1. The Rules have been updated regarding posting as a business on TGP. Thread with details here: Thread Here
    Dismiss Notice

Ibanez Prestige AZ HSS (AZ2204)

Discussion in 'Reviews of Electric Guitars' started by CapnRex, Mar 21, 2018.

Tags:
  1. CapnRex

    CapnRex Member

    Messages:
    275
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2016
    I got my HSS Prestige AZ today! I played it for 3 hours before writing this initial review.

    Setup:
    Very, very good. No bad notes. Fretwork flawless. Only gripes are 1) it came with the strings detuned so I had to adjust it up - but I think for shipping this is actually preferred. 2) the action is pretty much right at Fender factory specs if you look at their strats. I think this thing can go lower, as there is 0 buzzing - so I think the Ibanez factory is setting them up conservatively.

    Looks:
    Perfect. No flaws found. I can say I was a bit surprised by how dark brown the neck was - super roasted, to where at first glance I wouldn't guess it's maple. But it looks good.

    Feel: Like a strat, with a flatter neck radius. This is going to be a major divergence point for players - for me, it's perfect. The satin finish on the back makes it smooth, and as mentioned, the frets are great (not as wide as on my RG prestige, but as tall or taller). The thickness is going to turn off some Ibanez fans - but I felt I could shred as well as on my RG - and the smaller string spacing works better for my style of playing.

    *By the way, I put a Schaller S-Lock (new ones) on it with 0 problems. The screw fit in perfectly, basically a direct replacement screw.

    Sound: Here is another place where the guitar is either going to shine or disappoint, based on player preferences. I really like the Hyperion pickups, both the humbucker and single coils, but they are for players looking for a strat alternative, not a modern rawk guitar alternative. The humbucker is weak - they say "moderate" but as far as humbuckers go, it's more on the hot paf side of things. The custom uoa5 in my les paul is MUCH heavier and CUTS (of course the guitar is different too..). The hyperion humbucker does not cut in a way that metal or aggressive rock would need. It would do GnR, VH and so on really well though.

    The single coils are not glassy - they are smooth and rounded, very good for solos as well as chord work - but they don't sound quite like say CS Fat 50s do with that twanginess. I think the single coils sound more "jazzy" than "texas blues", but that's very general.

    As for the coil tapping, I was pleasantly surprised by the serial mode with the neck and middle SCs where they become like a neck humbucker - while maybe not 100% a neck humbucker tone, it's pretty good. A bit spankier due to the string spacing. I thought the split humbucker was only "so-so" and sound like I personally would expect a split humbucker to sound, not like a true SC. The only other "special" sound that I liked was the tele style one with the neck and split bridge - not really a tele, but close enough. In general I think I'll keep that button in the down (normal) position most of the time, with it up for songs that need a neck humbucker sound.

    Overall: I am super happy with my purchase - I will keep this guitar as it is (minus maybe a string gauge change and a setup) . I think HSS owners will be looking for this kind of guitar - I just wonder if some people who purchase an HH will be disappointed by the lack of output.
     
  2. Ron_R

    Ron_R Member

    Messages:
    3,387
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    Glad you like it, brother!!

    I would love to play a Prestige to see what the differences are between yours and the Premium I have.
     
    CapnRex likes this.
  3. tjontheroad

    tjontheroad Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,880
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Location:
    New Jersey... YOU GOTTA PROBLEM WITH THAT?!?!
    New review but

    :worthless
     
    rauchman and scolfax like this.
  4. CapnRex

    CapnRex Member

    Messages:
    275
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2016
    Really? It's a brand new guitar and I wrote quite a detailed review. Anyways..

     
  5. CapnRex

    CapnRex Member

    Messages:
    275
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2016
    Ah tonight found out stock strings were 10-46. Replaced with 9-46, much easier bends now.
     
    Ron_R likes this.
  6. Jon Barry

    Jon Barry Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    May 21, 2018
    I’ve tried both and I must say there’s not a lot in it.
     
  7. Jon Barry

    Jon Barry Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    May 21, 2018
    Has anybody had tuning problems?
     
  8. CapnRex

    CapnRex Member

    Messages:
    275
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2016
    Tuning stability is not as good as my rg with its locking nut and edge pro - but far better than on the strat I had. Make sure you are thoroughly stretching the strings and lubing the nut. I can get away with medium whammyage but divebombs throw it out after a few times.
     
  9. Ron_R

    Ron_R Member

    Messages:
    3,387
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    Once the neck and strings settled, I can't say that I have. I hit the trem really hard once, and knocked everything out, but that was really my fault.
     
  10. rauchman

    rauchman Member

    Messages:
    352
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2018
    Yup....really
     
    LPTyler likes this.
  11. kebotrans

    kebotrans Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,198
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta,GA
    I have had the 2402 dual bucker version a few months. I really love the guitar. Pickups sound great and I really love the bridge. I finally found the blue 2204 version with pickguard this week, and scooped it up. Looking forward to getting it. I own a few Suhrs and an Anderson. If you like Suhrs it is certainly aimed at that player. I purchased my 24fret used and The blue one new. The dealer gave me a pretty nice hundred less than the Suhr. I have not seen much out of the Ibanez camp that has excited me in awhile, but these guitars are really good. Also this is petty, but the knobs are just awesome. Very smooth and functional.


     
  12. CapnRex

    CapnRex Member

    Messages:
    275
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2016
    PS an update on the pickups: I took out the bridge and put in a Suhr Aldrich, much better for rock solos. I also plan to take out all the hyperion stuff and put in a Satch Track neck and True Velvet middle, with a switch to parallel split both humbuckers.

    The single coils aren’t BAD but they aren’t glassy enough for me. The series bucker sound also isn’t bad but it isn’t optimal either
     
  13. CapnRex

    CapnRex Member

    Messages:
    275
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2016
    Welcome to the club, brotha! I really do love this guitar - still haven’t found any issues (other than the pickups not being geared for my heavier rock tastes). Such a super resonant guitar with great tone. Side by side with my Ibanez RG prestige, this thing just sounds better AND feels better. Alder body, non-floyd style trem and bone nut really give it warmth. Anyways, enjoy!
     
    kebotrans likes this.
  14. spikey

    spikey Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2016
    HI all, just ordered a HSS AZ and had to yell it out - so pumped about the tones on this guitar! I've not been gob smacked by the tone of a guitar since I first heard my Jem. Really liked what I've heard on YouTube from the AZ2204. If anyone hasn't heard this your missing out.

    And....... It came in and plays like a dream! There is an after-ring harmonic on the notes play that just sound KILLER to me!
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
    CapnRex and kebotrans like this.

Share This Page