Artcore AS73B Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 04/12/2011 category: Electric Guitars
Ibanez: Artcore AS73B
The defining feature of the semi-acoustic guitar is its sustain block (or sound block) into which the pickups are mounted for increased sustain and feedback elimination.
 Sound: 9.8
 Overall Impression: 9.8
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.3
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (4) 19 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.4
Artcore AS73B Reviewed by: stradivari310, on january 23, 2008
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: The Music Shop

Features: This guitar was made in 2007 in Japan. It has 22 frets. The ES-335-style body is maple with a solid maple top, the neck is set-in mahogany, and the fingerboard is bound rosewood. The finish is solid black. The bridge is a Tune-O-Matic style. The guitar has 2 open-coil humbuckers with a 3-way switch and tone and volume knobs for each pickup. The tuners are Standard Ibanez tuners. Mine came with a gig back from the store. // 9

Sound: I play literally anything from Indie to pop punk to hardcore to all-out effects whoring experimental, and this guitar can handle it all. I use a Line 6 Spider III 15 for practice and a Peavey Transtube 112 for gigs. For effects I generally use the effects on the Spider (which aren't amazing but get the job done) as well as a Boss chorus pedal and a Boss DF-2 Feedback pedal. The guitar is not noisy at all, although it is a semi-hollowbody and can feedback more easily than a solidbody guitar. I actually use this musically, but if you don't like it then just stand farther away from your amp. With the tone down this guitar produces a jazzy clean and with the tone up the cleans are bright. Also, when distorted this guitar can provide a great crunch on any level of gain. For a $300 guitar, I couldn't ask for more! // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I purchased a display model, so everything was flawlessly adjusted. Nothing wrong at all, and the action was perfect. It was slightly high, but I prefer it that way. The strings were also good quality, once again because it was a display model. Everything was perfectly aligned. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've gigged with this guitar regularly (about two or three times a month) since I got it for Christmas, and it's held up beautifully. I still use my Ibanez G10 for backup just in case, but I haven't needed it at all. I am still very careful with it because it is semi-hollow, but I have a hard case so I'm not too worried. // 9

Overall Impression: I play almost any style and this matches them all. I've been playing for about two years now but guitar is my second instrument (after violin) and I picked it up very quickly. This guitar could definitely compare with an ES-335 and it completely blows away the Epiphone Dot, which I compared it to. I love the sound, finish, and the overall feel of the instrument. If it were stolen I would get another in a heartbeat. // 10

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overall: 9.4
Artcore AS73B Reviewed by: Johnny Lingo, on march 29, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 300

Purchased from: Kijiji - Used

Features: 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 // 9

Sound: 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. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 9

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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! // 10

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overall: 9.6
Artcore AS73B Reviewed by: fleece, on may 31, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 300

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: I'm ambivalent about the fact that these are Chinese-made guitars. On the one hand, it's 2010 and I would certainly like to support American craftsmen, to say nothing of my utter distaste for Chinese policies, both at home and abroad. On the other hand, the craftsmanship of the AS73B, along with its *extraordinary* value, is undeniable. I'm part of the problem, I know, but knowing is half the battle. I won't list the features of this guitar, as it's redundant information that can be found elsewhere. But I will say that the matte black finish is just fantastic. It's not everyone's cup of tea, perhaps, but hey, black is about as timeless, tasteful and sexy cool as it gets. It is the quintessential color of ROCK. And the flat finish, it just feels great. This is the guitar version of the Ducati Monster Dark, and that's a high compliment. You're not going to find a lot of inlaid pearl, or gold knobs on a $350 guitar, which is precisely why the matte black works so well here. It's understated and elegant, and doesn't skimp where it counts. // 9

Sound: I play classic rock, blues & jazz on the piano, and classic rock on the Acoustic guitar. This is really my first foray into electric guitar, and I wanted something that will help me explore rock and blues, maybe a little jazz down the road a bit. I spent a lot of time researching and reading reviews before landing on the AS73B, and WOW did that pay off. I'm using it with a Vox VT15 that I purchased for its ability to provide me with a wide variety of sounds and styles. Coupled with the insane versatility of this axe, I'm a kid in a candy store. I CANNOT put this guitar down, and I'm a newbie at electric. It does SO many things SO well, I shudder to think how much fun lies ahead of me. I would still be just as elated if I'd paid twice or three times the price. But for $300 (on sale)?? Fuhgeddaboutit. It makes me want to have kids just so I can give them one for Christmas. :) Fine, you may say I'm being dramatic, and I am. But really... When I plug this in and put some headphones on and just... Play... I literally catch myself smiling. A lot. I'll leave it to more seasoned players to discuss its nuances, but for the reader who shares my trepidation at learning another (or a first) instrument, buy the Vox VT15 with one of these, and I guarantee you'll start making some nice sounds fast. And the potential to mimic the sound of most any guitarist you can think of is a great way to explore all sorts of styles. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The AS73B I took home from Guitar Center is actually a display model. They didn't have any new ones in stock, so they let me bring home the display to play with while I wait for a new one to arrive. Great salesman -- kept me happy and made the sale. While he said the display model hadn't been 'set up' beyond what they did at the factory, the action on it is perfect for me -- nice and low, yet somehow without buzz. The frets are nice and low as well, and sliding is a joy, even for this unpracticed hand. Aside from one minor scuff that's really hard to see, in fact, the display model is exactly what I want. I almost wonder if it's worth risking getting a brand new one that might not be set up as well. But I know I'll wind up going back to get the new one -- I've read from many that these are typically set up very well straight out of the box. I'll likely bring it to a luthier regardless, just to adjust intonation and generally inspect it with an expert eye. This is going to be a very long relationship, I can tell. There's something about this guitar that tells me, even when I've moved up to fancier, pricier models, I'll always have a soft spot for the guitar that really lit a fire and got me started. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Too early to tell, as far as durability is concerned. I can say that the demo model I'm using seems to have held up like a champ for whatever its tour of duty has been. And I've generally read positive things, with a few lemons here and there, notably some bad output jacks. But as much as I'd like to have the same one for years to come, at this price, I don't have to worry about it like it's a Faberge Egg. But the build-quality strikes me that, handled with the respect any instrument deserves, it'll fare just fine. The strap buttons, I was pleased to learn, work well with the StrapLock straps (which didn't fit an Ibanez AF75 I tried). // 9

