In May this year, Polyphia dropped their first new song in three years, Playing God, which saw Tim Henson wield an eyebrow-raising custom Ibanez nylon-string.
Now, after a few months of speculation and sightings across the electric guitar star’s social media channels, that elusive Ibanez has been officially launched as Henson’s newest signature guitar, the TOD10N.
When Henson was first spotted playing the mysterious model, it was a drastic departure from the Polyphia pioneer’s usual electric antics, which have mostly been fueled by either his first Ibanez signature – the THBB10 – or custom AZ models.
However, for Polyphia’s latest studio run-out, Remember That You Will Die, Henson opted for something a little different in an effort to introduce a new sonic avenue into the band’s vast sonic repertoire.
The model itself is based on an old Ibanez design named the SC500N, which was an S-style double-cut nylon string electric guitar. Solidbody in nature, the SC500N proved to be a key influencing force for the TOD10N.
However, Henson’s second Ibanez signature is described as “very much its own creation”, featuring a hollow body based on the single-cut FR series and a number of model-specific appointments.
At its core, the TOD10N sports a solid Sitka spruce top the sapele back and sides, and utilizes a C-shape nyatoh neck. The latter is topped with a walnut fretboard, as well as 22 frets, a Tree of Death pearloid inlay and a 46mm-wide nut.
Other appointments include a 15.7” fretboard radius and a neat side sound port that supposedly “preserves the clean, modern appearance of the guitar, while also providing clear and accurate acoustic tone”.
Another notable build component is the fan bracing internal construction – a common appointment for classical guitars, the specific bracing was employed in order to enhance the “Nuevo Flamenco” style and sound that both Henson and Polyphia have been championing.
In terms of hardware, it features a bone nut and saddle, as well as gold classical tuners. Under the hood, the TOD10N comes loaded with a Fishman Sonicore pickup, which lines up alongside an Ibanez AEQ210TF preamp and onboard tuner.
Available in a Transparent Black Finish, the TOD10N has already become a go-to guitar for Henson, who put it to use on Polyphia’s upcoming album Remember That You Will Die. Not only did it feature on the Playing God music video, it was also used for unplugged performances of the band’s other singles, Neurotica and ABC.
Henson took a deep-dive into his latest signature six-string with Total Guitar earlier this year, revealing his journey into the world of nylon-strings stemmed from one question: “What if I made Polyphia-style, classical-type loops the way beat makers sample recordings of old classical guitar playing?”
Of his signature, Henson noted, “[It] kind of looks like a Telecaster. I wanted to stay somewhat close to the traditional, single cutaway acoustic-looking guitar, while also keeping modern aesthetics.
“I’ve seen a lot of people trying to say that it’s a Talman. It’s not a Talman,” he also clarified. “I’ve also seen people say that it’s a solidbody. It’s not a solidbody.”
The TOD10N carries an estimated street price of $699.
For more info, head over to Ibanez.