Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 22

Thread: Stratocaster or Ibanez AZ?

  1. #1
    Senior Member contiContiCONTI's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Posts
    74

    Default Stratocaster or Ibanez AZ?

    Hi guys, looking for some guitar buying advice.

    I will be going into a store to hopefully try these guitars out in a couple of days but looking for some more experienced knowledge.

    I'm stuck between mainly a Fender American Stratocaster Professional or Elite and an Ibanez AZ2204 ICM (The HSS one).

    I play mainly funk, RnB and fusion. Have been playing an HSS Yamaha Pacifica almost exclusively for about 11 years. I love the 4th position on single coils the most and hunt for that dry, warm tone it has.

    Anybody experienced the AZ guitars and the hyperion pickups? Or compared the two guitars? Or any other experience or tips at all relating to these? Maybe even a similar guitar you could recommend within that similar budget?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    14,630

    Default Re: Stratocaster or Ibanez AZ?

    The Ibanez prestige guitars are lovely to play and sound really nice. Upper fret access is leaps and bounds beyond what Fender does.
    Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Adams
    This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

  3. #3
    Super Toneologist DavidRavenMoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,337

    Default Re: Stratocaster or Ibanez AZ?

    All the pickups in the nicer Ibanez guitars are made by DiMarzio. Even if it doesn’t say so. Same with Ernie Ball.

    Try them both out. I like Ibanez necks.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Mojo's Minions Diego's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Santiago, Chile
    Age
    34
    Posts
    8,157

    Default Re: Stratocaster or Ibanez AZ?

    If you absolutely need all the vintage style features for some reason, go for the Fender.
    Otherwise I see no reason not to try more contemporary alternatives like the AZ.

    I'd consider a G&L as well since they also have some improvements over Fenders IMO, like flatter radius and improved trem systems.
    Last edited by Diego; 10-16-2019 at 07:00 PM.
    Epiphone LP Standard PlusTop Pro
    Ibanez SZ320 / A2P neck + Custom bridge
    Ibanez RG270 / Screamin' Demon bridge

    Egnater Tweaker 15 Head / Laney Cub 8 / 2x12 - Celestion V30+K100
    Line 6 M13 and plenty of stompboxes I rarely use!

  5. #5
    A Ficus ehdwuld's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    South Alabama
    Posts
    9,780

    Default Re: Stratocaster or Ibanez AZ?

    G&L's are just so heavy
    Solid guitars no doubt
    Just heavy
    EHD
    Just here surfing Guitar Pron
    RG2EX1 w/ SD hot-rodded pickups / RG4EXFM1 w/ Carvin S22j/b + FVN middle
    SR500 / Martin 000CE-1/Epiphone Hummingbird
    Epiphone Florentine with OEM Probuckers
    Ehdwuld branded Blue semi hollow custom with JB/Jazz
    Reptile Green Gibson Custom Studio / Aqua Dean Shire semi hollow with piezo
    Carvin Belair / Laney GC80A Acoustic Amp (a gift from Guitar Player Mag)
    GNX3000 (yea I'm a modeler)

  6. #6
    Ultimate Tone Slacker skyydogg01's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Raceland, LA
    Age
    41
    Posts
    2,486

    Default Re: Stratocaster or Ibanez AZ?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidRavenMoon View Post
    All the pickups in the nicer Ibanez guitars are made by DiMarzio. Even if it doesn’t say so. Same with Ernie Ball.

    Try them both out. I like Ibanez necks.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    The AZ series uses Duncans. Both the prestige and premium lines of that series do.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    -Greg

    Guitars:
    2016 Ibanez RG6003FM (JB/'59nJ)
    2018 G&L Tribute Legacy (Hot Rails/stock/stock)
    Applause/Ovation AE28 Acoustic/Electric

  7. #7
    Senior Member contiContiCONTI's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Stratocaster or Ibanez AZ?

    Okok it seems that the only real advantage to the strat is the vintageness then?
    @DavidRavenMoon, the prestige Ibanez AZ guitars have Seymore Duncan Hyperion pickups.

    Was hoping someone who had tried these out could give me an opinion? Are they cheapy or quite solid pickups?

    Anyone who has tried the the AZ series out?

    Thanks for the replies, all very useful!

  8. #8
    Ultimate Tone Member Nagisa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    479

    Default Re: Stratocaster or Ibanez AZ?

    I have a Prestige HSS AZ and a Fender Elite strat.

    I'm selling the AZ. In theory fret access should be good, but the round heel hits my hand every time I play up the neck. The neck is also fat. I hate the pickups - the single coils sound overwound and the humbucker underwound.

    That said, the guitar is well made.

    No issues with the Elite - perfectly made. The N4 pickups are a love/hate thing but that's it.

    Definitely try the guitars out.

  9. #9
    Senior Member contiContiCONTI's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Stratocaster or Ibanez AZ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nagisa View Post
    I have a Prestige HSS AZ and a Fender Elite strat.

    I'm selling the AZ. In theory fret access should be good, but the round heel hits my hand every time I play up the neck. The neck is also fat. I hate the pickups - the single coils sound overwound and the humbucker underwound.

    That said, the guitar is well made.

    No issues with the Elite - perfectly made. The N4 pickups are a love/hate thing but that's it.

    Definitely try the guitars out.
    Ah that's very useful advice! I've heard the AZ has sort of sparklier single coils compared to the strat is this true?

    Also, started considering G&L legacy, MusicMan cutlass and MusicMan Luke III.

    Any opinions on these other guitars?

  10. #10
    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    Posts
    22,545

    Default Re: Stratocaster or Ibanez AZ?

    I'd play the Music Mans first. I am biased, because MM is my favorite brand, but some people don't get along with their quirks- physically smaller, with smaller necks than most Fenders.
    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

    My Guitar, Gear, and Music Webpage

    Gear pics and more on my Instagram.

