Artcore AFS77T Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 03/04/2010 category: Electric Guitars
Ibanez: Artcore AFS77T
The set-neck AFS77T features an all-maple body, ACH humbuckers, an ART-21 bridge with a VBF70 Vintage Vibrato bridge, a 3-piece maple/mahogany neck with a 22-fret, bound rosewood fingerboard and black hardware.
 Sound: 9.8
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Reliability & Durability: 8.3
 Action, Fit & Finish: 7.8
 Features: 9.7
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (4) 6 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
Artcore AFS77T Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 08, 2004
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Price paid: $ 502.74

Purchased from:

Features: For the longest time, good full- and semi-acoustic guitars were very expensive and inexpensive ones weren't very good. In 2002, Artcore changed everything. - Artcore neck - Maple top/back/sides - Small frets - ART-2 Roller bridge - VBF70 tremolo - ACH1-S neck pickup - ACH2-S bridge pickup // 10

Sound: This guitar can handle rock, blues and jazz. It handles effects well and handles distortion very well. This guitar is quite versatile. The pickups, electronics and sound of this guitar are great. Sound is clean and that tube-clipping, feedback-drenched, just short of breaking up distortion with smooth highs, fat mids and not too big bass. The controls work perfectly. Still no feedback problems, even at gigging volumes. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The set up was perfect. Great side of the pick harmonics with distortion. Very resonant. A couple of small adjustments here and there and it played rather well. The finish on this gitar is amazing for the price. The body, neck and headstock finish are among the best you've seen. The binding fits perfect at all joints and the fret wires were finished to full detail. The overall craftsmanship of this guitar is great. It plays as well as guitars costing 3 times as much. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will easily withstand live playing. Still very satisfied that this is a solidly made guitar. The strap buttons that came with the guitar are larger and hold the strap well. The roller bridge is perfect. The guitar seems very dependable. This guitar will stand up as well as any other of this design. // 10

Overall Impression: Fantastic value is exactly what this guitar is. It's a terrific instrument, though in need of titrivation out of the box. There is a little needed setup but not much. Ibanez should get an award for making the world's most beautiful guitar at such a ridiculous price. You won't find the soundblocks you find in many so-called "full-acoustic" guitars. // 10

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overall: 8.8
Artcore AFS77T Reviewed by: bassetrox, on july 14, 2006
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Price paid: $ 521.55

Purchased from: Big Rock/Williams Gateshead

Sound: I have used the guitar to play rock and pop and as a jazzbox. It handles all equally well. I wouldn't recommend it as a numetal guitar obviously, but would you use a 335? I use the guitar with a Marshall 80 Watt Acoustic amp, prior to this I used it with a Laney 60 watt electric. I use the guitar through a Boss ME-50 except for jazz. The guitar is not unreasonably noisy, even with a good deal of distortion. You can easily coax a purr or a scream out this instrument. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Action needed slight tweaking fresh from the factory, but its easily done. Otherwise it was well set up. // 9

Reliability & Durability: My one major concern with this guitar is the reliability. I would not gig without a backup as I have twice had to take the guitar for repairs after the jack socket has fallen back inside the body. I was advised that using not using right angle leads lessens this problem, I am unsure as to whether this is correct. As the guitar is a Hollowbody, it will not stand up to rough handling that a solid body might take. The other day I heard a worrying crackle on one of the tone pots, maybe the electrics will need replacing sometime, but I have given the guitar a few years of playing. // 6

Overall Impression: One of the sexiest guitars I've ever seen, and certainly my favourite possesion. The bigsby system doesn't badly affect the tuning, unless it hasnt been used for a while. My only regret is that I cannot easily play the higher frets of the guitar (without changing the guitar to an awkward angle) so for any songs that have fast or playing at high frets I have to use a different guitar, or RH tap. For the price I paid, even for the full price, the sound and look of the guitar are amazing. I never expected to find such a good hollowbody for the price. If it were lost or stolen I would cry. I don't know whther I would buy the same guitar again, if my budget was tight (probably) I would definately buy another Artcore. If not I would move up to a high range Gibson or Gretsch. I can't imagine repacing it other than in those circumstances. // 10

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overall: 9.4
Artcore AFS77T Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 08, 2008
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Features: the artcore I have now I got for christmas 2007. as my first hollow body it is the closest I could get to a Gretsch with the money my rents had. it has ach humbuckers x2, black hardware, pearl on pearl inlays, bigsby trem system and is parcial to light 10-46 guage strings.. I don't pay much attention to the nitty gritty specs because I don't care as long as it plays well.. and it sings with the wide range of music I play from classical to metal. // 10

Sound: This guitar suits all styles apart from thrash metal.. would suit rockabilly, jazz, punk and rock. I have ither used a Boss overdrive or super over Drive and I am parcial to using a Zoom 505ii multi effect for wide selection.. it is not by any means over noisy, doesnt't feed back, even at large venues for large volume, it can have a mean grunty sound for playing blues, a full smooth grunge for playing rockabilly, and a thrashy full sound for sludge metal and etc. it is indeed very versatile. This guitar out of the 6 electrics I own is by far the best and would not sell it if my life depended on it. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was perfect, the only 1 problem I have still is keeping perfect tune for long periods of time but I haven't had it proffesionally set up yet, I have heard from my friends Who own them that they do need setting up. And after that they are fine. the pickups needed droping a little to stop a slight hum but that's all. This guitar all in all is equivilent value as bying a Gretsch electromatic. for the price of it I am head over heels. // 8

