Just recently, we did a review on the monstrous Ibanez RG2228, and mentioned how Fredrik Thordenhal (Meshuggah) was one of the legendary guitarists who’ve been seen using it. Meshuggah has been 8-string Ibanez users for years and have some of the biggest sounding rhythm tones ever. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to play any of the Meshuggah signature models. Well today, we’re finally taking a gander at the M8M and seeing what it has to offer.

Let’s start with the specs:


  • Alder Body Wings
  • Neck-Thru Construction
  • M8M 5pc Maple/Bubinga Neck
  • Rosewood Fretboard
  • Jumbo Frets w/ Prestige Fret Edge Treatment
  • FX Edge III-8 bridge
  • Lundgren M8 Bridge Pickup
  • Black Hardware
  • 15″ Radius
  • 29.4″ Scale Length
  • 1xVolume/1xTone

Generally, when an artists has earned the honor of having their own signature model, the company creating the signature will make it especially for them, such as the Jake Bowen Ibanez or the Mark Holcomb PRS. In the case of the Ibanez M8M, it’s a Meshuggah Signature guitar, not for just one of the guitarists.

Loosely based off of the RG2228, Ibanez took the 8-string design to the next level. This thing looks mean. See-thru black finish, minimalistic single pickup, all black hardware, and a dark rosewood fretboard makes this guitar really fit the part.

The standout features include the 29.4″ scale length and neck thru construction. The long scale makes tuning ridiculously low more viable as well as more comfortable. The neck thru construction isn’t something you see too often on Ibanez RGs, and adds a ton of extra sustain when compared to similar models. It was definitely a breathe of fresh air to see some of these features make it onto the guitar.


Now on to the most important thing: tone.


The M8M features a Neck Thru construction. The neck is made of Maple/Bubinga, while the body is made of Alder wings. Alder isn’t the most ‘Exotic’ wood choice, but I really like this combination. The Alder makes for a super neutral sound that really lets you shape it how you’d like with the pickup choice. Alder responds well to just about anything. Thanks to the Neck Thru construction, the guitar body has a nice chunk taken out and filled in with Maple/Bubinga. This adds a bit of extra resonance and punch to the tone as well.

Low quality Alder gets a bad rep, but when using high quality cuts of wood, they make for a super lightweight, versatile tonewood. If you want to learn more about tonewoods, we have a little guide that generalizes the different characteristics of a few popular woods. Check out our “Ultimate Guide to Tonewoods“.

Any guitar attempting a Meshuggah Tone would be incomplete without 2 things. A super long scale, and a Lundgren M8.

The Lundgren M8 has to be one of the fattest sounding pickups I’ve ever used. It offers a really full sound, even when playing fast, single note rhythm sections, as Meshuggah likes to incorporate. It manages to stay super clear in insanely low tunings as well, which is a must on this guitar.

The only negative of this pickup is that it can get a bit harsh in the high end on some amps (I particularly noticed on the 6505), but it was easily fixed with some corrective EQing.

Although the single bridge pickup offers a super cool aesthetic and simplicity, I usually prefer a bit more options from my guitars that you can’t really get with one pickup. To be fair though, the M8M is a low tuning powerhouse of a rhythm guitar, so it’s not really made to have a variety of sounds. It definitely does what it does perfectly.

Build Quality:

Just to note, there are in fact two versions of this guitar. The ultra high end version we reviewed for this article which goes for around $6,000, and the more affordable model, the M80M, which goes for a much more reasonable $1500.

As you’d expect, this guitar was practically flawless. I’d expect nothing less of a $6,000 guitar though.

The Prestige fretwork was immaculate, the finish was smooth and beautiful, and the guitar just stayed in tune so damn well. I’ve never played something tuned this low and managed to keep it so tight and in tune. Bravo Ibanez.

Final Verdict:

The M8M has to be one of the most insanely huge sounding guitars I’ve ever played. It would be an absolute insane instrument to have in a studio environment. Although it’s very simplistic, it boasts a few features not commonly seen on Ibanez models.

The M8M obviously isn’t for everyone. It’s crazy expensive, and serves a very small demographic. One pickup, 29.4″ scale, all black finish, and an earthshaking tone makes it the perfect guitar for the Meshuggah mega fan.


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This article was written by Zac Buras, our editor located in Louisiana

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