Tim Henson shows off an Ibanez 8-string signature that never went to production – and says more signature electrics will arrive this year

Tim Henson holds the Ibanez THBB8 guitar
(Image credit: Tim Henson/YouTube)

It’s fair to say that one of the fiercest player/guitar brand partnerships of the current era belongs to Tim Henson and Ibanez. Together, they’ve designed and released three highly popular signature guitars, including the flagship THBB10 electric guitar and recent TOD10.

Sandwiched between those two is the TOD10N – a nylon-string model that revived a quirky retro Ibanez design and that featured heavily across Polyphia’s newest album, Remember That You Will Die.

As fans, we’re not privy to the behind-the-scenes discussions that go on between Henson and Ibanez, and as such there’s no telling how many guitar designs have been left on the cutting room floor over the past few years.

In a recent studio tour, though, Henson did give guitarists a glimpse of one rather eye-catching signature instrument that never went to production: a monstrous 8-string guitar, designed in a similar style to the THBB10.

While giving viewers a run-down of his well-stocked signature guitar rack, Henson showed off the TOD10, a pair of TOD10Ns, the first-ever THBB10 – labeled the THM10 – before arriving at what he called the THBB8.

Though he confirms the guitar “will never reach production,” he does give viewers a good look at the eight-string model, which flashes the same gold hardware/black colorway combo that can be found on the THBB10. 

Not only that, it also looks to have an identical torrefied roasted maple fretboard and the same abalone inlay design, which leads us to believe it could have been conceived and created around the same time as the original THBB10.

Why it never received a release, or whether it will be revisited in the future, Henson didn’t say, though we can’t help but feel that the THBB8 would make an awe-inspiring addition to Henson’s standard-run signature six-string range.

Moving on to a separate rack, Henson then showed off the 10 additional axes that complete his studio setup, comprising two headless Quest models – including Ichika’s signature ICHI10 – the original SCN500 that inspired the TOD10N and an all-koa guitar that he says might be the most expensive instrument in his collection.

As for his signature guitar stand, it sounds as though Henson might have to invest in a larger rack in the near future, after he recently teased the imminent arrival of yet more signature guitars.

In a separate video, in which Henson showed off his new car, the Polyphia virtuoso confirmed a “couple” of new signatures are on the way, and that they’ll be arriving later this year.

“Can’t wait to see you guys in 2023,” he said. “We’re going to be on two tours, both American, and UK and Europe. 

“If you’re in the market for a guitar, we just put out the TOD10N, the TOD10 and there’s going to be a couple of new ones this year, so stay on the look out.”

Had Henson not so definitively ruled out the possibility of his THBB8 receiving a belated release, we’d probably be quick to speculate it could be one of the instruments on the way. However, he could just be trying to throw us off the scent – we’ll just have to wait and see…

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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.