Price paid: C$ 300
Purchased from: Kijiji - Used
Sound — 10
I play mostly heavy metal/hard rock but have branched out over the last 10 years. This guitar has the usual hollow body twang when clean, but get it dirty and you will be really suprised, even with the stock pickups. Good on both ends of the tone scale too, both dirty and clean. The stock pickups are good mid output alnico humbuckers with a nice high end that works great on this guitar. Better than say the Ibanez ART100, which benefits with a richer or dirtier pickup. I play thru a Peavey Vypyr 30, and use a lot of the amp models and effects, and this is my most versatile guitar, lacking only a split coil mode, but I don't miss it.
Overall Impression — 10
I have been playing for 30 years, and I play mostly Hard Rock, Classic Rock and Heavy Metal. However, I have broadened my interests the last 10 years and it combined with my Peavey Vypyr 30 I can get a huge range of tones that are perfect for my recording projects. I have a range of guitars, but this one is the most versatile, and is really fun to play. I think I love the tone and playability of it most, and only wish it had higher end hardware and pickups, but I could have paid for it if I really wanted them. I wish it had a spit coil pot, but the tone is good enough without it. This guitar is far better than an Epiphone Dot, and you can tell as soon as you pick it up. It compares to a Gibson E type, with a smaller profile neck and a brighter tone, at a quarter the price. I really do love this guitar, and it is one of my all time favorites I've owned. I can truly recommend this for blues, country, rockabilly, all types of rock light and truly heavy. Not a shredder, but what versatility without upgrading the pickups!
Reliability & Durability — 9
This is one nicely made guitar, and it feels really well made when you play it. Far better than an Epiphone dot, and I like the profile of the neck and body better than Gibson's. The hardware is sturdy enough to handle gigging, and I think the finish would wear well. A good guitar deserves to look played, just not abused. I think this is my most versatile guitar, and I could play it all night without putting it down. Gigging without a backup is unprofessional, however, period.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Since I picked it up used, I can't say what the factory setup was like, but I have had good experience with Ibanez guitars from China. The finish and workmanship on this guitar were good. The frets were not as nicely finished as on my Ibanez ART100, also Chinese. Even so, it was only a bit of edge roughness on the 17th to 22nd. I fixed this when I polished the frets on it's first cleanup and restringing. Otherwise, finish was very nice, and yes, I really like the flat black. Some tightening was needed on the pickup selector and the output jack, but that is routine with a used guitar. I am really impressed with Ibanez'z Chinese guitars, at least the higher end, set neck types.
Features — 9
I picked up this Ibanez AS73Bk with a hardshell case and tuner to boot, all in mint condition, for $300 Cdn used. Guitar is made in China, not sure what year, but guessing '06, '07 ish. Features: Neck Material: Mahogany Neck Type: AS Artcore set-in Body: Maple top/back/sides Frets: 22 Large frets Fingerboard: Bound Rosewood Inlay: Pearl Dot inlay Bridge: ART1 TOM bridge NeckPU: ACH1-S BridgePU: ACH2-S Electronics: Passive, 2 vol, 2 tone, 3 way toggle Tuners: Ibanez non-locking HW Color: Chrome Finish: Matte Black Style: Artcore double cut-away