Fueled by our admiration for musically inventive artists, our work has always focused on the details that empower player performance. The new Ibanez Talman is the perfect example: Love for classic tone, expressed through what we do best—re-visioning an instrument so that it can bring out the very best of a player’s musical artistry.
YESTERDAY: The fact is that guitars created in the 1950s weren’t designed to be played the way they are today. In that era, the musical role of the electric guitar was usually limited to rhythm section support. Players rarely ventured above the 12th fret, so playability at the neck-joint was a non-issue. Of course, the guitarist’s role was revolutionized in the 1960s. And as music history testifies, gifted players overcame clunky neck-joint designs. But it does beg the question today: What if there had been nothing to overcome?
TODAY: Full, comfortable access, all the way to the upper end of the fretboard is one of the defining characteristics of “Ibanez playability.” The rounded heel of the Talman fits naturally in the palm of the hand. There’s no sense of obstruction, or being momentarily “jammed up” when trying to quickly shift up or down the fretboard.
YESTERDAY: The electric guitarist’s limited role as rhythm section player 70 years ago also influenced the fretboard radius (curvature) of early electric guitars. The common radii of the classic electrics, such 7.5” and 9” are considered comfortable for basic chording, but become less than ideal as the player delves into more aggressive modern techniques, such as higher octave bending.
TODAY: The Talman, on the other hand, offers a flatter 12” radius fretboard. Without giving up chording comfort, the 12” radius enables more nimble solo-style fingering. And as an added bonus, the flatter radius is friendlier to slide players, providing easier access to four, five or six strings at a time.
YESTERDAY: At the headstock of almost all electric guitars, the string travels over the nut and wraps around a peg on a tuner. The angle of the string between the nut and the tuner is called the string break angle. This angle affects tone, the potential for string breakage, and intonation during performance (particularly when tremolo bridge is involved). To varying degrees, older designs have used more drastic string break angles, sometimes using “string trees” to help facilitate a relatively similar angle for every string.
TODAY: Because all the Talman components that are involved with string intonation are optimized, like the Talman’s bone nut and Gotoh® Locking Machine Heads, the Talman design can take a minimal approach to string break angle. This has harmonic and mechanical benefits, such as reducing the likelihood of string breakage as well as ensuring that the instrument stays in tune after extreme string bends and/or tremolo use. Furthermore, the relative angles of all 6 strings are made nearly uniform by the use of staggered tuning peg holes.