Reliability & Durability: It withstands Live playing fine as long is you don't sit it down. I have had it for a year now and still no fowl ups. The only reason I would carry a backup to a gig is because a musician should with any guitar. The finnish will last by the looks of it... it is still mint. This in my experience is the toughest guitar I have played. // 9

Overall Impression: An extremely sexy guitar. I have been playing for 14 years now and have played many guitars and this one tops em all overall, apart from the high range gretsches, but for the price, they are pretty damn close to the quality of a Gretsch. A set of ernie balls and a set of tv jones pickups it would be godliness. // 10

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overall: 7.6
Artcore AFS77T Reviewed by: Tombe, on march 04, 2010
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Price paid: £ 270

Purchased from: The Guitar, Amp & Keyboard Centre

Features: As I'm sure you can tell from the picture, this a Gretsch-inspired single-cut hollowbody. It has a rather nice metallic slate finish, a brace of humbuckers and an Ibanez-branded Bigsby-type vibrato, paired with a floating tune-o-matic bridge. 22 frets, volume and tone controls for each pickup and a 3-way selector. I believe it's maple with a rosewood neck. Doesn't need much explanation - it's pretty well-stocked for a cheap guitar and solidly built too. I should add at this point that the guitar plays beautifully - it's the most comfortable-feeling guitar I've ever played, and the neck isn't Fender thin but by contrast is nowhere near as thick as the Louisville Sluggers you tend to find on most hollowbodies. // 9

Sound: If someone dismisses hollowbodies on the fact that they can 'only do clean', punch them in the face and tell them to go back to their pointy BC Rich. My taste in music varies from post-rock (Mogwai, Explosions In The Sky) through jangly '80s Indie (The Smiths, REM, The Jesus & Mary Chain) and Radiohead before finally ending up somewhere near Neil Young, and this guitar takes all this in its stride. Played clean, the bridge pickup has the Gretsch twang going on quite nicely and the neck pickup is full and articulated, each note cutting through perfectly, making it ideal for anything from strumming open chords to jazz to moody post-rock arpeggios. Adding dirt, the guitar loses none of its clarity - the bridge pickup under medium gain provides a brilliantly trashy Indie tone and the neck pickup becomes surprisingly good for chunky power-chord riffing. Being hollow, the guitar is obviously very easy to coax into musical feedback, making up for its slight lack of natural sustain, and combining this with the Bigsby can make some very uniquq and ethereal sounds from the guitar alone. So, short of hard rock and metal, there isn't much that this guitar can't do. Like I said, don't write off hollowbodies as jazz instruments - listen to anything off The Jesus & Mary Chain's 'Psychocandy', the guitar parts on which were all recorded on a Gretsch ES-335-type guitar, and tell me that that sounds like a jazz box. Make no mistake - this is a seriously good-sounding guitar. I run it into a Vox AD50 set permanently to the Fender Twin setting, and a Fender Champ 600, through far too many pedals to list. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Any guitar built down to a price (which this guitar is - we're talking second-hand Epiphone money here) will have a few flaws, and sadly this one is no different but it's to be expected really. The factory setup was not great - it came with awful strings that were about .15 gauge and felt like bass strings, so those came off and a pack of Super Slinkies went on. Restringing the guitar is a pain and really requires you to have a third arm to do it properly (each string must be hooked around a very small peg on the underside of the Bigsby, from which they can work themselves free very easily until the string is at full tension) but that's a fact of Bigsby life. The action was dead-on but the intonation wasn't great, and the neck pickup was a bit too low, but I fixed these problems in 10 minutes with a screwdriver. On the subject of the Bigsby, to be honest the guitar could do without it - it owes quite a lot to 19th-century railway engineering and has a habit of not returning to tune at all - as a result I've invented quite a few tunings that Sonic Youth would struggle to play in. If I'm honest, I never use the Bigsby. The tuning stability isn't what it could be either, although this could once again be down to the troublesome Bigsby. This may just be a fault with my guitar, as well, but the G string's tuning peg doesn't really seem to have that much impact on the tension of the string, more of an executive-level input. On occasion I've given it two full rotations of the peg before any noticeable change in pitch occurs. The final problem is that the pickup selector tip's threads wore out very quickly and it's now predominantly held on by gravity. So, whilst the playability and sound of this guitar might be great, the construction leaves a bit to be desired. // 4

Reliability & Durability: I've had this guitar for a long time and it's still in good nick. Yes, the bridge pickup appears to be held in place by gaffer tape but that's actually to stop rosin getting into the pickup windings when I play the guitar with a bow. There's a few barely-visible scratches in the finish on the back, mostly from belt-buckle wear, but all in all, considering the beatings it's taken over the years it's in remarkably good condition. It's had quite a bit of live use and apart from the occasional bit of tuning instability it's coped fine. I wouldn't use it without a backup, but I wouldn't use any guitar without a backup. Even a '59 Les Paul will sound crap with a missing string and buzzing electronics. // 8

Overall Impression: In almost all aspects this is a very good guitar, it just has a few problems (almost all stemming from the Bigsby) which really should have been ironed out at the design stage. But this is still an extremely likeable guitar - it's been my go-to guitar for years, and if it was stolen I wouldn't buy another one, I'd hunt the thief down to the ends of the Earth and get my one back. I imagine you'd do the same if you had one. // 8

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