Recent guitar buying experience - Ibanez AZ242

I was in the market for a pretty specific type of guitar and after much research I stopped on the Ibanez AZ242 from their Premium line-up. Judging by all reviews both written and from YouTube this particular line of guitars offers great value while retaining most features of the more expensive Prestige line - the major difference being that they are manufactured in Indonesia instead of Japan.

I always wanted a seafoam green guitar so I was delighted to find an AZ242-SFM in stock at I usually shop at Thomann but the shipping was very quick so I was quite happy with the experience… that is, until the guitar arrived.

As soon as I got it out of the gig bag I was in for a surprise, and not the good kind - pretty much the entire edge of the fretboard on the bass side was covered in some kind of hard residue which looked to be either glue or lacquer. There were also deep scratches at the 16th fret and a real funky mark between the first and second frets.

Someone definitely had a bad day at the factory because the imperfections don’t stop there. The finish around the bridge was really poor as well, something I don’t expect to see even on much cheaper instruments:

I have never returned a guitar before and accepted any imperfections they arrived with opting to fix them myself, but there was just no way I could keep this one. I got in touch with and to their credit they were very accommodating - turns out they have a 30 day no questions asked return policy. I sent the guitar back and got a refund pretty much as soon as they got it so I would have no reservations about ordering from them again.

As soon as I got my refund money though I logged on to Thomann, and long story short I now own a made in Japan Ibanez AZ2402 Pearl White Flat:


Happy NGD!
… and you left yourself with a bit of spare (seafoam green) gas in the tank for a rainy day :wink:

Looks stunning Ivan happy NGD. Quality of what you got in the first place is absolutely shocking, looks like it was taken off the shopping stand where people gave it hundreds of tries before being put on the market. Glad you were able to replace it without questions asked.

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Happy New Guitar Day - looks like a beaut and will be a treat to hear you play. Glad you had no issues with a refund as well, as Brian says GAS for another day!

Very nice Ivan, glad to see it doesn’t have one of those nightmare trems, happy NGD; you’ve set me off now there’s a couple I’ve been lusting after of late - can’t make my mind up which yet (fortunately I can’t afford both).

What a great feeling to get that new guitar! It’s like new shoes making you run faster

Happy NGD, Ivan. Looks wicked, look forward to hearing it.

What a shocker the first part of this was, glad you got it sorted.

Looking good Ivan.

Used Thomann 30 day no questions asked this year for the first time. They also provide an excellent returns process if need and free postage to boot !

Ninja Gtr

@brianlarsen thanks Brian! An SFG SSS Strat would be dreamy but my wife is going to evict me if I buy any more guitars

@adi_mrok that was my first thought too, maybe I got a B-stock on accident and I’m still wondering how it slipped through QC in that condition. It did feel really nice to play though :man_shrugging:

@mari @DavidP thanks guys! I’ll play it on OM6 but you’ll probably hear it earlier in my RC once I get around to posting my progress preparing for it.

@DarrellW thank you! Oh I’m wondering what they could be, drop us a hint will you. A PRS of some kind maybe? I remember from the old forum you seemed to be really fond of them.

@sah22 if only each new guitar would make me shred faster :laughing:

@TheMadman absolutely, I love how it’s common for online shops to have great return policies these days. Sorry I must have missed the story, what did you return?


Hmmm OK,

  1. Harley Benton Fusion-III HSS Roasted DB – Thomann UK

Quite a difference in what they are and the cost but to me both very desirable!


Oh wow.

Don’t think I ever read anything bad about HB. Stainless steel frets and a roasted neck at that price point is unbelievable value.

And that acoustic looks incredible too, the design reminds me of Lowden guitars a little bit and the rosette is so tastefully done.

No wonder you’ve been GASing over them they both look amazing.

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I have a MIJ Ibanez 540S that I bought in Tokyo in 1990 (I think). It’s a beaut (although it has a bad ding in the body due to an unfortunate incident while I was in college…). The MIJ guitars from Ibanez are quality instruments.

@DarrellW, you’re a schmuck :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:
The other day, whilst extolling the newly discovered wonders of modulating amp sounds (here) I lightly remarked:
“I’m wondering if I will ever need another guitar!”

Less than a week later, I have just put in a spontaneous order for the above-mentioned Harley Benton Fusion-III HSS Roasted DB – Thomann UK
Sigh… :roll_eyes:

OK, rationalisation time:

  • I was messing around with my good friend Chris’ spanking new MIM strat over Sunday lunch.

  • It is my birthday tomorrow

  • I ordered the B-stock for £50 less, so I’m really saving money

  • There’s a 30-day no questions money back guarantee, and returns only cost £18. So I’m only really trying it out and can always send it back. (That’s probably going to happen, won’t it?)

  • I’m really only researching whether my premise to the above-mentioned thread holds true, and whether I have discovered the cure for GAS :rofl:

As I said: “Darrell, you’re a schmuck!”


@brianlarsen I can only ROFL

@SS7 Very nice guitar and little disappointing on the first experience. Look forward to hearing it for real. What amp are you pairing it with? I think I have only had to return once in the UK but again my experience was good. I do find the major retailers are pretty good (in the UK at least) and returns are not an issue.

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:joy::joy::joy: serves you right for looking!
Seriously, for what they cost they’re an unbelievably good guitar, you won’t want to put it down!

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Happy Birthday @brianlarsen !:birthday:

Enjoy your new guitar!

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@brianlarsen what I can say is that I now have Justin’s joke stuck in my head permanently: we are all in the market for a new guitar - all the time! Excellent rationalizations you have too …

Enjoy that new guitar, looks great, I love the colour!

And yes Happy Birthday to you! I’m pretty sure that makes me only 6 weeks older than you, not a whole year. :smiley::birthday::tada:

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Who is the bigger schmuck, the schmuck or the schmuck that follows the schmuck? :stuck_out_tongue:

Happy birthday for tomorrow @brianlarsen that’s a nice looking guitar, so happy NGD for when it arrives. I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts on how you think it plays through your multitalented amp and if it sounds any different to your other guitar.

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Will no doubt forget by tomorrow, so many happy returns in advance, Brian.

As you know I am no expert on electric guitars (well, no expert on anything musical), but wondering why an HSS strat rather than the traditional SSS, given you have Hagar that is HH?

Apologies, @SS7 for having hijacked your thread. I guess it seemed the appropriate place to tag on a bit of spontaneity at the time.
I shall limit myself to the :heart: button here and open an NGD thread when my new toy arrives.

Not good enough :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: I think I recorded a special birthday song for you (even if there was a sting in its tail)

Well, that makes two of us :laughing:
Not much research went into this one. It was less than 12 hours between seeing the guitar online and clicking ‘buy’. On the other hand, I guess lots of folk go into a shop and come out with something they’ve never heard of before.
I’m still very happy with my Hagstrom, but I never really bonded with the Ibanez Gio that Chris gave me way back (also 2 Humbuckers). I know you’re not supposed to, but I often lie on the couch and noodle watching TV. The body shape doesn’t really lend itself to that.
This one seems to be a fairly good all-rounder and I believe the Humbucker can be split into a single coil by pulling the tone knob.

I went and had a quick look at your guitar online, Ivan- Just wow!
Will you be demonstrating giving us a demo at the next OM?

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