Overall Impression: I was looking for something with a ton of versatility, while leaning toward the rock/blues side of the rock/blues/jazz spectrum. I think the AS73 models generally hit that mark perfectly, and the AS73*B* model in particular, with its exposed coil humbuckers, give it that extra edge in the rock department that I was looking for. I didn't want a jazz box, per se. I wanted a blues box that could handle B.B. King, Metallica, and every point in between. That's a tall order for any guitar, and absurd to ask of a $350 guitar. And Ibanez has earned more than a few loyal fans by somehow pulling it off. And I wholeheartedly endorse and applaud their efforts here. Would I replace it if it were stolen. Hah. It won't get stolen. ;) // 10

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overall: 9
Artcore AS73B Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 12, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 260

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: I bought this guitar used from a Guitar Center in Albany, New York. It came with a non-Ibanez hardcase and had been sitting on the wall for long enough to get some dust, which is probably why the price was so low. This is a 335-style semi-hollowbody, made in 2009 in Korea. It has 22 frets, an Ibanez ART1 Bridge (Tune-o-matic style), two passive pickups with their own pair of volume/tone knobs, and a three-way pickup selector. According to the Ibanez site, the pickups are an ACH1-S in the neck and an ACH2-S in the bridge; the body is maple; and the neck is mahogany. Like all AS73Bs, it has a matte-black finish, chrome hardware, and no pickup covers. One thing that bothered me is that this guitar does not come with a pickguard, and has no option of putting one on. // 9

Sound: I'm running this guitar through a Line 6 Spider IV, as well as playing it acoustically. It sounds great unplugged, much louder than my Strat. It sounds like I had hoped a hollowbody would on a clean setting: strong middles and highs, not overshadowed by the lows. The neck plays very smoothly and deeply, but I can get some strong treble out of the bridge. The middle setting (combining both pickups) has a bit too much bass for my taste and sounds a lot like the neck pickup if both pickups' volumes are at 10, but some EQing takes it out comfortably. It takes distortion very nicely; one thing I've heard about semi/full-hollowbodies is that they feed back something awful, but so far I have yet to get anything like that. Pinch harmonics do come through very nicely, and this guitar can play anything from country to Metallica. I have played some Lamb of God on it as well, but even on the bridge, there's not quite enough bite for that heavy of a sound. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Once again, I bought this guitar used, and pretty well set-up. I had to adjust the intonation on the G and B strings, but everything else was great: no fret buzz, the other strings were intonated properly, and the pickups weren't too high/low. The previous owner left some small scratches, but I'm happy to say that even though this guitar scratches white, they're not very noticeable and I only found them while I was setting it up. From the manufacturing side, everything seems just fine. The neck's straight as they come, and none of the frets have wire sticking out. The finish is much better than I expected from a matte color. It doesn't make your hand stick to it, nor is it rough (in other words: no, it's not an Epi/Gibson "faded" finish). // 8

Reliability & Durability: I don't gig, so I don't know how it stands up to gigging. However, as I said, the finish doesn't seem to actually scratch all that easily. I accidentally bumped it against the table before I got used to the size, but it didn't dent the side or leave a mark. I think it could probably stand being dropped a few times without anything more than cosmetic damage. I thought there was some wearing away of the finish on the back of the guitar, but after I rubbed it a little bit, whatever dust was there went away. Another plus side is that this guitar doesn't attract fingerprints nearly as easily as a Standard finish does; greasy fingers will still smear, but I don't have the urge to polish it down every time I pick it up. The hardware seems solid, although the strings catch in the nut every now and then while tuning (that's easily fixed with some pencil rubbing in the grooves, though). // 9

Overall Impression: I play country, blues, classic and hard rock, and a bit of metal. This guitar definitely covers them all. As I mentioned in the "Sound" section, it sounds Acoustic enough to play comfortably on clean and also handles distortion just fine. I'm comparing this to a 2009 Fender Standard Stratocaster HSS. I miss the single-coil tone periodically, but rolling back the tone knobs to 9 or 8 helps give it that same sort of sound. This Ibanez sounds much thicker on every setting; it's hard to describe, but there's more of a body to the tone. It doesn't handle the extremes as well, but I would absolutely classify the AS73B as versatile as an HSS Strat. I love the sound of a hollowbody, and this guitar delivers on it. As I said in the first section, I wish there had been the option of putting a pickguard on it. If this guitar was stolen or broken, I would *absolutely* buy it again at the price I got it for; I would also strongly consider pick it up at full-price. I mostly snagged it for the deal I got on it, but after owning it for a while I like how it responds to tone/volume changes, and would definitely pick it up over an Epiphone Dot, which I tried side-by-side with this guitar. // 9

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