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Rating and Reviews: Ibanez AF55 Artcore

This electric guitar from Ibanez has the traditional hollow construction to prevent sound blocks in the body.

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"Big bargain for just over 300$" submitted December 24, 2011

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: Wish I played better. Still learning a lot.
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Sound: With flatwound strings this, well designed full hollowbody, is sweet and retro sounding. It's simplicity of style produces a sound that is truly as good as many more expensive guitars. The pickups are also in many of Ibanez's more expensive guitars. Sound is vintage 30's to 50's with good flatwounds. Sometimes sustain can get in the way of the emotional atmosphrics of a guitar. This guitar has, with flatwound, an abundance of atmospherics that good Jazz needs. Not too much sustain, with flats. Try this surprise guitar. Feature: Basic feature. Simple tail plate. One tone and one volume control. Three way switch. Fairly laid back humbuckers that will follow the attack if you do. Ease of Use: Perfect weight and balance make this as easy to play as possible. I have a very heavy Les Paul and a very heavy semi ES335 copy (Aria) which need a lot more minfulness. Quality: I thought physically very good, but I had to get a luthier to get the intonation perfect, which was very poor from factory. Value: For the money...amazing. Manufacturer Support: No idea The Wow Factor: Many people will not like the vintage finish. Bearing in mind that, often, vintage finishes are more expensive, some people will love it. For Just over 300$ this is really underprced. Get one before it gets pulled by Ibanez. Overall: Sound with flats is pure Jazz. Don't expect to play metal or shred. Maybe a little blues...but this is what it says on the tin...... "Jazz Guitar"
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"Ibanez does it again, quality guitar at a quality price. Great buy" submitted December 20, 2011

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: I play whatever I can find. I'm better at some things but I play anything from Piano to Ocarina
Music Style: Indie/Blues/Garage Rock
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Sound: Got mine awhile back, it was a huge difference than the Jackson Dinky I was using, but I'm in an indie band... The AF55 delivers a really pretty sound whether you are looking for a jazzy edge or as for me, an indie tone. I use this guitar for my more chilled out songs and on stage. It's a huge improvement from my last guitar and I don't regret trading both my Jackson Dinky and Ibanez V70CE. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a lighter sound. Feature: It's bridge isn't attached to the guitar which potentially could be a headache, if the bridge isn't in the correct spot you get flat or sharp frets and your strings will buzz a lot more than usual. The string buzz is also a huge headache in a recording scenario. But the guitar delivers just enough tonal control to have a rhythm guitar that can also play lead in the same song. Just the turn of a switch and you go from backing noise to a kick ass solo. Ease of Use: This guitar is really easy to write with, no matter what genre you play, I wrote half of my bands demo with it (my little brother has also written a few post hardcore songs with it) it is good weight and riffs just come to you when you play it. I played mine through a pretty cheap Marshall Half-stack at my last recording sesh and the guitar flowed just as I needed it to, it plays just as good live as in the studio too. Quality: This guitar is gorgeous, and it is built really well. the only things I would suggest would be to upgrade the pickups and strengthen the input (I dropped mine and the input caved in. 15 Dollar repair). Other than that it is a really amazing guitar and the stock pickups work just fine and it gives you the simplicity of a nice vintage guitar. Value: If you've only got the money for this, get it. I have no regrets Manufacturer Support: Haven't had to, the guitar is really nice. The Wow Factor: I love the guitar, it has an amazing vintage look with a new wave sound that really pops in the particular genre I play. I do use a Strat to reach some levels of intensity this guitar can't provide, but I could use this guitar to get there too if needed. Buy it, that's all that need be said. Overall: I'm going to keep it forever. Even if I get a much better guitar, this guitar has just made my life in music a lot easier.
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"Nice" submitted October 23, 2013

