Artcore AG75 Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 08/07/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Ibanez: Artcore AG75
The Artcore AG75 has a large full hollowbody that is truly full-hollow. Unlike many so-called "full acoustics" which feature soundblocks in the body, the AG75 gives you the rich, complex tones you can only get from a true, full-hollow guitar.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.2
 Features: 9.7
 Overall rating:
 8.7 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.2 
 Users rating:
 8.2 
 Votes:
 59 
reviews (6) pictures (2) 26 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
Artcore AG75 Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 26, 2007
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 336

Purchased from: ebay

Features: The Ibanez Artcore AG75 hollow body I won on ebay came Standard, however, the orignal owner replaced the factory pickups with Gibson Burstbucker III's; neck and bridge. The guitar itself is in excellent condition and although made in China, is quality craftsmanship, no joke. Once in a while, you'll find a massed produced guitar that just came off the line perfect. Paint, finish, sound; workmanship. This guitar is such an example of perfection. I can't find any blemishes and/or flaws. It plays so smooth and the neck is alive and soft (if you know what I mean). I think I got lucky this time with this guitar. The previous owner (I'm the second owner) admits that he tried seven other AG75's from three different guitar shops and this one just felt perfect and I agree. If he wasn't strap for money, he wouldn't have sold it; my gain; his lost. The AG75 is the exact copy of the Gibson 175D but hundreds less out of pocket. It's a beautiful tobacco burst color with white trim on body and neck. Trapazoid inlays that starts on the first fret, cool. Selector Switch, two tones, two volume controls. I have this baby strung with D'Addarios 10, 46 half wounds. // 10

Sound: I play blues, classic rock, R&B and this guitar is perfect for my style. The guitar is currently played Live through my old Fender tube amp and I have a Boss noise suppressor, DigiTech Blues/Distortion and DigiTech Echo effects pedal and an old refurbished Vox wah-wah.The pickups were adjusted perfect and the guitar setup is low with no fret buzz. I usually play rhythm on the neck pickup and solo on the bridge pickup. The burstbuckers really adds quality and sharpness to the bass and treble modes that I prefer. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action is low, smooth and soft. The guitar was set up at my local guitar shop so everything sounds and feels cool. I could replace the floating bridge with something more expensive, however, the guitar sounds great as is so why fix it if it's not broken? // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've had the guitar for about a year now, working live and studio gigs with a backup; no problems so far with the Ibanez. In the studio, I use a Hywatt 100 watt amp thru four Celestion '30s. I can depend on this guitar to last and age nicely as I take care of all my guitars. As mentioned above the finish is uncanny. Maybe the Asian craftsmen are getting good at this luthier concept. Remember, we used to laugh at products made in Japan? Well, Who's laughing now? // 10

Overall Impression: This guitar is a quality instrument for all kinds of music but for the blues, it's perfect. I've been playing for about 30 years and I currently own 7 guitars. Electric: Gibson Blueshawk, Gibson Firebird VII, Ibanez AG75 hollow body, a custom Epiphone Firebird VII, A Dean Vandetta and two acoustics: an old Ovation and a new Taylor. I love my Ibanez and will never sell it. Next to my Firebirds, I love playing my Ibanez AG75, the only complaint I have with Ibanez is the lightning bolt logo on the headstock. I think it's a little too "flashy" for this gentleman blues guitar. // 10

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overall: 9.4
Artcore AG75 Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 25, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 400

Features: Made in China, don't know when. 22 frets, thin vintage-style maple neck, rosewood fretboard, maple laminate body and sides, etc. All the features are great. The hardware might be a little on the cheap end but it all works just fine. // 10

