AR325 review by Ibanez

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  • Features: 9
  • Sound: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.3 (3 votes)
Ibanez: AR325

Price paid: $ 300

Purchased from: World of Music Erie PA

Features — 9
I bought this used (new the street price is about 600$) can't find a date on it but it is probably in the last two years or so. Made in China. 22 fret medium jumbo frets on a maple set neck with rosewood fingerboard. Carved Bubinga top on solid Mahogany body. Gloss dark brown burst finish. Double cutaway Ibanez artist body style. Tune-o-matic style bridge with Ibanez quick change tailpiece. Passive humbuckers with switches for series single and parallel wiring for each. The non-locking tuners stay in tune pretty good and I think they are Ibanez house brand. No accessories I bought it used but in excellent shape.

Sound — 10
The sound suits me quite well I do a lot of old school progressive rock (Yes, Jethro Tull, Uriah Heep, Be Bop Deluxe), and it suits that style fine with the switching I can get some extra excellent tones that a lot of other similar guitars will not have. The Super 58 humbuckers are fat sounding but still retain the articulation you need. The coil switches are useful the tapped sounds are not that great but you mix them with the great sounding humbuckers you can get some great full and articulate sounds. A favorite of mine is neck humbucker in series with the bridge in parallel you get a great full sound but with a bit of crisp articulation. Overall the tone is full and rich in the Les Paul vein with no muddiness. The addition of the coil switches makes for a lot of extra tones. The guitar is very quiet and can handle high gain and sounds great clean.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I bought this used but the setup was excellent a bit low I did bring it up a touch so I can get a bit more dynamics but the finish on the frets is the best I have had on a guitar and that includes Gibson, Rickenbacker, Fenders among others. The look and fit and finish on this overall is great and the look is great the brown burst root beer finish with the curly bubinga top. The switches seem pretty solid and the pots work well but time will tell how well they hold up. I like the heft of it and the bridge is very solidly installed. The fingerboard is fully bound along with the body.

Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar is pretty solid but not completely bulletproof. Not getting a case with it can make it a little less durable. But it feels substantial and i think i twill last me for quite a few years. I would not gig without a backup but this guitar seems like it would hold up for that. The biggest if factor here is that it does have a bit of neck dive so you have to watch that It can be taken care of with a wide strap. The finish is pretty durable overall but you can see that I used it a lot more already than the previous owner.

Overall Impression — 9
I play studio guitar as a hobby making my prog instrumental recordings on my Boss BR-80 Micro BR. I can cover a lot of sounds with this and it works great for the progressive rock I like. Combine that with my strat and my Gretsch I can cover a lot of sounds. If it were lost or stolen I would look for another in the artist line hoping to score a deal. I would like it to be less neck heavy and would like a master volume by the bridge for pinky swells. I like the upper register access better than what you would find on a Les Paul and it feels a lot more durable and substantial than an SG.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Put a strap button in the back by the neck join area. The fixes the peg head wrestling match.
    Put a strap button behind the guitar by the neck joint. That will end the wrestling match with the headstock. I debated selling mine until I did that. Now the only reason I would sell it is because I have too many guitars(as if that is even possible!).
    Video@6:54."Not quite as snarly as a Les Paul." Well, it has different pickups than an LP. The Super 58's are a different animal. They have a higher end bite. That's what makes your Artist a unique instrument. I think it's unfair to compare one instrument to another (no disrespect to the poster). Depending on the amp,cabinet, speakers, effect chain & effect pedals you can shape your instruments sound in any way you want for the most part. There are inherent tonal aspects to each guitar(unique to its tone woods,design and hardware) but there is room to enhance it. I can get my 325 to snarl just fine if I want it to. In the analog world there are many variables that we are oblivious to. To explore them can be an expensive endeavor, but you need to know what sound you like, research it & then invest wisely but that is still no guarantee. Sometimes you need to experiment and sell the failures on ebay.