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Rating and Reviews: Ibanez AW54CE Artwood

With its top, back, and sides made from mahogany, the Ibanez AW54CE Artwood delivers rich, well-rounded sound whether you're plugged in or playing acoustic.

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The Wow Factor
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"WOW." submitted January 26, 2017

By Christopher M in Johnstown, NY
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Musical Background: Been playing for 10 years, a bunch of gigs, sound engineer and recording
Music Style: Every genre. Anything with soul.
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Overall: Normally I don't write reviews unless I stumble upon something exceptional, and this guitar is no doubt something else. I've been doing research over the past year to find my dream acoustic guitar, something that I'll cherish for a lifetime. I'll start off by sharing that I'm not an Ibanez guy per se, although I am a big fan of their craftsmanship for their electric guitars, I've mostly played HSS Stratocaster's before settling down to my Studio Les Paul. Up until now the only acoustics I've had were beater guitars, with the exception of a Luna Acoustic which was a gift I could never quite take to because of the small neck profile and scale. A few months ago I was lucky to run into an Ibanez AW54 Artwood (non electric, no cutaway) at a local guitar shop and was blown away by the sound and tone, it had the same richness and warmth as a mahogany Martin and Taylor (both cost over a grand) but with way better action and feel. At that moment I was sold. I needed to get the AW54CE.This morning I was pumped to find the guitar arrived after 2 days, free shipping. Even though the temp outside was 40 degrees (big concern), the guitar was well-packaged and insulated. Taking it out of the box I felt like a kid on Christmas. The pictures you'll find floating around the internet don't do this thing justice. Not one flaw or blemish anywhere to be found. And the one thing that shocked me the most, the neck and bridge needed absolutely zero adjustment. The action was flawless! There was already a battery inside, so after an hour of letting it acclimate, I just tuned it up and was absolutely floored by the tone. Holy crap. I still can't believe I can rip on this thing like my Les Paul, with no action set up whatsoever! I'm now sold on Ibanez products. The craftsmanship between the setup, the bridge, the special pins, tuning heads, attention to detail with the neck, I could go on forever. But I'll leave you with this. If you're in the market to drop a couple hundred on an acoustic, and you want QUALITY that will hopefully last you a lifetime, look no further. This is the guitar you've been dreaming of.
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"Aw54ce" submitted May 18, 2014

By Michael M in San Angelo, TX
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Musical Background: Lead worship 3x per week
Music Style: Christian...
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Overall: For the money, I'm not sure you'll find a better value. You usually expect a guitar in this price range to sound bad... Not this one. I was very impressed with the quality of tone, especially plugged in. I've owned at ton, martin, gibson etc... While this is not a Martin, at this price Martin, Taylor & Gibson has nothing that will compete with this tone per price.
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"Excellent buy" submitted June 30, 2017

By Nick M in Jesup, GA
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Musical Background: Been playing and recording various styles of music for going on 15 years
Music Style: You name it i've probably had a hand in writing, producing, or performing it.
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Overall: This guitar blew my expectations out of the water. Having previously bought an art wood series ibanez, I knew you could get decent quality without emptying your bank account, but I was extremely impressed with this guitar. Came without a scratch or problem on time that was quoted to me through the pay as you play program (excellent for cash strapped musicians with a dream!). The pictures do the finish little justice as it is beautiful in person. The open pore natural finish really brings texture to the surfaces and encompasses the entire guitar. The tuner has never gave me a problem and does a pretty accurate job. No fret buzz, no dents or dings, no warps or bad craftsmanship. Came out of the box in tune (gasp!). Then I played it. Its amazing to me you can get such a quality of sound from such a cheap instrument. I have always kept to cliche "you get what you pay for" when it comes to instruments, but this guitar is, in my opinion, worth so much more. I highly recommend to anyone who wants a quality guitar at an affordable price. I have yet to record or play it through an amp, but I am positive it will not disappoint. As far as features go? I mean its pretty straight forward with an on board tuner and has a few options to adjust amped sound. About as much as you'd expect. As far as manufacturer support i give it a default 5 star rating just because it has no problems and isn't deteriorating into crap but I haven't had any reason to contact them so...Moving on, you absolutely can not beat the quality of this guitar for its price. 10/10 in my book and I haven't had a single regret even after a few months it still holds solid.
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"Ibanez Is THE Value Leader!" submitted August 7, 2015

By Ron P in El Cajon, CA
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Musical Background: Playing for 45 years, Electric, Acoustic, 12 string guitars, Church worship team
Music Style: Christian, rock, country, blues, fingestyle
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Overall: Here is an interesting test for you to try out. Go to any walk-in guitar shop and pick up a Taylor, any Taylor, but for comparison validity choose a mahogany one. Play it, listen to it, see how high the action is and remember it will cost another $65 to get it right (assuming your shop's technicians are any good). Then pick up an Ibanez AW54CE and as yourself if the Taylor is actually worth a thousand dollars more. Not the preamp/pickup, there is no doubt the Taylor will have better electronics, but compare the ease of playing, the rich sound and the evenness of that sound across all 6 stings. I did just that, but then of course bought my "Hog" at ZZounds. Why? Because I can purchase in four easy payments and if I hate the guitar can return it no questions asked. I only lose a few bucks in return shipment. However, that won't happen with this "Hog." It's action at the 12th fret about 2.6 mm on the low E and it requires no additional setup. The sound....ah well, full, rich, distinctly hearing each string, yet not losing the sound of each chord properly. I don't know how Ibanez can accomplish such good quality control at this price point (and conversely, why Taylor can't). Well, now there is a "Hog" for the rest of us, who cannot afford the prestige of a Taylor (Martin, Gibson etc.). Thanks Ibanez, and ZZounds for a great deal, great value and the satisfaction of a good purchase.
11 of 12 people (91.67%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Amazing deal" submitted February 4, 2017

By Nick M in Jesup, GA
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Musical Background: Been playing for 14 years/bands/home studio
Music Style: A little of everything
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Overall: Just received this guitar on free two day shipping. Came as promised and arrived unblemished. Beautiful finish that pictures can not give due justice to. Amazing tone and clarity at such an affordable price. Play as you pay makes this one a no brainer. Came out of the box in tune. Couldn't be happier.
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