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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

NGD - Ibanez semi-hollow small body

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by raysachs, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. raysachs

    raysachs Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Age:
    58
    633
    May 21, 2017
    Near Philly
    Turns out I like a tele as a main guitar well enough, but when I have a strat around, the tele is always #2 and, given my inability to make good use of the bridge pickup, it's a #2 that doesn't get played much. So after playing a lot of 'em, and owning a couple, I'm giving up on myself as a telecaster player. I'm without telecaster. It's not about you, telecaster, it's about me. But it's real and seems undeniable...

    But what forced the issue was this - an Ibanez AMV10A, with the V standing for vintage, or relic'd. I generally don't like rosewood necks or 12" radius fretboards or humbuckers, but this has all three and I freakin' LOVE this guitar. I sort of had a semi-hollow body in mind as a #2 to my strat, since it would offer me a completely different feel and sound. Most of them I played I didn't really like. Various Epiphones, D'Angelicos, Gretschs, and other Ibanez models but most of them didn't feel very good to me. I find rosewood necks generally too grabby, too much friction when I really dig in and slide and bend. But man, I picked this guy up and I was instantly in heaven. The neck is smooth and fast - feels more like ebony than rosewood to me, the fretboard is clearly spec'd as 12" but looks and feels rounder. It just plays and sounds right.

    It's about the size of an Epi 339, which I played and loved the feel of the smaller body but just didn't bond with the neck. I love everything about this guitar except the relic-ing, but it's not nearly as obvious in person as it is in these photos - the staining is but the nicks and scratches aren't - you can see 'em but you have to look - it really jumps out in these photos. The top and back are pretty heavily relic'd, the sides just barely, and the neck is pristine so I don't really mind it. It's kind of slotted in price-wise between the AM73 and AM93. They make a gorgeous quilted yellow-sunburst AM93 that I almost bought for the looks, but it was $150 more and I like the custom elite pickups on this one more than the Super 58s on the AM93. So I went for function over finish I guess.

    Perfect companion to my strat - gives me something COMPLETELY different and i could see them sharing time as #1 depending on my mood. I've become more of a blues guy and MUCH less of a rocker as I've gotten older and this guitar has the right feel and sound for blues.

    [​IMG]Ibby-1 by Ray, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Ibby-2 by Ray, on Flickr

    Here's the electric guitar corner of my office / man-cave - I have my Martin hanging on the opposite wall.
    [​IMG]untitled-1-3 by Ray, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017

  2. ReaL Madras

    ReaL Madras Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 8, 2012
    I looked at one of those Ibanez and their bigger bodied brother many times. I loved the look but for some reason I just didn't go for it...... then after they were gone from the local dealers I sort of regretted it.

    Congrats!!
     
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  3. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 10, 2003
    Near Milwaukee
    Looks really nice. Ibanez makes great semi-hollow models.
     
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  4. markjames

    markjames TDPRI Member

    Age:
    56
    53
    Mar 27, 2017
    UNITED KINGDOM
    Looks Lovely....... I'm looking for a nice semi myself.....
     
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  5. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    Congratulations!
     
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  6. Rbriggs82

    Rbriggs82 TDPRI Member

    11
    Jan 5, 2016
    Summerville, SC
    Very nice! I've been eyeing that one up for a while now. Epiphone quit making the dot in a lefty version and I can't find any used so I started looking at Ibanez. Great to hear nice feedback, no matter what I'd have to order a lefty which means I have to take a leap of faith and go by reviews rather than playing it first.

    Other than the vintage look are there any other pros and cons you could share.
     
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  7. Thin69

    Thin69 Friend of Leo's

    Oct 28, 2009
    Galveston, TX
    Nice guitar!
     
