Ibanez FR6UC Review WiredGuitarist May 23, 2016 Articles, Ibanez Guitar Reviews, Reviews, Uncategorized The Ibanez FR shape has been a cult classic for the last 8 years. Being relatively new, FRs can sometimes be hard to find, but collectors always make sure to keep some around, and Ibanez artists can frequently be seen using them live. Recently, Ibanez has put out some more FRs back, one of which is part of their Uppercut series! The Uppercut series features the amazing scatterwound Bare Knuckle Pickups, as well as some other rarer specs not normally seen on Prestiges. If you like the Ibanez FR, metal, or BKPs, you definitely need to check out this review. Features: FR6UC Specifications: Mahogany Body Bound Ebony Fretboard Wizard HP Profile 5-piece Maple/Walnut Neck All Access Neck Joint Bolt On Neck Construction 17″ Radius 25.5” Inch Scale 24 Jumbo Frets with Prestige Fret End Treatment Tight End Bridge Gotoh Magnum Locking Tuners Cosmo Black Hardware Bare Knuckle Pickups Aftermaths 1xVolume, 1xTone Controls 5-way Blade Switch Flat Black Finish with Body Binding Graphtech TUSQ Nut The specs on this guitar are unique for a lot of reasons, and the overall aesthetic is really classy for it. Full body neck and binding really sets this apart, especially when combined with the ebony fretboard which is not seen on many Ibanez models. The satin black finish on the body just looks leagues better than a gloss. The High Performance Wizard profile is really well balanced, and as long as you like your necks on the thin and flat side you’ll get along with it very well. For reasons we’ll get into in the tone section, it’s awesome that this guitar has a mahogany body. As always, the AANJ is a welcome addition, as it’s the industry standard for comfortable bolt on design. The Tight End bridge is one of my favorites of all time. It has a ton of mass for increased sustain, is comfortable, and also very stable. It’s also worth noting that this has Gotoh Magnum Locking tuners stock, which work fantastically and are practically indestructible. Tone: The tone is definitely focused on modern metal players. Hell, the entire aesthetic of the guitar is. It even comes in D-Standard from the factory. Aftermaths are pickups that are very polarizing in the guitar community. No one doubts their supreme clarity (all Bare Knuckle Pickups are scatterwound) and tight bass response, but they are viewed by many as one-trick “djent” ponies. How do they actually hold up? Aftermaths are not my favorite pickups, but they are thickened up by warm tonewoods such as the mahogany found on this guitar, and in that case for rhythm playing they sound truly phenomenal. The wound strings are remarkably tight and punchy, and sound absolutely crushing. The high strings and lead playing don’t sound bad, but icepicking is a bit of a concern. However, the neck pickup definitely serves its purpose well and will give you a more rounded tone perfect for sweeping. The notch positions are very spanky, but due to the EQ curve can sound a bit thin. Overall as long as you account for that on the amp side you can get fine cleans, but these pickups wouldn’t be my first choice for crunch tones. They definitely excel more at all out distortion and squeaky cleans than anything in-between. Build Quality: The short version is that Japanese Ibanez are an industry standard for great quality and value. There are no amateur flaws on this guitar. For fear of sounding redundant, you can check out another review on a Prestige here, and I’ll talk specifically about features unique to this guitar. The binding is done very well and you won’t find any poorly cut sections of it. The grade of ebony used for this is very high quality: looks and feels great. Again, Japanese Ibanez hardware is made my Gotoh, which is produced to some of the highest hardware standards on earth, and is rock solid all the way around. I also wanted to talk about the shape a bit since not everyone has had the chance to play an FR. It’s very comfortable! Making the beloved Telecaster shape offset was a great call, in order to achieve better playability and a more unique look. The classic Ibanez forearm cut is also a welcome addition. Final Verdict: This is one of the coolest guitars in Ibanez’s lineup right now. Combining a modern and beloved shape with high end pickups and specs not often seen on Ibanez models was a great idea. I personally think they could’ve gone with more general-interest BKPs, but these definitely excel at modern metal, work surprisingly well in the notch positions, and are reigned in a bit by the mahogany body. Aftermaths have been used on many hit records and have a fan base for a reason. Still, a pickup swap would be recommended for say, blues or jazz, which would be easy given the resale market on BKPs. You could easily straight trade somebody for your preferred set. It really comes down to whether or not you’d like to get a cheaper Ibanez and hotrod it yourself, or get something with above-and-beyond appointments from the factory. Because this guitar is definitely at a premium. However, this really is the best way to get a nice FR right now, and the ebony fretboard and full body binding are features you can’t add to another guitar after the fact. If the specs and shape appeal to you, this is definitely the guitar to get. We are authorized Ibanez dealers, and can set you up with the Ibanez you’re looking for at the best price possible. Check out our current stock here. This article was written by Kyle Karich, our editor located in Florida.