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NGD - Ibanez Semi-Hollow small body

Discussion in 'Other Guitar Discussion' started by RaySachs, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. RaySachs

    RaySachs Strat-O-Master Silver Member

    Age:
    58
    509
    Jun 25, 2017
    Philly area
    I've always loved strats and teles, but when I have a strat around, a tele rarely gets played given my inability to make good use of the bridge pickup and that's kind of what makes a tele a tele. Since I'm a long-time strat guy, I'm giving up on teles as a #2 at this point.

    But what forced the issue was this - an Ibanez AMV10A, with the V standing for vintage, or relic'd. I generally don't like rosewood necks or 12" radius fretboards or humbuckers, but this has all three and I freakin' LOVE this guitar. I sort of had a semi-hollow body in mind as a #2 to my strat, since it would offer me a completely different feel and sound. Most of them I played I didn't really like. Various Epiphones, D'Angelicos, Gretschs, and other Ibanez models but most of them didn't feel very good to me. I find rosewood necks generally too grabby, too much friction when I really dig in and slide and bend. But man, I picked this guy up and I was instantly in heaven. The neck is smooth and fast - feels more like ebony than rosewood to me, the fretboard is clearly spec'd as 12" but looks and feels rounder. It just plays and sounds right.

    It's about the size of an Epi 339, which I played and loved the feel of the smaller body but just didn't bond with the neck. I love everything about this guitar except the relic-ing, but it's not nearly as obvious in person as it is in these photos - the staining is but the nicks and scratches aren't - you can see 'em but you have to look - it really jumps out in these photos. The top and back are pretty heavily relic'd, the sides just barely, and the neck is pristine so I don't really mind it. It's kind of slotted in price-wise between the AM73 and AM93. They make a gorgeous quilted yellow-sunburst AM93 that I almost bought for the looks, but it was $150 more and I like the custom elite pickups on this one more than the Super 58s on the AM93. So I went for function over finish I guess.

    Perfect companion to my strat - gives me something COMPLETELY different and i could see them sharing time as #1 depending on my mood. I've become more of a blues guy and MUCH less of a rocker as I've gotten older and this guitar has the right feel and sound for blues.

    [​IMG]Ibby-1 by Ray, on Flickr


    [​IMG]Ibby-2 by Ray, on Flickr


    Here's the electric guitar corner of my office / man-cave - I have my Martin hanging on the opposite wall.
    [​IMG]untitled-1-3 by Ray, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017

  2. stratman in va

    stratman in va Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    48
    Jul 27, 2012
    Virginia
    I have an Ibanez AS73 - semi - hollow, a little larger body. Ibanez makes some great stuff! Very versatile guitars and fun to play.
     
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  3. 8T_BoCO

    8T_BoCO Aspiring Stratospheric Stratitician Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    47
    772
    Mar 2, 2016
    Colorado
    Nice! Happy completely different NGD.
     
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  4. RaySachs

    RaySachs Strat-O-Master Silver Member

    Age:
    58
    509
    Jun 25, 2017
    Philly area
    Yeah, I played an AM73 - the neck was just as nice as on the one I got, I liked the pickups but not quite as much, but I had a real issue trying to play an arch-top with no pickguard. It was a real reach for my pinky to anchor my picking hand, something I'd never have thought of until I played it. I might have gotten comfortable with it, but it felt really weird.

    This is my fourth Ibanez. My first one, an LP knockoff with an ebony fretboard, was an amazing guitar, heavy as a battleship, but played and sounded incredible. The next two were nothing special at all - they were kind of placeholders during years when I was barely playing but wanted to have SOMETHING up on the wall to grab from time to time. Frankly, as little and as badly as I was playing then, I doubt I'd have liked any guitar very much. And this one I can tell is gonna be a keeper. Just an instant connection...
     

  5. gwjensen

    gwjensen Senior Stratmaster

    Congrats! Almost pulled the trigger on one of those myself. I thought they did a good job with the aged look.
     
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  6. qblue

    qblue Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 18, 2009
    Clarks Summit, PA
    I have a hollow-body Ibanez AFJ95 and it is an awesome guitar.

    I believe the guitars we have are also hollow bodies. Check the website, as I believe Ibanez does not make a semi-hollow.

    Technically a hollow body does not have a center block. No Ibanez has one, like Gibson, Heritage, and Yamaha models.
     
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  7. RaySachs

    RaySachs Strat-O-Master Silver Member

    Age:
    58
    509
    Jun 25, 2017
    Philly area
    Yeah, it's not bad - I'm just not a huge fan of prematurely aged guitars. If I'd been choosing on looks, I'd have definitely paid the extra for the quilted yellow-sunburst AM93, which is really a beautiful guitar.
     

  8. RaySachs

    RaySachs Strat-O-Master Silver Member

    Age:
    58
    509
    Jun 25, 2017
    Philly area
    This one definitely has a solid block running the entire distance you can see from the f-holes. For sure to the very back end where the strap pin is and as far forward toward the neck as I can see. I'm quite sure it runs the length of the body... I'd guess this whole series of AS and smaller AM models (from the 53 up through the 73 and 93 and including these vintage models) share common body configurations, with some using different wood and varying levels of finish and different hardware...

    -Ray
     

  9. stratman in va

    stratman in va Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    48
    Jul 27, 2012
    Virginia
    The "73" has a solid center block in the body, and spaces on either side of it under the f-holes - which would make it a semi hollow. I think Ibanez had some hollow bodies in a similar price range to the AS73 a few years ago, but I don't know if they still make those.

    I really like the AS73. I looked at a used Epi Dot and the AS73 side by side, used, and liked the Ibby better.
     
