What to know about the Ibanez TOD10 Tim Henson
Built for speed, with Fishman Fluence pickups, and Gotoh hardware
The TOD10 Tim Henson does speed metal and lead guitar really well, though it's not a good fit outside of that context. Fishman Fluence humbuckers (also Henson signatures) and Gotoh tuning hardware are the big ticket features.
Ibanez is known for their fast necks, an artist list which is stacked with modern speedsters, and a lot of shredding. Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Nita Strauss, and a slew of others all have signature guitars built by Ibanez.
Add Tim Henson to the list with the TOD10.
Surprisingly, the Tim Henson signature is not overly expensive, at least not compared to some of the other signature models in the Ibanez lineup.
Is it worth it? That depends on your playing style and how you feel about the items we'll mention here. Let's cover some of the highlights of the TOD10 to help you decide if it's a good fit in your particular situation.
1. You'll need to be okay with active pickups
Fishman Fluence pickups, like the ones installed in the TOD10, are fantastic and one of our top pickup recommendations. That said, they're active, which means they need a battery to run. There's a compartment for the 9V battery on the back of the guitar.
A little more about Fishman Fluence pickups:
- Needs a battery (9V) but they last a long time
- Uses stacked coil technology to bridge active and passive tone qualities
- Likely no noise issues at all
Active pickups are known to be smoother, warmer, and more modern-sounding. Though the Fluence humbuckers give you all that and the bluesier, sweetened tones that you might get from single coil pickups, except without the noise.
2. The neck and body are designed for speed
Not all Ibanez guitars are meant to be speed demons, but the Tim Henson signature model definitely is. 24 frets, a 1.65" nut width, a 12' radius, and the AZ Oval C neck shape are all designed to be shred friendly. If you're not into that, you're paying for a guitar that won't really suit you.
3. Gotoh is a preferred hardware brand
Ibanez uses Gotoh hardware for the bridge and tremolo, which is another company based in Japan (Ibanez is as well). We'd rather have the Gotoh hardware instead of the Ibanez stock hardware.
- Gotoh T1502 tremolo/bridge
- Gotoh MG-T Locking tuners
Gotoh is a trusted hardware brand, and one of the names we like to see in a specs list, especially in this price range.
4. Locking tuners will help mitigate tremolo-related tuning issues
The Gotoh MG-T locking tuners will help mitigate most potential tuning issues. Heavy or even moderate tremolo bar use can knock a guitar out of tune, but in the TOD10 the MG-T locking tuners prevent this from being an issue.
5. The TOD10 was designed for metal and lead
This guitar is not a good fit for you if you're looking at it primarily for clean tones, blues, jazz, or any of the lighter musical styles.
It's a guitar that will do well with a lot of gain, and highly saturated tones. Though keep in mind that the push-pull voicing on the tone knob, combined with the five way selector switch, gives you a ton of variety within the guitar itself.
But even with the onboard versatility, you still have a guitar that was made for speed and metal.
If that's not your thing, there's no need to go with the TOD10.
You'll be paying for things you don't need.
You're paying for the Fishman Fluence pickups, the Gotoh hardware, and a fantastic-looking "tree of death" design on the neck. If speed and heavy tones are your thing, the Ibanez TOD10 deserves a look.
But for most other styles, particularly those that are more percussive and rhythm-centric, there are better options out there.
If you have questions or thoughts about the Ibanez Tim Henson signature guitar, leave them in the comments section below and we'll chat.
See you there.