Ibanez guitars are known for their unique features and outstanding quality, but one of their most recognizable characteristics is the wizard neck.
As a guitarist, I’ve always been fascinated by this neck shape and have found it to be incredibly versatile and reliable. In this article, we’ll explore the wizard neck in detail and explain its significance in guitar playing.
Table of Contents
First introduced in the 1980s, Ibanez’s wizard neck quickly gained popularity among guitarists for its thin and flat profile. The neck’s design revolutionized the way players approached guitar playing, and it soon became an essential feature of Ibanez’s guitars.
The importance of the neck in guitar playing cannot be overstated, as it’s the primary interface between the musician and their instrument. The shape and size of the neck can impact the player’s comfort, playability, and overall technique, making it crucial to choose the right type of neck for one’s playing style.
It’s worth noting that not all wizard necks are the same. Ibanez has made several variations of the wizard neck over the years, with some models featuring slightly thicker or wider necks depending on the specific needs of the player. However, the overall design of the wizard neck remains focused on speed and playability.
Wizard Neck Details
The Ibanez wizard neck has a unique shape and dimensions that set it apart from other guitar necks. Its slim, flat profile provides exceptional speed and accuracy, making it perfect for shredding and fast playing styles.
Wizard necks typically have a radius of 15.75 or 17 inches depending on the model, which is on the higher side for most guitars. For example, Fender Stratocasters with modern C neck profiles typically have a radius of only 9.5 inches.
You see, with a flatter fretboard you can effortlessly execute techniques that are integral to shredding, such as sweep picking, pinch harmonics, and multiple string finger tapping, no sweat. Unsurprisingly, guitars fitted with relatively flat fretboards are a popular choice for shredding aficionados.
The wizard neck is a true innovation in guitar design.
The wizard neck typically measures between 17 – 19mm in thickness at the first fret and around 19 – 21mm at the 12th fret. This slim profile allows for quick and effortless movement up and down the neck, making it a favorite among shredders and other guitarists who require speed and agility in their playing.
In terms of width, the wizard neck is designed to be quite narrow, with a typical width of around 43mm at the nut. This narrow profile allows for greater ease of playing and is especially popular among guitarists with smaller hands.
Benefits of the Wizard Neck
The wizard neck offers several advantages over other neck types, including speed and playability, comfort, and versatility.
The slim and flat profile allows you to play with your thumb running straight up the neck as opposed to around it. As a result, you’ll find you have greater finger reach and can play faster.
The flatter radius also provides a unique playing experience and is generally better for bending notes as the strings are less likely to “fret out” the higher you bend. Additionally, the wizard neck’s versatility makes it suitable for various playing styles, from heavy metal to jazz.
Endorsements and Popularity
The wizard neck has gained a significant following among guitar players, and many famous musicians have endorsed Ibanez guitars with wizard necks. Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and Paul Gilbert are just a few guitarists who have used these guitars throughout their careers.
Reviews and opinions from guitar players and experts consistently praise the wizard neck for its speed, playability, and versatility. Sales and market demand for Ibanez guitars with wizard necks have remained high, indicating the neck’s ongoing popularity among guitarists.
Ibanez has a wide range of guitar models that feature the famous wizard neck.
Ibanez RG Series
The RG series is one of Ibanez’s most popular guitar lines, featuring a wide range of models with wizard necks. The Ibanez RG series is a true workhorse of a guitar. It’s got a sleek, slender body that just screams speed and precision, and when you pair that with its wicked-fast neck and high-output pickups, you’ve got a recipe for pure sonic adrenaline.
And let’s not forget about the style. These guitars look as killer as they sound, with their eye-catching finishes and razor-sharp contours. Whether you’re rocking out on stage or just jamming at home, the RG is a guitar that demands attention.
The RGT1221PB, RG421, and RG8560 are a few examples of these guitars.
Ibanez S Series
The Ibanez S series is a guitar that’s near and dear to my heart. This beauty is all about elegance and versatility, with a sleek and slender body that’s designed to fit like a glove and play like a dream.
Where the RG series is built for rock and metal with its powerful humbuckers, the S series takes a more well-rounded approach. Its HSS pickup configuration makes it a guitar that can do it all, from bluesy cleans to hard-hitting rock to full-on metal madness. And it does it all with a grace and poise that’s simply unmatched.
One thing that sets the S series apart from the RG is its tonal range. This guitar is all about versatility, with a wide range of pickups and tonal options that let you dial in just the sound you’re looking for. And when you pair that with the S series’ ultra-slim and comfortable neck, you’ve got a guitar that can handle anything you throw its way.
The Prestige S6570SK and Prestige S6521Q are two examples of S series guitars with wizard necks.
Looking to the future, it’s likely that Ibanez will continue to innovate and improve upon their wizard neck design, pushing the boundaries of what is possible on the instrument. As guitar playing continues to evolve, the importance of the neck in the overall playing experience is likely to remain a crucial consideration.
As a guitarist, I have always been drawn to the unique features of the Ibanez wizard neck. Its speed and playability have made it a favorite among guitarists of all levels and styles.
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional, the wizard neck offers a unique and powerful playing experience that is sure to enhance your performance and bring your music to new heights.