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  10. Stormy Monday

    Stormy Monday Approaching the Crossroads Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 19, 2011
    red barn, USA

  11. spikypaddy

    spikypaddy Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 7, 2011
    Devon, UK
    Nice - I'm a big fan of the Ibanez semis. Played a really nice AS73 with Bigsby style vibrato a while back. Sounded and played brilliant.
     
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  12. Jimi Lightning

    Jimi Lightning Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 21, 2016
    Ontario, Canada
    Thats an amazing looking guitar,......been gassing for a hollow body and it looks like I may have to check this model out.

    Thanks for posting.
     
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  13. RaySachs

    RaySachs Strat-O-Master Silver Member

    Age:
    58
    509
    Jun 25, 2017
    Philly area
    They also make a full size version - same model number but starts with AS instead of AM, so if you like an ES-335 sized guitar rather than a smaller ES-339 version, they're both out there.

    -Ray
     
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  14. radd

    radd Strat-Talker

    359
    Jun 2, 2016
    Santa cruz
    I had an AM153 for a short period of time. What a wonderful size and shape for a guitar, same as yours.

    Ibanez makes very good products, I still kick myself for selling my AS200 back in the early 80’s
     

  15. stratman in va

    stratman in va Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    48
    Jul 27, 2012
    Virginia

    I have an old Blazer solid body / super strat and one of their basses too.
     

  16. aviamsi

    aviamsi Strat-O-Master

    930
    Aug 31, 2015
    Israel

  17. RaySachs

    RaySachs Strat-O-Master Silver Member

    Age:
    58
    509
    Jun 25, 2017
    Philly area
    So I'd been checking out the AM153 and AS153 online before I bought the AMV10. I really liked the ebony fingerboard and the extra little three way toggle that lets you run the neck pickup as either a humbucker or single coil and also in parallel with the bridge. But the were roughly twice the cost of the AMV10 I got and I couldn't spend that much, even though I was gassing for it pretty hard. And nobody seems to have them in stock anyway, particularly the AM153. They also had additional relic'd models at the same level of the AM / AS 153 (Artstar vs Artcore I guess?) that they sold for about the same price. There are black AM and AS models that are pretty tastefully relic'd and sunburst models that are frankly almost hard to look at. I mean, a solid body could be that beat up and live to tell the tale, but I have the impression that if a semi-hollow body endured enough abuse to cause this much natural relic-ing, it would be in splinters waaaay before it would look like this. And of these, all of them have a push-pull pot to make the neck pickup single coil, but only the ugly sunburst AS model had the extra three-way toggle like the 153 models to also allow the pups to run in parallel. But also way too expensive so I didn't give them much thought either.

    I've been absolutely LOVING this AMV10 for the past week or so - the playability is incredible and there are plenty of sounds buried in that combination of pickups with a separate volume and tone for each. It needs better tuners (badly!) and a few of the frets are a little rough, but they're getting a lot better just from playing it. It's probably just a honeymoon phase but I've only picked up the strat a couple of times in the past week. Unlike the teles I've tried to make #2 but couldn't really find a reason for, this one I'm digging enough that it could easily become a co-leader or possibly even overtake the strat for #1. None of this is my decision - the guitars tell me which is which. I'm bonding with this guitar big-time...

    But then this morning Google chased me down and insisted I be aware that Sweetwater was selling three of the four of these relic'd AM / AS 153 level models, which all come with a case, for basically the same thing I paid for my AMV10 with a case for it - I guess they were just too ugly to sell at full price and they're being blown out, most likely to be discontinued shortly. I looked into them a little bit and it seems they've been around almost two years but I only found a handful of reviews on the retail sites, so clearly they didn't sell many of them. But the reviews they did get were really good - it sounds like they really are the AM/AS 153 level instruments with goofy finishing work. Which the guy I talked to at Sweetwater to inquire fully confirmed. So when I saw these prices this morning, I decided I don't really care what my guitars look like - I rarely play them outside of my man-cave anymore anyway. So I ordered the ugly sunburst ASV100FMD, with hard case delivered for just under $600. I would have gotten the smaller AM version in sunburst or the more restrained looking AS version in black, but the three way toggle and ability to run the pickups either in parallel or series would be worth having, so I went for the larger AS model in sunburst. And now I'll be returning the AMV10. I'm literally paying $20 more for this - more than worth it to me.

    So, this was a short lived NGD, but soon to be followed by another very similar, upgraded version. I'll probably just update this thread sometime next week, once I have a little while to play the new one... Here's a photo of the new one:

    [​IMG]211201S16030103-body-large by Ray, on Flickr

    -Ray
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017

  18. stratman in va

    stratman in va Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    48
    Jul 27, 2012
    Virginia

    That is really interesting about the Tri Sound, series/split/parallel switch for the neck pickup. Probably a really versatile guitar.
     
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  19. radd

    radd Strat-Talker

    359
    Jun 2, 2016
    Santa cruz
    Consider a used one, I think GC has the one I returned. I ordered it, loved it but I have to admit a terrible bias I have regarding guitars, I realized after I got it that I did not want a Chinese guitar. It was in pristine condition and the neck was amanazing as was the tone. The only problem,and I’m sure it is an easy fix, only one pick up worked when in the middle selector position. I even put a new set of DR Pure Blues on it.

    I returned it to the San Jose GC. The beauty of buying used from them is it only costs $20 shipping and it can be taken back to any GC within 45 days for a full refund. I ordered from a GC back east and returned it in SJ.

    If you want to talk about it, message me with a phone # and I will call you.

    Conrad
     
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  20. Mansonienne

    Mansonienne Stratocrastinator Extraordinaire Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    53
    Dec 2, 2015
    Paris suburbs, France
    Cool looking guitars. HNGD...twice?
     
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