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Review: Ibanez TOD10N Tim Henson Signature – CRAZY Guitar!

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Today, I’m super stoked to dive into a review that’s been buzzing in the guitar community – the Ibanez Signature Tim Henson TOD10N. This isn’t just any review; it’s a deep dive into a guitar that’s causing waves for all the right reasons. If you’re familiar with Tim Henson of Polyphia, you know this guy doesn’t mess around when it comes to his axe.

If you don’t want to read the whole article, here’s a quick summary of the most important things that you need to know:

  • Innovative Signature Design: Tim Henson’s unique style is embodied in the guitar’s design, featuring the FRH body type with “Tree of Death” fingerboard inlays and a sleek cutaway for enhanced playability.
  • Superior Sound Quality: Equipped with a Solid Sitka Spruce top and Sapele body, it offers a rich, balanced tone, further enhanced by the high-quality Fishman Sonicore pickup and Ibanez AEQ210TF preamp.
  • Playability and Comfort: The guitar boasts a comfortable C profile set-in Nyatoh neck and a walnut fingerboard, making it suitable for a wide range of playing styles and long playing sessions.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: With its striking Transparent Black Flat finish and elegant gold-plated machine heads, the TOD10N stands out not just in performance but also in its visual appeal.

Here’s the sound demo.

Body & Neck

Ibanez tod10n photo on grey background

Let’s kick things off with the body and neck. The TOD10N features a FRH body with a cutaway, allowing easy access to those higher frets. It’s a feature that immediately speaks to the shredders and soloists among us. The top is made of solid Sitka spruce, a choice wood for its bright and robust tonal qualities. The body is crafted from Sapele, known for its balanced sound and durability.

Now, onto the neck. It’s a set-in Nyatoh piece, topped with a walnut fingerboard. The C profile neck is a joy to play, fitting comfortably in the hand whether you’re riffing power chords or dancing through scales. And let’s not forget the “Tree of Death” inlays – not only a nod to Henson’s unique style but also a stunning visual feature.

Hardware

The TOD10N doesn’t skimp on hardware. It boasts a walnut bridge and gold-plated classic machine heads. This combination ensures stable tuning and adds a touch of elegance to the instrument’s overall aesthetic. Plus, the bone nut is a nice touch, contributing to better sustain and tonal quality.

back of the neck of ibanez tod10n tim henson signature

Electronics

Now, for the electronics – a critical aspect for electric-acoustic guitars. The TOD10N is equipped with a Fishman Sonicore pickup and an Ibanez AEQ210TF preamp. The Sonicore pickup captures the guitar’s natural acoustic sound beautifully, while the preamp offers versatility with its built-in tuner and tone shaping options.

Specs of Ibanez TOD10N

Here’s a little table with all the specs of that model.

SpecificationDetail
ModelTim Henson (Polyphia) Signature
TypeFRH with cutaway
TopSolid Sitka Spruce
BodySapele
NeckSet-in Nyatoh
FingerboardWalnut
InlaysTree of Death fingerboard inlays
Neck ProfileC
BindingPearloid body binding
Scale Length648 mm
Fingerboard Radius15.75″
Nut Width46 mm
NutBone
Frets22
PickupFishman Sonicore
PreampIbanez AEQ210TF with built-in tuner
BridgeWalnut
Machine HeadsGold-plated classic
StringsD’Addario XTC45 (.028/.032/.040/.028W/.035W/.044W) (Art.471377)
FinishMatt polyurethane lacquer
ColourTransparent Black Flat

Pros & Cons

advantages of ibanez tod10n tim henson signature

Pros

  1. Versatility: The TOD10N’s design caters to a wide range of playing styles. Whether you’re into jazz, rock, or something more experimental, this guitar has got you covered.
  2. Sound Quality: The combination of a solid Sitka spruce top and Sapele body delivers a balanced, rich tone that’s hard to beat.
  3. Stunning Aesthetics: With its “Tree of Death” inlays and transparent black finish, this guitar is a head-turner.
  4. High-Quality Electronics: The Fishman Sonicore pickup and Ibanez preamp ensure that the guitar sounds as good plugged in as it does acoustically.
  5. Playability: The C profile neck and well-distributed weight make it comfortable for long playing sessions.

