Ibanez AZES31, Purist Blue Overview
The Ibanez AZES31 is part of the incredible AZ Essentials line, which was designed in collaboration with renowned guitarist Tomo Fujita. Ibanez’s AZES electric guitars pack the versatility, comfortable playability and classic styling of the acclaimed AZ series into a high-quality, affordable instrument.
At the heart of the Ibanez AZES31’s well-balanced, resonant tone is its contoured Poplar body. Poplar is tonally similar to Alder, with a detailed and full sound that slightly emphasises the upper mids. Smooth playability is catered for by the Maple neck, which feels great in hand. Maple is a go-to neck tonewood, due to its stability and the way it promotes note separation. When you play a chord on the AZES31, you can count the individual notes to sound crisp and clear.
The Ibanez AZES31’s neck is topped with a silky Jatoba fretboard, a tonewood that’s durable and provides a warm mid-range. The neck features a 25" scale length, which sits roughly halfway between what you’d find on a traditional Fender and Gibson guitar. The AZES31’s slinkier scale length makes it a great choice for players that have smaller hands or prefer the feel of a shorter scale. The 250mm fretboard radius is well suited to beginners and first-time players, as it strikes a nice balance between roundness and flatness. The result is a comfy playing experience that can handle practically any playing style or technique with ease.
When it’s time to explore the higher registers of the Ibanez AZES31’s 22 Medium frets, the ergonomic All Access Neck joint makes reaching for them a breeze.
What makes the Ibanez AZES31 stand out from the pack is its astounding versatility. On the face of it, the Ibanez AZES31 is equipped with a trio of Essentials single-coils, which can be switched between using the 5-way pickup selector. This classic SSS configuration can pull off the sparkle and twang that you’d associate with a top-notch S-type guitar. With the onboard dyna-MIX 8 switching system, the Ibanez AZES31 can deliver a total of 8 distinct tones - 3 more than your standard S-type. With a quick flick of the Alter Switch, you can combine the Neck & Bridge and conjure up pseudo-humbucking tones by combining two pickups in series.
Ibanez have equipped the AZES31 with high-quality hardware, making it easy to set up, simple to maintain and ready to gig. First up is the sturdy mono-unit output jack, which is made from a single piece to combat loosening, contact failure and disconnection. Next is the rock-solid F106 bridge, which boasts newly-developed round steel saddles for optimal picking hand comfort and a wide height adjustment range for ease of setting up. Finally, we have the tuners, which facilitate rapid string changes and effortless tuning thanks to their die-cast housing and split-shaft design.
For the price, the Ibanez AZES31 in Ivory is hard to beat as it presents a feature set, spec and sound that you’d normally find on a more expensive instrument. If you’re looking for an affordable electric guitar that’s incredibly versatile, easy to play and simple to maintain, we highly recommend playing the Ibanez AZES31.