NAMM 2019: Ibanez updates RG, ART and Hollowbody lines

New models from the brand’s reliable solidbody and hollowbody categories.

Ibanez Axion Label

In this instalment of Ibanez’s 2019 update, we take a look at three of the brand’s popular categories: the RG, ART and hollowbody lines. Additions to these series include new RG5000 models, the stunning ART120QA, and a sweet Artcore Vibrante AS63.

The RG range

In 2019, the RG line will be bolstered by two MIJ, Prestige 5000 models: the RG5120M and the RG5220M. Other highlights include the return of the RG550DX, as well as a nine-string RGIR9FME from the Iron Label.

RG5120M

This axe features an African mahogany body with an ash top, and a Super Wizard HP neck that’s built from a five-piece maple and wenge combination. It also comes with a 17-inch-radius bound birdseye maple fretboard that’s adorned with offset mother of pearl dot inlays.

The RG5120M is loaded with Fishman Fluence Modern Humbuckers that slot in at the neck, rounding off its look is a Lo-Pro Edge tremolo bridge and a neat Frozen Ocean finish.

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RG5220M

The RG5220M shares the same tonewood, neck and hardware appointments as the RG5120M. Unique to this guitar is a pair of Bare Knuckle Brute Force humbuckers that produce a deep, saturated tone. With its eye-catching Transparent Fluorescent Green finish, it’s a guaranteed head-turner.

RG550DX

Like the original RG550, the RG550DX features a similar Super Wizard neck that’s built from a five-piece maple and walnut combination. It also has a basswood body and a 17-inch-radius bound granadillo fretboard that’s lined with menacing white sharktooth inlays.

Electronics-wise, this guitar has three Ibanez pups aligned in a HSH configuration. A V7 humbucker occupies the neck position, while an S1 single-coil and V8 humbucker are in the middle and bridge positions, respectively. Hardware appointments include the reliable Edge tremolo bridge.

Available in Laser Blue and Ruby Red finishes.

RGIR9FME

This nine-string behemoth features a nyatoh body with a flamed maple top, and a five-piece maple-and-walnut Nitro Wizard neck. To accommodate all its strings, this unusual instrument has a 37.4-inch-radius jatoba fretboard. Sonic appointments include EMG 909 humbuckers, while hardware components consist of a sturdy Gibraltar Standard II bridge.

Available in Faded Denim Burst Flat finish.

ART Series

Ibanez’s ART models are recognisable by their sharp single-cutaway body shapes. The standout piece from 2019’s ART line is the ART120QA.

ART120QA

This guitar features a poplar body and a stunning quilted maple art grain top. It’s fitted with an ART maple set-in neck, as well as a bound 12-inch-radius fretboard that’s built from treated New Zealand pine. Tone comes by way of Infinity R humbuckers, while chrome hardware and a Full Tune III bridge complete the model’s sleek appearance.

Available in Transparent Black Sunburst finish.

Hollowbodies

Ibanez’s hollowbodies have garnered reputations as affordable, sweet-sounding instruments. 2019 sees the AS, AF, AM and AG lines welcome a total of 10 handsome and unique entrants.

Artcore Vibrante AS63T

This model sports a semi-hollow design that features sapele at the body, top and sides. It also comes with an AS Artcore nyatoh set-in neck, and a bound 12-inch-radius laurel fretboard. The guitar derives its warm tone from two Ibanez Infinity R humbuckers. Its hardware appointments include an ART-2 Roller bridge and a Bigsby B70 vibrato tailpiece.

Available in Sea Foam Green.

Artcore Vintage AFV75

New to the AF line is the AFV75, a vintage-leaning guitar – with two Ibanez Classic Elite humbuckers – that caters to a range of playing styles. It has a linden body, top and sides, and an AF Artcore nyatoh set-in neck. There’s also a bound 12-inch-radius laurel fretboard that’s adorned with classy aged acrylic block inlays. Rounding off the six-string’s vintage look are antique chrome hardware, an ART-1 bridge with a VT60 tailpiece, and an arresting Vintage Amber Burst Low Gloss finish.

AM93ME

The sole entrant to Ibanez’s AM series uses Macassar ebony for its body, top and sides, and comes with an AM Expressionist set-in neck made from a three-piece nyatoh and maple combination. Additionally, the guitar is fitted with a bound 12-inch-radius ebony fretboard with regal-looking block inlays.

Tone comes by way of two Ibanez Super 58 humbuckers that deliver a warm, balanced tone with excellent response. Gold hardware, an ART-1 bridge with a Quik Change III, and a natural finish cap off the model’s smart look.

AG75G

The only newcomer to the AG series is this piece that excels in the jazz repertoire. This axe features a select-grade linden hollow body, an AG Artcore set-in nyatoh neck and a 12-inch-radius laurel fretboard. Sonic appointments include a pair of Ibanez’s Classic Elite humbuckers that deliver a round and well-balanced tone.

Available in a Scarlet Gradation finish.

More information at ibanez.com.

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