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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So what do you guys who love your az's think we might see coming in 2019?? A little early for winter namm speculation!

Is it possible we might see something sooner?? What would you like to see as far as finishes?? I' ve seen just about every pic on the net ( ie: lee w's green and another one that had a blue degradation finish etc. )

I have 2 espresso bursts. I've noticed the first run were quite a bit lighter. Trying to post pics but having a bit of trouble.

Speculate away !!!!
 

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Fender colors. DO IT IBANEZ! On RG's too!
Solid colors in general would be cool. I love my TSG and the Espresso Burst is quite nice too.
I wonder if they'll make a pickguard version like the 224/2204 with 24 frets OR an HSS version of the 242/2402 like the Tom Quayle with 24 frets.
There were a few quilts on the prototypes we saw like the green one Lee Wrathe has.
Or how about this red one below?
Or they can go totally bonkers and do one in Desert Yellow. :D
Not to sound snobbish but one thing that should NOT happen is a standard Indo version. The Premium IMO is a good entry level to this instrument and anything else will probably cheapen it - kind of like how the RGA and RGD line were kind of derailed.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That red one is gorgeous. I can see a slight quilt also. Different neck treatment than the premiums ( nitro?). Almost looks like the chocalate maple andersons.

Hoping to see the dark blue one miller has. Also seen a pic of a solid black one recentlty. Ibanez posted it along with a pic of l.w's greenie. Think that means something is coming along. We still have quite a ways till namm 2019. I must say i'm holding off till then $$$. Though i'm gassing for an ice blue !
 

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So what do you guys who love your az's think we might see coming in 2019?? A little early for winter namm speculation!

Is it possible we might see something sooner?? What would you like to see as far as finishes?? I' ve seen just about every pic on the net ( ie: lee w's green and another one that had a blue degradation finish etc. )

I have 2 espresso bursts. I've noticed the first run were quite a bit lighter. Trying to post pics but having a bit of trouble.

Speculate away !!!!
I was contemplating selling my 7 string to get an AZ. I'm dying to see what 2019 has to offer!
 

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Fender colors. DO IT IBANEZ! On RG's too!
Solid colors in general would be cool. I love my TSG and the Espresso Burst is quite nice too.
I wonder if they'll make a pickguard version like the 224/2204 with 24 frets OR an HSS version of the 242/2402 like the Tom Quayle with 24 frets.
There were a few quilts on the prototypes we saw like the green one Lee Wrathe has.
Or how about this red one below?
Or they can go totally bonkers and do one in Desert Yellow. :D
Not to sound snobbish but one thing that should NOT happen is a standard Indo version. The Premium IMO is a good entry level to this instrument and anything else will probably cheapen it - kind of like how the RGA and RGD line were kind of derailed.

The Red one is Scott's Ibanez AZ from Polyphia - they were part of the "Test Group" that MArtin MIller and Lee was also a part of, basically all the people in the test group got custom Ibanez AZ's.

All of these Ibanez's I'll link below are based off the AZ. Some are very different, but they all have roasted maple necks, SS Frets, and the AZ body style. Plus like I said, all of these guys were part of creating the AZ style of guitar. In fact if you haven't heard POlyphia's new album yet, that entire album was done with AZ's - For their sound they used AxeFX and for the AxeFX patch they actually use a stock patch = "Boutique 1" Which I believe is modeled around a Matchless Chieftan amp.

Here are some other cool custom AZ guitars from the musicians a part of that test group that help create the awesome AZ series:

Mario's pink AZ from the group CHON


Tim from Polyphia's new custom Black&Gold AZ-Style guitar
- This doesn't have the alter switch, it has some nice lipstick style single coils - modeled around the HSS AZ.


Scott from Polyphia's new Tiger Burst w/pickguard AZ-Style guitar
- Again, same thing with Tim's above - clearly modeled around the AZ, roasted maple, looks like same neck, just no alter switch.


Erick from CHON's black AZ - this was actually one of the first AZ's they made - same as Martin Miller's and Lee's - note the white fret markers, like Lees.


Tim from Polyphia's Shell Pink AZ


Limited Japan Only Edition - Myrtle-wood Flame AZ
- This one isn't an artist AZ - but I think for all the AZ's available to us normal people, this one is probably my favorite. You can buy it on eBay direct from Japanese Guitar shops for like $4,000.00. Not worth it, but maybe to the avid AZ collector - this would be a great color for the standard color choices for 2019 Prestige I think - I know I'd buy it if it was just a normal Prestige price.