Cons

  1. Price Point: For beginners or those on a tight budget, the TOD10N might be a bit of a stretch.
  2. Limited Appeal: The unique design might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially for traditionalists.
  3. String Action: Some players might find the factory-set string action a bit high, requiring some setup adjustments.

To make it all even more understandable for you, I created the table below.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Versatile for various playing styles.May be expensive for beginners.
Rich, balanced tone.Unique design might not appeal to traditionalists.
Eye-catching design with “Tree of Death” inlays.Factory-set string action may require adjustment.
High-quality electronics with Fishman Sonicore pickup and Ibanez preamp.
Comfortable playability with C profile neck.
Solid construction with quality materials like Sitka Spruce and Sapele.
Innovative aesthetics with a modern touch.
Ideal for advanced techniques and experimental music styles.
Enhanced sustain and tonal clarity due to bone nut and walnut bridge.

Maintenance

Maintaining the Ibanez Signature Tim Henson TOD10N is crucial to ensure its longevity and to keep it performing at its peak. Given its high-quality materials and intricate design, a little extra care goes a long way.

Here are some key maintenance tips:

  • Regular Cleaning:
    • Use a soft, lint-free cloth to wipe down the guitar after each use.
    • Clean the body, neck, and especially the strings to remove oils and dirt.
    • Avoid using harsh chemicals; opt for guitar-specific cleaning products.
  • String Care and Replacement:
    • Change strings regularly, depending on your playing frequency and string quality.
    • Always stretch new strings and tune them accurately to maintain consistent sound quality.
    • Clean the strings with a suitable string cleaner to prolong their life.
  • Humidity and Temperature Control:
    • Store the guitar in a controlled environment; drastic changes in humidity and temperature can damage the wood.
    • Using a guitar humidifier, especially in dry climates, helps prevent wood cracks.
  • Fretboard Maintenance:
    • Periodically clean the walnut fretboard with a fretboard conditioner.
    • This keeps the wood hydrated and prevents it from drying out and cracking.
  • Hardware Care:
    • Regularly check and tighten the machine heads to ensure stable tuning.
    • Clean the gold-plated hardware gently to avoid tarnishing.
  • Professional Setup:
    • Have the guitar professionally set up at least once a year.
    • This includes adjusting the neck, action, intonation, and checking the electronics.
  • Proper Storage:
    • When not in use, store the guitar in a case to protect it from dust and accidental damage.
    • Avoid leaning the guitar against unstable surfaces to prevent falls.

Remember, a well-maintained guitar not only plays better but also retains its value over time. The TOD10N, with its unique features and design, deserves this level of care to keep it sounding and looking its best.

Guitarists often do not care about the maintenance and it’s actually a very common mistake. I recently wrote an article about the most common mistakes by guitarists, so if you’re up for it – check it out.

Alternative Option

When considering an alternative to the Ibanez Signature Tim Henson TOD10N, the Taylor 214ce DLX stands out as a noteworthy option. But bear in mind that this is an acoustic model, not a classical one.

Here’s a breakdown of what makes the Taylor 214ce DLX a compelling alternative:

