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Rating and Reviews: Ibanez Prestige AZ2402 Guitar

Ibanez mixes old and new guitar technology with their stunning AZ Series. The AZ2402's alder body and roasted maple neck offer a sweetened tonal foundation.

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"A solid and well built guitar suitable for any genre!" submitted November 10, 2019

By ALLAN B. in Tempe, AZ
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Long time guitarist
Music Style: Rock, Prog, CCM
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
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Sound: The Hyperion pickups do a great job overall and offer up a nice array of different sounds for just about every style of music. When in HH mode it goes from blues to rock and beyond with no problem. When the DynaMix switch is engaged the guitar takes on a completely different characteristic from jangly to warm and has some great tonal options for clean and crunch. I like the versatility of this guitar. It takes a bit of time to get used to all the options and you’ll have to tweak your EQ here and there to avoid them sounding thin or shrill, but I think you'll be able to find quite a few useful tones with this guitar. Feature: The Gotoh tuners are sturdy and stable. The ratio is great and they really smooth with no issues at all holding tune. I had never used them before and I had to YouTube how to unlock them lol, but they work great. I prefer locking tuners with the knob on the back, but that's just personal preference. The Gotoh bridge feels spectacular. The titanium saddles are so smooth, no more rubbing your palm raw over rough saddles or screws. I don't use a trem much these days but it does a good job staying in tune even with some dive bombs and flutters. The roasted maple neck is beautiful and has a great smooth feel on the back. The cutaway and contours are very comfortable and the recessed input jack is a thoughtful highlight. And yes, most wireless transmitters will fit. I could not get my Line 6 G10 transmitter to fit in the AZ Premium I had. The Prestige is not as deeply recessed and the transmitter fits just fine. This is my first go around with stainless steel frets but I do like the feel of them and they look good too. Ease of Use: It’s a fairly straightforward guitar to use and maintain. Nothing overly complicated here. Changing strings on a 2 point trem is a breeze compared to Floyd Rose or Edge terms and with the locking tuners you can get through the task in just a few minutes. All the back panels open easily for access to trem springs, input jack, and electronics. The exposed truss rod socket makes adjusting the neck a snap. The included multi-tool is really all you will ever need for quick changes. Quality: This is where everyone will say they have high end made in America PRS, or Custom Shop whatevers and this is just as good or better. They will say that for a good reason because it’s the truth. Fit and finish are spectacular. No gaps or wiggles to be found. Fret work and fingerboard are simply top notch. It feels like it’s been your guitar for years. Electronics are smooth and there is an overall premium feel to this instrument. The hype is real…. FujiGen makes great guitars. Value: Value is a subjective measure. This is an expensive guitar for sure but when compared to similar “modern player” guitars out there the 2402 sits right in the middle price-wise. I feel it’s well within reason for what you get and it’s a good value for your money. I’d rather get a painted body with stainless steel frets than a bookmatched top and standard frets. Manufacturer Support: Haven't needed it The Wow Factor: In my humble opinion the wow factor is somewhat unseen. The story behind the AZ series is quite novel in that Ibanez reached out and met with some of the best and brightest guitarists around today. Over a period of 2 or 3 years and through several prototypes they compiled all of those suggestions into this amazing series of instruments. If all the artists involved really feel that this is their ultimate guitar then that’s pretty wow in my book. Overall: OK first let’s talk about the 800 pound gorilla in the room. That neck!!!! If you have done any research on the AZ series you already know it’s not a Wizard neck, but you may be surprised at how big it is. When I first grabbed it I was thinking I was going to return it, but after playing on it for a few days it felt like home. Like a lot of things about this guitar, the neck is a paradox. It shouldn’t feel this comfortable to someone who prefers Charvel and Jacksons, but it does. It doesn’t feel like a shred neck, but you can play that way remarkably well on it. It has its own unique shape like nothing I’ve played before. If I had to compare it to something I’d say somewhat resembles a Fender American Elite neck but more of a U shape with bigger shoulders. I can say that I don’t notice a huge change when going back and forth with my other guitars. It’s easy to transition between them without a lot of readjustment time to ‘get the feel’. I’ve seen a lot of forum posts asking about how the AZ Prestige stacks up to other instruments. Here’s my opinion. I own a Charvel Pro Mod DK24 HSS with the roasted neck and I really like that guitar a lot. The 2402 is a little lighter and sleeker and has a higher quality feel. I think the Hyperions as humbuckers are more versatile than the Full Shred. The 2402 neck is thicker and feels a little wider vs the DK which is more like a very thin Strat neck. I also briefly owned the Premium version of this guitar (AZ242). The 242 is even lighter. The neck carves are identical but the Premium neck is lighter in color than the Prestige. Other than that the biggest difference was quality. I was disappointed in the 242. For the price it shouldn’t have had the issues it did. If it was a $600 guitar I would have let them slide but once things get over a grand I tend to get picky.With that out of the way, here’s the rest of my overall thoughts on the guitar. It has good sustain for a super-strat. It’s fairly light coming in at right around 7 pounds. The strap pegs are big enough to not worry me or require a lock system. It’s a very well balanced guitar equally comfortable playing sitting or standing. The SS frets are very nice, but are very very jumbo. I’m not used to 10’s on a 25.5 so I tried putting .09’s on it and it was a mess even after setting the relief again. This guitar needs 10’s and after about 30 minutes I felt right at home on them. I was also able to get a very nice action (.09mm to 1.3mm) with no buzz and that’s always a huge plus for me! The neck seems like it is going to be very stable. I live in an area with drastic climate changes in the summer where the temp and humidity can rise and fall dramatically in just hours. If the claims about roasted maple are true, I should be able to survive next summer without having to readjust everything on a daily basis. As far as looks go, I chose the Ice Blue Metallic finish. It’s subtle and reminds me of something you would see on a Nissan Sentra, but it pairs nicely with the dark color of the roasted neck and the overall pedestrian look of the instrument. I actually like that it is the antithesis of the RG. No flashy colors or attention drawing elements. Just a simple looking high quality guitar. If I could change anything, I would probably put non top-locking tuners on it and would really like an HSS model without a pickguard that didn’t have a $500 premium attached. Other than that, it’s about as perfect as a guitar could get for me. I saw one of the players who has a signature model say the AZ series made them a better player and it will make you a better player too. I don’t know if that’s true but I can say I’m really enjoying playing it. Maybe that’s how it makes you better. You don’t want to put it down!
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"Yes" submitted September 28, 2019

