AW40CE review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (22 votes)
Ibanez: AW40CE

Price paid: $ 592.8

Purchased from: Guitar World

Sound — 8
I play a lot of John Mayer and Pete Murray type music, but also some slightly harder stuff. The first thing I noticed about this guitar when I played it was the rich deep sound that it has. I noticed that I had to sing much louder (when I didn't have a mic) so people could hear my voice clearly. My only problem with the sound though is that when you plug it into an amp, the range of different sounds you can get is not very great. This is due to the pre-amp, although it has bass, middle, and treble controls, the change from min to max in each of them is minimal. As far as suitability goes, my cousin who plays mainly metal played it and found that he loved the sound it created when he hammered out solos.

Overall Impression — 10
Overall, I couldn't have hoped for any better than this guitar. I think I must have looked at about a million (give or take) guitars before I finally decided on this one due to the perfect balance between looks and features (and price). The guy at the guitar store actually owns this same guitar and gave it a very good recommendation. The thing that really stands out to me about this guitar is its full rich sound. This guitar seems to give songs an extra dimension. My only problem with the guitar was the action was too low when I bought it, but as I said, that problem was rectified in the first day that I had it. The only thing that I could think of to add to it would be a built in tuner, and it would have been nice if they had've thrown in a case or something for free but as they say, you can't have everything.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I took this guitar with me when I went on a week long holiday with about ten of my friends and the fact that is still in perfect condition (and only needed tuning once) is testimony to the fact that this guitar is very durable. As far as live playing goes, I've only played it live twice and it's still perfect. I'd never play live without a backup though because although the guitar might be reliable enough, the strings are never perfect. Only came with one strap button, but I put a second on the day I got it so no problem there now.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The setup was all great except that the action was slightly low, but I fixed that straight away and haven't had any problems since. Everyone that has seen it has commented on how good it looks, especially the vine inlay in the neck. Apart from the action, this guitar was (and still is) perfect.

Features — 10
- Solid spruce top - Fishman Sonicore pickup - Ibanez AEQ-SS shape shifter preamp - Vine inlay on fretboard - Gold die-cast grover tuning machines - Ibanez Ivorex II nut & saddle - Mahogany neck, back & sides - Rosewood bridge and fretboard - Cutaway dreadnought body - D'Addario EXP Coated 80/20 strings. The rich, full sound of this guitar would be reason enough to buy it, but when you add the vine inlay in the fretboard, the abalone inlay around the sound hole and the natural high gloss finish, all for this price, it's impossible to go past.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    guitar is yummy
    I bought this guitar the other day and mine DOES have a tuner and 2 strap buttons. aand it did does make a difference when you move the sliders...
    this is the most beautiful acoustic i have ever seen. i personally like it better than most of those thousand dollar gibsons. only wish it couldve been a cut away and electric-acoustic. but hey, its well worth the money to put in a preamp.
    hey guys. i love this guitar. looks great and heard it play. I livei n the u.s. though. i can't really find one. Does anyone know where i can buy one?