Ibanez introduces Josh Smith signature FLATV1 alongside all-new AZS series

Ibanez FLATV1 and AZS models
(Image credit: Ibanez)

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After a string of snaps teasing an imminent guitar-related release on Instagram, Josh Smith has finally lifted the lid on his signature Ibanez FLATV1.

Alongside Lari Basilio's LB1, which was also revealed today, the FLATV1 headlines the launch of all-new line AZS electric guitars – a Tele-inspired reimagining of the popular Ibanez AZ series that offers both vintage and contemporary vibes with mini-humbucker neck pickups and a versatile curved control layout.

Ibanez Josh Smith FLATV1

(Image credit: Ibanez)

Celebrated for his effortless blend of blues, rock and jazz, Josh Smith has spec'd his signature guitar to meet his own tonal requirements while ensuring precise playability.

The FLATV1 features a non-contoured ash slab AZS-style body, as well as a bolt-on S-TECH WOOD roasted maple neck and fretboard, which create a classic look and vintage feel.

Elsewhere, the guitar is kitted out with a Gotoh F1803 bridge that improves sustain and tuning stability, and Gotoh/Ibanez “In-Tune” saddles, which feature grooves that stop string slippage. The titanium saddles also have pre-calculated “intonation points”, allowing for each string to maintain precise intonation.

The new model comes equipped with all-new Seymour Duncan FLATV1 custom pickups, which Smith also teased in one of his many cryptic posts. Constructed to match Smith’s specific tonal requests, the vintage-style neck pickup features a slightly increased output, while the bridge pickup is constructed out of a number of different Alnico magnets. 

The pickups are controlled by a master volume, master tone and three-way pickup selector switch laid out on an AZS-style control plate for maximum accessibility. However, unlike the regular AZS models, the FLATV1 features 3D printed control knobs which were made to the exact “size/feel/knurl” that Smith wanted.

On his new signature and working with Ibanez, Smith said: “Every. Single Aspect. Of this guitar was chosen with intent. They let me do everything I wanted.”

The FLATV1 is available in Black.

Released alongside the new FLATV1 is an all-new line of Tele-style AZs that offers both modern and classic feels.

For the more vintage-style models – the AZS2209H  – an ash body is complemented by an oval C S-TECH WOOD roasted maple neck and fretboard. 

The guitar also features the curved control panel layout seen on the Josh Smith signature, which has been specifically designed for the AZS series, and accommodates a volume control, tone control, three-way pickup selector and a dyna-MIX5 switching system with Alter Switch.

These versatile controls help control the Seymour Duncan Magic Touch-mini and the Alnico Pro custom pickup. The mini-humbucker offers a full-bodied, well-articulated sound, while the bridge pickup offers a traditional twang and mid-range bark.

Other features include a Gotoh F1803 hardtail bridge, a stainless steel bridge plate and the Ibanez/Gotoh "In-Tune" string saddles.

The AZS2209H is available in either Tri Fade Burst or Prussian Blue Metallic.

The rest of the AZS offerings feature a more modern aesthetic, boasting either a quilted maple top in Royal Blue Sapphire, a flamed maple top in Sunset Burst or a contemporary sleek Black finish.

Featuring alder bodies, the AZS2200, AZS2200F and AZS2200Q come equipped with S-TECH WOOD roasted maple necks and fretboards. A Gotoh T1802 tremolo bridge also appears in favor of the hardtail bridge featured on the other models.

The same pickup combination and configuration is used, although the modern models dispense of the AZS-style curved control layout.

Head over to Ibanez for more information.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.