Blues rock guitar virtuoso Josh Smith has established a stellar reputation in recent years for his lighting-fast technical ability and sublime sense of melody — qualities that cement him as a true modern master. Japanese guitar giant Ibanez has graced the American with a stunning debut signature instrument based on their newly-designed AZS series model — the FLATV1.
Essentially an elegant T-shaped version of their popular AZ guitar, Ibanez's FLATV1 has a stellar feature-set with many Smith customisations that keep his taste for traditional vintage instruments in mind. Equipped with a set of Seymour Duncan FLATV1 pickups (made exclusively for this model), the Ibanez Josh Smith signature guitar sports further high-quality appointments that include a rock-solid Roasted Maple neck, Luminlay side dots, Gotoh tuners, a genuine bone nut and a non-contoured slab body allowing for a classic look and feel.
Traditional Ash Body
Ash is a highly-desirable tonewood that's synonymous with "golden age" vintage electric guitars made in the '50s and '60s. That's why Ibanez has used this material to construct the body of its FLATV1 model; underpinning the instrument with rich lows, a smooth mid-range and sickly-sweet highs — playing the perfect host for the potent pickup configuration.
Roasted Maple Neck
Many contemporary high-end instruments are fitted with Roasted Maple necks, and the FLATV1 is no exception. Via Ibanez's 'S-TECH' special roasting treatment, this process removes all of the natural moisture retained by the neck wood which ultimately darkens the material and makes it far less vulnerable to warping when exposed to varying climates — ensuring incredible stability.
The FLATV neck features a ’Soft V’ neck grip shape that blends the charm of a classic profile with a modern and enjoyable carve. This enables the neck to feel both substantial and comfortable to the player — enhanced with the smooth Prestige fret edge treatment for additional finesse.
Seymour Duncan Pickups
Josh’s signature pickup set from Seymour Duncan features a vintage-style neck single-coil with slightly increased output to adhere to Josh’s exacting tonal specifications, paired with a bridge pickup that's constructed with a mix of different types of Alnico magnets to best match the tone that Smith has relied on for years — capturing guitar sounds that are both bright and fat.
"In-Tune" Bridge Saddles
This particular Ibanez AZS model sports a Gotoh F1803 bridge designed for optimal note sustain and comfort. Featuring ergonomically-grooved 'In-Tune' titanium saddles, these actively prevent each string from slipping to the side for equal spacing at all times, while pre-calculated "intonation points" ensure consistent pitching across the entirety of the fingerboard.
Steel Pickup Plate
A unique steel pickup plate (made exclusively for the AZS series) is a critical component that helps to generate that quintessential "twangy" tone. This plate, in combination with the traditional style single-coil bridge pickup, preserves this iconic sound across the whole ASZ lineup.
- Body Wood: Ash
- Body Shape: AZS
- Neck Type: FLATV/S-TECH Wood 1-Piece Roasted Maple
- Scale Length: 25.5"
- Fretboard: S-TECH Wood Roasted Maple w/ Black Dots
- Radius: 250mm
- Frets: Medium w/ Prestige Fret Edge Treatment
- Number of Frets: 21
- Side Dots: Luminlay
- String Spacing: 10.5mm
- Nut: Bone
- Neck Pickup: Seymour Duncan FLATV1 Custom Single-Coil (Passive/Alnico)
- Bridge Pickup: Seymour Duncan FLATV1 Custom Single-Coil (Passive/Alnico)
- Switching: 3-Way
- Bridge: Gotoh F1803
- Tuners: Gotoh
- Hardware Colour: Chrome
- Strings: D'Addario EXL110
- String Gauge: .010/.013/.017/.026/.036/.046
- Factory Tuning: 1E, 2B, 3G, 4D, 5A, 6E
- Case: Hardshell