Although many people think Ibanez guitars are Gibson and Fender copies, the brand has many noteworthy guitar creations, such as the Roadstar and Iceman.
Today, Ibanez is the guitar-loving world’s third-largest brand, after Fender and Gibson.
It has electric guitars, bass guitars, and the best acoustic guitars for different budgets, playing styles, and skill levels, making Ibanez one of the best.
Unfortunately, choosing the best Ibanez guitars can be challenging for newbies because almost every product with the Ibanez badge has a phenomenal sound and excellent craftsmanship.
That is why I reviewed ten of the best-selling Ibanez guitars, relying on my 15-plus years of guitar-playing experience.
Of the ten, I consider the Ibanez Genesis Collection RG550 tops.
It is tonally versatile and has that classic look of a powerful shred guitar at a price that puts to shame leading brands.
As mentioned, Ibanez produces guitars for everyone.
That is why I also included nine other Ibanez guitars I consider the best in their respective categories.
10 Best Ibanez Guitars
- Ibanez Genesis Collection RG550 – Overall Best Ibanez Guitar
- Ibanez Nita Strauss Signature JIVA10 – Best Ibanez Guitar for Metal
- Ibanez Gio GRX70QA Electric Guitar – Best Ibanez Guitar for the Budget
- Ibanez miKro GSRM20 Bass Guitar – Best Ibanez Bass Guitar for Kids
- Ibanez AW54 Open Pore Natural – Best Ibanez Acoustic Guitar
- Ibanez John Scofield Signature JSM10 – Best Ibanez Semi-hollow Electric Guitar
- Ibanez miKro GRGM21M – Best Super Strat-style Ibanez Guitar for Kids
- Ibanez Steve Vai Signature PIA3761 – Best Premium Ibanez Electric Guitar
- Ibanez Prestige AZ2204N – Best Strat-style Ibanez Guitar
- Ibanez PCBE12MH Acoustic-electric Bass – Best Ibanez Acoustic Electric Bass Guitar
Looking at the Ibanez RG550 Genesis Collection is like traveling back in time to an era where crowds went crazy at the mere glimpse of heavy metal artists wielding this aggressive-looking ax.
As the guitarist picks the first few notes, the ears get treated to a cacophony of melodies, tones, and harmonies you will not believe come from an affordable guitar.
This Super Strat has a lightning-fast-playing Wizard neck with a 1.692-inch nut width, a comfortable 16.9-inch radius, and 24 jumbo frets on a maple fingerboard.
Tone-wise, the RG550 offers an HSH arrangement of its V7, S1, and V8 pickups to deliver biting mids and high gain.
With its legendary looks, it is unsurprisingly a favorite of many heavy metal, grunge, alternative rock, hard rock, and punk artists.
Jake Bowen, Trey Azagthoth, Phillip McKnight, Ben Eller, Kristian Niemann, Levi Seacer, Jr., Jim Davies, Graeme Nicholls, Paul Gilbert, Nili Brosh, Larry Mitchell, Blues Saraceno, and Dave Uhrich have an Ibanez RG550 in their collection.
Although the RG550 is not part of Ibanez’s top-of-the-line Prestige series, it has everything you need for a great-sounding, elegantly crafted, aggressive-looking, and reasonably-priced guitar.
- Super-fast Wizard neck
- Biting mids, high gain
- Legendary looks
- Unbeatable price
- Perfect for heavy metal
Alice Cooper fans and Nita Strauss wannabes will want to have the Ibanez Nita Strauss Signature JIVA10 electric guitar in Deep Space Blonde design.
Like many Ibanez guitars for shredding, the JIVA10 has a Nitro Wizard neck and an ebony fingerboard treated with the Prestige series fret-edge system.
The design lets players shred grunge, hard rock, and heavy metal riffs like Strauss and other legendary shredders.
A pair of custom Pandemonium humbucking pickups sandwich a True Velvet single-coil to give the guitar an aggressive tone, punchy and open mids, crisp and smooth highs, and exceptional harmonics and sustain.
Its tremolo system delivers a snappy and fast response, empowering guitarists to pull off vibratos and sharp bends without losing the guitar’s tune.
The JIVA10’s tonal versatility matches its aggressive looks and superior craftsmanship, perfect for top heavy metal players.
After all, Nita Strauss will not want her name on a musical instrument that does not epitomize her playing style.
- Perfect for heavy metal shredders
- Top-of-the-line fingerboard treatment
- HSH pickup configuration with aggressive tones
- Excellent tonal versatility
- Superior craftsmanship
- Nyatoh body
Ibanez’s Gio series of guitars combine excellent playability with unbeatable affordability.
The best part about the Gio series is they are low-priced recreations of Ibanez’s higher-priced models, allowing budget-conscious folks to own a guitar that plays well and looks impressive.
