Artcore AS93 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 8.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (24 votes)
Ibanez: Artcore AS93

Sound — 8
I play Alt Rock (Foo Fighters/QOTSA style) and this guitar perfectly suits me as the rhythm guitarist in my band. I am currently using it through a pedal board and Fender MIA HOT Rod Deluxe combo amp. Order: Guitar > TU2 > MXR Custom Comp > Boss DD3 > MXR Phase 90 > MXR Micro Chorus > Amp. I was using the pedal board in the series effects loop of the amp but decided to run through the pedal board TO the amp instead. The effects loop thinned the sound of the pedals. This guitar is not very noisy at all. It does have a tendency to feed back easily if the gain and volume are high enough, especially with the compressor on. The variety of sounds through this guitar is decent but I have several guitars so I use this one as my Standard Tuned guitar due to its looks and great tone. The ceramic humbuckers do a great job on this guitar. I don't play or like Jazz, but this guitar can definitely do it. It also handles heavier stuff and punk as well. The pickups like to get dirty when you really jam the strings. Great dynamic sounds from this axe; Play wicked blues on the neck pickup and screamin' leads or chunky chords on the bridge. Overall it's rather bright but that's the style I play.

Overall Impression — 8
Like I mentioned earlier, I play a lot of loud rock of the Foo style and I've been playing consistently for two years. Yeah yeah, two years ain't much. Shaddup. I've written 30-35 songs, none of which are lame old four chord songs. They're bada-s four chord songs. This guitar was definitely a steal for the money. Beats out a $3000 Gibson ES335 with everything except the bigger horns. This guitar has a slightly more sinister shape than a traditional ES335, think of an ES335 with cutouts closer to an SG and an ever so slightly slimer waist. I adore this guitar. It's been with me through thick and thin, rain and shine. And lots of sweat. The gold finish has slightly started to fade on the parts my hands touch more often, such as the bridge, but this is to be expected with any gold hardware. I compared it to several other Ibanez Semi-Hollowbody guitars but this one definitely took the cake. I even had the chance to compare it to a Gibson LP Supreme and chose this over it for two reasons: Price ($3500, really, Gibson) and the LP Supreme just did not stay in tune even with the new strings on it, a problem I have run into with all LPs I've played. I would take a Gibson ES335 over this if I found one for the exact same price and with the exact same finish style on it. Even the F-holes are bound on this baby, something that the mighty Gibson oft overlooks. Great sound, great tone, great features, great deal. This guitar is truly a wonder. And it makes me wonder why Gibson ES335s are so damn expensive. Here's to buying a name! If stolen, it would probably be easy to find again because I have only ever seen one other of this model in the entire Willamette Valley, however, there would be blood and a jail sentence for me. I use multiple guitars on stage for different tunings (Standard, Drop D, DADGAD, C-Standard; not all at once) and as most of my songs are in Standard tuning, this one gets the most exposure. Of course, I'll vary it up as I get more guitars but for now, this is my main axe. ONLY PROBLEM: QWIK CHANGE 3 STOPBAR TAIL PIECE. Strings fall out easily when re-stringing because of the slotted stopbar. But it's a $20 fix, so, yeah. Brings the total to a WHOPPING $570. For those of you who are TL; DR types, Great Guitar, Better than most Gibson ES335s(I've played many, for many hours each). If you say it's ugly, you obviously are into the wrong genre of music.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar does great things when played. We've played 15-20 shows in the last six months and it has taken everything I throw at it. Changed the strap buttons out within a week of purchase to Schaller strap locks and I've never had an issue with those. The finish is fantastic; a nice thick clear-coat keeps the wood protected and the binding withstands hard knocks into walls and other guitars nicely. I do try to be careful with my instruments but every once in a while you do slip. I can and have depended on this guitar without a back up for several months but that has ended so I can use more tunings on stage without having to make adjustments. Never had a problem with any electronics. Don't know what the previous reviewer meant about the input jack coming loose. Haven't had that problem or any other with this guitar. Stays in tune incredibly well.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The action from Uptown Music was great! They do first rate work there and I love the guys to death. The flamed maple top on this is incredibly sexy, especially with the blue sunburst finish. I believe the name for the finish was Blue Tiger-Burst. Quite fitting indeed. The fretwire needed a small amount of work but they took care of that at Uptown. Neck is really solid but bending with is is possible. Love to do that after jamming a hard E Major. The Bridge pickup needed a small amount of adjustment to better match the Neck pickup's volume, but nothing too serious. For the finish etc, I must give this a ten.

Features — 7
My Ibanez AS93 was made in 2005 in Korea. 22 Jumbo Fret, 3 piece bound maple neck with Abalone block inlays. Standard Gibson scale neck. It has maple top, back and sides as well as nice cream binding all around the body. Tone Pros TOM style bridge with a "Qwik Change 3" tail-piece. Tuners are standard I believe Gotoh style with mother of pearl machine heads. Gold hardware with Gibson style speed knobs. Ibanez ACH (Artcore Ceramic Humbuckers) pickups. Overall, a beautiful looking guitar. Killer: Qwik Change 3 Stopbar.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    It's a beautiful axe and an interesting one in Ibanez's stable, mostly biased toward Metal. It's a very original version of a classic design (Gibson ES 335), deeply altered by Ibanez and crafted with company's well known attention to details. It is excellent for Jazz, Blues, Rockabilly and Classic Rock. Because of its ceramic humbuckers, some might think it can stand heavier types of Rock as well, but it gets too much feedback when pumped up, so if you want to play Metal, you better choose another axe. It sounds best when played straight into a quality all-tube amp, using a good cable (Evidence or Elixir), to keep the noise down. Spring reverb also adds space to its sound. Too bad Ibanez has made a superb reputation in Metal, not too many fine guitar players are attempted to try this axe, one of the guitar's world best kept secrets.
    I had to order mine, I got it last week and after .playing for 25 years, I can already say this is the best looking, sounding, playing guitar I've ever owned. it's also my first semi hollow. Sounds really good through my traynor ycv40wr
    Precisely, rv_phoenix. I've been using Ibanez semi-hollows for a while now and they sound incredible direct to amp. I also love taking it down to C-standard every once in a while to get that deep throaty QOTSA squeal. I intend to become a famous rockstar with my signature guitars being Ibanez Semi-Hollows and Gibson Firebirds/RDs.