AXS32 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (57 votes)
Ibanez: AXS32

Price paid: $ 494.1

Purchased from:

Sound — 9
I would say that this guitar is not specifically designed to play one type of music. If you are the type of guitarist Who has one guitar for cleans, another for dirty sounds and another for right out distortion then this guitar isn't for you. However, if you want one versatile guitar this is just the guitar for you! The only type of music I don't think would suit the AXS32 is metal. As I am not interested in this genre, this doesn't affect me but if you are interested in playing metal more than once in a while I would recommend you look else where. The pick ups are pretty good. I like how different the neck is from the bridge pick up. This has not been the case in some guitars I've played which has left me thinking "why not just have the one?". I tend to use the bridge pick up for cleans, both for distortion and the neck pick up for soloing. One thing I would say is that if you are playing clean do not have the volume knobs turned up to full because you do start to hear a bit of crackle. If I ever do end up buying new pick ups for this guitar it won't be for necessity but just curiosity of how the guitar would sound different.

Overall Impression — 10
If I say: Foo Fighters, Queens Of The Stone Age, Nirvana you will get a rough idea of the type of music I like to play. All those bands are quite versatile between each other and within themselves and I feel confident with this guitar in all those situations. If this guitar was stolen, I would find another without a second thought. I wouldn't, however, buy its successor, the AXS42. Though I have never played this guitar I don't find it as attractive as the AXS32 as it has fret inlays and no string-thru bridge though I'm sure it sounds exactly the same. I will definitely stick with this guitar for a long time because I think I will have to spend over 1000GBP before I can get a guitar which is significantly better.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I have used this guitar at several gigs and never even considered a backup. I'm pretty sure that, electronically, this guitar will outlive me. The only thing I would say again is that the bezels and pick guard are plastic and start to change colour with time. The paint on the other hand I don't see ever even having one blemish.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
From the factory this guitar came surprisingly well set up but after a few months I fiddled around to see how everything worked (I was still relatively new to guitar at the time) and now it is set up perfectly. I recently played a new Gibson and I would say the action on my Ibanez is much lower without buzzing. Every so often the jack socket becomes loose but that's easily dealt with. There were no factory faults and I was 100% happy when I received the item.

Features — 8
My Ibanez AXS32 was made in July 2004 at the World factory in Korea and bought just Christmas the same year. There are 22 large frets on a rosewood fretboard. Interestingly, there are just to small inlays on the fretboard to mark the 12th fret. But don't worry, there is the regular style of fret markings shown on the beautiful binding between the fretboard and the rest of the neck. The neck itself is so smooth it's unbelievable. A favourite feature of mine is the string-thru bridge. It gives the guitar that extra bit of sustain whilst looking a bir different. Unfortunately, the pick guard and pick bezels are plastic. My pick up bezels quickly started to turn black so I decided to replace them with chrome ones which really sets this guitar off! Though, the pick guard has not yet turned black it look worse for wear and if there were a chrome one available I would buy it immediately. The flat paintwork on this guitar is flat, meaning that despite the many times I've accidentally hit it against tables or walls with some force, the guitar has come out unscathed whereas there are various red paint marks on the furniture and walls around my home. If you want to buy a proper fitted AM50C Ibanez case to protect this beautiful guitar then be prepared to pay out a lot of money.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I Shot Kurt
    i bought this guitar about three years ago and love it. The pickups have a bit of a muddy quality to them, but i kinda like it; sounds almost drop tuned sometimes. i recently bought an epiphone les paul which has much better action on the fretboard, and has much crisper pickups, but i still break the old ibanez out once in awhile, just to get that sound out of her.
    i own this guitar and my pickguard and control knobs are stainless steel, bought it two years ago and is like new .tone is superb and i prefer it to my gibson lp special which cost 3 times as much...