Ibanez PWM20 Review & Prices

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Ibanez PWM20 Review
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  • From Ibanez's 2021 PWM series
  • Paul Waggoner Signature
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 16" Fretboard Radius
  • Ash (44mm) body
  • 3pc Maple/Bubinga neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Mojotone PW Hornet (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Mojotone PW Hornet (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 0 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Edge-Zero II bridge
  • Wizard III Bolt-On neck
  • 24 Jumbo frets
  • Ibanez tuners
  • Compare Specs >
  • From Ibanez's 2021 PWM series
  • Paul Waggoner Signature
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 16" Fretboard Radius
  • Ash (44mm) body
  • 3pc Maple/Bubinga neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Mojotone PW Hornet (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Mojotone PW Hornet (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 0 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Edge-Zero II bridge
  • Wizard III Bolt-On neck
  • 24 Jumbo frets
  • Ibanez tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 80
Sound 82
Build quality 59
Value for money 74
Overall Score 74
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Ibanez PWM20
  • Expensive Wood
  • Locking Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Coil Split Pickups
  • Tremolo
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Retainer Bar
  • No Strap Lock

Videos

IBANEZ Paul Waggoner PWM 20 Signature
Ibanez PWM20 | Guitar Center PL
Mojotone Pickups: PW Hornet by Paul Waggoner FULL Demo and Interview
Riff Rundown - Between the Buried and Me's "Silent Flight Parliament"
Between the Buried and Me Clinic and Q&A at The Music Zoo!
More Videos

Price: is the Ibanez PWM20 a Good Deal?

Its average competitor's price is $1000, which means that the Ibanez PWM20 costs around 40% 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 guitars of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Double Locking bridge that are made in Indonesia.

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Your feedback

Not all guitars are created equal, and there are many important things they won't tell you about the guitar you're buying. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our visitors who have played this guitar say. If you've played it before, help others by voting for your experience below.

Weight

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Heavy
0
Slightly heavy
0
Lightweight
0
Very lightweight
0

Tuning stability

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Won't stay in tune
0
Sightly unstable
0
Not bad
0
Holds tune well
0
Won't get out of tune
0

Neck speed (thickness)

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Chunky
0
Slightly chunky
0
Balanced
0
Fast
8
Herman Li fast
4

Neck access to high frets

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Very Hard
0
Hard
0
Normal
0
Easy
0
Very Easy
0

Neck profile shape

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Baseball / U
0
V
0
Asymmetrical
0
C
2
D
8

Fret edges

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Very sharp
0
Slightly sharp
0
Smooth
0

Pickups noise

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Noiseless
0
Slightly Noisy
0
Noisy
0

Pickups power

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Clean
0
Slightly Hot
0
Hot
0

Explore All Ibanez Guitars >

Is The Ibanez PWM20 Easy to Play?

The Ibanez PWM20 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.

Ibanez PWM20
New Player Friendliness
  • Comfortable shape
  • Tall frets
  • Wide nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Locking tuners
  • 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 PWM20'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 PWM20's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Ibanez PWM20 Scale Length Comparison
Ibanez PWM20'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 PWM20 Neck Profile
Ibanez PWM20'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 PWM20's neck thickness is approximately 0.75'' (19.1mm) at the first fret, and 0.83'' (21.1mm) 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 Wizard type neck. This is a neck profile invented by Ibanez in the 90s and perfected throughout the years. It's thinner than the C profile that most people like. It's not as thin as their 'Super Wizard' version, so it's a good option if you like thin necks, but like to have a bit of thickness for resting your hand while playing.

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.

The Ibanez PWM20 has a 16" fingerboard radius. Here's an image comparing this guitar's fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Ibanez PWM20 Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Ibanez PWM20's fretboard radius compared to other guitars

This fretboard radius is really different than Stratocasters, but it's also a lot flatter than Les Paul fingerboards. It'll heavily favor soloing over playing chords. This doesn't mean you can't use it for chords, but it will be more comfortable to play chords without muting strings in a more curved fretboard. Bending and sliding without losing sustain will also be more likely in a flat fretboard like this one.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Ibanez PWM20 has the same radius across the board.

