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Ibanez Artcore AF105 Hollowbody Electric Guitar

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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
IbanezArtcore AF105 Hollowbody Electric Guitar
 
4.8

(based on 23 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (20)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

Pros

  • Fun to play (3)
  • Good feel (3)
  • Good pick up (3)
  • Good tone (3)
  • Solid electronics (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

No Best Uses

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Terrific Value

If you can deal with some minor quality control issues, the guitar in totality is fantastic for the price. The abalone inlays, finish, book matched maple body, binding, tailpiece and headstock are...Read complete review

If you can deal with some minor quality control issues, the guitar in totality is fantastic for the price. The abalone inlays, finish, book matched maple body, binding, tailpiece and headstock are all well done. The sound is terrific and it has the look, feel and tone of a much more expensive piece. I would recommend guitar as a good value.
The features of this guitar are excellent. It is quite well done with the exception of some of the minor quality control issues mentioned below. The inlays, quilted maple and finish are equivalent to a guitar probably costing around three times the amount. The tone is actually wonderful. The guitar shipped in cold weather and I thought it sounded a little dead when I first took it out. After about three hours of playing, the sound started to improve to the point that I was very impressed. Not sure if that was because of the warmth or it just needed a quick break in. It makes me wonder how nice it is going to sound with some age on it. Wooden tone controls are good and effective. The PUs have a nice gold treatment and give a nice warm jazz tone at the neck position and a bark in the middle and bridge position. The guitar comes with a metal bridge adjustable for intonation and a substitute rosewood bridge for a more woody jazz tone. The rosewood tailpiece is very nice with the inlay but see my comment below for the finish. I don't want this to sound the wrong way but the people playing this on youtube are not playing it to the guitar's capability. This is a jazz guitar and is capable of some complex tones. So don't use those videos to determine the tone.
I was awestruck opening the case when the guitar arrived. The flamed maple and burst finish are really very well done and definitely more in line with a guitar that would cost three times what it does. The finish on the body where there is finish is flawless. However, the cutaways for the screw heads on the pickguard have some missing and/or rough finish. Also, underneath the neck at the last few frets and above the neck pickup there is no finish applied. This is a little unusual and left me wondering why there would be no finish there as if the body were finished after the neck was joined. Not sure on that. The binding on the F-holes while overall very well done is rough in a few places(side facing inward). There is also a cut mark on the right upper bout in the binding there which is a bit of a blemish. Lastly, the frets are not finished very well on my guitar. At least one of them has what is either some dried glue or perhaps a bit of a burr. The abalone inlays are very elegant looking. I am not sure if they were trying to simulate ebony on the tail piece but it is done in a dark matte finish. I think the tailpiece would look better polished with a lighter varnish on the rosewood. In totality, these are very minor flaws which I would consider consistent with a mass produced guitar in this price range.
I think that this guitar is a superb value. Initially, the idea that the guitar is made in China was a deterrent but I have owned other Ibanez guitars and decided to take a chance. This guitar has characteristics of guitars costing three times the amount. I play Jazz guitar and I would say that the sound is smooth and rich and in capable hands the difference between this and an ES175 would not necessarily be obvious (tone is in the fingers). That being said I have played ES175s and I can say that they are exquisite but probably not five times the cost of this guitar exquisite. I always remember the USA Today article in which the Gibson CEO (HJ) flat out said that he doubled the cost of some of the guitars because marketing showed that people bought more of them that way. So I am not exactly satisfied paying retail for a Gibson. So that's my rant. I bought the Ibanez not because it is the quality of an ES175 (It's not) but for the number of features and appointments for a guitar in the price range. In other words, it has more well done features than any other guitar in my opinion at this cost. I If this broke I would consider purchasing it again.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Not Great

I felt the AF105 is not worth the price tag. The sound, unamplified and amplified, was thin and not as warm or punchy as my Epi LP Elitist or G&L USA...Read complete review

I felt the AF105 is not worth the price tag. The sound, unamplified and amplified, was thin and not as warm or punchy as my Epi LP Elitist or G&L USA Legacy. The case is also made of nasty, smelly, sticky, gray, recycled plastic. Look elsewhere for a better sounding hollowbody.

Reviewed by 23 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Terrific Value

By MrCannonblue

from Boston

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Comments about Ibanez Artcore AF105 Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

If you can deal with some minor quality control issues, the guitar in totality is fantastic for the price. The abalone inlays, finish, book matched maple body, binding, tailpiece and headstock are all well done. The sound is terrific and it has the look, feel and tone of a much more expensive piece. I would recommend guitar as a good value.
The features of this guitar are excellent. It is quite well done with the exception of some of the minor quality control issues mentioned below. The inlays, quilted maple and finish are equivalent to a guitar probably costing around three times the amount. The tone is actually wonderful. The guitar shipped in cold weather and I thought it sounded a little dead when I first took it out. After about three hours of playing, the sound started to improve to the point that I was very impressed. Not sure if that was because of the warmth or it just needed a quick break in. It makes me wonder how nice it is going to sound with some age on it. Wooden tone controls are good and effective. The PUs have a nice gold treatment and give a nice warm jazz tone at the neck position and a bark in the middle and bridge position. The guitar comes with a metal bridge adjustable for intonation and a substitute rosewood bridge for a more woody jazz tone. The rosewood tailpiece is very nice with the inlay but see my comment below for the finish. I don't want this to sound the wrong way but the people playing this on youtube are not playing it to the guitar's capability. This is a jazz guitar and is capable of some complex tones. So don't use those videos to determine the tone.
I was awestruck opening the case when the guitar arrived. The flamed maple and burst finish are really very well done and definitely more in line with a guitar that would cost three times what it does. The finish on the body where there is finish is flawless. However, the cutaways for the screw heads on the pickguard have some missing and/or rough finish. Also, underneath the neck at the last few frets and above the neck pickup there is no finish applied. This is a little unusual and left me wondering why there would be no finish there as if the body were finished after the neck was joined. Not sure on that. The binding on the F-holes while overall very well done is rough in a few places(side facing inward). There is also a cut mark on the right upper bout in the binding there which is a bit of a blemish. Lastly, the frets are not finished very well on my guitar. At least one of them has what is either some dried glue or perhaps a bit of a burr. The abalone inlays are very elegant looking. I am not sure if they were trying to simulate ebony on the tail piece but it is done in a dark matte finish. I think the tailpiece would look better polished with a lighter varnish on the rosewood. In totality, these are very minor flaws which I would consider consistent with a mass produced guitar in this price range.
I think that this guitar is a superb value. Initially, the idea that the guitar is made in China was a deterrent but I have owned other Ibanez guitars and decided to take a chance. This guitar has characteristics of guitars costing three times the amount. I play Jazz guitar and I would say that the sound is smooth and rich and in capable hands the difference between this and an ES175 would not necessarily be obvious (tone is in the fingers). That being said I have played ES175s and I can say that they are exquisite but probably not five times the cost of this guitar exquisite. I always remember the USA Today article in which the Gibson CEO (HJ) flat out said that he doubled the cost of some of the guitars because marketing showed that people bought more of them that way. So I am not exactly satisfied paying retail for a Gibson. So that's my rant. I bought the Ibanez not because it is the quality of an ES175 (It's not) but for the number of features and appointments for a guitar in the price range. In other words, it has more well done features than any other guitar in my opinion at this cost. I If this broke I would consider purchasing it again.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Excellent guitar.

By Mr. Fingers

from Terre Haute, IN

See all my reviews

Comments about Ibanez Artcore AF105 Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

I bought this guitar because I couldn't afford an ES-175 but always wanted one. I am extremely happy! I've had it for about a year now. Visually excellent, absolutely beautiful, workmanship excellent, no flaws I can find! Stays in tune well, easy playability and nice action. Comes with tune-o-matic and rosewood bridges. Sound is very impressive with either bridge. Tune-o-matic gives bright tone, surprising sounds using amps or modeling processors. But it really excels with rosewood bridge and thicker strings through my small tube amps (using D'Addario EXL110Ws now but thinking about moving to D'Addario ECG24 Jazz Light Chromes). Sweet, sweet tone from this box, many compliments on the sound and visuals! If you were wanting an ES-175 or similar don't hesitate to try this one first. Only one thing I would change, the tone and volume control knobs are rosewood with single dots as position indicators, it would be nice to have numbered knobs so you can start a song or set the same way everytime. Also, take some time to air out the case, it has an unusual smell when new. But you won't leave it in the case for long!

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Many sonics for not many bux

By Pigs Feet Dupuis

from plymouth, MA

See all my reviews

Comments about Ibanez Artcore AF105 Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

preface.. I am a blues player, use fingerpicking with the flesh of my fingers...Amp-Epiphone Blues 30. with this in mind.... example.. Lightnin' Hopkins version of "Babby Please Don't Go" live, he used a Gibson acoustic with a DeArmond, dial it in great! Early John Lee hooker, during his early and best productive years in my opinion he used a hollow body, and epi I think that was givin to him by T-Bone Walker, check out his early stuff from download sights and sample some early Boogie chillun, Boom Boom, this guitar nails it, even to my surprise .. Muddy waters early days (Rollin Stone, Can't Be Satisfied, Feel Like Going Home) with the amp in class (tung sol tubes) nice surprise. I really don't care what a box looks like but this as a pretty guitar, well made, came witha yune-o-matic and ebony wood bridge which I immediatly added. Anyone who already owns the epiphone Blues 30, this guitar is made fore it. The tone pots have a huge roll off capability, little change physically big change in tone. The Tailpiece is wooden as are the vol/tone knobs! Mother of pearl every place, but whats best for me is this guitar allows me to leave 2 other at home when gig out. IAt one time I thought these Artcore's were just a hoaky clone until I bought a used AG 75, I plugged into the little Fender pro and the colorful tone and feel of the neck amazed me and for a great used price.. I also own a Heritage jazz box and have been try to learn my craft since 1964 so I have had the kit and ka-bootle of guitars, The Heritage makes a beautiful sound but is too pretty a sound for tunes like Jessie Mae Hemphills or R.L. Burnside. I tried an already sold 105 locally with maybe 7 amps, and this guitar is amp selective, none sounded bad but none sounded like the epi Blues 30, I came home and called this company and lived happily ever after

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

AF105-NT (Cheep Thrills)

By BlueDude

from Longmont, CO

Comments about Ibanez Artcore AF105 Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

The Ibanez AF105-NT Artcore Custom is a very credible jazz box. The medium frets and more traditional neck make for a very comfortable playing instrument. Workmanship is incredible at any price and the sound is very versatile. The neck pickup gives sustained warm jazz sounds with a surprisingly long sustain. Tone control is smooth and linear with a very broad range of expression available. The bridge pickup can be as twangy as desired by just turning up the tone. Both have extremely clean output.Original setup was poor (zero string relief and too-high cuts on the nut) but easily remedied. I use 0.11s on this box and they play really easy because the traditional trapeze design provides greater string elasticity due to the longer overall string-length. Highly recommended.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

smooth as butter and warm as apple pie!!

By jblues_man

from South Carolina

See all my reviews

Comments about Ibanez Artcore AF105 Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

Well I have read many reviews on all types of guitars. There are a few that still stick in my mind that I must own but for now I must say this was my main choice. I played a lower end model of this guitar and was blown away. The feel was somthing to get a little use to but only for a minute or so. After I got my 105 in the mail I played it accousticcally and sounded very good to me. But when I played it through my amp I was blown away. All I can say is smooth as butter and warm as apple pie. I just love the neck PUP. Roll down on the tone and get a full fat jazz lead or bleand the neck with it to get a brighter tone for country picken. This is my first real guitar and I am very fond of this axe. I am not a very experineced player but I know what a great guitar sounds like and this is one. I hate that this is not an american made guitar but it is still a great guitar. I think if this was a american made guitar I would say it would be 2 to 3 times higher that what it is selling for. Just a great guitar that can grow with me as I grow. thanks Ibanez!!!!!

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

My best purchase

By The Artist Known as Joseppi

from Oakhurst CA

See all my reviews

Comments about Ibanez Artcore AF105 Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

I bought this about 2 years ago and never took my Taylor T5 out of the case again. It has beautiful appointments and bell-like tones I never achieved with the Taylor and at a fraction of the price. This is my second Ibanez and I'm totally impressed. It has great tones regardless of the amp I use it with. I have a cheap Kustom 30W combo, a Fender Deluxe and I just traded the Taylor for a Bose L1 Compact and the Ibanez does justice to them all. You will not go wrong with this guitar.

(3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

sweet, pretty little thing with soul

By JMG

from Houston, TX

Comments about Ibanez Artcore AF105 Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

i've owned mine now for almost 3 years now and i have to admit its one of the sweetest guitars i have played. it absolutely beautiful, the pic does not due this guitar justice. its variety of tones is exceptional and you get a real soulful tone for clean blues leads and rhythms. this is an excellent giutar for jazz. i am a worship musician and find that its a great guitar for a fatter, fuller, overall clean sound. i dont recommend this guitar for heavier crunch leads beacuse the resonace on this guitar causes alot of feedback, although i have used it for rhythm with sme crunch and got a really good tone. overall excellent guitar.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Guitar

By Steve-ZmVVO

from SoCal

See all my reviews

Comments about Ibanez Artcore AF105 Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

This guitar is great. The neck is smooth, fast and fantastic. All of the wood looks super cool. The cosmetics on this guitar (mother of pearl, wood knobs, etc) would cost a ton more on other brands. It stays in tune wonderfully. I just wish the upper fret access was better and the knobs had more marks to consistently set your volume and tone. As a hollow body, watch out for feedback when you crank on the distortion.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

It has the quality of what you can expec

By Ajay

from Fort Myers Fl

About Me Experienced

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Just a fine instument
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Jamming
    • Just fun to play
    • Practicing

    Comments about Ibanez Artcore AF105 Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

    I had stopped playing for a long time. Decided to try again and I beleive this guitar will make me want to con't on for years to come.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Don't wait . . .you'll be late!

    By JazzManBlues

    from Houston, TX

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Ibanez Artcore AF105 Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

    I own jazz electrics for many times higher cost (and less attractive) than this one. I purchased without playing, but was never disappointed. Right out of the box, it played great. As with any electric you buy with a tunable bridge, I had to make some very minor intonation adjustments. For beginners, take my advice. You'll not be disappointed. Just be sure to buy from a reputable dealer. I've played for nearly 51 years. I like playing on this one the best. It's fun! Great sound.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    mind blowing value

    By Big Ed-sl2kj

    from Ventura

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Ibanez Artcore AF105 Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

    This guitar has amazing tone for Jazz, Blues and some Rock. It is very easy to play, and is incredibly beautiful to look at. If you are thinking of getting this guitar, do it now! you will not be sorry. I play it through a Fender Deluxe Tube Amp and it sounds awesome! Clean or over driven the sound is great. Volume and tone controls are very responsive. Over all one of the best guitars I own.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Best in it's class

    By John G Cunningham Sr.

    from Brockwell , AR

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Ibanez Artcore AF105 Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

    This instrument is all Quality. The custom neck is perfect for fast moves without the extra follow notes that plague other guitars. I use this for the clean leads in my home studio. It is just that , clean!

     
    5.0

    Someone made a pricing mistake.

    By Jamar

    from Richmond, Va.

    About Me Professional Musician

    Pros

    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Good Pick Up
    • Good Tone
    • Solid Electronics
    • Sounds like a $1900.00 guitar.

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about Ibanez Artcore AF105 Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

        This guitar is badly under priced.

         
        5.0

        Ive never seen nothing like it.

        By Art Carter/"Jamar"

        from RVA.

        About Me Professional Musician

        Pros

        • Fun To Play
        • Good Feel
        • Good Pick Up
        • Good Tone
        • Solid Electronics

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Jamming
          • Practicing
          • Recording
          • Rock Concerts
          • Small Venues

          Comments about Ibanez Artcore AF105 Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

          I ve been at it for 50+ years and I tell you somebody messed up. This guitar is near perfect. Really perfect for Jazz or Blues depending on strings and your genre.

           
          5.0

          You gotta try this guitar!

          By Big Papa T

          from Redlands, CA

          Comments about Ibanez Artcore AF105 Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

          I hate the necks on Gibsons. They feel like playing on a tree trunk. But this guitar plays great and the neck is very easy to get around on. Never woulda dreamed this guitar would be as great as it is. Do yourself a favor and take a test drive. But bring $, cause you'll end up buying it

           
          5.0

          Great Guitar!

          By kfc333

          from Branson, MO

          Comments about Ibanez Artcore AF105 Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

          I was initially attracted to this guitar because of its looks; a very beautiful instrument. Unplugged it sounded nice, maybe a bit thin. However, once amplified I was shocked at the warm and balance tone I got. I bought it. Later I changed to an ebony bridge and again was shocked. This guitar is a dream to play and to listen to. I tried Gibsons, Epiphones, and some other big name jazz boxes, and I have not once regretted getting this guitar.

           
          3.0

          Not Great

          By SS-lvOf6

          from Lake Titicaca

          Comments about Ibanez Artcore AF105 Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

          I felt the AF105 is not worth the price tag. The sound, unamplified and amplified, was thin and not as warm or punchy as my Epi LP Elitist or G&L USA Legacy. The case is also made of nasty, smelly, sticky, gray, recycled plastic. Look elsewhere for a better sounding hollowbody.

           
          5.0

          One Awesome Guitar !

          By Jazzman-2sGV1

          from Charlotte, NC

          Comments about Ibanez Artcore AF105 Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

          I recently purchased this guitar after trying a wide-range of similiar and much higher priced pieces. I am 'retiring' a vintage Gretsch, as I do not want to take that instrument on gigs any longer. So, I realized it might be a challenge to find a quality instrument at an affordable price that would satisfy my tastes and serve me well when playing live. Needless to say, I am VERY impressed with what Ibanez has achieved. This guitar gives you the feel of a handcrafted instrument. Every detail is precise, with the construction quality and care you would expect from a MUCH higher priced guitar. It plays wonderfully, its smooth, responsive,and with a very fast action. It does take some experimentation to get the right tonal quality - but that's not a negative. The tone controls are very responsive. I get a great jazz sound and particularly like the double pickups. Gives me more flexibility for various styles and situations. Responds well with effects. Can get a little feedback, so watch your positioning, but otherwise I highly recommend this guitar to those who seek a serious jazz box (and yes - you can use it for anything else you play!). You will LOVE this guitar!

           
          5.0

          I am shocked !

          By Jimmy Ross / Max Records

          from southern California

          See all my reviews

          Comments about Ibanez Artcore AF105 Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

          I bought this guitar to use as rythm with my blues music because I love that clean jazz guitar sound. I WAS FLOORED WHEN I PLUGGED IT IN,it was set up almost perfect out of the box and very,very pretty. If I did not know what it cost and just played it I would swear it was a $3000 guitar or more. THIS IS A GREAT BUY !!

           
          4.0

          Well Made Guitar

          By Vintagelespaul

          from Midwest

          See all my reviews

          Comments about Ibanez Artcore AF105 Hollowbody Electric Guitar:

          Bought my Ibanez Artcore AF105 about six months ago. It is certainly a beautiful instrument to look at. As I've gotten into playing more jazz lately I decided I wanted a hollowbody. I also checked out a Gretsch Electromatic for about the same price, but chose the Ibanez because it didn't have a Bigsby. Playability is somewhere in between my '70 vintage Les Paul Custom (low) and new American Strat (high) with the sound being closer to the LP probably because of the humbuckers. It's pretty easy to set up since it has a Tune-o-Matic type of bridge similar to a Les Paul, although it's a floating bridge which I don't particularly care for. One other minor complaint is that the pickguard simply lays on the bridge pickup mount (no fastener) and buzzes a little, but I put a small piece of felt in between and that took care of it. All in all it's a pretty good value and worth a look if a hollowbody guitar is in your future.

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