Ibanez vs Schecter Electric Guitars: Which are the Best?

Schecter and Ibanez both make quality electric guitars to suit various budgets, but who makes the best ones? In this article, I’ll compare Ibanez and Schecter in terms of their signature tone, origin, components and options in the range, to help you decide which electric guitar brand is the right one for you.

The Quick Answer

Ibanez electric guitars are better quality than Schecter’s if you consider the top-of-the-range models from both brands. However, Schecter guitars are usually better value for money if you consider the mid-range models. Ibanez guitars usually have thinner and flatter necks compared to Schecter.

Brand Overview

Before we jump into some comparisons, I wanted to quickly take you through the different ranges that both brands offer, so you’re clear on what all the names mean, and which ones are suitable for your budget.


Ibanez’s electric guitar range is huge, and the names can be very confusing, however, there is a actually a system behind it.

  • The range is split into different series which cater for different budgets. From most to least expensive they are called: J. Custom, Prestige, Premium, Axion Label, Iron Label, Standard and GIO.
  • The 2-3 letter abbreviation at the start of the name refers to the shape.
  • The second to last digits indicate the pickup configuration. 10=H, 20=HH, 30=SSS with pickguard or HH with pickguard, 40=HSS with pickguard, 50=HSH with pickguard, 60=HSS without pickguard, 70=HSH without pickguard, 80= directly-mounted humbuckers.
  • The last digit gives extra information e.g. bridge type, number of strings.

Ibanez offer a range of shapes including:

  • AZ/ AZS: single cutaway.
  • Iceman: offset single cutaway.
  • RG/ RGA/ RGD/ S/ SA: asymmetrical double cutaway.
  • JEM: asymmetrical double cutaway with handle cut-out.
  • AX/ AR: symmetrical double cutaway.
  • Q: double cutaway with bridge cut-out.
  • X: X-shape.
  • ART: LP-style.
  • AS: semi-hollow.
  • AF: hollow.

Here are some images to show the most iconic Ibanez guitar shapes, all the images link to a specific model of that shape on Amazon.

I’ve also written a full guide to explaining the Ibanez naming system.








Schecter organise their range into different series which are separated by price point. Here are the main series in their range:

  • C 6 Plus/ Deluxe: from $300-$400, made in Indonesia.
  • OMEN: from $400-$550, made in Indonesia.
  • Demon: from $420-$550, made in Indonesia.
  • Damien: from $500-$950, made in Indonesia.
  • Sun Valley: from $650-$880, made in Indonesia.
  • Platinum: $600-$950, mostly made in South Korea.
  • Reaper: from $700-$950, made in Indonesia.
  • Hellraiser: from $800-$1250, made in South Korea.
  • Banshee: from $1000-$1600, made in Indonesia and South Korea.
  • Silver Mountain: from $1300-$1380, made in South Korea
  • SLS Elite: from $1300-$1500, made in South Korea.
  • Custom: start at $2700, made in the USA.

Here are some images to show a few of the different guitar shapes by Schecter. All the images link to a specific model on Amazon.





Comparing the Tone

Ibanez and Schecter are both well suited to the heavy rock and metal genres, and use fairly similar materials to achieve a heavy and full tone. It can be hard to separate the two brands in terms of how their guitars sound, because there are so many options out there that sound different from one another. However, I’ll attempt to make some generalisations here.

When comparing top-of-the-line non-custom shop Schecter and Ibanez models, the Ibanez guitars usually sound a bit smoother. However, there is a big price gap to consider, with the range-topping Ibanez guitars being around $500 more than Schecter’s.

The pickups will usually make the biggest difference when the determining the tone. Both brands make guitars with active and passive pickups. Ibanez tend to use active EMG pickups, and sometimes Fishman Fluence, whereas Schecter usually use Fishman Fluence. EMG’s tend to have a higher output, and smoother tone, whilst Fishman Fluence pickups sound a bit more raw.

Some Schecter guitars may sound more resonant and have better sustain than Ibanez guitars, due to the neck construction. Schecter commonly use neck-through constructions, whilst Ibanez often use bolt-on necks which typically do not sound as warm and rich.

Check out this video to hear an Ibanez and Schecter being played back-to-back. Keep in mind that these are just two models, and the tone really will vary depending on which model is in question. The best thing to do, is to head to a guitar store and play all the options in your price range, to figure out which sounds best to you.

Where are they Made?

Schecter make most of their guitars in Indonesia and South Korea, whilst Ibanez make their guitars in China, Indonesia and Japan primarily.

