Artcore AS73 review by Ibanez

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  • Features: 8
  • Sound: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (81 votes)
Ibanez: Artcore AS73
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Purchased from: Local Music Store

Features — 8
Google it. I did.

Sound — 9
Covers all styles from Jazz and acoustic through to Hard Rock and the lighter end of Metal via Indie, Funk, Soul, Polka, whatever.

Warm, detailed pickups but with cut. Low mid emphasis on the neck. Low moderate gain bridge that handles gain well and cuts when needed.

Effective tone pots with lots of control.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Great factory action and setup. Pickups need a little playing for my personal taste but were perfectly good for a generic action. No obvious flaws. Pickup selector switch angle not quite what I expected but no major challenge.

Finish is a bit glossy for my tastes and needs to wear in a bit. I may give it a hand with some 0000 wire wool after a test!

Reliability & Durability — 8
Very early days but it feels really solid, like my Gretch 6119 Tennessee Rose. No sense of 'flex' that you get with some cheaper instruments. Hardware all looks good. Knobs have a rubber surround that may wear but make sweaty adjustments much easier. Feels solid enough to run without a backup (so far). Finish seems solid too.

Overall Impression — 9
Bought one yesterday. A/B'd it with several other similar Ibanez's in the range but this one just had better feel and tone. Amazed the PUPs are ceramic - they are very warm and middy but with articulation and complexity to the tone. Roll back the tone pot some and it is Jazz city. Open it up and it kicks out the jams with the best rockers. Really, really versatile.

I am a musical ho-bag and will play just about anything anywhere if allowed.

Last night, I took it to rehearsal with my cover band. We were adding Led Zep Rock and Roll to the set. I had no problems dialing in that mid gain open rock tone with plenty of dynamics and graunch. Come the solo: the neck was wide open and accessible. Tone was great though I need to tweak out the pickup balance a little as the neck is a bit dominant as shipped.

Next I moved onto a local Jam and did a set backing a singer covering Ed Sheeran, REM, and Hendrix. Again, no problems coaxing clean, crunchy and balls-out tones from the house amp (Engl) and guitar without pedal support.

Finally (yeah, Tuesdays can be busy) I moved onto a friend's local open Mic for the final acts. There, I plugged into the PA through a Joyo American and played a couple of my own acoustic-folky songs fingerstyle along with a John Mayer acoustic cover(Stop this Train). Obvs, it wont get you full acoustic depth and warmth but the tone backed solo vocals more than adequately. There was then a bit of jamming at the end with the organiser.

All in all, for a first outing without any setup, string change or even a strap, this guitar covered all the bases. I hadn't intended to give it such a workout but it really coped well.

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