Price paid: € 400
Purchased from: Local store
Features — 8
My Ibanez AG95 is the TRD model (transparent red) which is the same guitar but with a see trough red finish. The guitar I have is bought 2006 so almost 10 years old. The transparent red model is not in production anymore.
The body of the guitar is made of laminated bubinga although I think only the top layer is bubinga. If you look inside the f-holes you can see the wood has a completely other grain which looks more like mahogany/meranti. The body shape is a single cut but the overall dimensions are a little smaller than your usual full hollow-body guitars. The dept of the body is +/- 70 mm at the tailend. The front and back are both arched and looks nice.
On to the set neck which is made of laminated maple and mahogany. 2 layers of mahogany with 1 layer maple between them. The neck is pretty big (in comparison to a strat..., so think more of old Les Paul like) and fits nicely in the hands. The big neck works well with the rest of the guitar. The bound fretboard is rosewood with pearl block inlays. It's probably some kind of plastic but still it looks great. The frets are jumbo's I thinks they are also pretty big. The tuning heads are stock Ibanez and I have never had tuning issues.
The guitar has 2 humbuckers ACH1 and ACH2 which are Ibanez stock pickups. 2 volume and 2 tone controls. A tune-o-matic style floating bridge and a nice tailpiece with some rosewood and the same inlays as the neck.
Sound — 9
I used this guitar in a few bands. From ska/reggae to hardcore and recently the occasional blues jam. For ska reggae this guitar does the job wel. I find that the playing dynamics come trough pretty well. If you hit the strings soft nice clean if you dig in it can get crunchy on clean channel as well. I don't know if this is because of the hollow body or the pickups but I like it.
For hardcore and punk etc. It does not work as well. Don't get me wrong it can sound great but it misses the chug... And as all hollow body's feedback at high volume and gain is suspected. When I played in a punk/hardcore band with this guitar I did wedge some pieces of wood between the top and back of the body through the pickup hole to recreate a centerblock like in semi hollows and did the job great. Less feedback but not completely gone.
For the pickups. I like the neck pickup, it's really dynamic and articulate not to bassy and great with a loud clean channel. The bridge pickup at first I was not a fan of. I swapped it out a few times with some different pickups but never found the sound I really liked. So eventually put the original back in and now it has grown to me. I just roll of the tone a bit the break the harshness. I'm only gonna take it out again if I can find some cheap Filtertrons, just to try something different.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
To be honest i can't remember how this guitar came out of the box. If had it for 10 years. But this guitar is finished great in my eyes. Frets are a bit rolled and have no sharp edges. The binding and block inlays of the neck is also without flaws. The neck joint is done great with a darker paint so it's invisible. The body finish is also done good with a thick poly finish. I like a high action and like any tune-o-matic bridge this is easily adjusted. The bubinga body is just beautiful. But the hardware is pretty battered from years of use.
Reliability & Durability — 6
I have gigged a lot with this guitar the past 10 years and played it even more at home and jams. And as any guitar that's being used is has it scars. The thick ploy finish is where the durability is at with this guitar. I've got a big dent in the side of the guitar (no idea how it got there was years ago). But the dent is only in the finish and the wood is protected. Also a lot of buckle rash on the back but noting guitar trough the finish. The top of the headstock has a few chips in it from accidental hitting walls etc... I had bought a good hardcase for it and I'm grateful for it. Hollow-body's are a little more fragile.
Overall Impression — 9
I think this guitar is great. It's my first decent guitar. Ibanez is a good brand price/quality. I would buy it again it was stolen. But I do not recommend it for the gainy genres although it can do them. If you want a decent hollow-body that looks great and players great but do not want to break the bank I'd recommend the Ibanez Artcore series. This guitar does a lot of music styles well and it is a beautiful guitar. I play this guitar trough a orange TH30C and it's a really good match for the cleans cause it breaksup nice at low volumes which give a nice clean crunch.