afs75tA common thought among guitar enthusiasts is that for a Jazz box unless you spend big bucks there is a danger that you could be wasting your money – concerns over poor materials (especially pickups) and dodgy quality control tends to be the biggest gripes. However, in the world of budget Jazz boxes Ibanez have long been renowned at providing decent alternatives to the likes of the big boys such as Gibson and Epiphone. Ibanez manufacture a variety of semi acoustics appealing to a variety of styles – there also lucky enough to have some well known artists (such as George Benson) associated with them through their signature series to add extra appeal.


Ibanez have a variety of hollowbodies with different specifications (woods and hardware) on offer – the AF Series has several large full hollow body guitars as part of the series with the AFS75T being one of few with a vintage style trem – Whilst many Semi-Acoustics take the route of being modeled on a Gibson 335 or 175 Ibanez have take a slightly different route with the AFS75T- whilst being a single cutaway design – on first glance it’s more closely related to the designs of say a modern Gretsch Nashville than a Gibson this provides a nice vintage feel from the off. This styling is important, you really have a sense that Ibanez are endeavoring to appeal to the vintage enthusiasts with this guitar.

Ibanez have opted for a maple top, back and sides and a Mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard with a Ibanez ART2 roller bridge. The vintage vibrato as ever are suitable for waggly subtleties applied to chords and lines – don’t think of dive bombs for this device. But inline with the vintage styling it looks right in place (and let’s face it these type of tremolo’s look great).

The two tone, two volume controls are all situated around the lower “f” hole as is the three way pickup switch (fine in principle but we guess more than a few players may inadvertently hit the pickup switch when using or reaching for the Trem arm)

Budget semi-acoustics often get the raw end of the deal when it’s down to pickups – The AFS75T features Ibanez’s own ACH1 on the neck and a ACH2 on the Bridge. Ibanez are proud to state that the AFS75T is a full hollowbody – no soundblocks in this baby and coupled with Ibanez’s own humbuckers – the guitar produces some pleasing results – with a mellow neck position and a versatile bridge pickup sound – the Artcore AFS75T is nothing if not versatile – another pleasing aspect with a quick fiddle with the tone controls you change your sonic territory which means with the neck pickup selected the tone and volume backed off a touch you’ve got a fantastic jazz tone – with the right stomp box and the bridge pickup – the guitar will rock out. The fact that soundwise the AFS75T is not a one trick pony is another plus point.

Going back to where we came in the real head turner in all this is that the RRP for this Artcore AFS75T in only around $500 with online resellers prepared to part with this beatuty for as little as $399 – bearing in mind that a Epiphone Joe Pass or ES-295 will cost you twice as much this is a real bargain and – if your in the market for a semi – should not be missed.

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