Every metal guitarist compares Ibanez VS Jackson guitars, at some point. If you’re in the market for a guitar you can really shred on, Ibanez and Jackson are going to be a couple of the big names you won’t want to overlook.
Both brands are heavily established, and respected in the guitar manufacturing world. If you’re looking at choosing between these two brands you might have a difficult choice on your hands. I’d recommend narrowing it down between a couple Ibanez and a couple Jacksons, then going with the one that feels best.
Comparatively, Jackson and Ibanez are very similar in build and quality, with Ibanez producing better entry level models. The biggest factor is in the necks of the guitars, Ibanez is thinner and “quicker” while Jackson has a more standard “normal” neck.
You’ll have to try out both brands to decide for yourself, but we’ll discuss it some more below!
Jackson Guitars has been in business for over forty years, and is a division of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. This means, when you get a Jackson, you’re getting an amazing guitar designed to shred from the ground up, backed by on of the most trusted names in guitar manufacturing.
Jackson has been a trusted brand used by many famous guitarists such as Randy Rhoades, Phil Collen and Kirk Hammet. This is only a few of the big names using Jackson guitars regularly, but you can be certain many more have a Jackson guitar in their arsenal.
Jackson makes a versatile range of guitars, in all price ranges. You should know, that Jackson makes its lower end. entry level guitars in Indonesia and China. Therefor, if you’re looking at lower end Jacksons I would personally opt for a different brand.
The Japanese “Hoshino Gakki Company” started making guitars in 1935, Making them one of the older guitar manufacturers still in the modern market. While the first Ibanez guitars were Spanish style acoustic guitars, Ibanez burst into the metal scene in the 1980s.
The 1980s were when Ibanez became a household name for electric guitarists. Steve Vai was one of the first big names to become an Ibanez player, bringing a lot of attention to the brand.
Ibanez is known for making the Tremolo Bridge (or floating bridge) a normal sight in the guitar world, with it being the center point on most of their models. From the budget range all the way up to high-end models, Ibanez doesn’t compromise on quality.
Which is better Ibanez or Jackson?
I’m going to say you have to sit down and play both brands to get a feel for what you like. The main difference in feel will be in the neck of the guitar.
Overall, these two brands are very comparable and come down to personal preference, so head down to your local shop and test them out until the shop kicks you out!
I’ll dive into more detail below, but the one exception I believe when considering Ibanez VS Jackson, is in the cheaper price range. If you’re looking at cheaper models of Ibanez and Jacksons, go with Ibanez.
I’ve played a handful of both Jackson and Ibanez, and like them both. Both brands make a solid guitar, and I haven’t heard any real bad experiences from owners of either.
Jackson neck vs Ibanez neck
Here is where the biggest difference will be, and likely the main reason you choose one or the other. The Neck profile.
The Neck of Ibanez guitars is designed for speed, it’s thin and made to let you move around the fretboard easily and quickly.
Jackson guitars also have slim neck, but not as thin as an Ibanez, in most cases. The radius of the neck is a little different between the brands. The Jackson neck shape has more of a “C” shape to them, while Ibanez is more of a “D” Shape. This means the back of the neck is a little flatter on Ibanez, but the difference is marginal.
The finish on both brands necks are made to be installed on guitars for shredders. The level of quality doesn’t change much between brands, but the finish will vary between the models of both brands. I know for myself, the finish on the neck of the guitar is a major factor when looking for a good playing experience.
Personally I like an unpainted neck, and an unfinished neck, one where you can still feel a bit of the wood grain. This isn’t a tall order for wither band as they offer a wide range of options in this area.
For me, when it comes to necks in the Ibanez VS Jackson debate, I prefer Ibanez.
Jackson vs Ibanez quality
Both Ibanez and Jackson make a quality instrument worthy of the time it takes to sit down and test drive.
When looking at the mid-high range of guitar models, both brands offer amazing instruments. These are excellently made guitars that offer a great personal experience to every guitarist that picks them up.
Both Jackson and Ibanez are trusted by hundreds of professional performers and recording artists. You can’t go wrong with either brand in terms of quality.
The one exception is at the low, budget model range for Jackson. For their lower end guitars, Jackson manufactures them in Indonesia and China. Nothing against either country, but they are not known for making “high-end” guitars, but rather cheaper labor.
This means that at the entry level, with Jackson you’re getting a lower quality guitar versus Ibanez entry level which is still manufactured with a higher degree of quality, in my opinion.
Therefore, if you’re looking at cheaper, entry level guitars, go with Ibanez if you’re choosing between them and Jackson.
I’m sure you won’t be massively disappointed with a Chinese made Jackson guitar, but I think you’ll get better value for your money going with an Ibanez at a comparable price range.
Ibanez vs Jackson for metal
Both Jackson and Ibanez are gear towards rock and metal guitarists. You’ll be hard pressed to find a big name in the metal genre that doesn’t own an Ibanez, Jackson or more than likely, a few of both.
The tremolo bridge is expected and standard for both brands. Regardless of your genre of choice, both Ibanez and Jackson are wonderingful instruments for metal.
If I had to choose between one or the other, I would probably go with the Ibanez for myself. Though I would be just as happy with a comparable Jackson.
Should you get a Jackson or an Ibanez?
Annoyingly, I’m sticking with “you need to try out both and decide for yourself“. Both Jackson and Ibanez are trusted names in the musical instrument industry and you really can’t go wrong with either.
Look at both brands ranges of guitars, try to narrow it down to what specific features you’re looking for. You’ll likely find a few models offered by both brands that check all the boxes you’re looking for.
Again, I’m going to mention that, at the lower entry level you should probably go with Ibanez. You’re certain to get a guitar with higher quality workmanship from Ibanez’s entry models, than Jackson’s entry level models.
Once we get into the Mid-high end range the lines become more blurry. Maybe you like the feel of one brands neck over the other. Perhaps you don’t like the placement of some features on the ibanez, but like Jacksons more.
It will truly come down to personal preference when deciding between Ibanez VS Jackson guitars. The best way to decide will be to find a few models from both brands, that interest you, and test them out in person.
Both brands offer quality and have a tremendous track record of producing great, long lasting guitars. The choice will always be up to you in the end.