Sound: The sound is amazing for such an inexpensive guitar. I play everything from blues, jazz, reggae to heavy metal. But this is mostly a blues/jazz axe. You can push it and get classic rock but watch out for the feedback. After two years of ownership, I've figured out all it's quirks. Clean, for any style, it's my nicest sounding guitar. Very resonant and with natural reverb. Warm and clear. For jazz, with flatwound 13s, it sounds very legit. Perhaps not quite as woody or warm enough for a seasoned jazzer, but totally acceptable for an ensemble. The pups are somewhat low output and give you a mellow, balanced sound. But IMO, where this axe really shines is blues with slight overdrive, a subtle clip. The neck pup is much nicer than the bridge, hotter and warmer. But with the bridge, it's easy to get an Allman bros type thing going. But for that you need to scrap the flatwound strings, which are strictly for jazz. I have Ernie Ball 11s on it now, and I think I'll keep those. All things considered, very impressive sounding axe. I get as many useable tones out of this "budget" guitar than some Gibsons I've owned in the past. The only real disadvantage is the feedback, which can get pretty uncontrollable if you don't take measures. I used to have foam in the box but took it out cause it altered the sound. Now I rely on a Boss noise suppressor as my gate. But even with that you can't treat this like a solidbody, either on stage or rehearsing. You have to be extra careful about where you stand in relation to the amp. The plus side is with not much gain and some careful positioning you can get singing feedback sustain. With my PRS solidbody I have to crank the overdrive into hardrock mode. With this I can get it with a much rounder, more natural tone. I'm taking off one point just cause of the moderately sterile jazz sound and the feedback. But honestly, I couldn't be happier with the sound on the whole. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The factory setup I can't comment on because it was with weak 9 gauge strings that I scrapped immediately. But since then I've set it up dozens of times, with different types of strings as I experimented and have yet to try another electric guitar with lower action while at the same time clean. This is nothing short of astounding to me, since I've had Gibsons before and can get a slicker setup on this Chinese axe. Really. The finish is perfect as far as I can tell. But it does have this plastic look to it. But hey, it cost 400 dollars, and I think I bought it expensive actually. I can only take off one point because of the cheap look, as it affects in no way at all the playability or sound. And on stage, you can't tell it's a cheapy either. I get compliments on it all the time. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Perfectly reliable so far, nothing else to say about it. The neck does shift a little with the weather, but no more than other steel-string guitars I own. This guitar has gigged plenty and will continue to. I use a backup guitar always anyway, but this is as solid as any other I've had. // 10

Overall Impression: I play a wide variety of styles but as said before, I use this mostly for blues and jazz, and it also is my backup axe when playing classic rock. My main axe is a solidbody mahogany PRS, which obviously has a much wider range of versatility. But anything softer than hardrock and this Ibanez can really keep up with it. If stolen I would surely buy this or another Ibanez Artcore guitar. I've been playing more than 15 years and have owned dozens of guitars, some of them top quality high profile brands. This axe, if you forget the cheap plastic look it's got, holds its own remarkably with all of them. With guitars like this on the market, I would think twice about spending five times or more on a Gibson. This is a total steal. // 9

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overall: 9
Artcore AG75 Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 07, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 500

Features: Made in China, it's a 22-fret full hollowbody made of laminated maple with a mahogany neck and rosewood fretboard. Two covered HBs. Tune-o-matic saddle with an ebony bridge and trapeze tailpiece. Basically your Standard Gibson-style jazzbox. Box smaller than an ES-175. // 10

Sound: The sound of the neck pickup is very good and I receive compliments on it all the time. With 12-gauge flatwound strings it is very easy to get the classic 50s and 60s jazzbox tone. Unfortunately the bridge pickup, while still useable, doesn't satisfy me 100%. It's weaker and seems to kill off all the natural warmth of the guitar. I've read some say this guitar can rock out. I don't really agree. Although in addition to being my go-to jazz axe it's my backup rock axe (just cause I don't want to buy another solidbody)so I've tried it out with gain. It can handle it as long as you know how to deal with a hollowbody guitar's amazing talent for feeding back, but it won't ever Shine in that area. Any hollowbody in my opinion has this shrill high end with distortion while also not really hitting those nice treble pitches well. However, if you put roundwound strings you can get a really nice blues tone, if mellow blues is your thing. If you want Hendrix or SRV blues, get a solidbody. The pickups on this aren't hot enough and it doesn't have enough high end. The low end on the other hand makes it so I have to turn the bass on my Fender amp all the way off (typical of a jazzbox). But on all settings it is very clean sounding, very little hum // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The construction of this guitar is virtually flawless and the action can be set extremely low without buzzing. Very good job Ibanez. The only criticism I have is it looks a bit cheap, for lack of a better word. The finish seems plasticy and the hardware isn't the finest. But everything works and amazingly, the toy-like tuners really hold tuning excellent. Really can't ask for more in this price range and it is light years ahead of an Epiphone. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Seems really solid, but the bridge kinda bugs me because the saddle adjusting screws got really tight last time I set the intonation. Probably this is just lack of WD40 but I might have to change out this bridge at some point. But any issue it might have I'm pretty sure I can consider it a Standard maintenance thing. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall this is a keeper and probably the best deal by far in its category. But I urge those interested to be really clear on what they want it for. I'm more a rock/blues player that has been playing jazz on the side for a couple of years. When I bought it I expected to be able to do more with it, but now I really just consider it a jazz axe and you should too. If you play only jazz and mellow blues this is the perfect instrument. But if you expect it to be a jack of all trades, think again. It really isn't very versitile. And beware of the feedback. // 9