The Gio GRX70QA is a stunning Super Strat guitar with an eye-catching red burst design.
People will never think you have a cheap guitar in your hands because the Gio GRX70QA has an excellent sound to match.
It features a basswood body and three Infinity R ceramic pickups in the classic Super Strat HSH configuration delivering infinite tonal combinations.
The tremolo system is noteworthy, delivering tonal versatility from strutter-like warblings to subtle waggling and huge dive-bombs without losing tune.
The maple neck has a 15.75-inch radius, a 1.653-inch nut width, and a purpleheart fretboard for smooth and lightning-fast playing.
You get an awesome-looking, great-sounding, and well-crafted Super Strat-style guitar for the price of several trips to Starbucks.
- Classic Super Strat design
- Reliable tremolo system
- Excellent for beginners
- Good tone
- Fast-playing neck
- Plastic nut
It is never too early for young children and teenagers to start learning to play bass guitar.
They can learn and master the art and science of rhythmic patterns while honing their fingering techniques, perfect for driving any song.
The Ibanez miKro GSRM20 is the bass guitar perfect for young players and guitarists with small hands.
It has a smaller scale length than conventional bass guitars, made more playable and comfortable by the Jatoba fretboard, 1.496-inch nut width, 22 medium frets, and a 12-inch maple neck radius.
A pair of Dynamic single-coil pickups deliver a fat and punchy tone, ensuring a rich character to the bass guitar sound.
The electronics and impressive poplar body combine to produce limitless sustain, enabling a young rocker to blitz the strings and deliver a performance worth a talent scout’s nod.
The best part?
You will never worry about your savings because the miKro GSRM20 is as low-priced as one can get.
- Comfortable playing
- Perfect for young guitarists and players with small hands
- Fat and punchy tone
- Impressive sustain
- Easy on the budget
- Flat finish
It might not have the prestige of a Martin or Taylor acoustic guitar, but the Ibanez AW54 has a strong following of its own.
Sporting the classic dreadnought body style, the AW54 produces exception depth, clarity, and projection through its solid mahogany top and premium-quality Okoume sides and back.
Although it is a dreadnought, this Ibanez acoustic guitar is pleasant and comfortable to hold and play.
One can play folk and country songs or pop ballads for extended hours without feeling numb or strained.
The Nyatoh neck provides a sturdy platform for its rosewood fretboard, while the nut and saddle ensure sufficient string action for good tone and comfort.
The X-bracing for the soundbox gives the AW54 ample sustain and rich overtone, perfect for playing harmonies.
The Ibanez AW54 is a rustic-looking acoustic guitar with a dreadnought’s classic tone and an entry-level price.
- Classic dreadnought sound and tone
- Exceptional craftsmanship for the price
- Great projection and depth
- Rich overtone and ample sustain
- Solid string action
- Plastic nut and saddle
Semi-hollow electric guitars are like the rarest of gems in the music world, providing a clear and warm acoustic tone.
Although Gibson introduced the world’s first semi-hollow-body guitar in 1958, Ibanez is not far behind.
And if you factor in John Scofield’s legendary musicianship, you can expect the Ibanez John Scofield Signature JSM10 nothing less than spectacular.
This semi-hollow-body guitar has a 1950s vintage look with a more refined sound and tonal qualities because of its ultra-modern, premium appointments.
It has gold hardware, a Quick Change III tailpiece, an ART-1 bridge, and a pair of Super 58 Alnico humbucking pickups that give the guitar a PAF-like tone for exceptionally clear projection and warmth.
The JSM10 has a 3-way toggle, converting the neck humbucker into a single coil for astonishing tonal possibilities.
The Artstar-treated ebony fretboard atop a Nyatoh/maple neck lends fast-playing characteristics, making this guitar ready for jazz, blues, soul, rock, fusion, and more.
- Perfect for playing blues, jazz, fusion, funk, bebop, soul, and rock
- Elegant vintage look with modern and premium appointments
- PAF-like tone
- Artstar-treated fretboard
- Exceptional acoustic sound
If you have a teenager or a young child who wants to become a rock star, give your kid the Ibanez miKro GRGM21M and watch him transform his dreams into reality.
This one might be smaller than what rock and heavy metal legends use, but it has sufficient oomph to wow the neighborhood or the entire school.
It has an eye-catching metallic purple motif bathing its basswood body and topped with high-gloss polyester.
Shine a spotlight on this baby, and your child will be rocking to fame.
The maple neck has a 15.7-inch radius, 24 medium frets, and a 1.614-inch nut width for smallish hands, allowing them to execute licks, bends, and other dizzying fingerstyles.
There is no worrying about the price, either.
You can have your kids save some of their allowances to buy the miKro GRGM21M.
