Since its release late last year, Tim Henson’s Ibanez TOD10N signature guitar has already become a favorite among some of today’s most progressive players. In just three months, it’s already been picked up by Manuel Gardner Fernandes, Marcin and Ichika Nito, all of whom have demonstrated the tonal capacity of the neat nylon-string.
Recently, Ichika Nito took the TOD10N for a second spin, using it alongside his own headless Ibanez ICHI10 Quest signature model for a breathtaking original arrangement titled The World is Still Beautiful.
After using it for one of the most technical 18 seconds of 2022, Ichika returned for an extended spell on the TOD10N’s fretboard, seemingly merging his own spell-binding penchant for gravity-defying lead runs with a handful of Polyphia-flavored harmonic chimes and percussive strums.
It was the perfect guitar for the job, with the nylon strings and Fishman Sonicore pickup easily accommodating Ichika’s snappy licks and even snappier right-hand action, culminating in an extended motif that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Polyphia record.
To close the track out, Ichika returned to the comfort of his own signature guitar, with which he dialed an equally crystalline tone for a further helping of jangly upper-fret frolics and two-hand tapping embellishments.
The latter half is quintessential Ichika, underpinned by the uncompromising clean sounds of the ICHI10’s R1 single-coils.
Despite the obvious popularity of the TOD10N, Henson recently revealed that Ibanez were initially hesitant to make the signature model, and that it was only the success of Playing God – the track that introduced everyone to the guitar – that eventually convinced them to release it to the public.
“I was in Europe, in 2019, in a pawn shop, and saw an Ibanez nylon electric guitar and I picked it up,” Henson told Revolver (opens in new tab) last month. “I thought, ‘What the fuck is this thing?’ I texted Ibanez and they told me it was a discontinued, commercially unsuccessful model from 1998.
“I called Ibanez and said, ‘Hey, I want a signature of this,’” he continued. “And they’re like, ‘Well, you know, it really didn’t do well in 1998…’ I was just like, ‘What the fuck!’ So, we made Playing God and I sent it to them, and told them, ‘If you don’t make this guitar, some other brand will – and you’re going to lose out on a lot of fucking money.’ Then they were like, ‘Oh shit, yeah let’s do it.’”
Capitalizing on its popularity, Ibanez recently announced the FRH10N – a cheaper, standard-run version of Henson’s Tree of Death-inlaid beauty that weighs in at $499.
Aside from streamlined electronics and a less flashy fretboard, the guitar is almost a spec-for-spec recreation of Henson’s own guitar, featuring a solid Sitka spruce top, sapele back and sides, a walnut bridge and an internal fan bracing construction.