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  8. Billnchristy

    Billnchristy Tele-Meister

    156
    Sep 21, 2017
    Georgia
    I've got a short scale bass that is a good companion to that.
    IMG_0343.JPG
     

  9. trouserpress

    trouserpress Tele-Meister

    239
    May 4, 2015
    Leipzig
    GEILOMAT! (meaning great looking guitar). What's the tone like compared to the Epi?
     

  10. raysachs

    raysachs Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Age:
    58
    633
    May 21, 2017
    Near Philly
    I've seen lefty versions of this online, but not in a store. I haven't found any cons yet - I'm pretty much still in honeymoon phase. The frets could use a polish - a few are kind of rough - but most of that is resolving itself just by playing. I think I'll let this first set of strings do some work on the frets and then give them a polish when I put a new set on. Other than that, I haven't found anything. It's been a while since I've had a guitar where you could adjust the volume from each pickup independently so I'm re-learning the controls a bit, but I haven't found any bad combinations yet. So much of a guitar to me is how the neck feels and this one feels sublime to me, which is somewhat a matter of personal taste, but I know it when I feel it.

    Edit: Actually, one more con - the tuners aren't great. I'm probably gonna replace those. They're workable, it's not an immediate priority, but I'll likely put some other tuners at some point...
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
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  11. Strato50

    Strato50 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    50
    331
    Mar 30, 2017
    Port Arthur TX
    Still my number 1
     

    Attached Files:

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  12. raysachs

    raysachs Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Age:
    58
    633
    May 21, 2017
    Near Philly
    I don't know. I play a couple of Epis and didn't like the necks. They felt more like what I consider a typical rosewood fretboard with a lot of friction and really sort of grabby when you go to bend and apply vibrato. Some folks love that feel, but I don't. I didn't like the feel enough to plug one in. The Ibanez necks (I tried a couple of models and the necks all felt basically the same) have a much smoother feel, less friction. More like maple or ebony usually feels like. Which is kind of the first level of selection for me. If I don't feel it with a neck, I put the guitar down because I know it's not gonna be a match. So I don't know the Epi tone to compare the two...

    I should note that all of THESE Ibanez necks felt pretty much the same, all very good. But I don't know if that's true of ALL Ibanez rosewood fretboards these days or not. This is the fourth Ibanez I've owned. The first one, about 40 years ago, had an ebony fretboard and was a sublime playing guitar. The next two had rosewood and I didn't like them at all. I wasn't playing much in those days so I just wanted a cheap guitar around so I'd have something to grab and to say I didn't really "shop" for them would be an understatement. But they had really grabby fretboards. But this particular line of semi-hollow bodies all seem to have really smooth, hard feeling fretboards...
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017

  13. raysachs

    raysachs Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Age:
    58
    633
    May 21, 2017
    Near Philly
    That's a beauty!
     
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  14. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Fort Collins, CO
    Happy NGD, raysachs! It's always good to find a guitar that just wortks for you.

    Ibanez made a small bodied semi-hollow in the '90's that a friend had. The body was sort of offset and I believe it just had one sound hole. His was white and it had two humbuckers. Does anyone know what it might be?
     

  15. raysachs

    raysachs Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Age:
    58
    633
    May 21, 2017
    Near Philly
    Bit of a revision here. After I'd played a few Ibanez semi-hollow guitars, I started learning about their lineup. I'd have LOVED to be able to buy one of their ArtSTAR guitars, next up the food chain from the ArtCORE line. Basically similar if not identical bodies, but nicer necks (ebony fingerboards, much nicer fretwork, etc) and better hardware and electronics. But the Artstars were all well out of my price range, priced about double the similar Artcore options, so I determined that the AMV10 shown above was the best option within my price range (basically $500 plus a case - my previous 2nd, a tele, shared a case with my strat but this obviously can't).

    I was really loving this guitar, but then Monday morning, Google chased me down (AGAIN - same thing happened with my strat) to let me know that Sweetwater was selling the relic'd version of the AS / AM153 for within a few dollars of what I'd paid for my AMV10, which I could still return. These relic'd versions are pretty over the top IMHO, and evidently a lot of people thought so because I don't think they sold many at all. They've been around since early 2016 and I could find only a handful of reviews on any of the retail sites and essentially nothing on YouTube except Ibanez' promotional video. So it appears they're closing these models out and will soon discontinue them. I talked to a guy at Sweetwater who basically confirmed that - he didn't KNOW, but he said that's usually the pattern with a guitar that hasn't sold well. But he confirmed that these are essentially the AM / AS 153 but heavily relic'd. I love ebony fingerboards almost as much as maple, and a lot more than rosewood (although the rosewood on the lower end Ibanez guitars I played was as smooth and hard as any I'd played - it played more or less like ebony), and I really liked the switching options on these guitars which all contain a coil tap for the neck pickup and one also adds a parallel option for that same pickup.

