Ibanez JSA5 Review & Prices

Ibanez JSA5 Review
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  • From Ibanez's 2017 JSA series
  • Joe Satriani Signature
  • Made in China
  • 6 strings
  • 25.6"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Solid Engelmann Spruce top
  • Okoume back
  • Okoume sides
  • Nyatoh neck
  • Cultured Maple fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fishman S-Core (Preamp/Active)
  • Cultured Maple bridge
  • Acoustic JSA Set neck
  • 20 Medium frets
  • Ibanez tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 73
Sound 81
Build quality 69
Value for money 79
Overall Score 74
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Ibanez JSA5
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Electronics
  • Solid Top Wood
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in China
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • Low-Quality Material Saddle
  • Laminated Side Wood
  • Laminated Back Wood
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $440, which means that the Ibanez JSA5 costs around 70% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in China.

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Videos

Joe Satriani discusses the features of his new Ibanez JSA acoustic models for 2013
Joe Satriani performs "Always With Me, Always With You" live @ Acoustic-4-A-Cure 5/15/2014
SOUND TEST - VIOLÃO IBANEZ JSA5 - TO BE WITH YOU SOLO COVER - POR HENRIQUE MENDES
SOUND TEST - VIOLÕES IBANEZ JSA5 E OVATION CELEBRITY 12 - FOREVER SOLO COVER - POR HENRIQUE MENDES
Ibanez 어쿠스틱기타 JSA5
Joe Satriani & Ibanez Guitars: The JS ART Project 2016
Ibanez JSA 5 VB & Ibanez T80 N mieten in Hamburg bei Topspot moderne Veranstaltungstechnik
Ibanez JSA-5 Elektro Akustik Gitar Tanıtımı
Ibanez JS1600 PSV Joe Satriani Guitar Demo
Ibanez Signature JSA Acoustic Guitar Demo
More Videos

Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Ibanez JSA5 meets 4 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not bad for beginners, but it could be better. 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.

New Player Friendliness

Ibanez JSA5
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale
  • Soft Strings
  • Locking tuners

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Ibanez JSA5'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
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 JSA5's 25.6" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Ibanez JSA5 Scale Length Comparison
Ibanez JSA5's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

It's very similar to a typical long 25.5" guitar scale, but with an extra inch probably to compensate the saddle position in acoustic guitars. It should be pretty much the same as a 25.5" scale guitar.

It will allow you to strum hard without hearing so much fret buzz, even with lower tunings.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Ibanez JSA5 Neck Profile
Ibanez JSA5'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 JSA5's neck thickness is approximately 0.787'' (20mm) at the first fret, and 0.827'' (21mm) 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 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.

The Ibanez JSA5 has a 12" fingerboard radius.

Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Ibanez JSA5 Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Ibanez JSA5's fretboard radius compared to others

This is the same radius that Gibson uses in most of their guitars. When compare to the other popular radius of Fender Stratocasters, you can see that it's a lot flatter. Guitars with this radius are usually made to bring a good balance between single-note and chord playing.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Ibanez JSA5 has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

Ibanez JSA5
This model
25.6'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.3'' Scale Length
Asymmetrical Neck Profile
1.685'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
24.75'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
15.748'' Fretboard Radius
25.6'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.68'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Ibanez JSA5 Nut Width
Ibanez JSA5 Nut Width

The Ibanez JSA5 has a nut width of 43mm (1.693''). This is within the most common range of nut widths for a 6-string guitar. It offers a good balance of string separation at the nut. It's the size that most guitarists prefer as it gives them just enough space to play open chords without muting the strings, but without spreading the strings too wide and making bar chords difficult to perform.

Frets

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Ibanez JSA5 Fret Size Comparison
Ibanez JSA5'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 JSA5's frets are Medium size. With medium frets, you can feel the fretboard more than with jumbo frets, but it's still easier to press the strings cleanly than with small frets; notes might change their pitch just slightly if you press hard on the fret. Also, if you need to do some fret leveling after years of playing, you'll have some room to sand them down without having to replace them.

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 75
Chord Playability 65
Solo Playability 80
Playability 73

Tone Analysis

The type of wood and even the shape of the body will have a lot of influence in the final tone of an acoustic guitar. Here's we'll talk about what kind of tone you can expect from its specs.

Wood

Spruce wood pattern used for guitar building
Spruce Top
Okoume wood pattern used for guitar building
Okoume Back, Sides
Nyatoh wood pattern used for guitar building
Nyatoh Neck
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Fretboard

Spruce Top: This wood has a light color with tight grain patterns. It's very stiff but relatively light. It's known for producing a well-rounded tone with a broad dynamic range.

Okoume Back and Sides: It's an affordable wood and it was one of the first to replace Mahogany when prohibitions started. It's generally softer than Mahogany and the tone has warmer lows.

Nyatoh Neck: It's a wood type found mainly in Indonesia. It's fairly hard and durable and is becoming popular for building guitars because it isn't expensive.

Maple Fretboard: This is one of the most popular types of wood used in all kinds of guitars. It's heavy, strong and compact, which makes it great for necks. However, it's also used for fretboards, bodies and tops due to its light color, resistance and beautiful patterns. When it comes to tone, it highlights the mid and high frequencies.

Pickups

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

Sound Score

Sustain 75
Versatility 85
Tuning Stability 65
Sound 81

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument 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 instruments 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 JSA5 is made in China. So you can expect lower build quality when compared to others made in Korea, Japan or the United States. Guitars made in this country are meant for mass production, which translates into less attention to detail and quality control. This doesn't mean the product is made poorly at all. Chinese products have a bad reputation since long ago, but they've definitely improved a lot the last few years.

Still, remember that we're taking about Ibanez here, which is a brand with good renown. They know how to use cheap labor in this country without sacrificing too much quality. So you shouldn't end up receiving a useless or ugly instrument.

Bridge

Cultured Maple: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

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 it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Ibanez JSA5 has a Plastic nut. This is a low-quality nut that you might want to consider upgrading soon. Bone and TUSQ nuts are the best for guitars with a fixed or simple tremolo bridge.

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 61
Features 85
Quality Control 60
Build Quality 69

All Specs

Ibanez JSA5
General
Brand: Ibanez
Year: 2017
Configuration:
Strings: 6
Made in: China
Series: JSA
Colors:
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Hollowbody
Body Material: Solid Engelmann Spruce
Bridge: Cultured Maple
Neck
Neck Joint: Set
Tuners: Ibanez
Fretboard: Cultured Maple
Neck Material: Nyatoh
Decoration: Abalone dot inlay
Scale Size: 25.6"
Shape: Acoustic JSA
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.787'' (20mm) - 12th Fret: 0.827'' (21mm)
Frets: 20 Medium
Fretboard Radius: 12"
Nut: Plastic
Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'')
Electronics
Switch: 0 Way
Knobs:
Volume Controls: 0
Tone Controls: 0
Bridge Pickup: Fishman S-Core (Preamp / Active)

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