Ibanez Artcore series guitars

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I played a few today and kinda liked them. Tell me about them! Especially the cheaper models, like the $300 AS3.

(Keep in mind that I am a cheapskate and don't actually need a great guitar, so recommending better things just makes me sad; I'm mostly wondering whether, if I actually bought one, I would ever come to regret or resent anything about it, apart from the obvious "wish I'd bought a model with vibrato" thing.)

nabisco (nabisco), Tuesday, 23 May 2006 17:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

They are fantastic, and I can't think of any reason NOT to buy one. One of the best selling guitars we stock, BTW.

John Justen (johnjusten), Tuesday, 23 May 2006 18:42 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Awesome! Reviews + here = seems like universal agreement that it's a good solid product.

Sub-question: what about the versatility of a guitar like this? Part of why I'm looking at hollow-bodies is that they sound great for the new-wave stuff I usually play. But since I'm not planning on owning multiple guitars, I wonder if it'll turn out too warm and rich to ever get a decent sharp/slicy sound out of it. (And I worry that playing a big hollow-body means I'll never feel comfortable really letting loose on it.)

nabisco (nabisco), Tuesday, 23 May 2006 19:16 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Ha, though I suppose if the guy from Josef K always stuck with that (Washburn? Epi?) of his, I'm probably safe.

nabisco (nabisco), Tuesday, 23 May 2006 19:27 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Are you looking at a Full-hollow, or a semi hollow? Which model, etc.

John Justen (johnjusten), Tuesday, 23 May 2006 20:07 (twelve years ago) Permalink

It's the AS73 -- supposed to be full-hollow. (I somehow dropped the 7 up there.)

nabisco (nabisco), Tuesday, 23 May 2006 21:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Sorry, I take that back -- the AS73 is semi-acoustic, block under the pickups.

nabisco (nabisco), Tuesday, 23 May 2006 21:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Great guitar, surprisingly versatile...I think for what you're talking about, semi-hollow is the way to go.

I say go for it.

John Justen (johnjusten), Tuesday, 23 May 2006 22:42 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Follow-up question: how difficult is it to add a pickguard to a model like this? The AS73 doesn't have one, and since I sometimes like to do superfast jangle, I'm a little worried about tearing up the finish.

nabisco (nabisco), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 19:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Shouldn't be too bad...a couple of holes, a Gibson 335 pickguard should be a close fit, and just make sure you get the hardware (particularly the little float arm) with it.

John Justen (johnjusten), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 19:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Have you ever played a 72 Nashville Tele?

Steve Shasta (Steve Shasta), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 20:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink

[ie, thinline/semi-hollow]

Steve Shasta (Steve Shasta), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 20:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Also a great guitar...the Fender "Wide-range" humbuckers in those things are AWESOME. (the only problem being that they're off-size, so you'd better like them, because they're a bitch to replace.)

John Justen (johnjusten), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 20:13 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"Follow-up question: how difficult is it to add a pickguard to a model like this? The AS73 doesn't have one, and since I sometimes like to do superfast jangle, I'm a little worried about tearing up the finish."

holy crap, you're a fag.

Calliope Marakasu (lissajou), Thursday, 25 May 2006 06:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

It's a hollow-body guitar, dumbass; there's only so much wood on top to chew through.

nabisco (nabisco), Thursday, 25 May 2006 15:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The Artcore bass is awfully nice looking.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 25 May 2006 16:27 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Especially with the double cut-outs!


(I realized yesterday I have some kind of aversion to the single cut-out, and I have no idea why -- I'm either against asymmetry or Gibson, one or the other.)

nabisco (nabisco), Thursday, 25 May 2006 17:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

It's a hollow-body guitar, dumbass; there's only so much wood on top to chew through.

Roffle. Unless you pick with a cold chisel you should be okay. Neal's old flat-top seems to be holding up tol'able...


rogermexico (rogermexico), Thursday, 25 May 2006 22:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

These guitars have a polyurethane paint job, the most would happen from playing is getting some surface scratches. This kind of paint job is really hard and even after years of playing, does not look that worn, it is not like what is on Neil's acoustic or older guitars.

You will wear out the frets and pickups long before your bore a hole into the guitar from playing.

Earl Nash (earlnash), Friday, 26 May 2006 05:13 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(a) Neil's old flat-top there has a pickguard.

(b) I'm not worried about boring a hole in the thing, just scratching all fuck out of it -- if the paint and finish are strong enough that that's not a problem, hooray. But I used to play on a full-hollow with no pickguard, and it always made me uncomfortable with really letting loose on the thing, because you can really feel the dinging, and eventually the wood got scraped up to the point where, when the guitar fell off a stand, it cracked open a little right below the strings. So forgive me for worrying, and thanks for the reassurance.

nabisco (nabisco), Friday, 26 May 2006 14:16 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Note also that I like the way this guitar looks, and so I'm not entirely sure whether, several years down the line, I'd necessarily be happy to have a worn-down "full of character" stripped bit beneath the strings.

nabisco (nabisco), Friday, 26 May 2006 14:18 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I bought one, news at 11.

nabisco (nabisco), Wednesday, 31 May 2006 15:10 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Hoorah. You won't regret it.

John Justen, the archetypal shit head generation (johnjusten), Wednesday, 31 May 2006 15:51 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Neil's old flat-top there has a pickguard.

Nabisco OTM! And congrats on the new semi-hollow! Pix!

rogermexico (rogermexico), Thursday, 1 June 2006 01:45 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Right, so, this thing is about as sweet as expected -- no complaints. Play single notes with a clean tone, just a little reverb, and the thing's ridiculously warm and full.

