Ibanez AF125-AMB guitar

Endorsed by the likes of George Benson and Pat Metheny, Ibanez has a certain cache in the jazz market. What sets the company apart is the sheer playability of its instruments – the Ibanez neck profile is all but legendary among seasoned jazz performers. The new semi-acoustic Chinese manufactured AF125-AMB is the custom model from the Ibanez budget Artcore range and bears all the normal traits of the Ibanez marque. Its 16-inch body with 2-inch rims is made from laminated maple and produces plenty of acoustic volume, while the five piece set-in maple neck has no added heel and runs straight through (no scarf joint) to the Ibanez crown headstock and quality pearloid screw-thru’ Ibanez machine heads. Like many other jazz instruments, the AF125 is fitted with a short scale 22-fret rosewood board that on our sample felt like a slab of marble and has abalone/pearloid trapeze block position markers. The plastic nut is slightly wider than the normal 44mm and offers good string separation – particularly helpful for those of us with larger hands! Fitted with an adjustable Ibanez tune-o-matic bridge and floating tailpiece covered by a rosewood block, the AF125’s electrics are served by two humbucking Ibanez S58s, with rosewood “top hat” tone and volume controls and a standard 3-way switch. Plugged in, there is good separation across the strings and the intonation and articulation is excellent with clear, clean harmonics. And there is plenty of warmth and width to the sound, although I couldn’t quite conjure up the smooth, svelty tone I was hoping for. Nonetheless, this is an exceptional instrument at an equally exceptional price and comes with my unreserved recommendation. Go to www.headstockdistribution.com

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