Taylor 214CE – A Stellar Alternative

  • Renowned Taylor Craftsmanship: Taylor is known for its exceptional build quality and attention to detail. The 214ce DLX is no exception, offering a level of craftsmanship that rivals the Ibanez TOD10N.
  • Versatile Sound Profile: Equipped with Taylor’s signature Grand Auditorium body shape, this guitar offers a versatile sound that’s well-suited for a variety of playing styles, from fingerpicking to strumming.
  • High-Quality Electronics: The Taylor 214ce DLX comes with the acclaimed Taylor Expression System 2 (ES2) pickup and preamp system, providing a natural amplified acoustic tone that competes with the Fishman Sonicore pickup in the TOD10N.
  • Premium Wood Selection: Featuring a solid Sitka spruce top with layered rosewood back and sides, the Taylor 214ce DLX offers a rich, full-bodied tone with excellent projection and clarity.
  • Comfortable Playability: Taylor guitars are known for their easy playability, and the 214ce DLX is no exception. Its sleek neck profile and well-balanced body make it comfortable for both beginners and experienced players.
  • Elegant Aesthetic: The Taylor 214ce DLX boasts a classic look with a high-gloss finish, Italian acrylic small diamond inlays, and a distinctive Taylor headstock, making it visually appealing to a wide range of players.
taylor 214ce closeup

Considerations:

  • Pricing: The Taylor 214ce DLX seems to be a bit more expensive, but it’s still on a relatively same level when it comes to price
  • Sound Character: While it offers a versatile sound, the Taylor 214ce DLX has a distinct tonal character that differs from the TOD10N, with a focus on a more traditional acoustic sound.
  • Brand Prestige: For those specifically looking for a guitar with a strong brand identity in the acoustic realm, Taylor is a respected name with a long-standing reputation.

In summary, the Taylor 214ce DLX is an excellent alternative to the Ibanez TOD10N, offering comparable quality, playability, and a distinguished acoustic experience. It’s a great choice for those who appreciate the Taylor brand and are seeking a guitar with a classic yet versatile acoustic sound.

I get it that for some people the TOD10N may be too expensive. Finding something similar and cheaper at the same time won’t be easy.

But you know what? Maybe you can find out if someone is selling the B-stock versions of these guitars. I actually like buying B-stocks because most of the time they’re completely fine. And they’re way cheaper!

My Experience With Ibanez Guitars

why i love ibanez guitars

Oh man, where do I start with Ibanez guitars?

I’ve been playing guitar for a good chunk of time now, and Ibanez has been a go-to for me. Seriously, every time I pick one up, it’s like this instant connection. The necks are super comfy, and the tone range is just killer, perfect for when I’m trying to nail those diverse sounds.

I’ve jammed on everything from their RG series, which is a total shred machine, to their Artcore models that have a more classic vibe. I LOVED the AS-53.

No matter the style, Ibanez always delivers. They’ve got this way of nailing the details, like the pickups are always top-notch, and even the inlays have this cool factor. It’s like each guitar has its own personality, which is super cool when you’re trying to find that perfect sound.

Summing up, Ibanez guitars guarantee:

  • Superb Playability: The necks on Ibanez guitars, known for their comfort, make playing a breeze whether I’m shredding solos or strumming chords.
  • Versatile Sound: The versatility in sound with Ibanez guitars is impressive. From the hard-rocking RG series to the soulful tones of the Artcore, they cater to a broad spectrum of musical styles.
  • Detailed Craftsmanship: The attention to detail in Ibanez guitars is evident. From precision pickups to intricate inlays, each aspect contributes to their distinctive character and superior sound quality.
  • Reliable Performance: Time and again, Ibanez guitars have proven their reliability. Whether in a studio session or a live gig, they deliver consistent, high-quality performance.

Final Thoughts

To wrap things up, the Ibanez Signature Tim Henson TOD10N is more than just a signature model; it’s a testament to modern guitar craftsmanship and innovation. It’s a versatile, beautifully designed instrument that caters to a wide range of playing styles and skill levels. The combination of quality woods, top-notch electronics, and stunning aesthetics make it a worthy investment for any serious guitarist.

From my experience, the TOD10N stands out in the crowded market of signature guitars. It’s not just about the flashy looks or the big name attached to it; it’s about how it feels in your hands, how it responds to your touch, and the inspiration it brings to your music. And in that regard, Tim Henson and Ibanez have hit the nail on the head.

Whether you’re a fan of Polyphia’s genre-bending music or just looking for a high-quality guitar that breaks the mold, the TOD10N is definitely worth checking out. It’s a guitar that doesn’t just play notes; it tells a story – your story. So go ahead, give it a strum, and let the music flow!