Artcore Custom AF105 Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 12/19/2007 category: Electric Guitars
Ibanez: Artcore Custom AF105
Medium output Artcore pickups accurately reproduce the cool, complex tones of a hollow and work well with effects. The great upper fret access and sustain of a set-in neck at the price of a bolt-on.
 Sound: 8
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 9 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.4 
 Users rating:
 9.5 
 Votes:
 11 
reviews (2) 4 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.4
Artcore Custom AF105 Reviewed by: Themitch, on february 24, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 722

Purchased from: Allans Music

Features: Made early this year (January), in China (not as bad as you think). Made entirely of flamed maple it has 22 medium frets on a Maple/Bubinga 5 piece neck. Natural Finish (glossed) in a single soft cut full hollow-body design. Strings are set through a VT04 Custom tail piece, then over an ART-1 bridge (gold or wooden). Two gold plated passive Super 58 (neck and bridge) pickups, with the bridge slightly raised from factory. Fully controllable sound, with a separate neck volume and tone pot, and a bridge volume and tone pot with a 3 way selector (I also use a Boss FV-500L for master volume). Not sure of tuner brand, but unfortunately, probably need changing. Included with this guitar were an extra bridge (wooden), an Allen key for truss rod adjustments, and a custom hard case (grey & locking). // 9

Sound: I bought this guitar specifically for Jazz, so of course mostly using the neck pick up and the tone rolled all the way back, sounds absolutely fantastic through "most" amps, which is good news, but it does exactly what I wanted it to, which was give me a rich, full tone for Jazz. But when switching to the bridge pickup, because it is raised it almost doesnt't need any distortion, if your fiddle with the tone on this aswell you can get a nice warm overdrive-ish sound without using effects, but of course, this is just an experiment. Using this with a set of effects, a Dunlop GCB-95 wah, a Boss SD-1, a BD-2 and a BF-3 Flanger, as well as a FV-500L and TU-2 tuner. The SD-1 is fairly noisy, but if nothing is turned on, of course there is some tone loss, but nothing huge, as well as an incredibly quiet guitar. The guitar does Jaz excellently, does some rock, but nothing overly heavy, it's not made for that, and it is evident when it is played for heavy things, but other than that, does most things well. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: At the risk of being far to concise, the factory setup was fantastic, action was fine, strings werent strung to well, needed to be replaced straight away, it hadnt been sitting on the rack at the shop too long, so not really enough time for kids to come along and dent and scratch it, so no superficial flaws, woods are matched well, bound sides and neck gives a neat look as well as the same wood used for the whole body, makes it look professional. Pickups were adjusted from the factory, bridge up high, neck down low, all fine. Only problem is the Machine heads aren't as tight as they should be, but nothing a 2 minute turn with a screwdriver can't fix. // 8

Reliability & Durability: The guitar can stand Live playing, mostly because if you have this, you are not going to be throwing yourself or it around, it's not that type of guitar. Bridge and pickups are gold-plated, so that will wear after time, but that's normal, strap buttons are fairly large, bought a new strap for it, and it's not going anywhere. Finish seems fine, just a gloss over natural, so shouldn't wear too much, but if it does it's going to be bridge centralized. // 8

Overall Impression: I bought this for a particular style of music and it stood and delivered. I had compared this the the Epiphone Joe Pass Emporer II and found this to be neater, cleaner and with a much, much smoother neck. I also own a couple of other Ibanez guitars, an RGT32FMSP (ltd. ed.) and a GAX30 (beginner), my RG does what I want it to, and that is play hard rock, metal etc, this plays my jazz and what-not. The only thing I wish it had were nut-locks, to keep in tune, but not such a huge deal as mostly chordal work is done on this. If it were stolen I don't think I could buy another one as I think this has been superseded, but I would most definitely buy the new model. A fantastic guitar in all respects. // 9

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overall: 8.4
Artcore Custom AF105 Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 19, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: The AF105 has all the features of a hollowbody, archtop jazzbox, however the Ibanez website does not market it as one and nor should it in my opinion. It's more versatile then that. I know nothing of the construcion details but it seems that maybe the body has been pressed into the archtop shape rather than carved, which would reflect the price. I emphasize that I'm not certain of this. The AF105 comes with a rather good, sturdy carrycase(not flightcase). Mine was strung with D'Addario which I changed to Thomastik-Enfeld Jazz Swing. All my ratings are based on the price point, not on comparisons to other guitars. // 9

Sound: The AF105 was purchased for use as a solo, ensemble and bigband jazz instrument and as a hollowbody acoustic. Both pickups have a slightly overbearing bottom end, the neck PU more so. Playing through a Line 6 I found this guitar needed carefull matching to an amp for a decent "jazz sound" (whatever that is, anyway), however the full range of any jazz sound is available through the pickups and the tone controls are usable at any setting. It matchess my Roland Jazzchorus 50 Perfectly, not so much my tube driven Roland Bolt-60, which will distort. plugging direct to the board is useless because the bottom end dominates far to much. Using this instrument unplugged in a jazz environment shows its shortcomings as it has no real, useable volume as an acoustic instrument. For use as an amplified jazz box in a bigband I found the instrument has too much sustain but a delicious sounding attack. To sum up, any good quality jazz sound and much, much more can be pulled from this guitar if you look for it. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: This is a superb looking guitar. If image is part of your thing then this will blow far more expensive guitars clean outta the water. The finish does make the guitar sound a little plasticky when used acousticaly. The alloy bridge is not finely constructed as the intonation adjustment screws are very "sticky" on mine. The bridge, of course, is not glued to the sound board. Mine has fret buzz on the B string when I'm picking or strumming hard. I took off the pick guard because it buzzed and it covered the sound hole. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is built solidly, perhaps at the expense of an acoustic sound, but easily capable as a workhorse. bombproof finish. The frets and neck have worn more then I would like or expect after only 18 months but my playing style is with a very heavy left hand and hard picking. The frets have tarnished a little. You don't need to be too precious with this guitar, it can look after itself. // 8

Overall Impression: This guitar delivers everything you want in a semi-professional guitar. It simply cannot be faulted for the price. I use it for everyday, professional, Live jazz gigs but wouldn't be surprised to hear from a rockabilly, country or pop/rock player giving it praise. I have a few and played a few handmade jazz boxes, this guitar is not meant to be one and I won't compare them. It's simply one of the best, versatile and goodlooking guitars in it's genre for the price. You could show up in any company with this guitar and hold your own. Everyone that I know, Who has heard it, is very impressed. If it were stolen I would replace it with the AF105F model. // 9

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