AEF30E review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 5
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 8.2 (22 votes)
Ibanez: AEF30E

Purchased from: McFayden

Sound — 9
I play many styles of music, from rock to country, and every sub-genre of rock that there is. It has an aewsome sound! I have compared this to more expensive guitars and found for the most part it has better tone. The exceptions here are Gibson and Taylor acoustics. This bad boy's good, but not quite as good as these two brands. But for the price I was just amazed at the tone of this guitar, and I still am. It's got a nice, bright tone, but not too bright (which is good, to me at least. ) I really have no complaints about the sound of the acoustic. It's just bad Ibanez had to put cheap pickups on it and ruin the sound for anyone who runs it through an amp.

Overall Impression — 8
I play a lot of styles, and it hangs with me through it all, so this guitar is a great match! I've been playing for several years, and I also own two electrics, a hollowbody, and two basses. If this guitar was lost or stolen, I would probably upgrade to a Gibson acoustic, because those, in my opinion, are about as good as it gets. But I would consider getting this guitar again, especially if I didn't have the money for a more expensive one. I love the abalone inlays and the gold tuners of this guitar, adds flash. I hate the pickups, I've already stated why. My favorite thing about this guitar is the tone of it. I compared this to other guitars, but got it because it was the most expensive one I could get at the time. The only thing I wish this guitar didn't have was the pickup and preamp. I'd rather have it striaght acoustic then have that crappy stuff in there. Overall, great sound, great tone.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar can deffinately stand live playing (as long as you don't slam it on the floor at the end of the gig, i.e. Kurt Cobain). It's built like a rock. The hardware will last a good while, and I forgot to mention earlier that all the hardware is gold, a plus. The strap buttons are very solid, they stay better than the ones on my electrics ever have. I wouldn't worry about using this guitar without a backup, it's solid. But I'd mic it for sure, no way I would use the sorry pickups. The finish is good, no signs of chipping anywhere, but I do have a lot of pick scratches (they aren't noticable unless you're looking for them, though). Maybe it could've used a pickgaurd, but I'm not sure how that would look on this guitar.

Action, Fit & Finish — 5
Okay. This was a big problem with the guitar. Action and bowed neck. The set-up at factory for this guitar wasn't all that great. The action was way too high, and the neck boasted a not so nice bow. But I took it to the local guitar tech, and he fixed it right up. Once it was fixed, I've had many people tell me in their opinion it plays almost as good a nice electric. I think so too. Strings are easy to bend, the action's nice, it's very cofortable to play. So I'd recommend it getting a proper set up before you judge it. But besides that, the bridge, the hardware, and everything else were right in place, nothing loose or messed up there.

Features — 8
This guitar has 21 frets set on top of a nice rosewood fingerboard with beautiful Abalone inlay. Its a solid top made out of flamed maple, and finished in a voilet color. It boasts a cutaway neck to reach those high frets, and a standard acoustic bridge. It is an electric/acoustic, so it has Ibanez's AEQ preamp and the pickup under the bridge. The preamp has boost/cut for the following: treble, mid, and bass, as well as a feature called "shape" which ranges from "flat" to "max". The main complaint I have for this section is the pickup. It doesn't pick up the G string at all, which is not good if you run the acoustic through an amp, especially if your picking indiviual notes. And the pickups in general do not sound good, either, they kill the tone.

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    gives great sound but comes with crapy strings... speaking from experience i own this guitar
    A great guitar plugged in...not such a great guitar acoustically. Ibanez should advertize these guitars like that so people know exactly what they are buying. The sound is overall too midrange heavy-- not enough bottom end. Maybe that's the characteristic of an all maple body but it's not the best balance for tone. The bonus you have with this guitar is that it has a balanced out with the XLR output. You can go directly into a PA with the best sound possible. The electronics on mine is the older one (pre-tuner) that I believe were Fishman and it sounds great. It's a very comfortable guitar to play, it looks great, and it sounds great plugged in but it just falls short with the acoustic sound.
    I've only been playing for 6 months now since I've been in iraq. Me and the other guys with their Tacs and Rogues and other guitars get together and I feel like my Ibanez AEF sounds as good, if not better, than anyone else's guitar. I havent found any buzz spots yet, and it sounds great when I pick straight acoustic and with an amp. Then again I'm a beginner but I'm happy.
    This review is unfair. The action on this guitar is incredible compared to most others on the market. The neck is fine, and the pickups definitely work and pick up the g string. Maybe the reviewer didn't get his guitar set up
    i have the one-up version of this guitar the AEF37E it comes with better finish and quilted maple and in my opinion is definately worth the few extra bucks
    climate will have alot to do with the set up... having it adjusted is what you do with a guitar to fit you. also take a look at that pickup i have 2 ibanez with the same pickup and they both work good
    I haven't played it yet. Would take a look. Great review.
    One thing... he said the pickups don't pick up the G string at all, but then says it has a great sound and is an awesome guitar? Confused.
    When someone leaves a lot of contradicting statements in their review, like it don't like it, what is known as nit picking one to death with complaints only to turn around in the next paragraph and say tey'd buy it again, then complains some more. I have several guitars, from $400.00 to $2500.00, can't not use those to compare to this one, it's unfair, applews and oranges. I don't know the retail price of this guitar because i got it from a pawn shop. But I can say this, It is a higher than expected quality sound. Looks more expensive than some of my more expensive ones. No problems playing through the amp. I agree to a previous comment about the high end rattle in the string and the neck needs a slight adjustment as do most I have bought new in low to miedium price range. However, I did a little playing around with the controls on both the guitar and amp and tuned the minor string buzz out, so it may need a little deeper string set, I used 10 - 52, I think going to a medium 13 set will likely change that problem. I didn't pay what this instrument is worth, got an excellent deal and it looks like it just came out of the store, don't think the owner ever played it, not even any scratches, just had to replace the old strings, which i do on all guitars i buy first thing. I have Ovations, Fenders,Takamine, Yanaha and several others, this little jewel with play right along side of those high dollar ones, plugged or unplugged. Of course I have always liked Ibanez and have owned several over the past 40 or more years of playing. Some very inexpensive and still liked the build and quality. It's a keeper.