JS1600 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.7 (21 votes)
Ibanez: JS1600

Price paid: $ 1500

Purchased from: Ibanez Rules

Sound — 10
It's a real Rock guitar. You can get a variety of sounds from it being close from classic Strat to modern or from classic Les Paul to modern and etc. But in every configuration being close to classics the guitar keeps it's unique sound. Being a Rock guitar you can get bluesy and jazzy tones with Single coil split. I even got some funky sounds out of it. For a heavier sound for some modern metal you have to use some optional equipment (amps). For any of classic tones it's great. No noise, ruch and full sound, great balance of high/mid/low and brighter with high pass filter engaged. The sound got that feel of byte with Fred and PAF Pro can do all of acoustics with no need to change your playing style. But note, they are passive and of a medium output what means for getting very distorted sounds you sould use more gain level.

Overall Impression — 10
My Opinion: Well it's a pretty straight-forward instrument for hard-worker musicians if you ask me. This is a great guitar and it would be truth that it's one of the best available but only for the purposes it's planned. It does blues and rock the best way. For others it would need some adjustments. You can get tones to close to jazz, fusion, funk, metal, country. But remember, Rock is the style for this guitar. I love it, and i use it as my main and studio guitar. But the color option is not so impressive. I mean, the textured silver is great but the wooden unmatched headstock just does not feel so good. I'd like to have the finish of JS1200. Also you have no trem here. But i bought this guitar because of the fixed Bridge and mahogany body. If you wish a trem and bassword go for a JS100, JS1200 or a JS2400 for 24 frets :) Finally: Pros for me personally Everything Cons for me personally Nothing Pros for public (may be): Mahogany body, fixed bridge, pickups Cons for public (may be): No trem, 22 frets, non-matched headstock For me it's 10 out 10 for current minute, cause it's the best I had. I was searching for a Strat type guitar to get that classic sound but didn't want another guitar for the modern stuff, also wanted a les-paul like sound to get that great beefier tone. This guitar gave the unique tone which can get too close to my tastes and still stay in zone of uniqueness.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is a tank. Being gentle with it will take it for years as all of Ibanez's quality instruments. Backup depends on your taste. I prefer to get a backup if you have a second instrument. You'd never know what would happen but I believe this monster will do it's best and it's my primary guitar in my current setup. Very reliable and made of qulity materials.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
No flaws on mine though it was adjusted by a professional to some ultra-high degree of quality. But if adjusted correctly this instrument gives you what you want. It's a professional instrument for the professionals. Practically no fret buzz on lowest action possible. I've got some tiny buzz noticeble without plugging on the lowest 3-4 frets if strumed agressively but no noticeble buzz when plugged in. But I will give it a 9 cause 10 means too perfect for me what I haven't seen still and may not see for my entire life.

Features — 9
JS1600. The instrument of my dreams for almost 3 month before the buy. Well as always I bought it with some additional tech work. It's in Platinum service level provided by Ibanez Rules. This model was introduced in 2008 and discontinued in 2011. Mine is a new bought which is dated 2010 (factory date). It's a Japan made the Prestige line guitar. Well, personally for me it's a great instrument. But from now on I will try to be as critical as I can. Frets: 22 frets. Size: 6105. They are very comfy. I used to have jumbo ones that are used for Prestige RGs. Here you learn that I had mostly Japan made Prestige RGs. But these 6105 frets are really good. They are thinner but not too thin what makes it to play more comfy and there are more room for your figers between them on the higher frets. What is the bad thing about them? Lack of the information. E.g. on the official page it says JEMs also has these 6105 but it says they are Warmoth what means they are made of Stainless Steel (SS). SS frets are of better quality, they wear slower. But on the page for JS series they say only 6105. Most of the internet (at least what I've found) says they are also Warmoth and SS but I can't figure out. Years of use will show it. Also it would be great to have 24 frets but 24 is featured on the other model numbered JS2400. So we have only 22. Personally for me it's ok. But again you have to work out your technique to gain comfy access to the highest 20-22 frets :) Top: A solid, silver textured top. Very glossy. It's cool by itself but not so much with the unmatched headstock. Body and neck: Body mahogany, the nech is maple. the neck is one-piece which is great. Body - don't know. Tonally mahogany body and maple neck is great and may be the best you can get for most of styles. Finish: It's very good. Quality is good cause it's an Artist Prestige. So no cons here, only pros. Body style: The guitar is a real super strat. The aero foil is very sexy. Bridge: It's a straight Gotoh fixed Bridge with strings through body. Technically it's very simple and looks like most of classic strats but it does the job. Saying this I would note that there several fixed Gotoh bridges that are more modern in design, cause this one is a real classic. Electronics and Controls: It's got two passive medium output humbucker pickups. These are DiMarzio PAF Pro in neck and DiMarzio FRED in bridge. Two push-pull controls - Volum/High pass filter and Tone/hum-to-single mode. And a three-way pickup selector. Tuners: JS1600 got the Locking Tuners which are popular nowadays. At the back of each tuner Ibanez is printed but I believe these are PlanetWaves self-cutting locking auto-trim tuners. Included accessories: The Ibanez Prestige case is included. No other accessories but maintenance tools.

