I can't believe I just bought an Ibanez (Artcore content)

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by SgtThump, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. SgtThump

    SgtThump Member

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    I've hated the Ibanez super-strat style guitars for as long as I can remember. But I've been craving a jazz box for a few weeks now for some unknown reason, so I picked up the following Ibanez just tonight:

    [​IMG]

    I mainly play '80s cock rock and '70s classic rock, so I don't know why in the heck I've been looking at these styles of guitars, but I have and wanting one real bad.

    I auditioned a few Gretsch guitars before switching over to the Ibanez line. The Gretsch stuff was nice, but those proprietary pickups bother me, as you can't just plop a humbucker down in those slots if you don't like the stock pickups. So I switched over to the Ibanez Artcore line and played for a good 30 minutes on the beauty above. WOW! I've never owned a hollow body in my life and had no idea what to expect.

    The tone IS NOT good for most of the stuff I play, but it does some good 'ole '70s rock REAL WELL! I got it home and changed the strings and wow! I'm digging it! We'll see how long that lasts, though. lol... I know me and I'll realize in a week or two that I can't really use this guitar and possibly return it. Who knows...

    I got it for $400 out the door with a real nice fancy gig bag. Not a steal by any stretch, but a good fair price. This guitar is made in China and the quality of workmanship is VERY impressive! It honestly feels like a much more expensive guitar to me. As I said, I'm no expert on hollow bodies, but this thing just feels and sounds fantastic.

    When I first cranked up the AC30CC2 at home with this guitar, I got the low end rumble feedback, but it was much worse than I expected. I thought "oh great, there's no way to use distortion with this thing." However, I figured out that you MUST BE STANDING in order to keep the body from resonating in an uncontrollable way. The guitar is controllable with my fat belly on the back, so that was comforting. Still can't have anything above cranked plexi type of distortion, though, which is fine.

    Anyway, just wanted to share. Anyone else have one of these or any of the Artcore guitars? No, I didn't do a search before asking that. Sue me. :)

    This is just an inexpensive novelty guitar for now, since I'm gigging on bass at the moment and may not be able to use this live when I get back to gigging on guitar anyway. But it's not TOO expensive, the quality is killer and the thing plays and sounds awesome. I'm impressed!

    Chris
     
  2. SgtThump

    SgtThump Member

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    Oh yeah, I also TOTALLY dig the transparent orange finish. Very cool!!!
     
  3. SgtThump

    SgtThump Member

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    Oh and I need a little advice. This guitar has a bridge that isn't mounted to the body. It's held in place by the pressure from the strings. What do you guys do when you change strings? Do you mark the guitar in some way, so you can get the bridge back into the same position? The action and intonation will be all whacky if the bridge isn't put back in the same place. I ran into this when changing strings earlier tonight. I put the new strings on and the bridge where I thought it was and the action was entirely too low, so I had to make some adjustments.

    I was just wondering if it's good to mark the position of the bridge somehow to make sure I get it back in the same spot. Any advice is greatly appreciated. I'm thinking there's a secret to these bridges that I don't know about. Maybe changing strings one at a time?
     
  4. Brick

    Brick Member

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    Hey Sgt T that looks like a great guitar!

    I have an Epi ES-295 with the same type of bridge. My tech lightly sanded the body under the bridge to help hold it in place when I last took it to him (to change the pickups).

    He also suggested that I change the strings one at a time to keep it in place. Works like a charm.
     
  5. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Member

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    The Artcores are very good sub $500 guitars and go to show just how far the Chinese builders have come in a very short time. The only weak points I found on my mine was that the frets needed just a little more of a touch up work to even out a couple of rough spots and that the stock ACH pickups weren't that great. I found the bridge to sound weak and brittle and the the neck to be rather muddy. I swapped them out with a GFS Vintage '59 in the bridge and a SD Seth Lover in the neck and it sounds a whole lot better now.
     
  6. ruger9

    ruger9 Supporting Member

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    You've got several choices for the bridge:

    1) change the strings one at a time. But if your bridge isn't in the right spot to begin with (is the intonation OK?), this isn't a good idea.

    2) when you change strings, mark the bridge's position with masking tape.

    3) use double-sided tape UNDER the bridge to hold it in place.

    4) pin the bridge.

    #3 and #4 are usually only done on guitars that have Bigsbys; the whammy-ing actually moves the bridge...not good. As long as your intonation is correct, I'd say #1 or #2 should work just fine for you.

    BTW- that's my guitar! Altho I've made a few modifications...

    [​IMG]
     
  7. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

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    Nice axe!

    I've never understood the whole "style of guitar=style of music" thing. Sure, if you're playing ultra high gain music, a hollow-body is going to give you problems, but for most rock music, you can make 'em work, and they will instantly add a dimension to your sound that not many people have going on.

    QOTSA used hollowbodies extensively on their last record/tour...nothing to complain about there IMO. Great tones and enough gain to demonstrate that hollow-bodies can and do work in a loud, ripping rock band.
     
  8. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    ahve an Aria FA 71 with a floating bridge. Change the strings one at a time. You should do this on guitars anyway so the tension on the neck doesn't change radically.
     
  9. SgtThump

    SgtThump Member

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    THAT's what I'm talking about right there. The certain 3d tone from a hollow body. I'm digging it so far. I played it for probably 4-5 hours last night. Great guitar!
     
  10. Boogs

    Boogs Member

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    I think The Nuge would have something to say about hollowbodies and hard rock. ;)

    I just picked up an Artcore AF105NFT, the floating neck-pickup jazzbox, and I was amazed at the value. MF etc. have them at $700, but I got mine for $570 from Eighth Street Music in-store, and I am pretty damn psyched about the instrument.