More guitars with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

Ibanez PWM20
This model
25.5'' Scale Length
Wizard Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
16'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.625'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
Wizard Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
15.75'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Ibanez PWM20 Nut Width
Ibanez PWM20 Nut Width

The Ibanez PWM20 has a nut width of 43mm (1.693''). This size is also known as 1 11/16'' and it's the most common size. 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.

More guitars with the same nut width:

Frets

The Ibanez PWM20 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.

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 guitars with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Ibanez PWM20 Fret Size Comparison
Ibanez PWM20'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 PWM20'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 80
Chord Playability 70
Solo Playability 90
Playability 80

Does the Ibanez PWM20 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 PWM20

Ash wood pattern used for guitar building
Ash Body
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Neck
Rosewood wood pattern used for guitar building
Rosewood Fretboard

Ash Body: The most popular Ash wood for guitars is swamp Ash. It has a really light color with beautiful patterns, which makes it perfect for a natural-looking finish. It's not as lightweight as Alder, but also not as heavy as Mahogany. It's known for producing a bright tone with solid mids and lows.

Maple Neck: 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.

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.

Pickups

This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: Mojotone. 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 PWM20'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.

Versatility

It comes with the popular 3-way switch that is present in most guitars. For more versatility, guitarists tend to prefer a 5-way switch, although it all depends on what you want to use your guitar for.

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.

More guitars with the same mods:

Diagram

Ibanez PWM20 pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Ibanez PWM20's switch options

What music genre is the Ibanez PWM20 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 kind of guitar.

Sound Score

Pickups 85
Sustain 80
Versatility 78
Tuning Stability 85
Sound 82

How well is the Ibanez PWM20 Built?

Where is the Ibanez PWM20 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 PWM20 is made in Indonesia. Many people prefer the quality of an Indonesian guitar over a Chinese. Respectable brands like Epiphone, Ibanez and Schecter are building in this country because of the great quality and lower price. Some people like to compare them to the ones built in Japan during the 80s, when Japanese guitar makers made a name for themselves.

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.

More guitars made in Indonesia

Bridge

Edge-Zero II: It's a cheaper version of the Edge Zero bridge, which is a double-locking tremolo with some unique features. For example, a push-in arm, locking stud bolds that lock the bridge to the body to give better stabilization, and a thumb-screw that allows you to make adjustments without removing the backplate. When compared to the Edge Zero, this one makes changing the intonation a bit more difficult.

Some of them have an additional ZPS3 Zero Point system, which consists of two extra springs that will make the tremolo return back faster to the neutral position—also known as zero position. Like Floyd Roses, these tremolos can be a pain to set up if you're a newbie.

More guitars with the same type of bridge:

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 PWM20 has a Locking nut. Instead of the typical nut, this nut locks the strings in place and will make them stay in tune even after heavy tremolo use. This type of nut provides the best tune stability, but they also make the guitar more expensive.

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with a retainer bar for the nut, which would be a helpful addition. Without it, the strings will change pitch once you lock down the nut, so you'll have to make more micro-adjustments at the bridge to tune it correctly.

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.

More guitars with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 41
Features 60
Quality Control 75
Build Quality 59

Most Popular Comparisons With The Ibanez PWM20

Ibanez PWM20 Specs

General
Brand: Ibanez
Year: 2021
Configuration: HH
Strings: 6
Made in: Indonesia
Series: PWM
Colors: White
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Ash (44mm)
Bridge: Edge-Zero II
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Ibanez
Fretboard: Rosewood
Neck Material: 3pc Maple/Bubinga
Decoration: Off-set white dot
Scale Size: 25.5"
Shape: Wizard III
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.75'' (19.1mm) - 12th Fret: 0.83'' (21.1mm)
Frets: 24 Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 16"
Nut: Locking
Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'')
Electronics
Switch: 3 Way
Knobs: Dome
Pickup Mods: Coil Split
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 0
Bridge Pickup: Mojotone PW Hornet (Humbucker / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Mojotone PW Hornet (Humbucker / Passive)

User Reviews of the Ibanez PWM20

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