Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige Review & Prices

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Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige Review
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  • From Ibanez's 2023 AZ series
  • Made in Japan
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 9" to 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Alder body
  • Roasted Maple neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Seymour Duncan Fortuna (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Middle pickup: Seymour Duncan Fortuna (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Seymour Duncan Fortuna (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Gotoh T1502S bridge
  • 1 volume and 2 tone Bell knobs
  • 5-way Switch
  • AZ Oval C Bolt-On neck
  • 22 Jumbo Stainless Steel frets
  • Gotoh Magnum Lock machine heads w/H.A.P. tuners
  • Compare Specs >
  • From Ibanez's 2023 AZ series
  • Made in Japan
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 9" to 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Alder body
  • Roasted Maple neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Seymour Duncan Fortuna (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Middle pickup: Seymour Duncan Fortuna (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Seymour Duncan Fortuna (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Gotoh T1502S bridge
  • 1 volume and 2 tone Bell knobs
  • 5-way Switch
  • AZ Oval C Bolt-On neck
  • 22 Jumbo Stainless Steel frets
  • Gotoh Magnum Lock machine heads w/H.A.P. tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Verdict: is The Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige a Good Guitar?

Made in a country with top quality control, which means you should get a high-quality instrument made with good materials and excellent attention to detail. It's a guitar with decent playability. It comes with excellent pickups with good sound and provides tons of sustain. It's a well-balanced guitar for playing solos and chords. In general, it offers a good amount of features for the price. Overall, an excellent guitar.

Final Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 77
Sound 82
Build quality 85
Value for money 76
Overall Score 81
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige
  • Stainless Steel Frets
  • Locking Tuners
  • Made in Japan
  • Expensive Wood
  • Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Coil Split Pickups
  • Tremolo
  • Luminescent Inlay
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Weight Relief
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Videos

2023 Ibanez AZ2203N! - 3 Single Coils & A NEW Blend Circuit! - A New Layout For The Prestige AZ
Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige 2023 New Release - Does this new 3 Single Coil AZ put the Strat in the dirt?
AZ2203N | AZ Prestige | Ibanez
2023 Ibanez AZ2203N - Prestige, Performance, and Playability with Three Seymour-Duncan Single Coils.
First Look at the NEW Ibanez 2023 Guitars!

Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige Prices

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Is the Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige a Good Deal?

Its average competitor's price is $2500, which means that the Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige is around 20% cheaper than the competition. This takes into account all guitars of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Tremolo bridge that are made in Japan.

Explore All Ibanez Guitars >

Is The Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige Easy to Play?

The Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige meets 7 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige
New Player Friendliness
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Locking tuners
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets
  • Wide nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Short scale

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Balance
Small hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige Scale Length Comparison
Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the same scale length used in Stratocaster guitars, and it's one of the main reasons they have such a bright sound. It's considered a long scale when compared to most non-baritone guitars.

Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, you'll need to give the strings more tension to get them in tune. This higher tension will allow for a couple of things. First, you can get a lower action (get the strings closer to the fretboard) because the strings won't 'wiggle' too much when pluck and won't cause fret buzz. This can allow you to use lower tunings without increasing your string gauge, and it will make it easier to press down the strings fast.

However, the frets will also have a wider separation between each other, which can make it harder to play, especially if you got small hands. The higher tension will also make the strings feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength.

More guitars with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige Neck Profile
Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

The Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige's neck thickness is approximately 0.81'' (20.6mm) at the first fret, and 0.89'' (22.6mm) at the twelfth.

These measurements were taken either from the official Ibanez website, or, in case this information wasn't provided, by researching multiple online marketplaces and forums where owners of this model have posted their measurements.

It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

More guitars for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige Fretboard Compound Radius
Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige's Compound Fretboard Radius

The Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige has a compound fingerboard radius of 9" to 12".

A compound radius is the best you can get because you'll get the best of both worlds. It starts curved at the nut, but it flattens as you get closer to the guitar body. This means that you'll get great comfortability for chords on the first few frets, but also a flatter fretboard for playing solos without problems on the higher frets.

More guitars with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige Nut Width
Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige Nut Width

The Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige has a nut width of 42mm (1.654''). This is narrower than the typical 43mm (1 11/16") width. This means that this guitar will have a narrower string separation at the nut, which will affect your fretting hand.

If you are a player with big hands, you might find it difficult to play chords without muting strings. However, this is good for players who have smaller hands, as it will allow them to reach each string much easier at the nut.

More guitars with the same nut width:

Frets

The Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige has 22 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

Finally, these are stainless steel frets. They're the best fretwire available. This means you won't need to change your frets since they should last as long as your guitar. Some people also feel easier bendings after swapping to stainless steel.

More guitars with stainless steel frets:

Fret Size

Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige Fret Size Comparison
Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige's frets are Jumbo size. This is a tall fret size that is becoming increasingly popular because it makes it easier to press down the strings cleanly. With this fret size, you won't feel the fretboard when playing, so if you press down too hard, you will get the notes out of pitch. However, this is something you can overcome by getting used to the taller size.

More guitars with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 70
Chord Playability 80
Solo Playability 80
Playability 77

Does the Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige Sound Good? Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood Used in the Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige

Alder wood pattern used for guitar building
Alder Body
Roasted Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Roasted Maple Neck
Rosewood wood pattern used for guitar building
Rosewood Fretboard

Alder Body: This is a lightweight type of wood that was popularized by Fender. According to them, it's a wood that offers a balanced tone but that favors the upper midrange slightly.

