Ibanez have been producing well made and great sounding jazz guitars for a while and its Artcore range is well known amongst astute jazz guitar enthusiasts as great guitars offering some pretty fantastic features at a fraction of the cost of say a comparative Gibson or Gretsch.
The Ibanez Artcore AF75 itself makes for a great jazzer – it is a true hollow body guitar and looks pretty lush from the outset – Ibanez makes has a tradition for making beautiful guitars and this Artcore is no different. With a fully bound all maple body that provides tight resonance without feedback the Artcore produces those perfect tones for those that crave an authentic jazz sound.
For those looking for some tonal flexability – this Ibanez also provides a more than credible take on rock, blues and punky tones offering a little something different from the usual tones of a Strat or Les paul. For those that love their rockabilly prepare to fall in love as with the right amp this guitar can growl with the best of them.
With features such as a mahogany set neck, bound rosewood fretboard and pearl block inlay your fingers will love it. While the lower end of the guitar market often get criticised for their pickups the ACH1 humbucker at the neck and ACH2 at the bridge provide a beefy, quiet signal with pronounced mids (check out the Youtube video below to hear the Artcore in action – Note:this is the AFS75T with Bigsby style tremolo).
Ibanez Artcore AF75 Electric Guitar Features:
• Full-hollow body
• Maple top, sides, and back
• Mahogany set neck
• Bound rosewood fretboard
• ACH1 humbucker at the neck
• ACH2 humbucker at the bridge
A 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.
The original Explorer guitar (released by Gibson in the 50′s) is a design classic and has inspired countless guitars of simular design over the years – despite such a heritage the explorer is richly associated with rock and metal music.
The DT200 X series guitar is Ibanez’s homage to the design classic and share’s it’s angled design and overall configuration.
Featuring a solid mahogany body, maple neck and rosewood fingerboard (with 22 medium frets) and that famous angled body the DT200 represents fantastic value for money coming in at slightly cheaper than the Epiphone
Looks wise – well it looks the business, the hardware is chrome and features a stop bar bridge and tailpiece. With the shape these guitars can be a bit headstock heavy and you need to be carefull about how you stand it – save it topelling over – the build quality is the usual Ibanez quality – and the instrument feels robust and sturdy.
Tone is supplied by the two Powersound humbuckers, controls are the usual single tone – two volume and three way pickup selector. Plugged in clean – it sounds pleasant enough – but for most looking at this guitar – they won’t want to play country on it! Sound wise – well this really is a rock guitar – the body provides a satisfying amount of sustain – add a suitable overdrive pedal and the DT200 will growl away nicely (without too much noise either which is a plus).
The Destroyer represents an economical in-road into the world of explorer style guitars (is cheaper than a comparable epiphone) and as such you should expect some differences. The pickups (whilst being fine for beginners or part-time noodlers) may lack the output that more demanding players will be looking for but these days with the amount of pickups on the market this is easily solved.
Ibanez are renowned for producing quality products at reasonable prices and the DT200 feels solid and reliable. For those looking for a keenly priced metal guitar – check out the Ibanez Destroyer.
Ibanez has a long and varied history dating back over 100 years. The company began life in Japan in 1908 originally as the Hoshino Gakki manufacturing and selling stringed instruments. By the 1960’s these were distributed in the US through the guitar maker Harry Rosenbloom and his Elger Guitars company. They choose the Ibanez name to avoid the “made in Japan” connotations which at the time were related to low quality goods.
By the early 1970’s Elger Guitars had been renamed “Ibanez USA” and had their headquarters in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, acting as a distribution and quality-control center.
Ibanez guitars went through a variety of design changes from inexpensive “replica” style guitars of popular brands such as Gibson and Fender (Ibanez settled out of court with Gibson when sued over headstock designs) through to unique designs incorporating modern components and design.
Ibanez guitars have long been associated with Rock and metal as the guitars included highly stylized body shapes, slimmer necks and flatter fingerboards coupled with modern electronics featuring high output designs and pickups.
For many years the company has been synonymous with rock players and has a variety of artists using their guitars including Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana.
Like many other guitar manufacturers Ibanez have creating signature models made to the players’ specifications for example the JEM guitar for Steve Vai.