AR200 review by Ibanez

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.8 (40 votes)
Ibanez: AR200
3

Price paid: $ 299

Sound — 9
The sound is similar to a Les Paul since it is a similar guitar. The pickups sound surprisingly decent and are slightly on the on the crunchy side, but seem to handle clean sounds well too. No noise or humming. So far, I've only played hard rock and blues on this guitar, which it handles very well. I see no reason why it wouldn't be well suited for other styles of music. The guitar could definitely benefit from an Ibanez Gibraltar locking bridge that was used on the Vintage models.

Overall Impression — 9
First off, I want to say that I also own a MIJ 1983 Artist AM-50, a 1998 Gibson Les Paul Classic and a 1998 Epiphone SG doubleneck and that's what my comparisons are based on. I bought this guitar because I didn't want to gig a Vintage Artist and I'm probably going to sell the LP before long. The fit, finish and playability are damn close, if not on the same level of the Vintage Ibanez and LP and blow the Epiphone out of the water. As I said, I was concerned that the Korean Artist wouldn't deliver. With the exception of the tuners, it does. With $100-$150 in hardware upgrades, this guitar will compete with Vintage Artists and Les Pauls easily. Not too shabby for a guitar that'll end up costing me under $500 after the hardware upgrades.

Reliability & Durability — 10
The guitar is a tank. I don't see having any issues down the road with reliability. The strap buttons seem to be anchored well. Like I said above, the finish is spotless. I don't see any issues with it down the road. As for hardware, I plan on upgrading to Gotoh tuners and a Gotoh 510 locking bridge, so hardware reliability shouldn't be an issue.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The bridge was set a little high and the pickups were a little low when I received the guitar. Other than that, no adjustments were needed. The control cavity was fully shielded, both in the cavity and on the cover. The neck is identical to my Vintage Artist and very similar to Gibsons slim taper neck. The finish is beautiful and flawless. The gold top sparkles in the light and is very glossy. Build quality is top notch and extremely solid. The binding is flawless and has a nice aged took to it. I was a little worried about how the build quality of the made in Korea Artists would be, but this guitar is a good example just how good the Korea QC has gotten. My only complaint is that the tuners are mediocre at best and occasionally a string will slip slightly out of tune. Again, this guitar would have benefited from Ibanez using aset of their Smooth Tuners. The tuners are the only reason I didn't score a 10 in this category.

Features — 9
2005 Artist AR200 Goldtop. Made in Korea, 22 large frets, rosewood fretboard, solid mahogany body with body, neck and headstock binding, slim maple neck, double cutaway LP style body, set neck, chrome Tune-O-Matic style bridge, Ibanez quick change stop bar style tailpiece, dual Ibanez AH humbuckers, 3-way toggle, two volume and two tone pots, no name tuners.

19 comments sorted by best / new / date

    rallygsc
    I picked up a used Ibanez AR200 Black Iron, and it is not a bad guitar, it is more less like the original artists made in the late 70's / early 80's. I recommend changing the electronics in them, they beat the epiphone guitars hands down, if you get one get a Japanese or Korean one, the Chinese ones have a lot of problems.
    craig747400
    From "The Vintage Guitar Magazine Price Guide 2008": Artist model 2617: 1976-1980, pointed double-cut natural ash solid-body, set neck, German carved top, split block inlays, bound ebony fingerboard, 2 humbuckers, later would evolve into the Professional model. $900-120 USD.
    qotsa1998
    thats awesome. But IMO, goldtop only looks good on a Les Paul, not much else tho. Especially not SG's. would look nice with a flame top and a Cherryburst finish.
    dale.devries.98
    i have the exact same model, the best feature is the smooth neck heel where it joins the body, and that the neck joins the body at the 21st fret, access to the highest frets is more SG - like as opposed to the clumsy neck heel on a les paul, the sustain is outrageous and the pickups are perfect. i also play a vintage strat, a 1984 Charvel model 4 , an SG 400 Epi, and an Epi Wilshire. I rate the Ibanez AR200 a perfect ten. so much bang for the buck!
    craig747400
    Artist model 2619: like 2618 but with split block markers. Becomes AR300 in 1979. $700-1000 USD.
    craig747400
    Artist model 2618: 1976-1979, like the 2617 but with maple and mahogany body and dot markers. Becomes AR200 in 1979. $700-1000 USD.
    AlexB13
    i agree with qotsa1998 about the gold finish. its a good looking guitar though, i would ave to try before i buy though coz otherwise you're just buying for the looks
    batiboy06
    looks like one of those GIO series...only better with the color
    rallygsc
    This guitar is a lot better than the GIO series, the GIO series is mostly entry level guitars with bolt on necks, where this model is a mid level guitar that can be tweaked with some fun mods.
    P_Titty
    _SamuraI_ wrote: It doesn't look all that bad at all..but i like to think how it will feel in my hands rather than what it will look like to other people Has anyone noticed that in the picture the high E string is caught under one of the frets?
    yeah....looks like cut possibly waiting to happen
    _SamuraI_
    It doesn't look all that bad at all..but i like to think how it will feel in my hands rather than what it will look like to other people Has anyone noticed that in the picture the high E string is caught under one of the frets?
    Jason43
    qotsa1998 wrote: thats awesome. But IMO, goldtop only looks good on a Les Paul, not much else tho. Especially not SG's. would look nice with a flame top and a Cherryburst finish.
    Its not an SG style. Its more of a double cut Les Paul. It did also come in other colors; black, transparent red etc. The AR250's and AR300's were/are available with sunburst finishes.
    Jason43
    Steve The Plank wrote: I would recommend the ARX320 over it anyday tbh.
    I wouldn't. The AR200 has a MUCH smoother neck joint, arguably better pickups and a better control selection. And to be honest, the ARX I played at my local dealer just felt like a cheaper guitar than the AR. I also can't stand the look of the ARX's double cutaway section. I do however like the fact that the ARX comes with the Gibraltar III bridge and a quilted maple top.