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Ibanez Artcores. What's the general consensus?

Discussion in 'Other Guitar Discussion' started by Believer7713, Oct 14, 2020.

  1. leobadger

    leobadger New Member!

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    Looks like I’m in the minority here, but played a low-end one and hated it. Tried a similarly-priced Gretsch and adored it.
    Personal preference, I guess. But can’t hurt to get to a shop and try the equivalent G before deciding.
     
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  2. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Dr. Stratster

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    How low-end? Yeah, the matte finished cheap ones are not as good. I’ve been impressed with everything above that in fit, finish and sound.
     
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  3. VIPaa

    VIPaa New Member!

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    If that is a small body AG75-BS I had one for three years and played out with it a few times. Very nice neck and over all a great guitar for the price.
     
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  4. Believer7713

    Believer7713 The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein Silver Member

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    It is an AG-75-BS-12-01. As you said, it does have a really nice neck on it and plays really well. It will need new strings to liven it up but it has a nice tone to it. I picked it up yesterday and here showed it here.
    https://www.strat-talk.com/threads/ngd-ibanez-content.554626/#post-4092780
     
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  5. ptegler

    ptegler New Member!

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    took me quite awhile to find my lefty Artcore Expressionist AG95 GREAT deal, super 58s, figured Babinga top back and sides Spruce parallel bracing, 3 piece mahogany and maple neck rosewood fingerboard with real abalone markers 12" radius 22 fret
    LOVE the sound
    currently strung with flatwounds, but will probably go back to XLs
     
  6. Believer7713

    Believer7713 The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein Silver Member

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    Yeah, that's GORGEOUS!
     
  7. Stratofonic

    Stratofonic Strat-Talk Member

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    Meh...nothing to write home about. I owned one or two over the years when funds were low. Ibanez does make great guitars but the artcore (base level) series is kind of blah and lately they have been using less popular wood species on this line.
     
  8. evangilder

    evangilder Strat-Talker

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    I bought one in 2005. I played it unplugged first and liked it. Then the salesguy took me over to an amp and plugged it in. That was all it took for me. I wanted a decent hollow body that wasn't going to set me back a ton of money. I almost traded it in a few years ago until played it again after some time. You do need to keep an eye on higher volumes and with overdrive, but it's the same with my Gretsch Electromatic.
     

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  9. macoshark

    macoshark Strat-O-Master

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    I had a 1st year AM93. She was a beauty and not sure why I sold her. Very well built and a great size compared to a full 335 style.
     
  10. evangilder

    evangilder Strat-Talker

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    IMG_5494.JPG I bought one in 2005. I played it unplugged first and liked it. Then the salesguy took me over to an amp and plugged it in. That was all it took for me. I wanted a decent hollow body that wasn't going to set me back a ton of money. I almost traded it in a few years ago until played it again after some time. You do need to keep an eye on higher volumes and with overdrive, but it's the same with my Gretsch Electromatic.
     
  11. OneWatt

    OneWatt Strat-Talk Member Silver Member

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    I'll add my US$0.02 to the pile of other comments, generally agreeing that Ibanez Artcore guitars can be wonderful instruments. I've owned an AF105 (Natural finish) for many years - it's not just a beautiful instrument but a fine-sounding jazz box.

    I've put flatwound 11s on it and tuned it down 1/2 step to Db and, using the wooden bridge (came with two different bridge styles that are swap'able) and a little set-up tweaking, it plays like a dream and sounds delightful for that smooth, rounded jazz tone.

    Since this is a Strat forum, I'll hasten to add that it's NOTHING like a strat. The neck scale, tone, feel, pickups... again, nothing like a strat. But you knew that, right? ;-)

    Happy hunting!
     
  12. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Strat-O-Master Gold Supporting Member

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    If you look at the Ibanez logo it actually says “Hanez” but we always called them I-Been-Hads.....lol.
     
  13. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Dr. Stratster

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    I had that exact same model. Bought in New Orleans, so it had some extra jazz mojo. Sold it to my best friend who loved it, or else there's no way I would have sold it. Great model.
     
