Artcore AS73 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (80 votes)
Ibanez: Artcore AS73

Price paid: $ 330

Purchased from:

Sound — 8
It sounds nice with the stock pups. Good muted highs jazzy sound if you want it from the neck and great country sounds from the bridge pup. The tone pots darken it up quite a bit when rolled back. I set mine up with a relatively low neck pup heigth. Very high bridge pup for more output which does a decent job with metal and hard rock as far as cutting through and picking up harmonics. Amazing really considering this is mainly a low/moderate output guitar. If you want to play jazz, country or classic rock the stock setup is decent. And with modification to the pups/electronics this guitar is capable of anything (as I found out by swapping with a duncan phat cat neck and DiMarzio air zone bridge with coil tap). One other thing, being a semi-hollow it is considerablly more sensitve to feedback than a solid body guitar. I don't gig so it's not a problem for me but if you use it in extreme high volume situations you have to be careful around the general vicinity of your amp.

Overall Impression — 10
Amazing. I like a lot of variety in my guitar sounds and feel it suits me well. You get funny looks when you're riffing metal on what looks like a conservative old-school blues guitar and everybody that doesn't know guitars thinks it's some crazy expensive antique. I like being able to turn a few knobs and go from a great sounding BB King sound to a great sounding ACDC. Some might like the "I don't care if you think I'm too loud" feedback when using higher gain at extreme volumes but most would not. that's really the only thing to me that keeps it from being a truly all genre encompassing guitar. The few features I wish it had (coil tap for single coil sounds, better pickups.. well maybe not better but better suited to me) are easy enough to get done with just a tiny amout of money compared to buying a similar guitar with those features. If stolen I might try out something different but eventually I'd want to have a semi-hollow in the lineup and unless I'm making a lot more $$$ when it happens this would be the one.

Reliability & Durability — 10
No problems as of yet. Amazingly the electronics haven't given me one snap, crackle, or pop in the six months I've had it. The hardware has no corrosion and the finish is holding up well. The neck is still as perfectly straight as when I got it. Tuning machines work flawlessly.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Absolutely incredible considering the price. I go to the local guitar center about once a month pretending I'm buing something so I have played a lot of higher end guitars and this cheap Asian model puts their price tags to shame. The bound neck feels as smooth as those expensive "hand rolled" ones. After breaking in the frets are super smooth and very bendable. Intonation must have been very close to perfect because after switching to 10-46s from the stock 10-52 strings after receiving only the low E needed a very slight adjustment. Action was actually a bit too low for me but I like it just a bit higher than the "as low as possible is the best" crowd. The only flaws I found were a tiny blemmish on the bridge tone knob that slightly obscures the number 2 and the finish between where the neck ends and neck pickup begins is a bit rough. It stays in tune like a dream with a little nut lube unless you do crazy bends for about half an hour straight. Tuning stability is as good as I've seen with exception to double locking systems. The sunburst is beautiful. It's on the front, back, and sides of the body as well as the back of the neck. The side profile is especially beautiful with the burst going from black on the back of the headstock and lower fret# area of the back of the neck to oarngish brown in the middle of the neck back to black till you get past the cutout horns with one final oarngish brown area on the skinny part of the guiatar body returning to black below the lower bout. It looks as awesome as that description was too long.

Features — 10
The body is semi hollow and made of soft maple with a set mahogany neck and rosewood fretboard. It has 24 3/4 inch scale with 22 medium-jumbo frets and a pretty flat 12 inch fretboard radius. Two volume and two tone knobs for the Ibanez brand ACH humbuckers (not that good but I've seen them in a semi-hollow RG that costs around $1200 I think Ibanez expects them to be swapped) and a three way selector Switch. Pearloid Dot inlays and headstock logos. Mine also has the brown sunburst finish (costed an extra $30 but well worth it). The body and fretboard are bound.

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