Ibanez’s AZ series expands with first 7-string and rosewood fingerboard models

Ibanez new AZ models 2021
(Image credit: Ibanez)

NAMM 2021 isn't taking place in the physical realm this year, but you'll find all the hottest January gear launches in our guide to the biggest guitar, amp and pedal releases of 2021 so far.

The AZ series has been one of Ibanez’s biggest success stories in recent years, and for 2021, the Japanese guitar giant has served up a trio of new electric guitar models that promise to take the line-up to new heights.

Or perhaps that should be new lows, given two of the new models, the humbucker-equipped AZ24027 and HSS-configured AZ24047 – both $2,199 – mark the first seven-string additions to the range.

Both guitars essentially add a whole load of ‘7’s to the six-string AZ’s world-beating specs. So, that’s new Seymour Duncan Hyperion 7 pickups, a Gotoh T1872S bridge and new AZ7 Oval C roasted maple neck.

The scale length remains unchanged, at 25.5”, while the alder body, jumbo stainless steel frets and insanely versatile dyna-MIX 10 switching system also return.

Also seeing a launch this year is the AZ2204N ($1,999), which has the honor of being the first AZ with a rosewood fingerboard and tortoiseshell scratchplate, plus new Seymour Duncan Fortuna pickups.

According to Ibanez, the Fortunas are underwound compared with the original AZ Hyperions, and their scooped midrange promises to lend a more organic voice.

Other tweaks over the existing AZ format include a non-recessed bridge cavity for increased resonance – and a switch to the appropriate Gotoh T1702B bridge – and a 228mm to 305mm compound radius.

All in all, it’s a slightly more traditional-looking take on the AZ formula, available in Prussian Blue, Antique White and Black finishes.

For more info on all of Ibanez’s 2021 releases, head over to Ibanez.com.

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.