Ibanez AZ Series

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by Hoss632, Jun 2, 2021.

  1. Hoss632

    Hoss632 SS.org Regular

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    Been having a hard time finding these in local stores where I'm at. There are a couple of the models in the premium line that look really nice and I'm genuinely interested in them. I'm also looking at Charvel DK24s which I've had a chance to play a few and their roasted maple necks are probably the best feeling necks I've ever played. So I'm wondering how the Ibanez AZ oval C feels compared to the charvels. Also just any experiences over all with them, good or bad I'd like to hear about. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. mystix

    mystix SS.org Regular

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    I have owned both. The charvel felt cheaper to me. The az neck carve is slightly beefier by the nut but thins out as you go up. It’s super comfy though.
     
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  3. Hoss632

    Hoss632 SS.org Regular

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    Would you describe the neck shape as a pretty round C or is there a bit of a flat spot on the back kinda like the charvel? Least that's how charvel's feel in my hands
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2021
  4. Musiscience

    Musiscience Hail the Ibbyborn!

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    I was about to sell my AZ 2402 prestige lately to cover for a part of my new PRS. In the end I couldn't part with it. It's just such a great guitar. The neck is more oval than either a typical C or D, but closer to a C profile. Very comfortable if you like thick necks. It's a tad bigger than a Fender modern C. Never played a DK so can't comment.

    My opinion? Go for the AZ, it's really great.

    Edit: Just seen you are going for the Premium one and not Prestige. Make sure to play it before you buy, they often have fit and finish flaws.
     
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  5. mbardu

    mbardu SS.org Regular

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    I've not seen any particular problems with fit & finish on Premiums recently. It's not 2016 anymore :lol:
    I know the "MIJ" label is strong, but in fact I've seen more issues with Prestiges than with Premiums as of late - and that's across AZs and RGs alike.

    Premiums at MSRP or initial street price don't sound like a good deal on paper, but in practice if you find a good deal, they're great value when you look at the price of everything else. In the case of RGs, you could argue that they don't have the real bridges (very few Premiums with actual Edges), but that's a moot point on Premium AZs which don't really have much downside at all.
     
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  6. Frostod

    Frostod SS.org Regular

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    How do the AZ series (both premium and prestige) hold up to the other "modern strat" brands like Suhr, Anderson or the Schecter Nick Johnston guitars? Is it even comparable?
     
  7. Hoss632

    Hoss632 SS.org Regular

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    Which nick Johnston are you comparing them to? The import model is cheaper by almost half if what a premium AZ series is. But schecters guitars in the 800-1200 range are pretty solid. Far as Suhr and Anderson I'm curious if someone will chime in. I'd imagine only the prestige line would be close.
     
  8. Frostod

    Frostod SS.org Regular

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    The premium AZs are only 250€ more expensive here, so they are imo comparable
     
  9. Hoss632

    Hoss632 SS.org Regular

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    I keep needing to remind myself that I'm not always speaking with folks in the U.S. Sorry about that. Here a nick Johnston is around 800. A premium AZ is 1300ish give or take depending on which model.
     
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  10. mystix

    mystix SS.org Regular

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    I have owned five premium Az models. None of them had any kind of fit and finish issues. The only prestige model I owned is the time well model and it was fantastic. I would put it on par with music man.

    as far as Suhr though, To me, they are at the pinnacle of Guitar making with Paul Reed Smith and TA. Once you get to those brands though, neither is better really. It’s more about preference.
     
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  11. Musiscience

    Musiscience Hail the Ibbyborn!

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    Those I came across in the last 2-3 years were not good at all for the price. Bad fretwork, sharp frets, finish issues, nut not well cut, etc. Maybe you've been lucky and I didn't, who knows. In contrast all the Prestiges I owned were flawless.
     
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  12. couchguitarplayer

    couchguitarplayer SS.org Regular

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    I've had an AZ premium from 2018 and tried a 2021. I also tried a Charvel DK24 in 2020. My view on this is that neither is a perfect guitar and I think the AZ is overpriced for what you get. My AZ had finish issues, bad frets, hardware fails (saddles and tuners). I must admit I haven't tried the Prestige models yet, but for $ 3K CAN, id rather find a used Suhr.

