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Ibanez unveils new-and-improved RG Premium and AZ Premium models for 2022

Ibanez electric guitar
(Image credit: Ibanez)

As well as its acoustic guitar offerings for the year – the AAD50 and AAD50CE – Ibanez has now debuted six redesigned, revamped and rejuvenated electric guitars in its RG Premium and AZ Premium lineups.

Across the board, both ranges have been treated to a wealth of fresh appointments, with all three of the RG electrics featuring, for the first time ever, a newly refined neck-thru construction – a spec that’s been favored over the bolt-on construction of flagship RGs.

There’s a fair amount of “new” in the trio of AZ Premium models, too, with each axe premiering ebony or rosewood fretboards, HSH pickup configurations and DiMarzio pickups.

And, for the first time since the line was introduced, Ibanez has also announced its debut AZ Premium seven-string model, which will line up alongside two conventional six-strings.

Read on for an in-depth breakdown of Ibanez’s new electrics.

Ibanez AZ Premium AZ47P1QM

Ibanez electric guitar

(Image credit: Ibanez)

Arguably the freshest AZ model of the lot, the AZ471QM features three standout appointments: an ebony fretboard, HSH pickup configuration and DiMarzio humbuckers – specs that have yet to be seen elsewhere in the AZ Premium range.

Said to be geared more towards shredders and technical players, the axe in question features a Black Ice Burst finish that sits atop a Quilted Maple Top, which in turn is complemented by a painted black headstock and gold hardware.

As for sound, the ebony fretboard aims to offer a brighter sound with increased sustain, while the HSH DiMarzios seek to supply a diverse range of sounds from intense leads to hard-hitting rhythms.

The AZ47P1QM will be available for $1,866.

Ibanez AZ Premium AZ42P1

Ibanez electric guitar

(Image credit: Ibanez)

Much like its fellow new-for-2022 six-string, the AZ42P1 also features a fretboard material that is making its AZ Premium debut. 

Equipped with a rosewood ‘board and a basswood body, the model in question attempts to veer away from the shred-centric vision of the above axe, and features dyna-MIX10-equipped Seymour Duncan Hyperion pickups – a versatile circuit that offers up 10 individual sounds.

Other specs include a sleek high-gloss black finish and roasted maple neck, as well as a Gotoh T1502 tremolo, Gotoh MG-T locking tuners and a Graph Tech nut.

The AZ42P1 will be available for $1,733.

Ibanez AZ Premium AZ427P1PB

Ibanez electric guitar

(Image credit: Ibanez)

The final AZ Premium is the Charcoal Black Burst AZ42P1 – the lineup’s premiere seven-string model, which joins up with the AZ Prestige seven-strings that were introduced last year.

Build-wise, it features a poplar burl top over an American basswood body, as well as an AZ Oval C-profile roasted maple neck and rosewood fretboard. Again, it comes equipped with Seymour Duncan Hyperion 7 humbuckers and the brand’s dyna-MIX10 switching system.

Further appointments include 24 Jumbo stainless steel frets, Graph Tech nut, Gotoh T1572S bridge, Gotoh MG-T locking machine heads and Mother of Pearl dot inlays.

The AZ427P1PB will be available for $1,933.

Ibanez RG Premium RGT1220PB

Ibanez electric guitar

(Image credit: Ibanez)

As for the RGs, the RGT1220PB features an American basswood body and a neck-through Wizard III seven-piece maple/walnut neck, which is adorned with an ebony fretboard and Jumbo stainless steel frets.

Pickup configuration is the one of the only things that differentiates the three RGs, with the RGT1220PB featuring a DiMarzio Air Norton neck humbucker and a DiMarzio The Tone Zone bridge humbucker.

Additional touches include gold hardware, and Edge tremolo, Luminescent side dot inlays and an Antique Brown Stained-finished poplar burl top.

The RGT1220PB will be available for $2,066.

Ibanez RG Premium RGT1221PB

Ibanez electric guitar

(Image credit: Ibanez)

Again, the RGT1221PB spec sheet is headed up by a basswood body, poplar burl top, neck-through Wizard III seven-piece maple/walnut neck and a Jumbo stainless steel fret-fitted ebony ‘board.

There are some slight deviations in the hardware department – a Mono-rail bridge replaces the Edge tremolo of the previous model – though the pickups remain identical: Air Norton and The Tone Zone DiMarzio humbuckers, wired to a dyna-MIX10 system with Alter Switch. 

The Deep Twilight Flat-finished axe also features acrylic and abalone black inlays, premium fret edge treatment, Luminescent side dot inlays and Cosmo Black hardware.

The RGT1221PB will be available for $1,928.

Ibanez RG Premium RGT1270PB

Ibanez electric guitar

(Image credit: Ibanez)

Last but not least is the RGT1270PB. You already know the score in terms of build – basswood body, neck-through seven-piece Wizard III maple/walnut neck, the whole works – though the final RG of the trio introduces a fresh pickup configuration.

The now-familiar DiMarzio Air Norton and The Tone Zone humbuckers are complemented by a DiMarzio True Velvet single-coil, which sits in the middle position. There’s no dyna-MIX10 system, though there is a five-way blade selector switch.

Elsewhere, the RGT1270PB features an Edge tremolo, Cosmo Black hardware, Luminescent side dot inlays, poplar burl top and a Deep Twilight Flat finish.

The RGT1270PB will be available for $2,066.

To find out more about the new RG and AZ Premium models, head over to Ibanez.

Matt Owen

Matt is a News 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.