Then lastly my AZ! This is the first Indo-made Premium I've ever purchased. I have to say, it is amazing. Since the frets are stainless steel, that covers up for the questionable fretwork you can get out of Indo. I'll tell you what - Next to my American Professional 2018 Strat, I'll take my premium Bocote Espresso Burst any day. These frets are like butter. No wear, and butter smooth. Plus same pickups in the premiums as the prestiges, SD Hyperions. Lastly out of all the 2018 AZ colors - this one was my favorite.
 

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Then lastly my AZ! This is the first Indo-made Premium I've ever purchased. I have to say, it is amazing. Since the frets are stainless steel, that covers up for the questionable fretwork you can get out of Indo. I'll tell you what - Next to my American Professional 2018 Strat, I'll take my premium Bocote Espresso Burst any day. These frets are like butter. No wear, and butter smooth. Plus same pickups in the premiums as the prestiges, SD Hyperions. Lastly out of all the 2018 AZ colors - this one was my favorite.
Very nice! I got the same as the Tequila Sunrise AZ242F. Played it today too. I call it "summer." Super fun to play!
The Bocote Expresso is gorgeous too. Enjoy!
 

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To add to my experience with my indo-made AZ - the first premium I've ever bought - the thing that sold me on it was the SS frets... I've found usually the fretwork on the premiums trying them in stores exposes the fact it is made in indo.

I played for over an hour in GC on the blue Prestige AZ, and then this Bocote Burst Premium - the only noticeable difference I felt was the fretboard EDGES - not the fret work, the fret work from the Prestige to Premium with Stainless Steel frets were indistinguishable. Which is SUPER RARE! I have prestige RG's and the premiums with nickle frets definitely feel more rushed and rough edged. But I think the SS fretwork made the Prestige and Premium feel identical.

The only noticable thing was -
The fretboard edge, where the roasted maple fretboard met the roasted maple neck, the edge of the fretboard wasn't as smooth as the Prestige.

As for the SOUND - I felt like the Prestige had TOUCH more low end, and that's being generous when I say a touch more - it was very minor. That is probably due to the fact the Prestige body is Alder and the Premium is Basswood.

I would venture to say that for a kid, adult, anyone who is playing their guitar 2-3 hours per day - learning or gigging - the premium AZ is the best bang for you buck you can get. I think it comes down to a few simple things -

You get USA made Duncan Hyperion that are amazing.
You get SS Frets that were impeccable - this is important for gigging and students, no fret wear.
You get roasted Maple - besides looking sexy roasted maple does have the distinct advantage of not wapring in humidity, which means less truss rod adjustments, and easier setups. Again, vital for musicians gigging or students.


I think those 3 facts right there make this 1200 guitar the best bang for your buck if you want something that sounds amazing, and will last, can get beaten up.

More and more companies are moving to roasted maple for it's tonality, but also the fact it is more weather resistant.

I'd love to see some flamed roasted maple or birdseye roasted maple - similar to what Ernie Ball Music Man did with their 2018 JP15 - you can get a roasted flame maple neck that just looks like heaven.

For color Schemes, I think a lot of the stuff they did with the iron label with Poplar Burl or NBuckeye Burl would cool, along with what other people said on this thread - bring on the Fender colors - that would be epic. I'd love to see a daphne blue, seafoam green, and them maybe some type of burst variation like the red one Scott from Polyphia has maybe with black edges to highlight the quilt maple?

Either way I wanted to comment on what Mike570 said - the premiums are excellent, for all the people who are questionable on the AZ Premiums - you should go into a Guitar Center and try one out. Then go grab an American Professional from Fender - Im a huge fender fan, but the Indo-Made AZ really converted me, and made me mad at fender. Mainly because the Indo I felt was BETTER in a lot of ways, the appointments you get on that 1200 guitar are outstanding. I would recommend not lumping the Ibanez AZ Premiums into the other Ibanez Premiums. Simply the features you get on an AZ Premium make it MUCH better than like a RG premium, not really apples to apples comparison in my opinion. Believe me it took me an hour of playing to justify spending over a grand on an indo-made guitar, but for me I look for fretwork as #1 followed closely by tone. The fretwork on this AZ will last longer than my PRS or my Fender, because they are stuck in the past using Nickle. And to Paul Reed Smith saying on a youtube video that "his nickle is harder than other company's stainless steel" - shut up Paul - that is a lie. I like Paul and everything he stands for, but unfortunately when it comes to frets, he's not innovating, he's stuck in the past with nickle. It most likely comes down to PRS bring a smaller company and working with SS frets requires different tools, and he's not ready to make the jump. At least Fender's custom shop offers SS frets.

Like everyone seems to agree on here, the AZ colors they launched with were very 'meh' considering all the people who helped design the AZ went with something that they didn't offer as a "set color" - that should have been the indicator to Ibanez.
 
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