This guitar delivers a punchy and thick tone, good sustain, and exceptional clarity for its price.
- Aggressive, super-cool Super Strat look
- Perfect for small hands, teens, and kids
- Good tone
- Reliable electronics
- Right on the budget
- No gig bag
There is no denying the enduring friendship between Steve Vai and Ibanez Guitars, which started in the mid-1980s with the introduction of the Vai-designed Ibanez JEM series guitars.
The relationship is as solid and formidable as ever in the Ibanez Steve Vai Signature PIA3761.
It has a classic Super Strat body shape, made more aggressive and intimidating by the two teardrop-shaped cutouts on the guitar’s upper Alder body.
The power and impact guitarists get from this guitar are impressive because of its DiMarzio UtoPIA pickups in a classic HSH configuration.
It has Gotoh tuners, an Edge-locking tremolo system, and a rosewood fretboard on a 5-piece maple/walnut neck.
The neck’s 16.9-inch radius gives the guitar outstanding playability, not to mention lightning-quick fingerstyles.
The Steve Vai Signature PIA3761 allows guitarists to pull off sharp flutters and bends, produce a warm and rich tone, snarling mids, and brilliant leads.
Sure, it has a prohibitive price, but you are getting a guitar designed by a legend in the music industry.
- Aggressive styling for modern heavy metal and rock artists
- Classic Super Strat design with impressive appointments
- Multiple sounds and tones
- Fast-playing neck
- Premium-quality hardware and electronics
If you need Ibanez’s top-of-the-line electric guitars, the Prestige AZ2204N is worth considering.
Like all Prestige series Ibanez guitars, this electric ax features premium-quality appointments, excellent craftsmanship, and top-notch bridges to give you a guitar sound guaranteed to wow the crowd.
What surprises many seasoned guitarists is the Prestige AZ2204N’s Seymour Duncan Fortuna SSH pickup arrangement mated to a 5-way switch and 2-way coil-tap switch.
This intriguing configuration gives you access to nine pickup combinations, empowering you to shred grunge and heavy metal riffs, play warm and soulful blues licks, and everything in between.
The Gotoh tremolo system features a brass sustain block and saddle to give you exceptional articulation and lightning-quick response.
The hardware also stabilizes the guitar’s tuning, ready for the next gig without tweaking.
The AZ2204N’s compound neck and curved backside make it comfortable to play for hours.
Although some people might think this guitar is a Strat copy, it still looks elegant with its antique white body and a stunning tortoiseshell pickguard.
Overall, the Ibanez Prestige AZ2204N’s exceptional features set, craftsmanship, sound quality, and reasonable pricing make it the ideal guitar for seasoned and aspiring blues, heavy metal, rock, and grunge artists.
- Nine pickup combinations for tonal adaptability
- Classic Strat look
- Comfortable to play
- Superior tuning stability
- Premium appointments at a reasonable price
- Not for beginners
The Ibanez PCBE12MH is an excellent acoustic-electric bass guitar for aspiring and professional bassists.
It has good-quality construction using high-quality Sapele tonewood to give the bass guitar a slightly brighter sound than mahogany.
The bass guitar has a balanced and consistent tone, allowing bass players to drive the rhythm of their favorite songs.
Under the plastic saddle is an AEQ202T preamp, delivering a warm and balanced tone when playing in a studio setting or on stage.
It has a grand concert body shape, making it huggable and comfortable even when bassists play it lying down.
With its great sound, excellent playability, and classy looks, the Ibanez PCBE12MH is the perfect bass acoustic-electric guitar to bring home.
- Warm, consistent, and balanced tone
- Bright sound with a top-end shimmer
- Excellent resonance and projection
- Good-quality electronics
- Comfortable to play
- Sharp fret ends
Best Ibanez Guitars Buying Guide
You can pick a Martin if you want a high-end, classic dreadnought acoustic guitar, a Fender for the quintessential Strat look and performance, or a Gibson for a legendary Les Paul.
However, if you are into heavy metal shredding, your best choice is an Ibanez Super Strat.
Of course, it is not the only reason why you should choose this guitar brand over others.
A Guitar for Everyone
While Ibanez cannot match Fender and Gibson’s collection, the guitar company still offers close to 600 guitar models for various playing styles, budgets, and skill levels.
It has entry-level guitars for beginner and budget-conscious guitar players for less than $400.
Ibanez also has mid-priced guitars for intermediate players, ready to take their guitar-playing adventures to the next level.
The company also has high-end units for professional musicians, metal legends, teachers, and everyone in between.
Still, these guitars are more affordable than other brands.
It has acoustic guitars for people who want a more natural sound from their musical instruments and acoustic-electric versions for guitarists who require exceptional playing versatility.