By J T in roswell, NM
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Musical Background: Guitar - 25+ years
Music Style: blues, rock, funk, alt
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Sound: I was surprised by the sound of this guitar. The neck pickup is a lot crisper than I would have thought... nicely warm though. The bridge pickup sounds.... above average, with a nice in between setting. The tone of the guitar is very nice.... articulate and... woody... for want of a better word. Cleans are gorgeous, dirts up nicely, with excellent sounds all around. I am very happy with the sound. The pickups are very 'alive' (some of you will know what I mean) Feature: I like the hinged truss cover... nice idea. I LOVE the finish. It isn't just 'flat', but you can feel the wood grain... like it's been stained and not finished other than that. It is very vintage, and looks beautiful in person. It truly looks like folk art in person. The bound neck is nice, and the frets were finished perfectly. The pickup selector toggle is the most firm feeling toggle I have ever seen. The machine heads feel cheesy to me, with a little play in them, but that is an easy fix... add the cost of that to the price of the guitar and you STILL have a good deal. Ease of Use: Out of the box there was fret buzz and intonation was a bit off.... a tiny twist of the truss, backed the bridge away from the pickups a smidge, intonation was perfect, and action was perfect. Very low action. I see some people complained about the intonation, but a floating bridge is the easiest type to adjust intonation on... should be a non issue. Two small tweaks and some string stretching and it was playing and sounding perfect. It sounds gorgeous clean and dirty through a variety of Egnater and Orange amps. Quality: I think the quality is above average at the price point, other than the tuners. I find it odd as I've never had issues with Ibanez's hardware before... but they do work just fine... just feel a little... cheap. Other than that... frets are perfect, finish is perfect, binding is perfect.... the guitar is gorgeous. Value: This guitar is worth much more than it's price point, an incredible deal. Manufacturer Support: I have a long history with Ibanez and have never had to deal with their customer service or warrant department. I've owned them for 25+ years. The Wow Factor: Yet again... I bought it from online pictures because I 'had to have it'... and it delivers in person and then some, so there is a definite wow factor. Overall: Took a chance, I'm glad I did...
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"Ibanez is tops in Jazz guitars, why not a 1 3/4 Nut?" submitted September 9, 2013

By Pat Loren P in Belcourt, ND
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Musical Background: I have been playing guitar for 45+ years, in Lounges, Coffee Houses, and Sunday Mass.
Music Style: I Mainly Play FingerStyle Guitar. (Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, Gordon LightFoot). I also Play Christian,& Gospel.
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Overall: When I first purchased it, I found that the Floating Bridge was Not set to scale.being a Guitar Tech---I Set the Bridge, and Saddles to Specs, lowered theaction, changed the strings, Filed the B & G nut slots, which were too high, andadjusted the Truss rod.....................Believe Me, this guitar did not come readyto Play ! The Pickups sound terrific in My Fender G-Dec Amp on Setting #21,(or the Nylon Acoustic Setting). For a Lower priced Jazz Guitar, (the samepickups are on Higher Priced Ibanez Jazz Guitars), this thing sounds Beautiful.The finish, (in it's Aged, Faded, Look), appears Expensive. The neck has a Perfect feel. The Guitar is Well-balanced. The Tuners hold their grip-good & Firm.I have been Playing for 45+ years, & this guitar gives me the type of sound Finger-Style Guitarists want. It's beautiful mellow sound is perfect Sunday Mass Music.My Modified Fender Strat, & Modified Tele, now take a Back seat on Sundays.If you were to purchase this for ANY venue, you will not be disappointed. Myinitial Adjustments, I'm Guessing, are not necessary on all AF55'S. I just wish this guitar had a 1 3/4 Nut.
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"AFTER 45 YEARS OF PLAYING EVERYTHING WITH STRINGS" submitted February 28, 2013

