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IBANEZ ARTIST ART100 ELECTRIC GUITAR
Dec 7, 2008
Review by Dr.P
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:This is a good entry level guitar.
The Bottom Line: It would be hard to find a better value for an entry level guitar in this price range.
IBANEZ ARTIST SERIES ART100 ELECTRIC GUITAR
Recommend this product?
Finding a good sounding guitar in the $2000 to $3000 dollar price range is not a very difficult feat to accomplish. However, finding a good sounding guitar in the $200 to $300 dollar price range is not such an easy thing to accomplish. Fortunately, there are a few good brand name manufacturers out there who actually make a good sounding guitar that sells for under $300 dollars. One of my favorite inexpensive guitars in this price range is the Ibanez Artist Series ART100 Electric Guitar. The ART100 retails for $399.99, but it can easily be found at a discount for as little as $299.99 from most national musical instrument chain stores or from a reliable internet dealer. Read on and see if the Ibanez Artist Series ART100 is a guitar that you might be interested in auditioning the next time you are visiting your local musical instrument store.
The shape and overall design characteristics of the Ibanez Artist Series ART100 are clearly based on a Gibson Les Paul. Obviously, a guitar selling for under $300 dollars is not in the same league, as far as quality and craftsmanship goes, as a Gibson Les Paul that costs 10 times as much. However, the Ibanez ART100 is a guitar that was designed to compete for your attention, and obviously for your dollars, with an Epiphone Les Paul, which is in a similar price range.
The Ibanez ART100 has a Mahogany body and neck, and a generous single cutaway. Mahogany is an excellent tonewood for a guitar, and it is a type of wood that is used on many higher priced musical instruments, such as a Gibson Les Paul. Obviously, there are different grades of Mahogany, and I am not trying to imply that the Ibanez ART100 uses the same grade of Mahogany that a higher priced Gibson Les Paul uses, but it is of a similar grade to the Mahogany used in making a lower priced guitar such as an Epiphone Les Paul. The finish on the guitar was also quite nice, and the Ibanez ART100 is available in three colors, namely Silver (which is the one I was playing), Black, and White.
The neck, which is also made of Mahogany is set into the body, and this type of design adds to the sustain of the guitar. The fingerboard is Rosewood, which is also an excellent tonewood for a fingerboard, and it adds a bit of warmth to the sound of the guitar. There are also 22 medium frets, and access to even the highest notes is relatively easy, given the generous cutaway. The neck has a slim, modern feel, and is smooth and fast. The guitar feels well balanced, and it was comfortable to play when standing or when sitting. Additionally, it is a surprisingly light guitar, and as such, it is not as likely to elicit all the complaints that I hear people making about the weight of a Gibson Les Paul, especially after playing through a long night on the road.
The hardware is also quite nice on the Ibanez ART100. The bridge is a fully adjustable Gibraltar III Bridge, and it is as solid as you might expect a bridge to be that is named after that famous rock at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea. A fully adjustable bridge is a must, especially if you change the thickness of your strings at different times, as this permits setting the intonation to be a relatively easy task. The tailpiece is what you would expect on a guitar based on a Les Paul design, and it is a Stopbar design. The set neck, Gibraltar III Bridge, and the tailpiece all are very solid, and they clearly add to the sustain of the guitar. The tuning pegs were also quite sturdy, and had a very reasonable gear ratio, which made accurate tuning easy. The guitar also held it tuning quite well.
And now a few words about the electronics of the Ibanez ART100. Firstly, there are two humbucking style pickups, an Ibanez ACH1-S in the neck position, and an ACH2-S in the bridge position. Both of these pickups have ceramic magnets, and they were quite “hot” and powerful, and both sounded quite good. They sounded like a set of pickups that one might expect from a guitar designed for rock, and with the right EQ and judicious use of the tone controls, they were able to generate a wide range of useful tones. At a lower volume setting on the guitar, these pickups had a bright sparkling sound, which made the individual notes of the chords that I was playing sound clear, clean, and distinct. When the volume was cranked to 10, it was very clear that these were high output pickups, designed to rock. I was however slightly disappointed with the sound of the low end that these pickups generated, as they seemed to accentuate the mids and the highs more. A bit of tweaking on the amp was however able to get me a more rich sounding bottom. There were also three controls for the pickups, specifically two Volume controls and one Tone control. A three position toggle switch permitted quick switching between pickup settings.
The bottom line for me is this. The Ibanez Artist Series ART100 is an excellent entry level guitar, and it is sturdier and more solidly built than some of its competition that cohabitate in the same price range.
Well I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my review, but now if you will excuse me, I must get back to my practicing.
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