Review of Ibanez PM35 NT Guitar -
Just starting Jazz guitar or looking to add a lower cost Jazz
model to your collection? Ibanez has a brand new, and surprisingly
affordable, Pat Metheny signature model on offer, the PM35 NT.
Giorgio Serci puts it through its paces.
Pat Metheny really needs little introduction. The formidable
American Jazz guitarist/composer has been a signature artist for
the Ibanez guitar company since 1996 and has been actively involved
in the design of the highly regarded, Japanese-made, PM 120. But
the PM 120 is an expensive instrument, probably beyond the range of
most beginners or those who would like to add a hollow bodied Jazz
guitar to their collection, without spending a small fortune. To
satisfy that market, Ibanez has just launched the PM35 NT model,
which is considerably less expensive and should appeal to a lot
iGuitar readers who are looking for an affordable Jazz guitar
with a great pedigree.
The first thing to note is that this guitar comes with a robust
case - and you need to bear that in mind when comparing it with
other guitars which might come without a case. It has a beautiful
natural look, with contrasting wood colours from the rosewood
headstock, fretboard, bridge and volume and tone knobs, to the
maple back, top and sides. Its body size is what you would expect
from a Jazz guitar, however, it is slimmer for better comfort,
projection and feedback rejection.
The rosewood headstock and fingerboard are bound and feature
abalone block inlay and Ibanez logo and the truss rod cover
features a carved custom logo. This is another feature this guitar
has in common with the iconic Gibson L5 Custom.
Its narrow neck (43mm at nut and 57 at last fret) and the
hand-rolled fret design to Pat Metheny's exact specification makes
this an easy guitar to play, particularly for soloing and playing
single-note melodies. This is certainly not a coincidence, but the
result of a fruitful collaboration with Metheny, who once claimed:
"I have possibly spent more time playing guitar than anybody else
on the planet"… Ergonomic characteristics of his guitars are key
and a focal point when contributing in the design of his signature
models. This resonated to me as I was playing this PM35, which came
from the factory with a very good set-up. In addition to that, I
managed to tune it up in an instant, straight from its case, thanks
to its accurate mother of pearl capped tuning pegs.
The 5-piece set neck on the Ibanez is made of mahogany and
walnut and meets its body in a very harmonious manner. The top and
back are both beautifully shaped for a better comfort as well as an
Again, like the L5, the PM35 features a single Custom 58
humbucker neck pickup, with its warm, responsive and versatile
tonal palette and as a result, only one volume and tone controls
are required. They do the job required perfectly.
This is a really well judged guitar for the price. Its sustain
is quite good and its tone quality is what you would expect from a
great Jazz guitar. It's an ideal instrument to play singing-like
melodies as well as rhythm guitar parts and when you take into
account all its features - the ergonomic qualities, tone, and
looks, plus a sound that would be great for both studio and live
work, it amounts to a very welcome addition to the Ibanez
Check out the full review inc. video of the Ibanez PM35 NT
guitar by Giorgio Serci featured in Issue 11 of
Guitar Interactive Magzine (