By T,J, Allen in Yuma, AZ
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Musical Background: 45 years blues country jazz and southern rock, 20years doing barband road gigs
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Overall: unplugged your not going to sound like George Benson, the problem that has been addressed with the bridge is easily fixed, 1, use Diadario, 11-49 with a wound 3rd string, 2 bring the bridge as far foreward as it takes to tune the neck with the 3rd string in about the middle,3 adjust the truss rod until it has a reasonable amount of tension on it and sight the fret board from the back to make sure its straight, 4 tune the fret board from there, ( with a tuner, not your ear ) 5 whether you use a tube amp or a solid state, set your parametric EQ flat, and adjust from there, I've owned and played a lot of Gibsons, recently I was looking for another es 335, I have a freind at guitar center at phoenix. and he let me play everything he had in there over the years Gibson has had some problems with quality control. they are beautiful instruments and stand out among their field, but I have a problem paying 5,000 dollars for a guitar, believe it or not most of the guys that own those are either collectors or endorsed players, anyway I picked up an Ibanez artcore 335 knock off, and the first thing that struck me was the smoothness and attention to detail. it played well and was around 350.50 or so and I bought it, I've never had a regret, recently I ran across an AF55 and fell in love with it I set up the neck using the steps I detailed above, and it plays like a dream, I am a diehard sold Ibanes convert. they have instruments for any kind of music, but before you buy this guitar, put it in a stand, back up and look at it. it is what it is. if your buying this guitar for a punk rock or heavy metal application rethink your approach Ibanez has guitars for those applications but this is not one of them. have fun and good luck. if it's not fun don't do it.
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"Ibanez Artcore AF55" submitted July 26, 2013

By Lynton Adams in San Diego, CA
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Musical Background: Playing for 40 years.
Music Style: Jazz, blues, R&B
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Overall: This is an excellent guitar for jazz, blues, etc. For the money it can't be beat!
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"CHANGE TUNING HARDWARE" submitted December 28, 2013

By tom v in garner, NC
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Musical Background: Playing music for 50 years. Piano, organ, harmonica, guitar. Weekend gigs, festivals.
Music Style: Singer/songwriter. Bluesy, folksy, Americana sort of material.
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Overall: For me, this guitar is an eye catcher. I just like the way it looks. And I'm alright with the way it plays. Some guitars play better some guitars play worse. Figure in a person's talent level and opinions on which is the best playing guitar will change with each person. Sound can be modified with guitar and amp settings,...blah blah blah. My only complaint about this guitar relates to the tuning hardware. THIS THING WILL NOT STAY IN TUNE. Don't even have to touch it or play it,....the tuners 'unwind' under tension enough that in a few minutes, the strings relax and flat the note. Impossible to play because it's never in tune. Wouldn't even stay in tune long enough to intonate the strings. So, I like it, price was under 300, but I have to buy a set of Schallers so I can play it in tune.
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"Cheap as chips. Sings like a mellow middle aged Diva." submitted November 30, 2011

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Sound
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Musical Background: Guitar. Not very well.
Music Style: Blues, Folk, Jazz, Pop, Eastern European
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Sound: Look will appeal to some. Some will not like vintage look. Flatwound strings on this make a wonderful tone. Because the guitar is fairly minimalistic the sound is totally right for Jazz. Better sound than Washburn J5. How do I know...I have owned a J5. Try it. Feature: Full hollow body gives a sound uncomparable to both solid bodied or accoustic guitars. Came with soft, but good Ibanez case. Ease of Use: My guitar was poorly set up by Factory. Intonation not good. But!!.......After my Luthierr set it up properly it sang. Weight perfect. Not to heavy and well balanced. Quality: Actually very good quality for such a low cost guitar. Nice vintage finish. Manufacturer Support: Not dealt with Ibanez. The Wow Factor: Better than would be expected for the price...especially the sound after setting up and using good Thomastik flatwound strings. Lot of Jazz guitar for little money. Vintage style suits laidback Jazz. Very retro sound with flatwounds..sort of 1930's. Overall: Never satisfied. Always fascinated by guitars. But this is a keeper.Wish my playing was a lot better.
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"cheap price! cheap guitar..." submitted November 19, 2011

By a customer from cfl.rr.com
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Musical Background: playing a very long time over 50 years
Music Style: any thing that has a beat and I like it
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Sound: Not very good Feature: sounds like a tin can Ease of Use: after I set it up, it sounds like a tin can Quality: I just got it Value: its a wood guitar Manufacturer Support: no I havent The Wow Factor: little did I know Overall: Im looking now and I have only had it for 3 days
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