I saw the Ibanez AR325 for about 650$ in Denmark where I live and I think it's beautiful. I also like the coil split option. I was wondering, how is it in quality compared to the 70s and 80s Artists? I stumbled opon a used model on the internet from 1979 for about 850$. Is it better quality wise or is it just nostalgia? :-)
It's a bit of each. But you should know that the Artists from the late '70's/early '90's are going to be a bit different.

My AR-300 from '82 has a heavy, dense "Gibralter" bridge mounted on a 10.5 ounce brass sustain block that's sunk into a rout beneath the bridge and screwed directly to the body. I don't believe either of those exist on the newer versions.

The switches on mine are "Tri-Sound" switches that select serial/parallel/single coil modes on the pickups (this may be true on the new ones as well).

The AR300 is a *solid* body guitar, and fairly heavy and noticeably thicker than the AR325.
350mm radius ebony fretboard with MOP/Abalone inlays (no plastic, and I think the inlays are also pearl/abalone on the new ones).
Guitar was built in Japan, whereas the AR325 is Chinese.
The AR325 has a 3-piece maple neck, the older ones are mahogany
AR 325 has a bubinga top, older ones are maple.
AR-325 has a rosewood fretboard, older ones are ebony.
AR-325 has a plastic nut, mine has...I'm going to have to go check, but it's either brass or maybe brass/bone...I *think*.
Thanks. I went to a shop today and checked out the AR-325. The body and neck seems to be in one piece and the coil switches are also tri-sound. I didn't get to try it out. By the way, which position is serial/parallel/single? Up/middle/down?
I bought one for my daughter. Its a decent guitar. It sounds very good and is a pretty easy player. Comparing it to the vintage artist, it doesn't have the higher end hardware or the maple cap. There's also several minor differences in the construction. The new guitar is chinese as opposed to japanese. Its made in the same factory as the Artcore, so if you're familiar with them, that should give you an idea on the quality of the AR325.
Unfortunately a don't know the Artcore. The used one I'm considering is a japanese made AR 200. Is that an earlier version of the AR 300?
Unless he is lying in the ad, it's a japanese made AR 200 from 1979. It only has one coil split switch.
If the price is right and its in good shape, I'd jump on that AR200 then. It'll be a better guitar and much more valuable in the long term. There are vintage catalogs posted on ibanez.com if you want to see what it looks like in original condition.
The ad-link is: http://www.dba.dk/elguitar-ibanez-ar-200/id-1003576414/

Except for the color it looks like the AR200 from the catalog: http://www.ibanez.co.jp/anniversary/expansion.php?cat_id=44&now=2

It only has one coil switch instead of two like the AR300. Other than that, is it the same quality as the AR300?

He has owned it for 20 years and it's in good condition. His price is 860$.
Last edited by Xerophthalmia at Oct 15, 2013,
Yes it will be the same quality as the ar300. I'm looking at the pictures on my phone, but from what I can see the guitar looks original and in great condition. The only issue I see is that the tailpiece looks to be bent from years of string tension. If it were me, I wouldn't even have to think about it. I'd buy that AR200 in a heartbeat.
Thanks for your input. It really looks like it's in good shape. Unfortunately it's a 3 hour trip to Copenhagen, but I think it's worth it.

He didn't know about the coil split switch which is a bit odd since he allegedly owned it for 20 years. He just thougt that it was some kind of equalizing switch. By the way. Do you know which position serial/parallel/single coil modes are in?
So, I bought the Artist from 1979. It's in good shape but there is one small problem though. The singlecoil position works fine, but when the switch is on humbucker or parallel and I turn on the neck bridge there's buzz and the sound isn't as loud as the neck position. My only conclusion is that there's something wrong with one of the coils in the neck pickup, because it works fine as a single coil.

Does this sound like something that's hard to fix?