Ibanez Q52 Review
Hello folks! Welcome to this new weekly article!
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!
Links to buy:
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 is different is the entire use of wood for the 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 for my personal considerations, the advantage of headless guitars, as already mentioned, is the lightweight as well as the fact that they are easy, fast, and effortless to play.
The Ibanez Q52 does not make any exceptions 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-up. 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 more relaxed.
The QX527PB (see pic above) is then the seven strings version, which includes also the fanned frets.
More information about the Qline here
Let’s go deep!
The body is made entirely of Nyatoh, a type of wood that provides a rich mid-low end, overall quality, lightweight, and reduced costs.
The Q52 is available entirely in one color, the laser blue matte. I would personally love to have the option 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, 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 of Q58 pickups, specifically designed for headless guitars. They provide a clear and balanced sound on all frequencies, and they work great in 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 the entire setup.
This is HUGE if in your repertory you have songs with different tunings, and you don’t want to become completely crazy or bring 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 enthusiastic, 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 spotless sounds and heavy distortions.
I personally enjoyed it a lot, it reminds me of 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 buying 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.
What do you think of this guitar?
Let me know in the comments! I will see you in the next articles!
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My name is Ignazio Di Salvo, well, Iggy for all my friends as my name is difficult to pronounce for non Italian speakers.
I am an Italian Guitarist, Singer, Composer, and Music Educator living in Belgium.
I am passionate about music production and writing, I publish two articles every new week about music and music production-related topics.
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