Today I am going to review the Ibanez Q52, the new official entry in the world of headless electric guitars for the Japanese brand.
The Ibanez Q52 is the perfect meeting between the classic headless shaped guitars from the '80 and '90 (my first electric guitar was a Steinberger, so I played headless for a lot of years! ) and the new era of electric guitars made famous by Djent and Neo-Soul guitar players on Instagram.
So, let's start with this new review!
Ibanez Q52 : The new era of affordable headless guitars?
Let's start by saying that the very first impression I have about this guitar is that it is very compact and comfortable to play.
It is literally built around the player, and no matter which style you are going to play, it will follow you, and it will make it effortless. Compared to the classic headless guitars of the old era (Steinberger guitars overall) what I personally feel different is the entire use of woods for body and neck. When I was playing a headless guitar, in fact, I found the neck very easy to play, but I missed the "life" and the breath of real wood, as it was made of carbonite.
Even if maybe cutting threes can't be considered entirely ethical, I must admit that the wood changes the game a lot, and I perceive it as a "real" guitar.
Except my personal considerations, the advantage of headless guitars, as already mentioned, is the lightweight as well as the fact that are easy, fast and effortless to play.
The Ibanez Q52 does not make any exception on that!
Ibanez Q Lineup
The Q52 belongs to the new Q line of electric guitars introduced by Ibanez in 2021.
The Q52 is the version with 2 humbucker pickups, the Q54 is equipped with two single coils and one humbucker pick-ups. The QX52 and QX54 are the same version of the already mentioned guitars but with a fanned fretboard, to make the playing even easier and relaxed.
The QX527PB (see pic above) is then the seven strings version which includes also the fanned frets.
More information about the
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The body is made entirely of Nyatoh, a type of wood that provides a rich mid-low end, overall quality, lightweight and a reduced cost.
The Q52 is available entirely in one color, the laser blue matte. I would personally love to have the options of more neutral colors like black for example. But it is again my personal taste 🙂 .
What is nice about this guitar is the Wizard C 3pc Roasted Maple/Bubinga neck, which on purpose has a neutral shape, made to meet different requirements and styles of playing.
It also offers stability and overall durability. I personally appreciate a lot the roasted neck, it feels great, and I use it already on the AZ guitars I have. It is also cool to watch at, and let's not forget about the luminescent dots that will allow you to play even during your darkest gigs.
The electronic part is composed by Q58 pickups, specifically designed for headless guitars. They provide a clear and balanced sound on all frequencies, and they work great both analogic and digital setups. The dyna-MIX10 switching system provides ten different tones between humbucker and single coils. The power Tap mode provides a realistic single coil sound despite its two humbucker pickup layout.
Another peculiarity of this instrument is the locking system, specifically designed by Ibanez.
The bridge mounted in the Q52 is the Mono-Tune, particularly designed for Ibanez headless guitars. It offers great stability, plus the possibility of tuning the strings easily one tone down or even further. This feature offers a great advantage just in case you want to tune in drop D or C for example, without the stress of re-adjusting all the entire setup.
This is HUGE if in your repertory you have songs with different tuning, and you don't want to become completely crazy or bringing with you 897 different guitars for just one gig 🙂 .
Another positive point of this instrument is its body. It is literally shaped around the player, it is very ergonomic, and you will "feel it" around you naturally. The body is also very lightweight and the overall dimensions of this instrument will allow you to carry it very easily while at the same time having a "real" guitar, not a "toy" you might maybe use only for traveling.
How does it sound?
I will maybe sound too enthusiast, but I have to say very well.
The wood is very resonant, and every note sounds full and rich. What I really like is that while you are playing, you feel like having a guitar with much more "wood and body" than it seems to be at a first sight.
The clean sounds are well-balanced, defined and rich with lots of different nuances thanks to the pickups that work very well both with super clean sounds and heavy distortions.
I personally enjoyed it a lot, it reminds me the good old times of using headless guitars, but now with the feeling of a true resonant, vibrant instrument in my hands.
The Q52 is a nice weapon to work with, it offers great playability without compromising at all the sound. I would advise to buy this instrument also for its cheap price compared to the value that truly offers. It is a guitar that can be easily used in a Djent band, as much as in gigs that require soft, warm sounds. I would not be surprised to see this instrument played by Jazz cats as much as Pop session men and Modern Metal guitarists.