    AZ

    Pros:

    Confortable ''thicker'' yet small neck (A lot different than their typical Wizard neck).
    Lightweight
    Great playability and ergonomics
    Does it all

    Cons:

    Lifeless and thin tone (I don't like the pickup)
    Does it all but not good enough in most style IMO
    Quality control
    Cheap looking veneers (on the premium I Had)

    Price

    Don't get me wrong, it's a good guitar. I just felt underwhelme whyle playing it. In the other hand, the DK-24 felt cheap but was fun to play. The good thing is the DK24 price which is almost half the price of the AZ. I honestly would choose the Charvel.

    Also, you cannot compare a Suhr to an AZ aside the fact that it's a cheaper copy-like. Suhr building quality is on another level. If you want to compare the suhr to something go check Tom Anderson, Xotic, Friedman, LSL or other high quality boutique brands. The suhr modern I had was one of the best guitars I've ever played.

    Just from picture you can see the difference in term of build quality

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. NeglectedField

    NeglectedField SS.org Regular

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    I've tried two AZs. The first was set up properly, the second wasn't (kinda poor show for a guitar exhibition), so it was hard to gauge. Charvels in my experience are far more consistent, even putting setup aside. Hell, as a rule now if I ever get some kinda hankering for a 4-figure sum guitar, I compare it to the nearest Charvel equivalent.
     
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  14. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Similar, but different, if we're talking overall feel. For the price difference I'd say the AZ Prestiges I have, and have worked on, holds its own to my Suhrs and Anderson. But they all have their own sound and feel, so even if you remove quality, I can see how folks would have a preference for one vs. another.
     
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  15. Cheap

    Cheap .....ite

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    I’ll echo the sentiments already posted. I’ve had a few US Nick Johnston models, a Suhr, Music Man guitars, Aristides, etc and just got a prestige 2402A? AZ to try out yesterday. The only charvel I ever enjoyed is the Guthrie model, but I’ve never owned one and spent any real time with the brand.

    So far in the honeymoon phase with the AZ I’m super into it. It’s got a lot of what I wish the others (mainly the NJ’s) had when it comes to a beefier neck and a lot more options when it comes to pickups. I was skeptical of the switching system but so far have been super happy with most of the options.

    It’s honestly really weird playing an Ibanez with a neck that substantial. It’s certainly not overkill but if you like skinnier shreddy necks it’s a definite departure. I don’t know if they’ve got different necks between the models but mine has bigger shoulders and a flatter (but still round) section. As far as the shape goes I don’t think I can compare it to much else out there—really feels like its own thing to me compared to what else ive had

    for what it’s worth I got rid of a MM Kensrue signature for it and it feels like SO much more guitar for 1k less..
     
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  16. Hoss632

    Hoss632 SS.org Regular

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    I will say I went to a guitar center today to get stuff for my current guitar. While I was there I did look to see what they had to try out. No AZ sadly. But they had a couple of other Ibanez guitars I like and a dk24. What surprised me is I remember the dk neck being thicker but honestly it was quite thin. I honestly couldn't feel much difference between it and the rg and rga Ibanez models I tried other than Ibanez felt flatter on the back. Also tried the new 2021 sterling ct50 and a 7 string Jason richarson. I feel like the way people are describing the az neck that it probably feels closer to the ct50 but maybe a bit thinner. Maybe a tad thinner. Anyone think that sounds right?
     
  17. bzhang9

    bzhang9 SS.org Regular

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    If you want a solid quality budget version I'd go for the dk24 if you can find it for a good bit cheaper than the premium az
     
  18. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    DK24 necks are quite a thin C.

    AZ necks (at least the 3 or so Premium AZ's I've played) are quite a bit chunkier and have a lot more 'shoulder'. I'd say the AZ necks are roughly the same 'thickness' as a Fender American Professional Strat/Tele, except the AZ has more 'shoulder' than the Fender Deep C though.
     
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