Semi-Hollow Basses Join Artcore Line
Ibanez unveiled two new Artcore semi-acoustic basses at the Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California. "The new Artcore basses have quite a few features that make them stand out among other semi-acoustic electric bass guitars in this price range," said Pete Chiavarou of the Ibanez Bass Division in Bensalem, PA. "You have a set-in neck instead of bolt on, which results in more sustain and easier upper fret access. You have a 34" scale instead of a shorter scale, so you have better articulations. The pickup is much powerful, and the bridge and tailpiece combination offer more playing comfort and sustain. When you add it all up the ASB140 and AGB140 simply have an unbeatable combination of features."
The AGB140 semi-acoustic bass is single-cutaway and is available in Transparent Brown finish. The ASB140 is double-cutaway and is available in Brown Sunburst finish. Both basses list for $529.99.
DT200 Destroyer Debuts at Winter NAMM
By popular demand, Ibanez returns the famous Destroyer to the line as a regular model after a nearly 20 year hiatus. Like the first Destroyer versions first introduced in the '70s, the DT200 features a mahogany body for thick tone and sustain.
Ibanez Introduces DWB35 Doug Wimbish Signature 5-String
Ibanez launched a new Doug Wimbish signature bass, the 5-string DWB35 at Winter NAMM. According to Ibanez, the new bass has "the wide range of tones needed by the first call N.Y. session artist who's played with everyone from Living Colour to the Rolling Stones." The DWB35 5-string joins the Wimbish signature 4-string, the DWB3.
The DWB35 features a thru-body 5 pc maple/bubinga neck for superior strength tone and easy upper-fret access. The body wings are ash. As per Wimbish's preference, the DW35 features EMG pickups. A two-band EQ customized for Doug Wimbish provides quick and wide variations in tone.
Ibanez Offers Second Retro-Style Jet King
Ibanez introduced a second Jet King guitar model at the 2004 NAMM show. "Like the first Jet King, the Jet King II offers retro looks that hearken back to the funky-looking guitars Ibanez offered in the '60s," commented Bill Reim, president of Ibanez USA, "but with today's playability, tonal versatility and stability. However, instead of the thinner neck and the basswood body of the 1st Jet King, the Jet King II features a mahogany body and a thicker neck for even more tone and sustain. Plus it's got even more funky-looking pickguards."
Originally called the "Pawnshop Project," the Jet King concept was to combine the funky looks that were associated with the old '60s found hanging is pawnshops, with the versatility, playability and good intonation that the old guitars were not associated with.
SRP400 Soundgear Bass Offers Traditional and Modern Sounds
Combining the sleek ultra-modern look of Ibanez Soundgear with aspects of a traditional bass sounds like an unlikely formula. But the new Ibanez Soundgear "ProActive" bass makes the combination work. The SRP offers the expected Soundgear features of a 2-octave fast, narrow neck and active bass boost, but the pickguard, passive P-style pickup and traditional ash body definitely hearken to an earlier era. The new Mono-Rail III bridge with isolated saddles not only complements the SRP's modern meets traditional look, it also allows increased transfer of vibrations from string to body.
The SRP400 Soundgear ProActive is available in TFB Tri-Fade Burst and WB White Blond finishes. The list price is $529.99
Ibanez RG1520GK Prestige Model Offers Roland GK Compatibility
Ibanez debuted the RG1520GK at NAMM, compatible with Roland's GK technology. The GK system allows guitars with special split pickups to access Roland's line of GK effects as well as GK devices for controlling synthesizers via MIDI. According to Ibanez, the piezo pickups in their GK-compatible Edge-Pro double-locking tremolo "provide the ultimate in accuracy for triggering GK-connected synth systems."
The Ibanez RG (the series name is derived from the '80s "Roadstar II Guitars") has been one of the most featured guitars in metal and heavy rock since its introduction at the Chicago NAMM Show in 1987. RG's are available in available in a wide assortment of models including 7-string and fixed bridge as well as double locking trem, but the basic formula is described as, according to Ibanez, "thin, flat and fast two-octave necks, and powerful pickups that slice through the room."
The RG1520GK is Ibanez's first Prestige model to feature GK-compatibility. The guitar lists for $1099.99.
Ibanez Upgrades Soundgear Basses and Adds New SR900 Series
Every series in the Ibanez Soundgear line has received upgrades in 2004. At the top of the line, the 5-string Prestige SR3005 now features a D-Tuner. At the beginning of the line, the SR300 gets a 2-band active EQ and theSR400 receives a new Style Sweeper EQ, which promises to quickly take players "from warm 50's thump to today's slap, pop and funk.
However, the most significant Soundgear "upgrade" may be the addition of an entirely new the SR900. Both the 4- and 5-string versions of the SR900 list for under a grand, but they are loaded with must-have features for the pro-player: Bartolini MK1 pickups, the Bartolini MK1 3-Band EQ, Accu-Cast B20 bridge and an arched topped body of figured maple fitted with a 5pc maple/bubinga thru-body neck.
"Soundgear's thin neck and active electronics are what put Ibanez on the map in basses in 1987," commented Pete Chiavarou of Ibanez. "What has kept the Soundgear in the forefront has been the fact that it has evolved as bass playing has evolved. The SR900 and the entire 2004 Soundgear line still have what Soundgear a radically different bass in 1987--but they have new appointments and electronics that keep the Soundgear line on the cutting edge 17 years later."