On the remarkable guitar category, Joe Satriani and Ibanez nailed it. For the second time, Satch took the pencils back and drew unique artworks on 76 guitars to give birth to the JSART2. In the end, 70 guitars went out the gates of the Los Angeles custom shop and spread over the five continents. It’s an absolute rarity in Europe considering only 3 guitars from the previous edition landed on the old continent, and it’s in France, at the shop Metal Guitar where I’ve been blessed to run my fingers on it.
Let’s talk about the specs a little bit. The woods chosen for this guitar fall midway between the old habits and the brand new features. It has a basswood body like the majority of the Ibanez JS series, along with the 3-piece maple-bubinga neck and the rosewood fretboard that features on 24 frets models since 2013. Having been on the LA Custom Shop, we can assume the best woods have been selected for the occasion.
A great versatility comes from the electronics, with Joe’s latest humbuckers from DiMarzio : Satch Track on the neck that has the particularity to be a single-coil format, and Mo’Joe on the Bridge. Both pickups can be split and we like how the high-pass filter allows to keep high frequencies when volume is turned down. No additional hole in the body because both options are enabled with a push-pull on the pots, keeping the controls as simple as they can be. Finally, the electronic isolation paired with two efficient humbuckers kill all probability of noise coming from the guitar itself.
In addition to the usual maintenance tools, the Team J. Craft flycase comes with the certificate of authenticity, a chromed woven strap from d’Addario and a few well-appreciated picks illustrated by Joe.
WHAT THE JSART2 HAS IN THE GUTS
First of all the playing sensation is wonderful, especially since the JSART2 has the particularity (with the JS25ART) to have the thinnest neck on the Ibanez JS. The students I give guitar lessons in Paris to, used to 24 frets neck, noticed the difference when they went to the shop. Otherwise, the sound we get out of this guitar comes with pretty good colors. On the video, I kept the “raw” sound on purpose (just a small reverb from the amp) in order to have the closest rendering of what actually comes from the guitar. I highly recommend listening through headphones.
Because they are some unique creations, we can’t know for sure what kind of drawing we’re going to deal with. It’s all subjective but I find these expressive little guys made of pure black strokes very successful and sensitive ; furthermore, any Satch fan would recognize them from thousands. The first edition, that commemorate the 25th anniversary with Ibanez, was black but this one has a white background, and it enlightens the drawing in a refreshing way.
The chrome pickups are appreciated and fit the white perfectly. If we use a microfibre cloth regularly, their aesthetic lifetime is similar to classic covers, and that’s a good thing for a guitar intended for playing.
Professeur de guitare à Paris – Arrangeur – Compositeur
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