Only problem now is that it can be too warm and full for the little practice amp I record with (25-watt) -- even with the bass tone turned all the way down, that low-end can wind up overwhelming things. Chords lose clarity and get boomy; distortion stews everything together into mud. Switching to bridge pickup helps, obviously, but then there are twang issues to deal with.

This seems like much less of a problem with a decent-sized amp, turned up to a decent level, but I keep wondering about the versatility thing. Think it's worth buying a good equalizer pedal, to strip out the muddier frequencies? Or should I be (gasp) rethinking the hollow-body altogether?

nabisco (nabisco), Wednesday, 14 June 2006 02:21 (twelve years ago) Permalink

If the guitar has two volumes and two tone knobs, put the pickup selector in the middle and roll them out. Generally speaking, I've found you can get kind of a "hifi" sound with two humbucker guitars in the middle position by rolling the neck pickup volume off some and then rolling back the tone knob on the bridge a bit. The key is using the volume on the neck to lower the bass and the tone on the bridge to control the highs.

Earl Nash (earlnash), Wednesday, 14 June 2006 02:34 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Aha, yeah, there's a sweet spot somewhere in there.

nabisco (nabisco), Wednesday, 14 June 2006 14:33 (twelve years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...
I bought an AM-73 Artcore earlier this year - similar to the AS-73, but smaller body. Very versatile guitar, woody sound that works well for jazz, blues and rock. It is a short scale, like a Les Paul, so it doesn't have that Fender high-tension twang. I find this guitar to be a better all-around guitar than my 40 year old Gibson 330 semi-hollow - that one has a great P-90 sound, but only the one sound.

Note to Nabisco - I removed the pick guard form my Gibson over 30 years ago, and have had no problem with pick scratches. The Ibanez Artcore strings are fairly high off the body, so you'd have to really be windmilling like Pete Townshend to hit the finish during normal picking.

Another thought about the Artcore necks - the frets on the AM-73 (small body) are larger than the frets on the AS-73 The AM-73 neck is better if you like to bend notes.

The only weaknes of the Artcore guitars is the pickups. They are medium output ceramic magnet humbuckers, and tend to sound a bit sharp. I replaced my pickups with Gibsons, and the iprovement was noticeable - a more bell-like sound.

The Ibanez Artcore guitars are all very good guitars period - excellent Japanese design and Chinese workmanship. The low prices are a bonus I particularly recommend the AM-73 as an axe that covers all the bases. No mattter what type of music you love, this guitar will make you want to play more of it.

Stephen Gillies, Saturday, 8 July 2006 03:55 (eleven years ago) Permalink

six years pass...

does anyone know if these are still as surprisingly good as they were back in 2006? (i'm looking at you, jjj.)

also, while i'm tentatively on the hunt - i figure what i'm looking for is something that will cover my gottschingy/balearic and jazzy leanings as well as my more noisy/droney leanings, i don't particularly know what i'm doing (and perhaps the hollow body could cause problems as the volume and desire for controlled feedback increases?) so does anyone have any other thoughts and suggestions in a similar price range?

ohmigud (Merdeyeux), Wednesday, 15 May 2013 20:13 (five years ago) Permalink

I got an AG86 last month. It plays pretty good. It sounds ok. It *looks* fantastic. If I was more serious about getting a good tone I think I'd swap out the pickups. I don't think I'd use it for noisy stuff though, the feedback can be piercing and uncontrollable.

29 facepalms, Friday, 17 May 2013 09:40 (five years ago) Permalink

I never thought much of these. I'm surprised/intrigued by the love here.

EveningStar (Sund4r), Friday, 17 May 2013 18:11 (five years ago) Permalink

love my AG86 to death, and miss it dearly as it gathers dust in a texas closet.

steening in your HOOSless carriage (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Friday, 17 May 2013 18:27 (five years ago) Permalink

i still stock about 8-10 of them at the shop. hard to beat at that price point imo.

AMERICA IS ABOUT RIESLING (jjjusten), Friday, 17 May 2013 20:48 (five years ago) Permalink

When I was last looking for an inexpensive semi-hollow (to do extended/prepared stuff with as well as resonant clean fingerpicking and to run through electronics) 7 years ago or so, I ended up choosing a Hamer Echotone (which is something like a dead ES-335?). I'm really fussy about minimizing uncontrolled feedback + I didn't find the Artcore's tone very satisfying. The couple people that I've spoken to about the Artcore since then felt the same way. It has been a long time, though, so I'm interested in what you like about it, jjj. (My electric guitar life is complete now that I have a real ES-335 that I'll be paying off for three more years.)

EveningStar (Sund4r), Sunday, 19 May 2013 00:52 (five years ago) Permalink

It was secondhand and admittedly, I was really looking for a secondary instrument I could scrape strings with etc at that point. Still wasn't that happy with the Artcores though.

EveningStar (Sund4r), Sunday, 19 May 2013 01:03 (five years ago) Permalink

My other cheaper semi-hollow is a second-hand Hondo 945 Deluxe. I know Hondo doesn't really have a great rep but I was always pretty happy with that one!

EveningStar (Sund4r), Sunday, 19 May 2013 01:05 (five years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

I'm enjoying my AS-73 very much, it sounds quite implausibly nice for a £200 purchase. The volume and tone knobs are perhaps a bit insensitive (there seems to be a bit of a leap between levels of volume and tone at points) but besides that I could ask for nothing more.

Waluigi Nono (Merdeyeux), Tuesday, 10 September 2013 18:01 (four years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

picked up an as-93 a couple of weeks ago - really enjoying how it plays and sounds. lovely flamed maple top, back and sides, too.

sadly i'm still a shitty guitar player

the illicit unit slid tantalizingly across the waxed tile (bizarro gazzara), Friday, 30 October 2015 15:51 (two years ago) Permalink

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