Ibanez JCRG ARCH-1
Ibanez JCRG ARCH-1

JCRG ARCH-1, STC-Shaped Guitar from Ibanez in the J-Custom series.

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Hatsubai 08/08/2011

Ibanez JCRG ARCH-1 : Hatsubai's user review

« One of the few ebony fretboard models »

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Back in 1996, Ibanez decided to open up the J-Custom factory. These guitars were the best of the best. You could put these up against any top guitar manufacturer, and they'd either destroy them or at least hold their own. They didn't hold back at all when building these things, and they're still being built today. This model was only made for one year in 1997, and it was made in very limited quantities. The guitar has a mahogany body with a maple top, a maple neck with an ebony fretboard, 24 jumbo frets, two 12th fret dot inlays, a LoPro Edge trem, two humbuckers, one volume, one tone and a five way switch.


The guitar is simply amazing. First of all, the number one thing that always stands out about these guitars is the fretwork. Ibanez J-Custom luthiers take the time to ball their fret ends. This makes them much more comfortable to play. Only a few luthiers out there take the time to do this kind of work. The frets were perfectly level, and I was able to get some super sick action on this guitar. The Lo Pro Edge is one of the best trems out there, and it's world renowned for being one of the greatest licensed floyds ever made. The neck joint was perfect on this, the finish was super sick and the attention to detail was just stellar.


The guitar sounded absolutely awesome. This guitar actually had real DiMarzio installed in it from the factory. The J-Custom guitars almost always come with a Tone Zone in the bridge and an Air Norton in the neck. The Tone Zone has tons of mids, and it has a lot of bass, too. This can be kinda off putting for some, especially in mahogany, but I find that backing off on the height will really help make this thing come alive. I was getting crazy harmonics with this thing, and cutting through the mix was no issue at all. The Air Norton in the neck is my absolute favorite neck pickup. It has a super fat, warm and woody sound going on for it that just excels like no tomorrow. Pulling off legato with this thing was crazy easy.


These guitars are super rare, and it's almost impossible to find one for sale at a reasonable price. On top of that, they were never officially released here in the US. That means you'll have to start surfing the Japanese auctions/classifieds or get super lucky and stumble upon one on the internet. I highly recommend everybody at least try one J-Custom in their life. They're such remarkable guitars that I'm surprised they don't get more attention.