Ibanez line of guitars have aggressive styles and lightning-fast-playing necks, perfect for shredding.
You will never run out of guitar options with Ibanez.
Understandably, Ibanez uses lesser-known tonewoods for its budget-friendly guitars, including Nyatoh, Nandu, and Okoume.
However, it also uses mahogany, maple, walnut, rosewood, and basswood to give its guitars varying tonal attributes.
For example, Ibanez uses alder for some of its guitars because of its sharper and more trebly tone, perfect for heavy metal and rock.
Okoume is also perfect for its warm, pleasant tone while adding to the guitar’s structural integrity.
On the other hand, basswood is excellent for its profound and well-balanced tonality, a favorite of leading guitar brands.
Ibanez guitars have construction and build quality that can go head-to-head with leading guitar brands.
Although some people might not like the quality finish of Ibanez guitars, these musical instruments have exceptional craftsmanship for the price.
It would be best to remember that Ibanez has been producing musical instruments since 1908, although only formalized only in 1957.
Ibanez also worked with music legends in creating signature guitars, including Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert, Mick Thomson, Nita Strauss, John Scofield, Paul Stanley, George Benson, and more.
I do not believe these iconic musicians will want their names on a guitar with a mediocre build quality.
Ibanez also has S-Tech technology for its Prestige series, treating its tonewoods with nitrogen to increase their water resistance, temperature stability, durability, and stability.
Ibanez guitars have a warm, fat, balanced, and resonant tone because of their tonewood selection.
Guitar models with the Thermo-Aged technology produce a rich and warm sound that acoustic engineers say can only come from premium-quality, aged tonewoods.
Thermo-Aged tonewoods are Ibanez’s answer to Yamaha’s Acoustic Resonance Enhancement (ARE) technology, heating tonewoods in an oxygen and moisture-free environment.
Torrefaction removes resins, sugars, oils, and other tonewood particles that can dampen its vibration properties.
Torrefied tonewood looks like aged or cured wood when viewed under a microscope, allowing it to produce a vintage-like sound.
How good are Ibanez electric guitars?
Many music teachers and seasoned guitarists recommend Ibanez guitars for beginners and intermediate players because of their affordability and exceptional playability.
However, these guitars are also perfect for professional players because of their excellent tone, fast-playing design, and exemplary build quality.
The guitar company uses only premium-quality tonewoods, top-of-the-line electronics, and cutting-edge guitar construction technologies in its high-end guitars.
It also has an offering across budgets, playing styles, aesthetic preferences, and skill levels, ensuring everyone gets to own a world-class guitar perfect for their needs.
Ibanez not only offers stylish and high-performance electric guitars but also provides bass guitars and acoustic guitars.
The brand is a favorite of hard rock and heavy metal enthusiasts and professionals.
The company has more than 500 guitar models people can choose from, including 300 electric guitars, 165 bass guitars, and 130 acoustic guitars, making it the world’s third-largest guitar brand after Fender and Gibson.
Ibanez guitars are not only good musical instruments, but they are excellent guitars.
What is a good Ibanez guitar?
A good Ibanez guitar has exceptional craftsmanship, good-quality tonewoods, reliable electronics, comfortable design, and excellent playability.
The Ibanez Gio GRX70QA is perfect for budget-conscious and beginner guitarists.
On the other hand, the Ibanez Steve Vai Signature PIA3761 Super Strat is perfect for aspiring and seasoned heavy metal and hard rock shredders.
If you need a top-of-the-line Strat-style Ibanez electric guitar, the Ibanez Prestige AZ2204N or the Ibanez Nita Strauss Signature JIVA10 is worth checking.
The SR2405W 5-string is an excellent choice for professional bassists, while the Ibanez AW540-OPN is perfect for people who like the more natural sound of an acoustic guitar.
If it is an acoustic electric guitar you need, the Ibanez AVC9CEOPN is perfect because of its premium-quality Fishman Sonicore pickups and thermos-aged Okoume top.
Hence, it does not matter which Ibanez guitar you pick because you will feel confident the instrument plays well and sounds good, too.
The Best Ibanez Electric Guitar
The Ibanez Genesis Collection RG550 is the best overall Ibanez guitar on this list because of its tonal versatility and classic shred guitar look without the hefty price tag.
You can purchase this Ibanez guitar from Sweetwater, Amazon, and other popular online guitar stores.
Alternatively, you can ask your local music store if they have this guitar or the other Ibanez guitars on this list.
Ibanez might not appeal to guitarists who prefer American-made musical instruments.
However, many seasoned heavy metal shredders and rock legends prefer Ibanez guitars over other brands because of their aggressive designs, high-output pickups, and lightning-fast necks.
After all, Ibanez is the music kingdom’s third-largest guitar brand.