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Rating and Reviews: Ibanez JSM10 Guitar

Navigate the same wide tonal terrain as John Scofield with his signature JSM10 electric guitar. Bright and focused, yet deep, its sound works in many genres.

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Ease of Use
Quality
Value
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The Wow Factor
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"Excellent guitar" submitted December 10, 2017

By David G in Woodbridge, VA
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Musical Background: Home player. Semi-experienced...good enough to know what’s quality and what isn’t in an instrument.
Music Style: Blues
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Overall: I’ve been playing this guitar for 6 months now...playing it a lot. I didn’t want to review it “right out of the box”, I wanted to wait until the glow of newness had worn off and I could more objectively review it. I wanted a 335 style guitar, but wasn’t looking to pay $2-3K for a Gibson. If you didn’t know the guitar was made in China, you’d think it was American or Japanese made. Well balanced, I don’t care for the balance of Les Paul when playing sitting down. The neck is maybe the best I’ve played. I have medium sized hands and it’s great feel in my hands. I’d call it thick...but I don’t mean to imply it’s overly big. All of my other guitars are Fender Strats and Teles AVRI’s and this neck plays just as well as feels just as good as those thinner necks...but with better fret work. Frets are medium, not jumbo’s, so if you like a more vintage style fret these will fit the bill nicely. Not too small, not too wide and they don’t “fret out” when bending. Gorgeous maple flame on the body. Timers are excellent, being Chinese made I fully expected to need to change them out. Not needed at all. Might swap out pots at some point. I do prefer treble bleeds on my volume pots, but that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Finish is perfect. I purchased a “blemished” model from zZounds...but for the life of me I can’t find anything remotely wrong or blemished on this finish. I normally prefer the feel of a nitro finish...but the finish on this is phenomenal. The neck finish is slick, fast and feels thin, not thick or sticky. The fret work is seriously among the best I’ve ever seen on any guitar at any price. Honestly Gibson and Fender could learn a thing or two about fret end dressing from the JSM10. They’re absolutely perfect. Bone nut was cut perfectly. I restrung it with Earnie Ball 11’s and didn’t need to tweek the nut. I play with a wound 3rd, so I usually need to lightly run a file thru that slot to prevent the wound string from binding, but not this nut. Case is top quality. I wouldn’t let airline baggage handlers touch it, but for typical use and transport, it looks great and will hold up well. Pickups are everything they should be. I do have spare Gibson 57’s and custom wound Duncan’s lying around, but I can’t see any reason to swap them out. I play thru a Fender ‘65 Princeton Reverb RI and Tweed Deluxe Clone made by Carl’s Custom Amps, the JSM10 sounds great thru both. The only thing I wish the guitar had was an additional tri-sound switch for the bridge pup. The tri-sound switch isn’t just some gimmick, to me it’s been surprisingly more useful than I though it would be. I rarely use pedals so I can’t tell you how well it interacts with them. Ibanez really hit the mark dead on with the JSM10. It’s a professional level guitar right out of the box. Slap your favorite strings on it and tweek the setup a little and you’re ready to go. It’s a far better guitar than it’s price would indicate. $1K isn’t cheap, but this guitar easily holds it own against any semi-hollow 2 or 3 times it’s price. From just its appearance alone this $1K guitar is far better looking than most Gibson 335’s in the $2-3K price range and sounds just as good...and that Gibson ISN’T going to come with an ebony fretboard or a flamed maple front and back.
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"End-game guitar... I won't need any more. (Yeah, right)" submitted May 8, 2018

By John Y in Spanaway, WA
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Sound
Features
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Value
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Musical Background: Played for 45 years- Guitar, bass, some keys and drums
Music Style: I play classic rock, ambient guitar, modern worship, detuned metal, anything that catches my interest... Lately it has been psyc
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Sound: Sound is bright and focused with harmonic complexity. Tone controls can be used to give a warmer, smoother tone. On most guitars I keep the tone wide open to keep things from getting muddy. These controls are quite usable- the sound maintains midrange clarity but warms up into a more traditional semi-hollow sound. I absolutely love the single coil neck sound. From near Telecaster to smooth jazz box with hard rock in between! Very easy-to use versatility. Feature: Ebony fretboard for the win! Amazing sounding Super 58 pickups, Tri-Sound switch for the neck pickup, fully bound neck, body, headstock and f-foles. Abalone/pearloid inlay position markers, (the original 80s AS200 that this is a replica of had abalone/real mother of pearl inlays) Pearloid headstock inlays. Gold(en)-plated hardware. Ease of Use: This guitar sounds good out of the box. A little time dialing in pickup height to my preferences, and it is an astoundingly good sounding guitar. Played well out of the box, but needed a few tweaks to the action at the nut and bridge for me. Now it is equal to or better than almost any of the guitars I have ever owned or played, I will tweak the truss rod a little after the guitar gets used to the climate on the other side of the country from the New Jersey warehouse it was in. It has been flattening out in Washington State's climate and will need a touch more relief. Arrived with perfect relief though. Quality: Small, dime-sized volume and tone pots, inexpensive switches. Output jack made of thin metal, prone to failure (at least on mine). Corners had to be cut to produce an instrument of this generally high quality at this price) Nice pickups, (really nice) Tuners are very smooth and hold pitch well, feel high quality. Neck is a three piece mahogany/maple/mahogany rather than the one piece sapelle listed in the specs (on every store in the world it seems), but that is a big plus for stability. If the made in China version is this good, the Japanese-made one has got to be unimaginably good. Value: I was originally going to buy an Epiphone Les Paul ES semi hollow, but after listening to clips of both the Epi and the Ibby on YouTube, the Epi lost some of its appeal. I would have to put in money for new pickups and a hard shell case to get even close to the Ibby in tone and value. After factoring in the necessity (case) and upgrade (pickups) the price difference became inconsequential, and I have a much better guitar for my purposes. Manufacturer Support: Did not contact manufacturer for support, since this is a "blemished" guitar. The Wow Factor: I have wanted an AS200 since the 80s. This is an absolutely beautiful guitar. Wow factor 10 out of 10. Maybe subtract half a point for the bad output jack... Action, sound, craftsmanship and looks are all top notch. Inlay work is spot on, neck is comfortably smooth and fast without the skinny shredder-type profile. Didn't take me long to bond with the guitar, now I can't put it down. Overall: The action, fit and finish on this guitar are very good, after a bit of set up. This was a blemished model sold at discount with no factory warranty. I tried to find a "blemish" on the guitar, but outside of a little bit of easily removed waxy adhesive on the back of the body, I could find none. The output jack stopped working after a day, but zZounds offered to exchange or repair it. Defects sometimes happen, even with the legendary Ibanez quality control. Very good to know zZounds stands behind what they sell!!
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"WOW!!!!!!!" submitted December 13, 2017

By Jason R in League City, TX
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Musical Background: 25 years, play in 2 bands, bass in one and guitar in the other
Music Style: Jam based/improvisation, Grateful Dead, Govt Mule, Scofield, etc
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Overall: This guitar is the S#$T!!! Seriously i have owed a couple of other ibanez hollow bodies and they were ok. This guitar however is a freaking beast, i simply cannot believe its made in china. I believe this guitar is on par with any $3000 American hollow body. One of my band mates plays a Gibson ES-339 and this guitar sounds and plays just as good if not better. I usually do not write reviews unless i feel cheated or ripped off. That is certainly not the case here and im serious. If you want a $3000 sound for a 1/3 of the cost this guitar is for you.
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