  11. #11
    Mojo's Minions Silence Kid's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    California Republic
    Posts
    3,226

    Default Re: Stratocaster or Ibanez AZ?

    Jeez - I’m a huge G&L fan but MusicMan guitars always blow me away; it’d be case-by-case, but G&Ls tend to enter the used market more affordable in particular for most models.

    One thing - I know G&L uses PLEK on their US models, but I’m not sure if EBMM does at present. Regardless both companies do a great setup out of the box on their US guitars (MM also does a great job setting up their imports, whereas I think G&L barely sets up their Tribute line - not that we’re talking about those.)
    Quote Originally Posted by King Buzzo
    I love when people come up to me and say “Your guitar sound was better on Stoner Witch, when you used a Les Paul. “...I used a Fender Mustang reissue on that, dumbass!

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    72

    Default Re: Stratocaster or Ibanez AZ?

    I love the way the AZ looks but a used G&L should be a contender. Get one with an empress body if you want lighter weight. I’m not fond of the pickups in the Fender elite.

    I habitually buy G&L when I see a killer deal on one. I’ve only kept one but none of them were bad.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  13. #13
    Senior Member contiContiCONTI's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Stratocaster or Ibanez AZ?

    Tried out lots of strats, G&Ls and PRSs, unfortunately they didnt have any cutlass's available and they were slightly out of my price point anyway. Ended up going for the AZ. Has a beautiful sound, i love the higher output it has, can really dig into the strings and get wonderful tones. The 4th position is as glassy and funky as I love it to be and the humbucker SCREAMS! (Not enough for metal but i dont play any metal so thats ok for me).

    Thanks for the advice guys!!

  14. #14
    A Ficus ehdwuld's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    South Alabama
    Posts
    9,780

    Default Re: Stratocaster or Ibanez AZ?

    Did you get the one with the roasted maple neck and fretboard?

    Pics or it didn't happen
    EHD
    Just here surfing Guitar Pron
    RG2EX1 w/ SD hot-rodded pickups / RG4EXFM1 w/ Carvin S22j/b + FVN middle
    SR500 / Martin 000CE-1/Epiphone Hummingbird
    Epiphone Florentine with OEM Probuckers
    Ehdwuld branded Blue semi hollow custom with JB/Jazz
    Reptile Green Gibson Custom Studio / Aqua Dean Shire semi hollow with piezo
    Carvin Belair / Laney GC80A Acoustic Amp (a gift from Guitar Player Mag)
    GNX3000 (yea I'm a modeler)

  15. #15
    Mojo's Minions Diego's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Santiago, Chile
    Age
    34
    Posts
    8,157

    Default Re: Stratocaster or Ibanez AZ?

    Wonderful, man. I've never played an AZ but they seem right up my alley.
    Epiphone LP Standard PlusTop Pro
    Ibanez SZ320 / A2P neck + Custom bridge
    Ibanez RG270 / Screamin' Demon bridge

    Egnater Tweaker 15 Head / Laney Cub 8 / 2x12 - Celestion V30+K100
    Line 6 M13 and plenty of stompboxes I rarely use!

  16. #16
    Toneologist playas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Northern Spain
    Posts
    689

    Default Re: Stratocaster or Ibanez AZ?

    Congrats. Well may it wear.

  17. #17
    Senior Member contiContiCONTI's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Stratocaster or Ibanez AZ?

    Yes it is roasted maple fret-board and maple top. With SS frets and titanium saddles and a bunch of other player friendly features like glow in the dark inlays and really comfortable cutaways. The guitar really fits.

    The pickups are pretty hot especially the humbucker. It screams (for someone who plays clean most of the time), I lowered to slightly and that gave a better match to the single coils imo. Love it for more recent Lukather type stuff, since he started using passive pickups. The two single coils in series really sound amazing (as if there were a humbucker at the neck). Didn't expect to sound that good, but it really gives a Les-Paulesque sound and allows me to play jazzy stuff easily. With those in parallel and the volume rolled slightly off, I can get the stratty tones that I like with just a tad more output. Also the humbucker split sounds really good and handy for SRV stuff.

    Very versatile guitar. Recommend a try if you have access to one. Very happy with the purchase. The shop was also kind enough to give me a sick free Pastorius-style strap!
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG-20191019-WA0013.jpg 
Views:	13 
Size:	59.5 KB 
ID:	101568
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG-20191019-WA0028.jpg 
Views:	13 
Size:	100.7 KB 
ID:	101569

  18. #18
    A Ficus ehdwuld's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    South Alabama
    Posts
    9,780

    Default Re: Stratocaster or Ibanez AZ?

    Oh yeah
    So much win
    EHD
    Just here surfing Guitar Pron
    RG2EX1 w/ SD hot-rodded pickups / RG4EXFM1 w/ Carvin S22j/b + FVN middle
    SR500 / Martin 000CE-1/Epiphone Hummingbird
    Epiphone Florentine with OEM Probuckers
    Ehdwuld branded Blue semi hollow custom with JB/Jazz
    Reptile Green Gibson Custom Studio / Aqua Dean Shire semi hollow with piezo
    Carvin Belair / Laney GC80A Acoustic Amp (a gift from Guitar Player Mag)
    GNX3000 (yea I'm a modeler)

  19. #19
    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    14,630

    Default Re: Stratocaster or Ibanez AZ?

    Looks lovely!
    Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Adams
    This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

  20. #20
    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    Posts
    22,545

    Default Re: Stratocaster or Ibanez AZ?

    Looking at that guitar, you absolutely made the right choice. Congrats!
    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

    My Guitar, Gear, and Music Webpage

    Gear pics and more on my Instagram.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •