ARC300 Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 02/02/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Ibanez: ARC300
This new ARC Artist model offers unprecedented affordability in a brand name set-neck guitar. The ARC is the first single-cutaway Artist in 30 years.
 Sound: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 9.8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 7.7
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 8.6 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.8 
 Users rating:
 8.3 
 Votes:
 42 
reviews (6) pictures (3) 13 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.6
ARC300 Reviewed by: jeffo46, on october 11, 2010
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Features: I'm assuming that mine was made around 2007 or so. There's no serial number on it to confirm it. It's made of mahoghany with a Rosewood fretboard and 22 frets, with a beautiful Sunburst finish. The tuners are stock Ibanez, while the bridge and tailpiece are a Gilbratar III system with fine tuners. The electronics are Ibanez ACH pickups with 2 separate volume controls and 1 tone control with a 3 way pickup switch. The body design is similar to that of a Les Paul, except the horn is more rounded and the upper back of the body has a contour similar to a Strat, which I found to be very comfortable for when I cose to sit down with this instrument. I also got a heavy duty Parker Gigbag as part of the trade with this. For a Chinese made guitar, this is one well made instrument! // 10

Sound: I'm playing this through a Crate GX-65 American made combo without any effects, and to be honest, this guitar can do it all. I am totally impressed with the tone that comes from the ACH pickups. Maybe it's the weight of the guitar, or the 2 volume knobs, I don't know but, this axe blows away any Epiphone Les Paul that I've ever heard, and IMO, some of Gibson's lower priced stuff as well. I can play Blues, Country, Metal, and Classic Rock with this Guitar with ease. It's extremely versatile once you set it up right and adjust the pickups and your amp settings accordingly. I'm kicking myself in the ass for not getting one of these earlier. This is a keeper for sure! // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I traded a MIM 2001 Strat for this and when I got it, the neck had some serious fret buzz, along with the intonation being off. The pickups were also really close to the strings. It seems that the previous owner didn't believe in taking care of his guitars, which pisses me off. Once I did some work on it, I had it set up as if it just came off the assembly line. Now, the action on it, is perfect and the fine tuners work well. The stock Ibanez tuners do a good job of maintaining tuning stability. It's all in how you setup your guitar, as far as I'm concerned. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This is one solid instrument and I believe, could withstand anything. Then again, I'm not into abusing my guitars, seeing as how I baby all of my equipment. Everything on this is all stock and doesn't need to be replaced IMO. I could use this at a gig without a backup. The finish seems like it could last providing you don't go and do anything crazy to it. // 10

Overall Impression: I play Rock, Blues, and 80's Metal and I've been playing for over 37 years. In all of my years of playing, this guitar is a pleasant surpise to say the least. If anything ever happened to it, I would definately look for another one, no doubt. As a matter of fact, if I did came across another one, I just might snatch it up just for the hell of it. As I stated earlier, this blows away any Epiphone, some Gibsons, and hell, it'll even give some of my beloved Fenders a run for their money. It's just that damm good. // 10

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overall: 9.8
ARC300 Reviewed by: turbopunk2000, on july 11, 2006
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 355.5

Features: The guitar is made in China. The fingerboard is rosewood and has block inlays. 22 frets. The body is mahogany and it has a flamed maple top with "dark violin sunburst" finish. It has a single cutaway and it looks a bit like a more rounded Les Paul. It has a 3-way pickup selecter, two Ibanez humbucker pickups and 2 volume controls and 1 tone controls. // 10

Sound: I play just about anything on the guitar and found it incredibly versitile. I play it through a Vox Valvetronix and the guitar can make a super fast punk sound, to a warm bluesy sound, even on my crappy Fender Frontman amp. The pickups can be a bit better, but for the price, I'm not complaining much. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The action wasn't exactly Gibson style, but it was fine with me since I'm lazy and don't want to change it. There's nothing much to say about this because just about everything is perfect. The only thig that isn't is that the finish is soon a fingerprint mess and you have to polish every 5 seconds if you want it to remain fingerprint-free (I don't 'cause I'm lazy). // 10

Reliability & Durability: The thing is great. Dropped it on the gravel and only got tiny little scratches. I had this for over a year and nothing was wrong with it. I play it at gigs alot and I don't want to play with it in gigs because it will soon be drenched in spit by the crowed, so I have to give up my lazy habits and clean it after every gig. // 10

Overall Impression: I play everything, but I'm in a punk band and it's fine. I've been playing for 4 years and played with a few high end gibsons and the Ibanez can compare quite nicely. If it were lost or stollen, I'd probably buy something else because I like to try new things, but that doesn't mean it's not a great guitar. I love the flame top has got to be the mest guitar me or my friends had ever owned. // 10

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overall: 9.2
ARC300 Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 26, 2007
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Features: I'm not sure where it was made but I think it was in China or in Taiwan. This guitar has 22 medium frets. It also has a solid top, I think so. It has a mahogany body and also has a mahogany ARC set-in neck. The finish is a brown sunburst (BS) and it is really a nice color on the guitar. The body style is like a Gibson Les Paul but the pointed tip in the Gibson is diff. because the Ibanez has a curved, non- pointed tip. The bridge is a Gibraltar III bridge. I am also not sure if it has active or passive electronics. The controls are volume, tone1 and tone2. It has a 3-way selector. Even if the 3-way selector is okay, I bought a new one from AllParts and replaced the old one with a new 3-way selector. The new selector is almost like the Standard one but this one is a lot softer and only needs a little effort in moving it. This guitar has humbucker pickups and it has ACH1 (H) neck pickup and ACH2 (H) bridge pickup. The tuners are non- locking and I'm not sure with the brand. All I know about it is that it is the tuners that they have when you buy it. It also has fine, tuning in the other end of the guitar and it is really helpful when you are playing and when you find out you're out of tune during the middle of the song. Unfortunately' it does not go with any accessories. // 9

Sound: This guitar really suits my music style because with any kind of music I play, the sound is very clear whether it's clean or distorted. The amp I am using is a Laney 65W amp and the effects I'm using is the Zoom 606 multi-effects. The sound of the amp is very clear and it is really loud and the effects has a lot of those cool sounds which I always use. On any setting, it is not noisy and it gives a full sound and it really sounds good when it is distorted. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was properly set-up in the factory and all parts of the guitar were properly put in place. The neck pickup, at first, was a little loose but after a few adjustments, it was fixed but the bridge pickup was just fine and I did not have any problems with it. The guitar did not contain any flaws and everything was properly placed in the guitar and did not have any problems with the neck, bridge, etc. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will withstand Live playing because the guitar was made with strong and durable wood or materials. The hardware will last because it looks like it is strong enough. The strap buttons are very solid and it can withstand the weight of the guitar, because the guitar is heavier than the usual guitars. I can depend on this guitar because I know that this guitar is strong and does not easily break and I would surely use this guitar on a gig without a backup. The finish looks like it will last a long time and it does not get dameged or scratched easily. // 9

Overall Impression: I play rock music and this is a good match because it really sounds good when it is distorted because it gives a full sound and really gives that sound fit for rock music. I have been playing for a year and a half and I own a Fender Strat and this Ibanez Guitar. I also have a Fender amp and the Laney amp. If this guitar was stolen, I would buy it again because I really like this guitar. I like the design of the guitar and my favorite feauture is the fine tuning and the pickup selector, even though I changed mine. I chose this guitar because it had a good design, an affordable price and good sound. // 9

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overall: 7
ARC300 Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 02, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 250

Purchased from: pawn shop

Features: Well first I must tell you I bought it in a pawn shop. Like any guitar in a pawn shop well, you have no idea what the previous owner(s) did to it. When I got it it looked brand new but the fret work was dreadful. I had to have the action ridiculously high to play without annoying buzzing going through the amp. So I got a file and some steel wool, and a wrench for the truss rod and went to work on it. First I loosened the neck fully for a while to let the wood settle and then I began to tighten it up. I then filed down the frets carefully a little a time and kept tightening and doing this. Then I fully tightened the truss and let it sit for a few days. After all this work I now have very low action and almost no buzz at all. It plays like a high end Les Paul now and I'm happy with it. I don't know if it came from the factory this way but it's not acceptable if it did. Possibly the original owner knocked a fret up, I really don't know. It is a good sounding and great playing guitar now but it needed serious work to get it. Now this is a shredding beast. I'd give it a 10 after all the work I did but the way I got it it was like a 3, just horrible action and buzzing everywhere. // 8

Sound: Very rich and heavy sound perfect for heavy rock and metal. Mahogany body and active pickups. The pickups aren't bad but are particular to the amp you play it on and you will have to eq it to get the tone right otherwise they aren't horrible but EMGs are much better. With EMGs I believe this guitar would be a 9 but I give it a 7 because it is not bad but could be better. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: The neck was terrible when I got it. It needed extensive fret work and alot of truss rod adjustment to get it straight and to play well with low action. After all this work I would give it a 10 it is such a great player but the way I got it was absolutely horrible. // 2

Reliability & Durability: I beat the crap out of it and it plays great. It seems well built just had a very shitty neck when I got it but it looks like it would hold up very well to abuse and gigging with it. I have nothing more to say and I have to type in 75 more frickin words I have nothing more to say and I have to type in 75 more words. // 10

Overall Impression: Really nice guitar if you take it to a luthier to do the work to fix it, since I know how to do it I save a few hundred dollars as it needed alot of work to get it playable again. Not impressed at all but like I said it was in a pawn shop so who knows what happened to it before I got it. I can not say if it came out of the factory this way. I am very pleased with it now and would buy another one. This is really for rock and metal, you can do blues but the pickups are very compressed sounding to me and just not suitable for less aggressive styles of music. Massive sustain and rich harmonic noise this guitar I call it the buzzsaw because of how bad it was when I got it lol but now I love it. // 8

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overall: 9
ARC300 Reviewed by: EnyoAdonai, on june 16, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 600

Purchased from: 2nd hand store

Features: This was made in China in 2007. It has 22 moderately sized frets and a rosewood fingerboard, combined with a mahogany neck and body. It's a Les Paul shaped body that has a more rounded point on the cut out and it has the typical Les Paul scale length which is around 24 inches. It comes with a tune-o-matic styled bridge and fine-tuners which are really handy to have but not essential. It has H/H pickup config and a corresponding volume knob for each one, then one tone knob and a 3-way-selector. The tuners are standard, they have no brand name so I assume they are Ibanez branded. Mine came second hand with a soft backpack case, two leads, and a strap. All for $600 NZ. A few reviews have said this guitar is finished with veneer, but mine doesn't seem to be (although I'm not absolutely certain how to tell the difference). I rate this 10 because there's nothing else this guitar could have on it that I want, features wise it is perfect for me. // 10

Sound: I play songs by Led Zeppelin and lots of different bands, I feel this guitar does suit my style but I don't have a decent amp that I can get a good tone out of. I sometimes use it with a Boss V-wah pedal but my 10 watt squire starter pack amp doesn't do it any favours (I'm a student, I can't afford a good amp). When I got it the neck had a lot of relief, it was like a banana. It also had no sustain. but after a set up and replacing the strings it sounded awesome, I took it into the Rockshop and tried it out on a Marshall and a Line6 and it sounded damn awesome! Next time I'm trying it on a Mesa Single Recti, because that's what I really want if I can ever afford it. It sounds fresh and rounded, and has a degree of depth to the sound. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Well as I've already mentioned, when I bought it the neck had gone all banana so naturally you would know that the action was way out, but that's sorted now. I've got the strings really low. The necks a good fit in my hand too. I searched the music stores for months finding a guitar that felt really nice, the guitar I got nearest to buying, but deciding against, was a Gretch. Anyway, I found this and even with the banana neck there was something that really drew me to it. It was pretty good to play as it was anyway, I knew it would be really good after a set up. It exceeds in playabilty and looks, the levels of most guitars I tried, and all in my price range. The finish is also really nice, it's violin burst with paua inlays and the artist inlay in the headstock. There aren't any flaws in this area. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I've never played Live, but I've hit the headstock on stand a few times and no dents, so it could probably take Live playing. The hardware will last for sure though and the strap buttons are the best I've ever come across! The finish will definitely last, if it's veneer it's not coming off anytime soon and if it's finished with varnish or something it feels pretty thick. // 10

Overall Impression: Well I've been playing for a year and this is the newest addition to my guitar gear (excluding my hercules stand). If it were stolen or lost I'd be annoyed, This guitar wasn't made for long so I don't think it's that easy to find, I'd definitely want to get another. I love the colour, violin burst. It's very elegant. I can't think of anything I hate about it, it has everything I want. I compared it to Epiphones, Gibsons, Fenders, ESPs, Deans, Corts. I was looking for a long time. I kept looking until I found an instrument I really needed. I wish it had a hard case, that's probably all. But the back pack case is good. I'll rate this 8, this is because for the price I got it for I could ask for nothing better and it definitely exceeds all expectations, but I know there are better guitars out there. This guitar will always be mine though, it's all I could ask for in an instrument. // 8

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overall: 8.2
ARC300 Reviewed by: Gui_Lux, on may 04, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 220

Purchased from: USED

Features: Made in 06-07, don't really know. Purchased in 2010. Got a simple bag with it, decent but not exceptional. Didn't like the flamed top, it (apparently) darkened over the years... You could barely see the underlying flamed motive. // 7

Sound: I play everything from jazz to metal, so the guitar needed to be versatile. Played through Marshall full tube head and Bogner 4x12 w/ V30's. The stock pickups were ok. Silent. Yeah, that's about it. Changed them immediately. They were too muddy when played on high gain channel, lacked definition, clarity, ... // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: Set-up was from the previous owner, so can't really comment on that. Finish and overall quality were definitely above average. I repainted the whole guitar, and trust me, sanding off all the layers of finish was a b-tch. It was a thick finish, pretty much scratch resistant since I couldn't find a single scratch from the previous owner. I bought this guitar as a project. I wanted a Les Paul body and then make some modifications. I thought I would need to change all the hardware, PU's, ... Definitely did NOT need to change the hardware! Solid, no rust, great tuners. Since it's an Ibanez, you'd think it has a super fast, super skinny neck. Err, wrong. It's nowhere as thick as a Gibson, but it's not the usual thinness either. I really like it, it's comfortable. The edges (to the fretboard) aren't rounded off like on a Strat, but I kind of like the sharp edge. Makes it more aggressive! // 8

Reliability & Durability: Will this guitar withstand live playing? Well... Yeah? Duh? It's an Ibanez. I tried trashing it. I failed. Hardware is solid, strap buttons were changed to locking ones. Finish was, as I said before, very thick and resistant. // 10

Overall Impression: If you want a LP, but don't want to pay 1000+ for an inferior guitar, buy this one. All I changed was the PU's and the finish. Hardware is solid, no flaws on the guitar, overall well made. I think I paid about the same amount for the PU's as for the guitar itself, try finding better value for money... If it were stolen, I would definitely buy not buy it again. Do you know how long it took me to sand it? Jezus, I thought my arms were gonna fall off! All joking aside, I don't know if I would do it all over again. I'd try to find a guitar at about the same price as a Gibson LP, but you know, better. For the rookie to intermediate player, this is an awesome guitar. Look for a used model, save a lot of money. For the intermediate player that wants something special. Buy it, modify it, rock it. It stays in tune like no other, it sustains for days, is easy to play. Just change the damn pick ups. // 9

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