New modern Tele Day! Ibanez FR1620

GuitarIv91

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2022
Posts
8
Age
30
Location
Vienna, Austria
Hey everyone,

so I was on the fence of getting a Telecaster I could play more modern and high gain styles with, quite honestly I had the Ultra Luxe by Fender in mind. Now the guitar costs a good amount of cash and the Fender Ultra in Texas Tea I tried the other day at my local store left me a but unimpressed. So I chucked that idea in the bin.

Now I had my Orville LPC online for sale as I'm getting a custom Les Paul built by a luthier and I wanted to make some space, a guy from Germany I bought a guitar off of before offered me a trade for the Orville, an Ibanez FR1620:

IMG-20220902-WA0010.jpg


Since the guitar is a Prestige series made in the FujiGen factory in Japan (just as my Orville is) and I was very familiar with their quality and craftmanship, I agreed to it.


Fast forward a week and I unboxed the guitar yesterday. At first I was a bit sceptical about the Ibanez Wizard neck as I'm used to playing more C shaped hefty profiles but I am happy to report that I have no problems whatsoever adjusting to the neck.


Now my first impression of the guitar is a very good one. Not only does it feel high quality, unplugged it's loud and resonates very well. You strike a chord and you can feel the body of the guitar vibrate against your stomach. It's quite heavy too, the body is made out of Ash just like the one of my 75th Anniversary Telecaster. I have no idea if the whole tonewood thing is true or just imagination but I think Ash has now become my favourite body wood, at least if I judge by both my Fender and now the Ibanez.


EMGs are absolutely not my thing, I know I will put some passive humbuckers in there sooner than later, but I took it out of the case, tuned the strings it came with from Drop A (yes the previous owner is a full on metalhead) up to E-Flat and plugged it in. My oh my did it already sound good!


Now the old set of strings wouldn't do, so I cleaned and oiled the fretboard, put on a fresh set of Elixir 10-52s, tuned again to E-Flat and plugged the guitar in. Fun fact: the axe is from 2008 and has quite the thin neck (5 piece maple/walnut) but that sucker didn't move an inch! Straight like an arrow too.

Now disregard the EMGs, but the guitar sounds great. Harmonically rich with plenty of sustain and heft, yet defined. Similar to my Fender. As said, no idea if it's the ash, but tonewise this is a friggin keeper.

It's on the heavier side, I'd estimate around 3,6 kilos, but not a back breaker. The comfort cuts feel very nice, access to the upper frets is impeccable, the tuning stability is solid, the bridge is easy to adjust and feels good under the hands. String action is ridiculously low and playability is superb.

Now whilst this thing might be as far from a vintage Telecaster as one can go, I wouldn't consider this a metal guitar only. Sure, it's black, it has a thin neck with a flat radius and 24 frets, and yes, you'd blend in perfectly in a metal band with this axe, but you wouldn't look weird playing at a wedding in a suit with this guitar in your hands either. It's just a more modern looking Telecaster after all 😁


I had an EMG 57/66 set lying around I installed today to replace the 81s it came with. That already made it feel better under the hands, in the long run I'll put passives in. I'll put it to the test next wednesday at rehearsal, if I can survive a 2 hour set on the Wizard neck without any pain or problems in my left hand, then this will replace my Edwards LPC.

What more can I say? Telecasters rule! I have a cheap Harley Benton I'm super happy with, my Fender USA 75th Anniversary one and now this Ibanez. The herd is getting thinner and 3 out of my 8 electrics are now Teles 🤔


Anyway, I only have a few pictures for now, I'll take some proper shots together with the Fender soon and post em up here.

Cheers guys!




With the 81s:

IMG-20220902-WA0020.jpg


57/66 set installed:

IMG-20220903-WA0021.jpg

IMG-20220903-WA0023.jpg
 
Last edited:

GuitarIv91

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2022
Posts
8
Age
30
Location
Vienna, Austria
Congrats and good review! What are the main differences you hear between active and passive pickups?

Active pickups don't react as well to dynamic changes as passives from my experience. It's almost like you always have a compressor pedal engaged, which is good for cleans and heavy music but you lose some of the expressive element, especially if you like your variation in pick attack and play a lot with your volume and your tone knobs.

They aren't bad per se; just not my cup of tea :)

Had the guitar with me last rehearsal and it did great! Once I put some passives in she'll be my new workhorse.

Here's some footage with the band, we were jamming to In a Gadda da Vida, this is the FR 1620 into my BluGuitar Amp1 Iridium through my Marshall 412 with V30s:



Cheers guys! :)
 




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