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History of the JS1: How It All Began

An important project in 1988 was the creation of Joe Satriani's signature model. This process showed how much things had changed since the old days of just handing an artist a stock guitar and taking a photograph. Joe Satriani's signature guitar started with a stock Radius in 1988, but the end result was anything but. It took two years, intense work, and many meetings with Satriani before the virtuoso declared he was satisfied with the body, neck, and other specifications.

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An Ibanez luthier met with Satriani during the recording of the Dreaming #11 album. The luthier began to go over the details for the signature guitar, and during the meeting, Satriani’s passion for getting things right became extremely apparent and it was clear it would require nothing less than the company’s absolute best to build this guitar.

JS Black Dog

The next step was to use a full-size clay model of a Radius body the luthier has brought, in order to better understand what Satriani was looking for. It was determined the neck needed to be set in deeper, the cutaways extended, and the body slightly more tapered. The luthier then molded and carved what Satriani was describing into the clay model. It took a couple of hours, but when it was complete, there was a pretty good concept of what the body needed to be.

JS20TH Silver Surfer

With regard to the neck, Satriani had become accustomed to the feel of the neck on his old Kramer Pacer. In order to match this, Ibanez obtained a few necks from the Peerless factory in Korea, which was producing Ibanez acoustic guitars at the time. The Peerless neck was used as a starting point, but Satriani also wanted a compound radius fingerboard. Finding the right radius was challenging; it took quite a few tries, but finally, after months of work, it was perfect!

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The final requirement was a vibrato arm that had to be bent to a specific angle. After an extensive amount of testing, bending, and shaping, the vibrato arm was approved. With the final piece complete, all the details were worked out, and the JS1 model was introduced in 1990.

Joe Satriani 30th Anniversary Limited Edition

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A Collaborative Approach

During our long partnership with Joe Satriani, Ibanez has released countless JS signature models. Some of the most sought after JS models have been the elusive Chrome-finished JS guitars. Although immensely popular, the process to plate the 3-D curved body has been difficult to achieve at a manufacturing level. That is, until now. Taking the opportunity to celebrate our 30-year relationship with Joe, Ibanez is pleased to announce the JS1CR. The latest and greatest Chrome JS will be available in 2018.