  • Most Chinese and Indonesia guitars produced by Ibanez are under $1200. Most Schecter electric guitars under $1000 are made in Indonesia. A lot of the acoustic range from Schecter is made in China.
  • Schecter make their mid-high end guitars in South Korea which range from around $1200 to $1800. Whereas, Ibanez make a lot of their mid-high ranges in Japan, with models starting at around $1000.
  • Both brands make some of their guitars in the USA. With Ibanez, the USA Signature Series starts at around $3000 and with Schecter, their custom shop models which start at around $2700, are made in America.

Does it actually matter?

A lot of players like to know the country a guitar was made in, to help determine the quality. This can sometimes be useful, as there are differences between guitars made in different regions, but it is not the whole story.

China and Indonesia are best known for making affordable guitars which are mass produced with lower quality materials and less attention to detail. South Korea are known for producing some great mid-high range models, whilst Japan offers a slight step up in quality. America has the best reputation for making premium-level guitars.

So if your heart is set on a Japanese guitar, then Ibanez will be the best option. However, if you are looking at models under $1000, it’s likely they were made in similar factories. Try not to get too caught up on this when choosing a guitar. If it sounds, feels and looks good to you, then it really doesn’t matter what it says on the back of the headstock.

I’ve written an article on the differences between guitars made in different countries, if you want to know more about where these reputations came from, and how much to consider them.


Now let’s take a look at some of the design differences between Ibanez and Schecter, and how this impacts the tone, look and feel of the instruments. I’ll keep things pretty general here, and talk mainly about trends in each brand’s ranges, so keep in mind that specific models will likely have different specifications (there’s more examples to show this in the next section).


Schecter use a thin-C neck on a lot of their models, whist Ibanez use ultra-thin and flat necks on most of their electric guitars. The Ibanez “Wizard” neck, will feel faster than a Schecter, due to its thinner and flatter profile, but the Schecter may feel more comfortable when holding barre chords.

It’s important to note that not every Ibanez has a super-thin neck, and not every Schecter has a more rounded profile, it really does depend on the model. Your safest bet is to play your style on the guitars in your price range, because whilst the Ibanez may be better for shredding than the Schecter, if you only play rhythm guitar, this won’t be all that much help to you!

Tone Wood

On their more affordable models, Ibanez uses poplar wood quite often, whilst Schecter uses basswood. On models over $500, both brands use mahogany quite commonly, however there are some exceptions where the models will have ash bodies instead.

Basswood and poplar are affordable woods which are pretty lightweight, making them very suitable for entry-level guitars. Mahogany is quite heavy and produces a dark and mellow tone, offering excellent sustain and emphasises low-mid range frequencies. Ash on the other hand, is lighter and offers a more scooped mid-range, and brighter tone.


Both Schecter and Ibanez offer active and passive pickups. You’ll start to see active pickups being offered at a slightly lower price of around $600 on Schecter models, compared to around $750 on Ibanez guitars.

Ibanez use active EMG and Fishman Fluence pickups on a lot of guitars, whilst Schecter use their own brand active pickups, as well as Fishman Fluence, and sometimes EMG pickups. When it comes to passive pickups, Schecter use their own brand and Lundgren examples quite commonly, whereas Ibanez use DiMarzio and Seymour Duncan on a lot of their mid-high range guitars.


Ibanez use bolt-on necks throughout most of their range, with some exceptions where you may see a neck-through or set-neck construction. Schecter only really use bolt-on necks on their more affordable models, and most guitars over $500 will either have a set neck, or more often, a neck through construction.

Bolt-on necks are cheap to construct, and make neck changes easy, but the joining can impair upper fret access, particularly on cheaper models where it is not sculpted. Neck-through constructions are where the neck and body are made from a continuous piece of wood. This means they have a low-profile design, and offer the best resonance and sustain.

I’ve written a complete buyer’s guide for electric guitars which takes you through all the things you need to consider and a step-by-step method to narrowing down your selection and choosing the best option. Here is a link to the article.

The Ranges

In this next section, I wanted to compare the features and Guitar Center price (at the time of writing), of some of the top selling models in each brand’s range. The tables are all ordered from lowest to highest price, and split into price brackets. This is far from a full list of each brand’s range, just a selection to show you the kinds of features available at different prices.

Key Points:

  • The Ibanez range starts at around $150, and the Schecter range at around $300.
  • Most Schecter guitars are priced between $300-$1900 and there is a gap until around $2700 (custom models).

Guitar Center are always the first place I look at when I’m interested in a new electric guitar because have a huge range of models for sale and always have some excellent deals on. Here’s a link to take you directly to Guitar Center’s electric guitar range so you can see all the offers available at the moment. 