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overall: 9
Artcore AG75 Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 22, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 400

Features: Full hollowbody jazzbox made in China. 22 medium-small frets, neck is relatively narrow and thin, typical of Ibanez, but it is similar to a Gibson jazzbox with a compound radius, very fast neck. Mahogany neck, laminated maple top, back and sides, ebony bridge piece, tune-o-matic saddle piece and a trapeze tailpiece. 2 covered humbuckers, each with individual tone and vol, ala Gibson. Ibanez brand tuners that appear cheap but hold the tuning remarkably well actually. // 9

Sound: The sound is fantastic for this type of guitar. I am extremely impressed given the price and get compliments on it all the time. I rarely tell people how much it cost cause it makes it a discount instrument for a sound that isn't discount at all. The pickups stand out for how quiet they are and the guitar overall is very warm, much of which has to do with the somewhat tiny detail of having an Ebony bridge piece. Not particularly woody sounding but pleasant all around. I've heard the pickups are too hot for jazz but I like hot pickups so I don't mind. I suppose I agree, while on the other hand they aren't nearly as hot as most solid body rock guitars. If you aim to rock with it be prepared to use more gain and vol on your amp than you would with a solid body. The neck pickup with the tone rolled back gives you a great classic jazz tone with flat wound strings. I've tried both flats and heavy gauge rounds (don't recommend lighter than 11 gauge with this instrument). With rounds and the neck pickup tone control on 10 it gives out a great chimey funk tone, but turn the bass way down on your amp as the guitar has a tendency to be a little boomy. The bridge pickup is lower output for some reason and sounds a little weak. I reserve this one for slight overdrive blues playing, since clean it's a little weak for my taste. Now for the main, and really only significant drawback: feedback, and boat loads of it. This beast can hiss, bark and scream at you uncontrollably if you're standing in the wrong place in relation to your amp, or if you decide to crank the gain. Using a Fender Twin I can really only use slight overdrive. But that is enough for blues or classic rock most of the time. Hard rock is out of the question, unless you use digital effects. But even using lots of noise gate and compressor with a DigiTech I use, I can't really get a satisfying metal distortion to work. It sounds way too gritty for my taste. I only mention this because I like to experiment, even though I know this is meant to be a jazz/blues axe. But even for those genres, at a larger venue feedback can be a big problem. So what I did was fill the box with tubular shaped foam (very carefully to avoid damaging electronics). This removed much of the feedback but it is still there. Only now the guitar is useable on stage, as opposed to before when it was strictly a "chamber music" instrument. Some say that will kill off some of your tone and this might be true, but for me to use this in my band it was necessary. I // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The action, fit and finish are superb and not only for the price, I mean compared to Gibsons and PRS I have owned. And this goes for all Ibanez instruments. I've had several over the years and am still amazed at how perfect their craftsmanship is for such a low price. Virtually no flaws at all. And the action I can achieve on the neck is as low and buzzless as any guitar I've owned, regardless of the price. The single drawback I can mention in this section is that overall the guitar's finish might appear a little cheap and plastic. But what do you expect for this price? And that in no way affects the sound or playability so who really cares. On a dark stage this could pass for a Gibson easy. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Don't really know since I've only owned it a year. But nothing on it has failed yet and I've played out several times with it. However, I keep it in a hardshell case and am not hard on any of my gear, so it's not like this thing goes to war. The hardware in general is on the cheapo side and I can envision having to change tuners and the bridge at some point. But so far so good. // 9

Overall Impression: This is one of the best values I've come across in the guitar market and probably the best Ibanez I've owned, and I've had several. The sound is just so warm and bright at the same time. Articulate yet smooth. If lost or stolen I'd have to reinvent myself as a serial killer but after that I'd get another for sure, maybe would upgrade to one of the custom Artcore models, although I tend to think they don't sound any better than this and only offer more cosmetics. The only thing I don't like is more a complaint about the laws of science and not the guitar, which is the feedback. But if you crave that irreplaceble sound of a hollowbody electric, you've got to deal with the feedback. This is really the only reason why this is still my backup guitar and I have a solidbody PRS as my main axe. // 9

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overall: 8.8
Artcore AG75 Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 26, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 400

Features: Made in China, don't know what year. 22 medium frets on a fairly thin mahogany neck and a rosewood fretboard with perloid inlays that were placed very well. The body is all maple laminate with a high gloss finish and sunburst. Trapeze tailpiece and tun-o-matic bridge on top of a block of ebony that lays flat on the top with nothing but string pressure to keep it in place. Two tones and two volumes and two covered humbuckers just like on a Gibson. Grover style tuners that are kind of cheap. For features a 10 since it has exactly what a jazzbox should have. As for the quality, I'll comment on that later. // 10