    Oh yeah, you get used to dealing with the floating bridge...one string at a time, whatever works. Never stopped cellists and violinists from rocking stadiums!
     
  11. pfflam

    pfflam Silver Supporting Member

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    Nice mods Ruger . . . i wonder if you tried the Electromatics before you bought the Artcore . . . . and if so what about them didn't you like?

    I personally love the look of the Blue-top/ Black backed Electromatics . . . and they have good Dearmond pickups too . . .

    Someone else Gretsch pictured here:
    [​IMG]
     
  12. SgtThump

    SgtThump Member

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    I tried out that EXACT same model last night as well (except it was all black). They are normally like $799, but GC had it marked down to $599 (that's what they told me anyway). The guitar played and sounded nice, but it has the P-90 style pickups in it and a Bigsby (two things I didn't want).

    I also keep picking up those Electromatic Jet Pro's, as they look cool. But they didn't do alot for me last night either.

    I honestly felt the Ibanez Artcore stuff was every bit as good quality as the MIC/MIK Gretsch guitars I tried and hundreds cheaper.

    Chris
     
  13. SgtThump

    SgtThump Member

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    Thanks for the info and nice guitar! :)
     
  14. SgtThump

    SgtThump Member

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    I'll be honest with you guys. I seriously wanted something that said "Gretsch" on the headstock. I DID NOT want to buy an Ibanez, as I've made fun of those guitars for 20 years now. lol... But I couldn't justify the price difference AT ALL.

    Chris
     
  15. Bluedawg

    Bluedawg Member

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    Nice catch, I've heard good things about these guitars. A significant bang for the buck.

    With floating bridges I have done OK changing my strings three at a time. That way I can oil the fingerboard if it needs it without gooping up the new strings.

    :AOK
     
  16. Curt

    Curt Member

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    I spent the day trying out some high end HB's recently. I had played about a half a dozen when a salesman walked by with an Ibanez Artcore 77. Just for laughs, (I had absolutely zero intention of actually liking it) I tried it. It took about five minutes of playing before I asked him to wrap it up. The build quality was truely as good as the $1,200 Gretch I had just played.
    I'm not thrilled with it's ceramic pups, but for the price, it's a bargain. Add a pair of Alnico hum's, and it's perfect.
     
  17. gururyan

    gururyan Member

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    I hear you, I too never gave Ibanez a nanosecond of thought...that is until the Artcore series. I checked out this one last week, felt very good...sounded good too. They kept everything off the top, moved the controls to the guard as well...it's more than double any of the other Artcore line though. This one lists at $1,000. I think street is $775.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Boogs

    Boogs Member

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    That's my guitar!

    Like I said earlier, I called Eighth Street Music (in-store) in Philly ahead of time, and got a price of $569. It is even more beautiful in person, and it sounds great. Keeping everything but the bridge off the top gives it as much resonance as you can get with a maple laminate top, but it still doesn't feed back too early for me.

    I was not only happy with the finish (absolutely flawless) and playability (very, very good) of the guitar, but it's sound is more versatile than you might expect. With the tone control all the way up, it can get a more acoustic-y sound with a nice open top...roll it down and you get into more trad. jazz territory. Even with it all the way open, you get that fat punchy sound if you string it with reasonably thick flatwounds.

    Oh yeah, they don't seem to advertise this fact, but the guitar also comes with a rosewood bridge tucked into the (rather cheap, but included) case that looks and sounds much nicer to me...intonates perfectly with my .12-.52 Chromes, actually.

    :AOK

    David

     
  19. ruger9

    ruger9 Supporting Member

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    I didn't try the Elecromatics at all... partially because I didn't have any local music stores close enough, but mainly because they are like $800 I think? And the Artcore I got on ebay WITH CASE for only $320. True, I'll put a total of about $250 into it when I get my Bigsby, but that's still only $570. My main goal is to save up for a Hot Rod someday, or maybe an SSLVO. However, I wanted a hollowbody NOW, because it'll be awhile before I can swing a really expensive guitar... I'm going thru the "overdrive quest" at the moment, plus I'm remodeling my house, and I haven't planted that money tree in the backyard yet... :)

    Anyway, I did play an Artcore locally before I bought on ebay, and the workmanship was every bit as good as my American Std. Tele, I was very impressed. If the Artcores "sucked", I wouldn't have bought one no matter what the price, and I probably would have ended up with an electro. But the Artcores play REALLY well, are cheaper, and the thicker-bodied ones (not the AFS models) sound really nice acoustically, which surprised me. I'll put my modded Artcore on the line with a Electro anyday. No, it doesn't say "Gretsch" on the headstock, but I'll bet it plays & sounds every bit as good as the Elctromatic, possibly even better acoustically.
     
  20. SgtThump

    SgtThump Member

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    Guys, I did compare a few of the Gretsch Electromatic models, including the following two and a third model that I don't see on the Gretsch website.

    http://www.gretschguitars.com/gear/index.php?product=G5126&cat1=&cat2=&q=&st=1

    http://www.gretschguitars.com/gear/index.php?product=G5235T&cat1=&cat2=&q=&st=1

    They were nice guitars for sure and I almost went with that first one I linked to above that they had marked down to $599. I checked it out real good and ultimately decided that the Ibanez Artcore guitars that were half the price as the Gretsch were very bit as good quality-wise and actually a little better tonally. I know that's all subjective, but I'm giving my honest opinion. I WANTED a Gretsch, mainly because of the name. I'm a bit embarassed to play an Ibanez and DID NOT want to like these Artcore guitars... lol... Turns out that I do, though.
     

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