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  14. JimmyDee

    JimmyDee Strat-Talk Member

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    I think you got lucky. The bigsby on my Epi Wildkat was a pain in the ass to keep tuned. I had to invest about 200 dollars into a 400 dollar guitar to get the damned thing to stay in tune.

    - tried a cheap roller nut first, still had issues
    - tried a name brand roller nut, no better than the Chinese one
    - graphtech nut helped a bit
    - Compton Compensated stainless bridge (http://www.comptonbridges.com/) and extra heavy bigsby spring ended up doing the trick.
    - I did something weird with the way you string the ball ends on the bigsby too, but I can't remember if it actually helped or not.

    I sold it to finance my Strat and I regret it because it sounded great by the time I was done with it. I always thought it sounded muddy for something with p90s, so I did some research, tore out the stock wire harness (it was over 25 feet of wire!!) and rewired it with some super low capacitance stuff. It was like a pickup upgrade, sounded like a new guitar!
     
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  15. heavypic

    heavypic Strat-Talk Member

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    OP - I have two AM93 (with a honey-burst, quilt maple finish...beautiful!) guitars and a AS73 (trans cherry), however none with a Bigsby. I also have other Ibanez guitars (AR305/300, SZ520/720). All fine guitars...no complaints. My Ibby's are 10-14 years old and manufactured in Japan, Korea and China. I can't speak to the quality of their more current production. My main players are Fender Strats/Teles and Gibson LPs, however the Ibby's get play when I have the time. I would only caution you to see/play a pre-owned guitar before you buy. Good luck!
     
  16. Believer7713

    Believer7713 The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein Silver Member

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    Well, I did some checking and it was made in the Samick Factory. Ive had several Samick guitars (both their own and other names) and never had a single complaint. It was also made in December of 2005. So comimg up on 15 years old.
     
  17. madhermit

    madhermit Strat-Talk Member

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    Great guitars. Some people don’t like their pickups, in particular the ceramic ones. I have an AS93 with alnico super 58s that are excellent. This guitar is a keeper for sure.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Cold Shot

    Cold Shot Strat-O-Master

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    Then I got lucky twice, because my Washburn J7, which has an actual Bigsby, also stays in tune really well. Lucky by nature, I suppose...
     
  19. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Dr. Stratster Silver Member

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    How does the neck compare?
     
  20. roneysam

    roneysam Strat-Talk Member

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    I owned the one that approximates a 335.
    I'm normally something of a cork-sniffer regarding guitars. My guitars have ranged from my own creations from scratch(as a luthier for 30+ yrs who doesn't bother to wind his own pickups, that means actual raw lumber but store bought hardware & fret wire, to me), to Fender & Gibson Custom Shops, to some actual pre-CBS vintage Fenders. I'm usually too spoiled to tolerate the lower quality, inexpensive production guitars I've tried or worked on for other folks. I only say so because it points out how remarkably surprising my opinion of the Artcore series is.
    I only tried it because I was out of town when I unexpectedly needed a guitar for an unexpected opportunity. I was really impressed by the feel, for a cheap guitar purchased on a whim. Don't misunderstand, I'm not about to equate it to the Gibson Historic or something crazy like that, but the guitar really did grow on me.
    I expected to use for the weekend and return it, but decided to keep it around for a while. I did upgrade the pickups with a set of Duncan Antiquities, but the stock pu's were adequate given the price range. I usually find something about a cheap guitar that interfers with my enjoyment, but found this one surprisingly fun to play. It was also nice to have a guitar which I wouldn't mind lending and wasn't as worried about protecting. I did end up selling it off after a few years, but I often regret that.
    Its adequate. That may seem like an underwhelming review, but it's actually high praise, coming from a guy who hates playing cheaply made guitars and rarely met a guitar under $1k he didn't detest playing.
    If you're looking for something cheap but serviceable, and IF the used one you're looking at has been properly maintained, has a straight neck, and all hardware is in order, then I don't think you could go wrong with an Artcore like the one I had.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020
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