AK80-BS review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 5.6 (16 votes)
Ibanez: AK80-BS

Sound — 8
The spruce top gives this a slightly different tone, but any sound really can be produced through the right amp. Anyway, the tone is less bright, more mellow. I'd recommend this for smoother music since it seems to lack attack. I find that when I get my amp set just right, it produces very rich tones, and works great as an accompaniment to my bro's grand piano during a jazz session. Not a lot of variety in its capabilities, jazz, blues, light rock. And maybe some kind of fusion mutant music, still, like I said, with the right amp.

Overall Impression — 9
It's hard to find cheap jazz guitars where I am, but I've never played a really bad one, so that might explain most of their high pricing. For the price, this was a really good buy, because I've played some $2k models that sound identical, or feel much more fragile. For a beginner this gets a ten, but for someone who's played for more than a decade, like me, this would get probably a 6 or 5, but advanced players shouldn't really be looking at this price bracket anyway. Overall, a sound investment for a beginner jazz guitarist, and by the looks of its durability, for their kids as well.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This feels extremely durable, and a dent in my hardwood floor can attest to that. From the moment I picked it up I knew it could stand the test of time. I haven't had any significant tuning problems either, the tuning pegs hold their position, but they're a bit sticky.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I had to fix some fret buzz caused by a very low bridge, however I doubt that was the factory, rather some kids in the store trying to get some lower action by the looks of it. The pickups were fine. The action, without buzz, is around the middle range, my classical guitar has higher, so I think this is about right.

Features — 8
First, I'm rating this for the skill level this is best suited for, beginner to intermediate, so you advanced jazz cats get outta here. This is a hollowbody jazz guitar, with two stock humbuckers, 4 knobs, and a brown sunburst finish. Instead of a standard maple top, this has spruce. Aside from that, this has very standard features. A set neck, twenty frets, 3 piece maple neck, all wood bridge. It didn't come with any freebies.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I had one of these and gave it to my rhythm guitar player. He still uses it. Been on gigs with us for over 3 years now and still is solid and sounds great!
    Man, I hear nothing but great things about the semi-acoustic Ibanez guitars.
    I've played one of these... IMO it lacks soul. I really can't explain it by words... I just think it is a bit dull.