The modern fusion maestro and tutor reveals his part in Ibanez’s latest flagship series, with the TQM1.
“This is my TQM1 signature guitar. I’m super-proud and honoured to be involved with Ibanez in such an amazing way. This is based on the AZ Series, which is Ibanez’s brand new high-end kind of players’ player super-precise and versatile guitar.”
“This is the 22-fret version and it’s got some really amazing features. It has what they call S-Tech maple wood for the neck, which basically means they roast it in a nitrogen-rich atmosphere. For you guys that means it’s really super stable. So you can go from one climate to another and the wood just won’t move. It has stainless steel frets and a bone nut too.”
“The Gotoh locking tuners are very subtle-looking. They have a very vintage vibe.”
“For this particular guitar (and very unique for this range), we’ve got a Monkeypod top, which is this very cool natural finish. It kind of looks like Chewie’s hair from Star Wars. It’s an alder body with a beautifully carved neck joint so you can get access.”
Seymour Duncan Hyperion pickups
“Unique to the AZ range are the Seymour Duncan Hyperion pickups. They’re very, very versatile with a five-way switch that actually gives you up to nine sounds because they’ve included an Alter Switch [using the dyna-MIX10 switching system] - you’ve got your Tele sounds, Strat sounds, super-shred sounds and really authentic jazz tones.
“When playing live I often go from a high gain lead tone for the shred legato material to a classic, warm jazz tone followed by a glassy single-coil neck sound - and even a Wayne Krantz-esque crunchy tone for some of the rhythmic chordal and lead playing.”
“The Gotoh bridge is unique to the AZ range, it has titanium saddles on and it’s very smooth. Because it’s recessed you can pull up and push down but it never goes out of tune. It’s just a beautiful-looking guitar and I’m honoured, amazed and mindblown that Ibanez asked me to be involved with this.”