Artcore AF85 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.3 (86 votes)
Ibanez: Artcore AF85

Sound — 10
I play metal, simple as. But I do tend to dabble in abit of blue and acoustic. This guitar is PERFECT for blues. The hollow body makes for a perfect acoustic sound too. It has a very rich sound and is a pleasure to play. I play it through a Line6 Spider III 112W on 'green' clean setting. It sounds amazing, no feedback unless you add distorion and stand about 3 feet away from the amp. I even tried pitched harmonics on it... it works!

Overall Impression — 9
As I said, I play metal. This isn't REALLY the guitar for metal players. BUT if you do crank it up to a distortion effect, It does pack a mean punch. I've been playing for about 7 years or so, I own a - ESP AX Custom - Schecter Hellraiser C-1 FR - and for a amp I own a LINE6 Spider III 112W. - plus a lot of random pedals. If this guitar was stolen. I would hunt the guy down and steal it back, after making him listen to me play it infront of him. I love the finish, the sound and nearly everything. But I do hate the fact that it does not have a vibrato bar. I would of loved a bigsby bridge. I would honestly compare this to a gretch. I have played a gretch and this and I do belive I prefer the Ibanez. I would really recommend buying this guitar and treating it as your best friend, it truly is worth it.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar will do great for Live playing, but I always carry a spare guitar. The Glossy finish does wear off, so do try and not scratch it. The hardware will last. I've had mine 2 years. And it hasn't failed me yet. the elctronics are solid, and shouldn't break unless you want them to. The strap buttons are good, they are well placed and help for Live playing, I would normally put locking strap bolts, but I am afraid to do so because of the hollow body.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I bought my guitar from a store which couldn't sell it. The strings were very oxidised and rusty, and the action was awful. The store I bought it from was in spain (I went on holiday and ended up coming back with a guitar). The Pick-Ups were set up good. but the strings and action where disgusting. It took a while to get used to the floating bridge, as it's quite different to a floyd-rose (not only because it isn't a vibrato bridge). The guitar had no other faults I am happy to say.

Features — 9
My Ibanez AF-85 was built in 2001, it has 22 frets on a rosewood fretboard with a mahogony set neck. It has a hollow body, with 2 humbucking pick-ups. The finish is Natural wood, with a gretch white falcon body. It has a floating bridge with a tune-o-matic. The electronics are passive with 1 ACH1 and a ACH2. There are 2 volume and 2 tones switches with a 3-way Switch. I personally feel that there are TOO many knobs, and it's annoying to keep moving the wrong one. I alos got a very nice case for it free of charge (Y).

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i also have an af85, i got it whilst in america, (i'm british), and it's my favourite of all of my guitars. it looks great, sounds great and it's just so versatile, like the 1st guy, it really can play EVERYTHING!! i love it and if you're thinking about buying one then do it! do it now! it's a choice you'll never regret.
    There seems to be alot of reviews highlighting this guitars versatility. I can't agree with them anymore. It's a freak of a guitar. Obviously it's no white falcon tone wise, but for the price this guitar is exceptional. The action on mine is super low yet has no fret buzz, the neck is super comfortable even after playing for hours, the finish is immaculate, the pickups are also excellent. Sure it doesn't have a whammy bar, but I'm not convinced it actually needs it. That being said I'm quite biased in the sense that I wouldn't really use the whammy bar. If it's that big an issue, I reckon a Bigsby would look freaking sexy on the ass end of this guitar!
    Oxen Orb
    I wish a jazz player would have reviewed this, or at least someone who runs it through a good amp. Can't wait to play this guitar
    I've been gigging a long time, and my AF85 has held up beautifully. Part of my act is to use several guitars for different styles, and I use this for all of the jazz and standards. I got tired of fighting with a temperamental Martin, and so when it came due for a fret job, I decided to purchase an Ibanez EW20asent (acoustic electric) because I so enjoyed the AF85. I'm not generally phobic about the artistry in instrument-making. A guitar is just a tool I use at work like a carpenter uses a hammer... Ibanez just seems to be making the best, affordable, all-around tools these days... the fact that it's beautiful is just a bonus.
    i bought this guitar last week i run it through a line six 75 spider and it howls like a bastard if your not muting the strings, i threw a bigsby on it and its great, also had to put 11 s on it and those made a big difference, 8 out of 10 well worth the price