Sound: The sound is really the only reason I got this guitar. I wanted to achieve the true jazzbox sound and with 0.13 gauge roundwound strings it does this just fine. Some have commented that it doesn't sound warm or woody enough. I agree with this a bit, but it still sounds very respectable in a jazz ensemble setting and eventhough many would turn their noses up at this discount instrument made in China, the sound itself doesn't lie. It really sounds great! That is, on the neck pickup. The other two settings I hardly ever use and am a bit disappointed with the bridge pickup, that sounds weaker and a little nasal. But This is a jazz guitar, therefore you really only need the neck pickup. No, be prepared for feedback. I mainly use a really nice solid state Fender amp with this guitar and even completely clean, above 4 on the amp's vol knobb this starts to feedback on the bottom three strings. By turning down the mids this can be controlled but it still is there. Other than that, the guitar is a little boomy, which is to be expected from a jazzbox, just as is the feedback. I cut the bass on the amp off entirely and it still sounds full. One has to accept this guitar for what it is and if you can't deal with the various drawbacks of this, than likely a full hollowbody just isn't for you. But in its category, this guitar's sonic attributes are superb, especially considering the price! I marked down one because of the slight lack of wood and warmth in the tone. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The action is really remarkable compared to many other guitars I have. Very low, the lowest of any of my guitars, including my PRS solidbody. The frets are impeccable and I have really yet to find a flaw on the entire instrument. Now, I can criticize the plastic look of this thing, really the only feature that gives away that it is a cheap guitar. I looks like it was dipped in a vat of plexiglass or something. But who cares, it feels, sounds and plays great. Again 1 discounted for its cheap look. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I think the guitar will hold up well but I do have to comment on two pieces of really cheap hardware it comes with, but easily replaceable. The tuners are terrible. They hold well once you reach your desired pitch, but are not smooth at all and toy-like. Total crap that I'll probably change very soon. The second is the tune-o-matic bridge that has screwes tight as hell. Perhaps some oil WD40 will help this but I haven't gotten around to it. They do achieve the necessary range for proper intonation with heavy jazz roundwound strings though, so not all that bad. Finally, I have on occassion knocked the bridge slightly off center because it just rests on the top, like most jazzboxes. This is frustrating as hell but not a criticism of this guitar as much as all jazzboxes. The upside of this, however, is that it allows for more intonation flexibility. But in summary, I've come to consider this a very delicate Beast and kinda treat it with kidgloves, unlike my PRS solidbody that is hard as a rock and can take a serious beating on stage. I mark down three on this section because of these details. // 7

Overall Impression: Overall, considering the price and having tried several other jazzboxes, I find this an incredible value and worthy of professional use. But for that, at very least, I think the tuners need changing. Again, it does look a little cheap, but this doesn't affect the sound, which is very competent. And personally I prefer a more understated instrument than one of those that look more like a work of ART than a guitar. That way my audience doesn't focus more on my axe than my playing. All in all, a 9. Good job Ibanez. // 9

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overall: 9.2
Artcore AG75 Reviewed by: unregistered, on august 07, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 299

Purchased from: Fair Deal Music, Birmingham

Features: For the money this thing is stunning. Nothing about it says cheap. OK you could look to replace the tuners and maybe the bridge at some stage but the factory items are actually quite good. I am always messing around with my guitars, changing pickups etc... But this one is so good as it stands I will leave as is. // 9

Sound: I originally wanted an acoustic. This thing sounds very good acoustically and electric too. Fab mellow tones from the neck pickup, and it can rock too with the bridge position. Sounds lovely clean too. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The action, intonation and neck relief were great out of the box, but I changed the strings and lowered to action a little. Beautifully playable and very well balanced. Factory fretwork is, as always with Ibanez, spot on... No high spots, rough ends or anything... All very good indeed. Gibson... Learn lessons here... Quality can be achieved for 300, so at 2000 you can do this too! // 9

Reliability & Durability: Haven't had it too long, but as with all Ibanez it is beautifully built and finished, fitted with two strap buttons and looks stunning. If only Gibson had achieved this with my Alex Lifeson 355... But they didn't... This Ibanez is way better. // 9

Overall Impression: This is a fantastic guitar and has really opened up my playing from heavy rock to other sounds an styles. It's a fabulous breath of fresh air and can only benefit my playing style and abilities. You should try one, and save the money on the Gibson... Seriously. // 10

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