Ibanez MM1 Overview and Best Prices

Ibanez MM1 Review
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  • From Ibanez's 2018 MM series
  • Martin Miller Signature
  • Made in Japan
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Flamed Maple top
  • African Mahogany body
  • Roasted Maple neck
  • Roasted Maple fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Seymour Duncan Hyperion (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Seymour Duncan Hyperion (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 5-way Switch
  • Gotoh T1802 Tremolo bridge
  • AZ Oval C Bolt-On neck
  • 24 Jumbo Stainless Steel frets
  • Gotoh Magnum Lock machine heads w/H.A.P. tuners
  • Weight between 7.9lbs (3.6kgs) and 8.5lbs (3.9kgs)
  • See all specs and compare >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 77
Sound 81
Build quality 85
Value for money 71
Overall Score 81
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Ibanez MM1
  • Stainless Steel Frets
  • Locking Tuners
  • Made in Japan
  • Expensive Wood
  • Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Coil Tap Pickups
  • Luminescent Inlay
  • Tremolo
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $2350, which means that the Ibanez MM1 costs around 11% 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 Tremolo bridge that are made in Japan.

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User 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!

Weight

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Tuning stability

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Neck speed (thickness)

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Neck access to high frets

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Neck profile shape

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Fret edges

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Pickups noise

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Pickups power

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Videos

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IBANEZ MM1-TAB Martin Miller Signature Review - Studio Quality
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Ibanez Japan MM1 VS TQM1 Review (No Talking)
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Often Compared With

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Playability

The Ibanez MM1 meets 6 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.

New Player Friendliness

Ibanez MM1
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Locking tuners
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • 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 MM1'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

How Lightweight is it?

We found that the Ibanez MM1 weighs between 7.9lbs (3.6kgs) and 8.5lbs (3.9kgs). This was recorded from some online retailers that publish the weight of the instruments they sell.

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 MM1's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Ibanez MM1 Scale Length Comparison
Ibanez MM1'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 with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Ibanez MM1 Neck Profile
Ibanez MM1'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 MM1'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 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 MM1 has a 12" fingerboard radius.

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

Ibanez MM1 Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Ibanez MM1'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 MM1 has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

Ibanez MM1
This model
25.5'' Scale Length
C 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
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
Ibanez LM1
Compare
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Ibanez MM1 Nut Width
Ibanez MM1 Nut Width

The Ibanez MM1 has a nut width of 42mm (1.654''). This is considered a narrow width for a 6-string guitar. 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 more easily at the nut.

Frets

The Ibanez MM1 has 24 frets. A lot of people mistakenly believe that having more frets will always be better because it gives you a higher octave. This is certainly an advantage, but there's also a disadvantage to this.

Since the fretboard will be longer, the neck pickup will need to be placed closer to the bridge. And as you may know, the further away the neck pickup is from the bridge, the warmer it sounds. This means you'll have a brighter-sounding neck pickup when using a 24-fret guitar, even if you use the same pickup on a 22-fret guitar.

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 with stainless steel frets:

Fret Size

Ibanez MM1 Fret Size Comparison
Ibanez MM1'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 MM1'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 with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 80
Chord Playability 60
Solo Playability 90
Playability 77

Tone

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar or bass. 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

Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany Body
Roasted Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Roasted Maple Neck, Fretboard

Mahogany Body: This is the type of wood found in many top-of-the-line guitars, so that's a positive point for the build quality. This red-looking wood Mahogany is found in Africa and Central America and has great sustain and a warm tone due to its high density. The downside about this type of wood is that it's relatively heavy.

Roasted Maple Neck and Fretboard: 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.

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 rounder sound and a moderade level of output.

The Ibanez MM1's configuration is HH. With this pickup combination, you'll get warmer tones and more output than using single coils. Humbucker pickups cancel the noise that single-coil suffer from, which also results in a warmer tone. This pickup combination isn't only for high-gain music like Hard Rock or Heavy Metal. Their warmness is also popular for Jazz, Indie, R&B, Blues and more.

More with the same pickups

Ibanez MM1
This model
24 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Seymour Duncan Hyperion Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan Hyperion Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Seymour Duncan Hyperion Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan Hyperion Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Seymour Duncan Hyperion Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan Hyperion Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Seymour Duncan Hyperion Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan Hyperion Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Seymour Duncan Hyperion Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan Hyperion Neck Pickup

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 Tap option. This will allow you to get a single-coil sound out of your humbucker once you activate the power tap. The way it works is that it cuts part of the power coming from one of the coils, which ends up giving you a more real single-coil sound.

Diagram

Ibanez MM1 pickups switch selector and push knobs diagram
Ibanez MM1's switch options

What music genre is it good for?

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

Sound Score

Pickups 85
Sustain 80
Versatility 82
Tuning Stability 75
Sound 81

Build Quality

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 MM1 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.

Bridge

Gotoh T1802 Tremolo: 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 with the same type of bridge:

Tuners

The Ibanez MM1 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 instruments have nowadays. Some high-end ones come with a ratio of 21:1.

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 MM1 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 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.

More with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 85
Features 75
Quality Control 95
Build Quality 85

All Specs

Ibanez MM1
General
Brand: Ibanez
Year: 2018
Configuration: HH
Strings: 6
Made in: Japan
Series: MM
Colors: Blue
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Top: Flamed Maple
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: African Mahogany
Bridge: Gotoh T1802 Tremolo
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Gotoh Magnum Lock machine heads w/H.A.P.
Fretboard: Roasted Maple
Neck Material: Roasted Maple
Decoration: Abalone dot
Scale Size: 25.5"
Shape: AZ Oval C
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.81'' (20.6mm) - 12th Fret: 0.89'' (22.6mm)
Frets: 24 Jumbo Stainless Steel
Fretboard Radius: 12"
Nut: Bone
Nut Width: 42mm (1.654'')
Electronics
Switch: 5 Way
Knobs: Dome
Pickup Mods: Coil Tap
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: Seymour Duncan Hyperion (Humbucker / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Seymour Duncan Hyperion (Humbucker / Passive)