    So I ordered one. They have both small bodied AM and larger bodied AS models in both black and sunburst, with the black ones having much more understated relic-ing than the sunburst. But they weren't discounting the smaller AM model in black and the smaller model in sunburst and the larger model in black had the coil tap but not the parallel option for the neck humbucker. So I went for the full size AS sunburst model. I think the relic job is way over the top, but I've had the guitar for two days and I don't really see it anymore, and nobody else generally sees my guitars these days because I don't play out anymore and only jam with a friend on occasion. And my wife wouldn't know one guitar from another. So, I bought a relic guitar not because of the relic look but in spite of it, because it's allowed me to afford a significantly better instrument than going with non-relic instruments. The body size is a mixed bag - the larger one is marginally more comfortable to play standing and marginally less comfortable sitting, but it's really a non-issue - I'm fine with either. And I'm not sure how much I'll make use of the parallel option on the neck pup, but it doesn't hurt to have it and I may figure out how to make best use of it eventually.

    Anyway, here's a NEW new guitar day, just an extension of the previous one really. The neck seems even beefier on this one even though the spec says the size is identical to the previous one. The ebony fingerboard and the fretwork is sublime, as anticipated. And all of the hardware just seems better - the pickup selector feels much smoother and less rattle-y, like it might last a while, the tone pots are notably smoother with more even roll-off, the tuners don't suck as much as the ones on the cheaper model, and the neck pickup can be played as a bucker, a single coil, or a bucker in parallel. I liked the last guitar a lot, I like this one a little more. And it cost me a grand total of $20 more for an instrument originally priced about twice as high as the previous guitar. So, photos, because it DID happen...

    [​IMG]Ibanez ASV100-3 by Ray, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Ibanez ASV100-4 by Ray, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Ibanez ASV100-6 by Ray, on Flickr
     

  16. Zipslack

    Zipslack Tele-Meister

    224
    Jun 8, 2011
    Mississippi
    Gotta say, I love my ASV-10A. Excellent playability with a lot of tones. I actually like the look...sort of like it's been played on the Bayou circuit for decades.
     
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  17. raysachs

    raysachs Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Age:
    58
    633
    May 21, 2017
    Near Philly
    Yeah, if this ASV-100 hadn't had it's price drop so radically, I'd have been happy as hell to keep playing that AMV10 for a looooong time. It sounded great, it played great. And I was fine with it's looks. I'm not crazy about relic looks, although I like the Artcore relics more than this sunburst Artstar relic, while the black Artcore is probably the most restrained of all of them and the most to my liking. But as I've shown, I won't let a relic finish keep me away from buying a guitar if everything else works. I can't say this ASV-100 really plays better than AMV10 - the neck feels just a bit beefier and the fingerboard / fretwork is a bit more refined. But the electronics do feel higher quality and it's got more sound options on that neck pickup. Only time will tell if I actually USE those options or not, but no harm in having them. The Super 58 pups are a little bit hotter than the Classic Elite's in the ASV10 but I'm not sure I like 'em more. I really liked the Classic Elite's a lot - these Super 58s about as much in a slightly different way. I'd have been happy either way, but I couldn't pass up this deal for what is at least somewhat of an upgrade.

    -Ray
     

  18. Zipslack

    Zipslack Tele-Meister

    224
    Jun 8, 2011
    Mississippi
    I really like the Classic Elites...seem very versatile. I don't hate the ACH pickups, but these are an improvement. Glad to know I don't need to jones for current-production Super58's.
     
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