Roasted Maple Neck: Similar to simple Maple, but even stronger, darker, and more stable to temperature changes. This is thanks to the treatment process that consists in using high temperatures to drain the water, sugar, and resins from the wood.

Rosewood Fretboard: Since the ban of Brazillian Rosewood, this has become a rare and expensive wood. It's not usually used for guitar bodies because of this, and also because it's heavy. Instead, it's used mainly for fretboards. Sometimes it's also used for necks because it's an extremely hard wood (even harder than maple). Its tonality tends to favor warm tones.

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Pickups

This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: Seymour Duncan. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a moderade level of hot output instead of the overwhelming output that distinguises active pickups in metal.

The Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige's configuration is SSS. This is the pickup configuration made famous by the Stratocaster. It gives you beautiful clean tones, but also a vintage-sounding distortion. This pickup combination will sound chimey, but you might be surprised at the warmness that you can get from a single-coil at the neck position on a 22-fret guitar. The disadvantage of this configuration is the hum noise that single-coils produce due to their nature.

More guitars with the same pickups

22 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Seymour Duncan Fortuna Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan Fortuna Middle Pickup
Seymour Duncan Fortuna Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Seymour Duncan Fortuna Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan Fortuna Middle Pickup
Seymour Duncan Fortuna Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Seymour Duncan Fortuna Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan Fortuna Single Coil Middle Pickup
Seymour Duncan Fortuna Single Coil Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Seymour Duncan Fortuna Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan Fortuna Middle Pickup
Seymour Duncan Fortuna Neck Pickup
More guitars with the same pickups:

Versatility

It gives you a good amount of tone options with its 5-way switch. You can use it to choose at least 5 different pickup combinations.

It has a Coil Split option. It allows you to 'split' or turn off pickup coils to get even more tones in combination with the pickup selector. When used with humbucker pickups, it'll reduce the output and increase their clarity, turning them essentially into single-coil pickups.

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Diagram

Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige pickups switch selector and push knobs diagram
Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige's switch options

What music genre is the Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with SSS configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Funk or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this kind of guitar.

Sound Score

Pickups 90
Sustain 80
Versatility 83
Tuning Stability 75
Sound 82

How well is the Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige Built?

Where is the Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige Made?

Knowing where the guitar is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive guitars are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige is made in Japan. You should expect a high-quality guitar with excellent quality control. It can be compared to guitars made in the US, which is why they're also expensive.

More guitars made in Japan

Bridge

Gotoh T1502S: This type of bridge allows you to change the pitch of the notes by pulling the bridge with the attached bar, which gives you better versatility. Also, since the bridge is not fixed to the guitar body, the bridge will move as you bend the strings. So you'll have to increase the distance of your bends to reach the same tension (note) compared to a fixed bridge. This allows you to perform smoother bends but will also make you slower. Finally, remember that this type of bridge requires a bit more maintenance than fixed ones, especially when changing strings.

More guitars with the same type of bridge:

Tuners

The Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige comes with locking tuners, which helps with tuning stability and makes changing strings a lot faster and easier. As long as they're high quality, these are the best tuning machines you can have. The only disadvantage is that they are a bit heavier than normal tuners.

The tuners have a ratio of 16:1. This means you need 16 turns of the tuner knob to make the tuner post go around 1 complete revolution. The more turns it takes, the finer and more precise your tuning is going to be. An 18:1 ratio is what most guitars have nowadays. Some high-end guitars come with a ratio of 21:1.

More guitars with locking tuners:

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure the guitar stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige has a Bone nut. This material is one of the highest quality you can get. It provides excellent sustain and tune stability if cut well. The only disadvantage is that it's an organic material, so it's not consistent. Two different bone nuts, even if made from the same bone, will probably sound slightly different. However, bear in mind that this is only relevant when playing open strings.

More guitars with the same nut material:

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Bolt-On neck joint. Even though this type of neck was looked down upon for a long time, nowadays bolt-on necks are well built and provide just as much sustain as any other join method. First of all, it's cheap to make because it consists of simply 4 bolts that attach the neck to the body. And you can travel with the guitar more easily, swap out the neck if you damage it, or upgrade to a more comfortable neck later on.

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Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 81
Features 85
Quality Control 90
Build Quality 85

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Ibanez AZ2203N Prestige Specs

General
Brand: Ibanez
Year: 2023
Configuration: SSS
Strings: 6
Made in: Japan
Series: AZ
Colors: Black, Blue
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Alder
Bridge: Gotoh T1502S
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Gotoh Magnum Lock machine heads w/H.A.P.
Fretboard: Rosewood
Neck Material: Roasted Maple
Decoration: Mother of Pearl dot
Scale Size: 25.5"
Shape: AZ Oval C
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.81'' (20.6mm) - 12th Fret: 0.89'' (22.6mm)
Frets: 22 Jumbo Yes
Fretboard Radius: 9" to 12"
Nut: Bone
Nut Width: 42mm (1.654'')
Electronics
Switch: 5 Way
Knobs: Bell
Pickup Mods: Coil Split
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 2
Bridge Pickup: Seymour Duncan Fortuna (Humbucker / Passive)
Middle Pickup: Seymour Duncan Fortuna (Humbucker / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Seymour Duncan Fortuna (Humbucker / Passive)