Artcore AS103 Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 11/25/2008 category: Electric Guitars
Ibanez: Artcore AS103
The Ibanez Artcore Custom AS103 is a semi-acoustic electric guitar that features an all-flame Maple body, 2 Ibanez Custom 58 humbucking pickups, and the new fine-tuner equipped Quik Change Ultra tailpiece, which offers easier string changes.
 Sound: 10
 Overall Impression: 10
 Reliability & Durability: 8.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 8.9 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.3 
 Users rating:
 8.4 
 Votes:
 55 
reviews (2) 15 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
Artcore AS103 Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 05, 2007
7 of 8 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 499

Purchased from: Conservatory of Music

Features: Made in China (most Artcores are made there), with 22 medium frets on a rosewood fingerboard. Has a gorgeous creamy "natural" flamed maple top, back, and sides with matching pickguard. Two custom IBZ 58 pickups in the neck and bridge are each controlled by independent volume and tone knobs and a 3-way selector. Set bridge with fine tuners and ivory tuning knobs. Came with fitted case and a cable. This guitar is absolutely beautiful in every way, especially the headstock and abalone inlays. However, in terms of actual "features", there isn't anything too fancy about the guitar (though the wooden tone/volume knobs are neat). // 8

Sound: I play mostly classic rock and occasionally let my inner monster out by playing some heavy metal stuff. Lately I have been wanting to explore more blues and jazz, so I picked up this guitar. It sounds great through my Peavey 2X10 all-tube amp, with reverb dialed in on the amp and a chorus pedal. These knobs are amazing and I can go from a very bright tone with some kick to the hollowest of hollow blues/jazz tones. I feel like I'm playing with Cream back in the '60s! The switch, volume, and tone knobs allow for a very broad range of sounds, and this baby can even keep up with my Les Paul on some of the classic rock tunes from Boston, Queen, etc. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar has played like a dream from the moment I picked it up. There was nothing that I would have changed for the better. The action is just perfect. On a side note, this guitar pleased me further by allowing access to the higher frets, unlike some other Artcores. The gold bridge hardware is tight and perfectly aligned, but the tuners seem to lack toughness, and might be a little loose (this might just be a personal problem lol). However, the outstanding feel and action make up for any weariness caused by the tuners. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Because it is a hollowbody, I am slightly worried about lugging this guitar around and possibly dropping it (even while in the case). I have never owned a guitar like this one and am not sure exactly how fragile it might be. As I said earlier, everything on the bridge is sturdy and the pickups are very solid. This guitar will last me into my later years hopefully when I am a seasoned jazz veteran. // 9

Overall Impression: This guitar is a perfect match for me thus far and I am extremely excited to continue playing with it. I have been playing for about 3 years now and jam out with a band at least once a week with a Gibson Les Paul and a Peavey 2X10. I tried many similar guitars before this one and I'm glad I found out how much I like this one in comparison. My favorite thing(s) about this guitar are the beautiful finish, the awesome action, and the way it feels in my hands (so smooth). I would quickly save the money to buy another one if something happened to mine. This gets a ten because it sounds great, looks hot, nothing bad has happened with the tuners yet, and I got it on sale! // 10

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overall: 9.6
Artcore AS103 Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 25, 2008
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 400

Features: I saw it on Craigslist and the looks caught my eye. A little research and it turns out the thing is pretty highly rated. The fine-tuners didn't draw me in at first, but after using it, I wish I could get them on every guitar I own. The neck is super fast and that sold me when I went to try it out. // 10

Sound: I play mostly Blues/Jazz and also play on a church worship team. I play it through a PA head and a pair of Jensen 12's when I'm home. I have a Line6 Spyder 75W and a Roland at the church. Sounds great on all of them. I gave up my Epi LP Classic for this (house rules, One comes in, One goes out) and I don't regret it a bit. The output is a little lighter than my LP, but I'm also using lighter strings than the LP so that may be expected. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar is pretty much flawless. I bought it from a bass player Who bought it and never used it much. Very sweet workmanship. This ArtCore is indeed a work of ART. The reviews of quality well beyond the price of the guitar are definitely true. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Overall looks like a keeper and is built super solid. It does have gold hardware, so the strap button shows a little wear and I expect anything you rest your hand on regularly will probably wear after a while, but gold is gold and no one's going to put a micron more on the hardware than they have to. BTW, while this IS a hollowbody, it has a solid core running from the neck to the tailpiece, so it's really more like a "chambered" guitar. The extra wood core, coupled with the hollow sections give a fair amount of sustain. // 8

Overall Impression: This seems to be a good dependable axe. I've been playing over 40 years (Wow, how old ARE you? )and own a fair arsenal ranging from an old Harmony silouette to a Taylor 614CE. I've been around a lot of guitars and if you're looking for a guitar to play the kind of music this is suited for, you won't be dissapointed. // 10

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