By a customer from gmail.com in Fulton, NY
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Playing for 13 years, writing my own music, jamming with friends, at home, and at local venues
Music Style: Jazz, Metal, Rock
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Overall: This is my first experience with owning a Prestige line Ibanez. I had seen this guitar played in its prototype phase by bands like CHON and Polyphia. I had no clue what it was and I hadn’t seen Ibanez make anything like this prior, so I was really excited to see what it would turn into. I thought the neck and fretboard were rosewood originally, because of how dark they’re roasted. Upon seeing its debut and looking at the specs, I knew immediately that it was everything I could ask for in a guitar. A cross between modern and vintage. The pros of each blended into one. I decided to bite the bullet and order one, and when it finally came in, all of my presumptions about it were confirmed. Everything about the way the instrument feels, sounds, and looks is top notch, and that takes a lot for me to say with honesty. The build quality overall is incredible. I couldn’t find a single flaw or thing that looked half-assed or out of place, which is a first, even after having ordered custom shop guitars from Kiesel (I still love Kiesels, tho..) -The neck isn’t too thin nor too thick. It’s very comfortable to rest your thumb on and it’s finished very smoothly. It doesn’t feel sticky or rough. You can glide along it easily. -Fretboard has a very comfortable radius suitable for easy chording and lead playing as well. The stainless steel frets are a must for me, so the fact that this guitar is equipped with them is a massive bonus. They’re very smooth. -Pickups alone are amazing. From what I understand, they were designed specifically for this guitar. Good output level for handling heavy distortion, and for making clean tones sound great as well. The 5-way switching combined with the Dynamix switch is one of my favorite features of this guitar. It gives me a wider array of tones than I’ve been able to achieve on any other guitar I’ve played. -The full floating bridge is a huge plus because it isn’t locking. That’s a personal preference for me though. It’s very stable and smooth. Yes you can flutter without a problem. The proprietary materials used for the saddles and block are very nice too. -The other appointments like the self-locking Gotoh tuners, tremolo springs with rubber sleeves around them, and recessed input jack are just very thoughtful and accommodating features that help make the guitar even more enjoyable.I would recommend this guitar to anyone until I’m blue in the face. I’ve already sold a couple people on buying one. It’s suitable for all styles of music. This guitar resembles the progression in the way that the electric guitar is being built today, while still preserving the features that made it great in the first place.
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"Packed with tone, usability and features" submitted August 11, 2019

By J D. in Morris Plains, NJ
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: 35+ years, guitar/bass, amateur song-writer.
Music Style: RockJazzFolk/fingerstyle
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Overall: I was looking for one guitar that would cover a lot of tones and styles, and this fits the bill. It's rare to find a guitar that has more than one characteristic sound, and this one has several. Jazz? Neck pickup/dynamix off/ roll off some tone. Rockabilly? Bridge pickup/dynamix on. Funky, glassy Strat? Use the #2 or #4 position. At full output, the pickups roar nicely.First impression: from the factory, the neck feels a bit sticky at first, but it smooths out quickly with some wiping down with a synthetic cloth. The bridge saddles were set too high for my preference, but the included multi tool made height adjustments quick and easy. The vibrato arm was scraping against what sounds a like a spring to hold it place; I dipped the tip of the arm in oil, reinserted and tightened the collar, and no more noise issue.I've never heard a guitar with this much sustain, and that didn't need an electronic sustainer. The neck shape and frets are precise beyond anything I've seen. Typical Japanese precision ha ha.After a few tweaks to get it to your preferred set up, it's a real champ. And it's not 'irreplaceable' like a high end Suhr or PRS, so you can gig without paranoia for the safety of the instrument.
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