Ibanez began work on its AZ series in 2014. Over the next four years, it consulted artists and researched markets. The brief for Ibanez designers was to produce guitars that were cross-genre and – no joke – cover everything from A to Z. So at NAMM 2018, the new series was officially launched. In 2019, Ibanez announced a number of signature models. The latest instrument launched under the AZ banner is the Ibanez AZ2204-SCR Prestige. Its target: the boutique market.
Ibanez AZ2204-SCR Prestige
In contrast to the company’s budget models, the AZ series guitars are made to feel like real boutique instruments. SCR stands for Scarlet Red. The Prestige comes with a classic S-design alder body and a generous neckline near the neck. Shred ahoy! This Ibanez model is 100% made in Japan.
In the boutique market, roasted woods have become very popular. Ibanez has evidently done its homework, supplying a roasted S-TECH maple neck with an oval C-profile. In addition, it is sealed with an oil finish, which should give players the feeling of a well-played guitar.
Seymour Duncan Hyperion pickups
The new Hyperion pickups from Seymour Duncan are aimed at the modern guitarist, allegedly capable of handling all gain levels from clean to super high. We’re told that even when playing highly complex chords, these pickups will produce a clear, defined sound image.
Other specifications include a set of Gotoh Locking Tuners, Dyna-MIX9 circuitry (Volume, Tone, 5-way pickup selector and a toggle switch for Humbucker + and 2Hum / Tap modes ). In total, nine sounds are possible with this setup.
Off the peg boutique?
These guitars certainly have some nice features and if Scarlett Red is a bit too bright for you then you can also opt for either Ice Blue Metallic or Gold finishes instead. I’ve always found that Japanese-made Ibanez guitars are amazing to play, as the company’s fretwork is impeccable. This is certainly a guitar to have on your radar if you are looking for a modern S-type instrument with a high-end feel.
RRP – EUR 1999
- Ibanez AZ2204-SCR Prestige: Ibanez
- Ibanez AZ2204-SCR Prestigen with great upper fret access and a roasted maple neck: Ibanez