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Ibanez AF255b hollow Body, 2 Questions

VCrattle

Member
Messages
4
Hello,

Although I have limited experience playing hollow body guitars, I recently purchased an Ibanez Artstar AF255bm (Blue Lagoon) through Musician's Friend. I have two questions about it which those of you who have played Ibanez Artcores, specifically the Ibanez AF155 (which is almost identical to the AF255bm), may be able to answer. I've seen few posts anywhere about the AF255 itself, so I don't anticipate much direct experience with it. Of course, help from anyone, whether knowledgeable about Ibanez hollow bodies or not, is more than welcome.

(1) Is the back of the guitar supposed to be perfectly flat? Or can there be slight convexity (swelling) in certain places? When I first received the guitar, I noticed that the back was not entirely level. Someone told me that, given recent cold weather, it's possible that it deformed when I took it from the freezing hands of the UPS guy right into my warmer house without giving it time to acclimate before opening the packaging. This seemed plausible, but not easily confirmable. In any case, I returned it for a replacement. Musician's Friend was very obliging and shipped one out immediately.

When the replacement arrived, I allowed it to temperature-adjust for about a day. Nevertheless, when I opened the double-boxed parcel and took the 255 out of its case, its back had two small humps - moderate swells - on the part of the body towards the neck. One is on the back of the cutaway, the other is directly across from the cutaway below the upper neck.
I'm beginning to wonder if these are contouring features instead of possible defects. Would anyone know?

(2) As the advertisement indicates, the "bm" stands for burled maple, which is said to be the guitar's material and finish on the top, sides, and back. My question:

Is the finish a real burled maple veneer or just a painted/copied pattern?

I ask this because, after receiving the AF255bm from Musician's Friend, I noticed that on-line pics of its BACK on Sweetwater's site have THE EXACT SAME WOOD GRAIN PATTERN as the guitar that I actually received - the pattern on the guitar in my hands and in the online pic are identical. (I was comparing advertising pics checking for standard body swells when the identity of the finishes jumped out at me.) This would be impossible, I think, unless this pattern was a generic copy "printed" on the laminated maple. Is this true? Or is the burled maple veneer made of real burled maple, with a unique random wood pattern specific to each individual AF255bm guitar?

I have emailed Ibanez with these questions but haven't yet heard back from them.

Thanks in advance for any opinions.
 






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