Submitted May 8, 2018 by John Y in Spanaway, WA
"End-game guitar... I won't need any more. (Yeah, right)"
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The action, fit and finish on this guitar are very good, after a bit of set up. This was a blemished model sold at discount with no factory warranty. I tried to find a "blemish" on the guitar, but outside of a little bit of easily removed waxy adhesive on the back of the body, I could find none.
The output jack stopped working after a day, but zZounds offered to exchange or repair it. Defects sometimes happen, even with the legendary Ibanez quality control. Very good to know zZounds stands behind what they sell!!
Sound is bright and focused with harmonic complexity. Tone controls can be used to give a warmer, smoother tone. On most guitars I keep the tone wide open to keep things from getting muddy. These controls are quite usable- the sound maintains midrange clarity but warms up into a more traditional semi-hollow sound.
I absolutely love the single coil neck sound.
From near Telecaster to smooth jazz box with hard rock in between! Very easy-to use versatility.
Ebony fretboard for the win! Amazing sounding Super 58 pickups, Tri-Sound switch for the neck pickup, fully bound neck, body, headstock and f-foles. Abalone/pearloid inlay position markers, (the original 80s AS200 that this is a replica of had abalone/real mother of pearl inlays) Pearloid headstock inlays. Gold(en)-plated hardware.
Ease of Use
This guitar sounds good out of the box. A little time dialing in pickup height to my preferences, and it is an astoundingly good sounding guitar.
Played well out of the box, but needed a few tweaks to the action at the nut and bridge for me. Now it is equal to or better than almost any of the guitars I have ever owned or played, I will tweak the truss rod a little after the guitar gets used to the climate on the other side of the country from the New Jersey warehouse it was in. It has been flattening out in Washington State's climate and will need a touch more relief. Arrived with perfect relief though.
Small, dime-sized volume and tone pots, inexpensive switches. Output jack made of thin metal, prone to failure (at least on mine). Corners had to be cut to produce an instrument of this generally high quality at this price)
Nice pickups, (really nice) Tuners are very smooth and hold pitch well, feel high quality. Neck is a three piece mahogany/maple/mahogany rather than the one piece sapelle listed in the specs (on every store in the world it seems), but that is a big plus for stability.
If the made in China version is this good, the Japanese-made one has got to be unimaginably good.
I was originally going to buy an Epiphone Les Paul ES semi hollow, but after listening to clips of both the Epi and the Ibby on YouTube, the Epi lost some of its appeal. I would have to put in money for new pickups and a hard shell case to get even close to the Ibby in tone and value. After factoring in the necessity (case) and upgrade (pickups) the price difference became inconsequential, and I have a much better guitar for my purposes.
Did not contact manufacturer for support, since this is a "blemished" guitar.
The Wow Factor
I have wanted an AS200 since the 80s. This is an absolutely beautiful guitar. Wow factor 10 out of 10. Maybe subtract half a point for the bad output jack...
Action, sound, craftsmanship and looks are all top notch. Inlay work is spot on, neck is comfortably smooth and fast without the skinny shredder-type profile.
Didn't take me long to bond with the guitar, now I can't put it down.
Played for 45 years- Guitar, bass, some keys and drums
I play classic rock, ambient guitar, modern worship, detuned metal, anything that catches my interest... Lately it has been psyc
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