood fingerboard. As with the other new models, the body is basswood, this time without a fancy top, and finished instead in a flat gloss Black.
The pickups are Seymour Duncan Hyperions, and just like the AZ427P1PB, they’re controlled with the dyna-MIX10 switching system, offering the same 10 variations and coil split.
Hardware-wise, you get a Gotoh T1502 tremolo, Gotoh MG-T locking tuners and a Graph Tech nut. The AZ42P1 is priced at $1,733.
RG Premium RGT1220PB
Each of the three RG Premium additions feature a similar base construction - basswood bodies the all-new neck-thru, seven-piece Wizard III maple/walnut neck, ebony fretboards (with block inlays) and poplar burl tops.
The main differences are the electronics and finishes, and the RGT1220PB comes in Antique Brown, with an HH pickup configuration. Those magnets are a DiMarzio Air Norton in the neck and The Tone Zone in the bridge.
There’s an Ibanez double-locking Edge tremolo, luminescent side markers, and it’s priced at £2,066
Ibanez RG Premium RGT1221PB
As well as the tonewoods above, the RGT1221PB has the same pickups as the 1220PB, except this time the Air Norton and Tone Zone are controlled by the dyna-MIX10 and Alter switch.
Ibanez has added a hardware change too, with a Mono-rail hardtail bridge in place of the more traditional Edge system. It comes finished in Deep Twilight Flat.
Ibanez RG Premium RGT1270PB
The 1270PB builds on the 1221 with the addition of a mid-position True Velvet single coil, this time wired to a five-way blade switch rather than the dyna-MIX10.
Ibanez has opted for a double-locking Edge tremolo system, finished in Cosmo Black, and as with the 1221PB, it’s available in Deep Twilight Flat finish, with luminescent side dots to boot. It’s priced at $2,066.