Under $500

GuitarConstructionPickupsBridgeBody WoodPrice
Ibanez GRGM21MBolt-OnPassive IbanezFixedPoplar$150
Ibanez GRGR120EXBolt-OnPassive Infinity RTremoloPoplar$200
Schecter C-6 EliteBolt-onPassive SchecterFixedBasswood$300
Ibanez RG6003FMBolt-OnPassive Ibanez QuantumFixedMahogany$350
Ibanez RG450EXBBolt-OnPassive Ibanez QuantumDouble-Locking TremoloMeranti$400
Schecter OMEN-6Bolt-onPassive SchecterFixedBasswood$400
Ibanez JEMJRSPBolt-OnPassive IbanezDouble-Locking TremoloMahogany$500
Schecter Demon-6 FRBolt-onActive SchecterFloyd RoseMahogany$500
Ibanez vs Schecter guitars under $500


GuitarConstructionPickupsBridgeBody WoodPrice
Schecter C1 PlatinumNeck-throughActive EMGFixedMahogany$600
Ibanez RGRT621DPDNeck-thruPassive DiMarzioFixedMahogany$650
Schecter Reaper-6Set-NeckPassive SchecterFixedAsh$700
Ibanez RGIB21 Iron LabelBolt-OnActive EMGFixedNyatoh$800
Schecter Solo-II CustomSet-NeckPassive SchecterFixedMahogany$950
Ibanez RG550 GenesisBolt-OnIbanez PassiveIbanez Edge TremoloBasswood$1000
Ibanez vs Schecter guitars between $500 and $1000


GuitarConstructionPickupsBridgeBody WoodPrice
Ibanez S61ALBolt-OnActive FishmanFixedNyatoh$1100
Schecter C-1 SLS Elite Evil TwinNeck-thruActive FishmanFixedAsh$1190
Ibanez RGA61ALBolt-OnPassive AftermathFixedNyatoh$1300
Schecter C-1 FR-S ApocalypseSet-NeckActive SchecterFloyd RoseAsh$1330
Ibanez RGR652AHBF RG PrestigeBolt-OnPassive DiMarzioFixedAsh$1500
Schecter Banshee Mach EvertuneNeck-thruPassive LundgrenFixedAsh$1700
Ibanez RG5120M PrestigeBolt-OnActive FishmanLocking TremoloMahogany$2000
Ibanez vs Schecter guitars between $1000 and $2000

Over $2000

GuitarConstructionPickupsBridgeBody WoodPrice
Ibanez RG5170G RG PrestigeBolt-OnActive FishmanIbanez Lo-Pro TremoloBasswood$2200
Schecter PT CustomBolt-OnPassive SchecterFixedAsh$2700
Ibanez AZ2402FF AZ PrestigeBolt-OnPassive Seymour DuncanTI802 TremoloAlder$2800
Ibanez RG8570Z j.customBolt-OnPassive DiMarzioIbanez Edge-Zero TremoloMahogany$3000
Schecter PT USABolt-OnPassive SchecterFixedAsh$3900
Ibanez vs Schecter guitars over $2000

Which Guitars are the Best?

When comparing the top-of-the-line guitars from both brands, Ibanez models are better quality than Schecter. High-end Ibanez guitars are made in Japan, and the range-topping models are around $500 than Schecter’s South Korean guitars, which explains why they Ibanez’s models are more premium.

If you are looking for the best value electric guitar, then Schecter is a better option than Ibanez. Schecter guitars are more affordable, and offer more premium features at lower prices than Ibanez. If you’re looking for a mid-range guitar priced between $500-$1500, then Schecter could be the better choice.

If you want a thin neck for shredding and lead guitar, then you may find that Ibanez is a better choice than Schecter. Ibanez necks are usually very thin and flat, making them great for fast playing, whereas Schecter guitars usually have fuller and more rounded necks by comparison.

The whole Ibanez vs Schecter debate is a pretty big topic, and you’ll get tonnes of different opinions if you head over to any guitar forums. In this article, I’ve tried to help demonstrate the kinds of features you’ll get on both guitars, and which kind of player they’re more suitable for, but you need to ask yourself the following questions to make the right decision for you:

  • What kinds of features do I need on my guitar? E.g. tremolo bridge, coil split pickups, locking tuners, active pickups etc.
  • Which guitar feels the most comfortable for my playing style?
  • Which guitar sounds the best for the styles of music I like playing/
  • Which guitar looks the best to me?

Make a list of all the models in your price range and then consider the four questions listed above. If you can, do your best to try the guitars out in the store, because your opinion may change after using each one. Follow these steps and you’ll be more than happy with your purchase!

I’ve written a complete buyer’s guide for electric guitars which takes you through all the things you need to consider and a step-by-step method to narrowing down your selection and choosing the best option. Here is a link to the article.

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Hey, I'm Heather. I started playing an electric guitar when I was given a Squier Strat for my birthday around 15 years ago. I now own an acoustic guitar and several electric guitars including my personal favourite, a PRS SE Custom 24.

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