AXS32 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 4
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 6.2 Neat
  • Users' score: 8.4 (57 votes)
Ibanez: AXS32

Price paid: $ 150

Purchased from: Dave's Guitars

Sound — 4
The Guitar is very bright sounding, too much treble, this is partially due to the .047 capacitors, .047 is more common for single coil pickups, I played the guitar through a Marshall DSL 401 tube amplifier, I am mostly into classic and hard rock. I played some doors and some Led Zep with it, and the pickups can do it, but they are middle of the road quality, a step up from a starter guitar pickup.

Overall Impression — 7
I redone the guitar to suit my needs and taste, I replaced all of the pots with CTS 500K pots, Orange drop capacitors, Switchcraft 3 way switch and input jack, Seymour Duncan 59 in the neck and a pearly gates in the bridge, and I replaced the bridge with a Gotoh one. Now the guitar is a player, I only did all of this because I didn't want to buy a Chinese piece of junk Epiphone, and not all of the Korean Epiphones are Mahogany, so I got the Ibanez, and it fits the bill for what it is. I am into classic rock, blues, hard rock and some metal, I usually play classic rock. I have been playing off and on for 20 years. Some of my gear, Edwards Les Paul, Gibson SG Platinum, a Marshall DSL 401, a Fender super reverb. If the guitar was stolen or lost, I wouldn't mind another one granted it is a Korean one, the Ibanez stuff from China is Junk, I have had 2 Chinese made Ibanez guitars and I wouldn't recommend them at all. I like the guitar for how it is made and the woods used. What I didn't like is the pickguard and pickup rings being silver, I am in the process of replacing them with black ones. The pickups and electronics I didn't care for, but it is easy to replace. I compared this to Epiphone SG's, Jay Turser SG's and a few other SG copies, out of all of them, this one was the cheapest even though it was used, and it featured the woods I wanted. Anything I wished it had? I wish it came with better pickups and hardware, but all of that is taken care of now.

Reliability & Durability — 7
The guitar stock as is, it is reliable, but it is a step up from a starter guitar, I would say middle of the road, it is well built, but as far as playing gigs with it, no, I would recommend an overhaul of the electronics on it, too tinny sound wise. But it is dependable and well built, I would change the strap buttons to strap locks also, and as I mentioned earlier, the bridge might have to be replaced due to the pot metal, Gotoh and Wilkinson make drop in replacements.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Overall the guitar appears to be something that could have been made by Gibson design wise. The body has a nice fit and finish, the neck joint is nice and clean. The Pickguard and the pickup rings look like crap, the silver finish doesn't look right, they should have left those parts in black. The hardware on the guitar is Korean made, but it is pot metal that has been chrome plated, the bridge might have issues from pitting over time. The guitar feels right, it's not heavy, I would say about 8 pounds, and due to it being thin like an sg, it's comfortable playing. The nut is plastic, I recommend a bone nut or a tusq nut.

Features — 6
What year was it made? 2003, Where was is made? Korea. How many frets? 24 frets, Neck scale? Sort of a cross between a Gibson slim taper and a ESP Vintage series. Body and neck woods? The neck is a 3 piece neck consisting of mahogany and maple, the body is made out of 3 pieces of mahogany with a rosewood fretboard. Finish? Satin Black polyurethane. Body Style, it is a cross between a Les Paul Junior and a SG. Bridge, it has the tune-o-matic style one, no tail piece, it strings through the body. The electronics are passive, a pair of DiMarzio designed humbuckers that sound like Gibson 490's, the pots are Alpha 500K with .047 capacitors and a 3 way switch that is a copy of a switchcraft. It has two volume and two tone controls with the 3 way switch. The tuning keys are ping, not bad. A gig bag was included along with an allen wrench.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    I own the AX32 model first hand since 2004 and I've just bought a Fender Jaguar since I think this one was a bit amateurish. I love this guitar and it likes me but we've always shared a bit of misunderstanding. It looks as though it won't have that oily 'Ibanez' sound but in the end it does. If you are a bit of a perfectionist as I am this guitar is useful to keep you alert in terms of working out the shades and modelling the sound, but it seems to me this guitar is unfinished. Too much treble and its overall sound is biased in a kinky way. You miss one extra button to balance the whole thing. It's something in between a glam guitar and a stylised heavy guitar with bluesy hints at a LP model. It's solid, calid, creamy and warmly middle of(f) the road, but the outrageous thing to it is that with such a wild range of experimental possibilities you'll just crash on that Ibanez sound in the end. Only way to make it fully stable is to get better components to it.