15 comments sorted by best / new / date

    PERFECT REVIEW! wow finally on UG do I see such a well written review. its the joe satriani signature right?
    A really good review you've written there dude. Pretty guitar too!
    Thanks men. My first review yesterday was a quick one and it did not passed. I know that there is a lack of info over the web on this guitar and today i finally sat down and tried to write a descent review for it. Yeap, it's joe satriani signature. Some people over the web think signature guitars are only used to play featured artist's songs. I don't think so. That's a great instrument. I love it! Think of it a SuperStrat and you'll find all of the answers.
    Ive heard that the JS series is a waste of money. Ive heard a lot of people say just a regular prestige or something with all the same stuff. Your paying a few extra hundred bucks just for the Joe Satriani title. But i would probably do the same for a john petrucci series. hah
    Jozzy17 wrote: Ive heard that the JS series is a waste of money. Ive heard a lot of people say just a regular prestige or something with all the same stuff. Your paying a few extra hundred bucks just for the Joe Satriani title. But i would probably do the same for a john petrucci series. hah
    Main differences between the JS series and the Ibanez Prestige is that the JS neck is based more on a classic Strat neck, has a rounder radius (9.5"), and thinner frets. All of these add up to "YAY!" for me, because I'm not a fan of the usual 14-16" radius and uber fat frets with a paper thin neck. In addition, the JS Series comes with a high pass filter on the volume knob and a coil split on the tone knob, making for some great Strat-ish sounds along with the usual shred tones. The JEM series is probably more a waste. Aside from the aesthetics and frets, you can just get a Prestige and upgrade pickups/bridge and you have a comparable, and to some superior instrument. The JS series is the only Super-Strat shredder guitar that Ibanez makes that I would EVER spend my money on for reasons stated above.
    I didn't really like the neck on this when I played it at guitar center, seemed cheaply made like my RGEX21, but maybe I got a lemon. These guitars are really pretty and i love the rounded body shape.
    finally, a review that gives good details and actually TELLS me about the guitar instead of rambling on aimlessly with no information to back up any opinions on the instrument. Well done
    looks good. my only gripe would be that there's no whammy bar....how does a js sig not have a whammy bar!?!?
    About the pricing. I find most of signature series overpriced, so some prestige stuff is better minded but JS series are not overpriced at all. You can get great deals from some great dealers. E.g $1700-$1800 for JS1200 or less or equal for JS1000 but not JEMs or some others. What about the neck, may be it is a little stratish, but it's very comfortable. It's not a standard guitar neck. It's thin at the bottom and thicker at the top copying anatomy of your hand. When i first took the guitar out of case i felt the nech is different, very different from the Wizard Prestige i used to but it feels very comfortable from the first minutes. What about cheap feel i believe it's because of one-piece maple. You have nothing to do with it, it's just a one piece of wood premiumly selected. But one can differ from another. When you have a nech from several parts (3 or 5 as modern prestiges) you have more options for wood than a one piece. I feel ok with the neck. My dealer gives me the best
    By the way, i've learned from my dealer that the 6105 frets on the JS and other Ibanez guitars are Nickel. None of them are Stainless Steel from factory. (Not sure about JEMs)
    Forgot to add to review, JS guitars are very lightweight. For example, mahogany JS1600 is lighter than my basswood Prestige RGs