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  1. #1

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    Are there any owners/players of what appears to be an incredible bargain (even in the order of Artcore models )
    lurking out there and if so what is their take on this model? I know that Jim Soloway has been an advocate of the Exprsssionist range, but are there others amongst us? Would be grateful for any feedback.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Hi

    I own an AKJ95 and I'm very happy with it. Very well constructed. Pickups are the only thing I'd change, too much highs IMO. I have to play it with tone pot at 3-4. Hear it:


  4. #3

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    I have played this guitar in a store. I agree with Barcia's sentiment. Always a taste thing as blackcat alluded to.. but on the more affordable Ibanez guitars, the only thing critical I can think of with those is the pickups. That being said... I don't think they are bad by any means. They are definitely serviceable... but if I was out to mod an Ibanez in this price level, it would be in the electronics.

    A guitar I wouldn't mind getting is the LGB30. The only thing about those is... the site says they are Super 58's but the GB demo video says they are the Super 58 Customs. Now... to be fair... the Super 58 Customs are smoother sounding to my ears than the ceramic Custom 58's they once put on this price level. They still aren't the Super 58's. Also to add... I am not one of those that just goes mad for a Super 58. If I was going to swap out a Super 58 Custom for another pickup... it wouldn't be to a Super 58. It'd likely be a Seth Lover or something of the like. If a guitar HAD Super 58's... I'd likely leave it alone.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by barrymclark
    I have played this guitar in a store. I agree with Barcia's sentiment. Always a taste thing as blackcat alluded to.. but on the more affordable Ibanez guitars, the only thing critical I can think of with those is the pickups. That being said... I don't think they are bad by any means. They are definitely serviceable... but if I was out to mod an Ibanez in this price level, it would be in the electronics.

    A guitar I wouldn't mind getting is the LGB30. The only thing about those is... the site says they are Super 58's but the GB demo video says they are the Super 58 Customs. Now... to be fair... the Super 58 Customs are smoother sounding to my ears than the ceramic Custom 58's they once put on this price level. They still aren't the Super 58's. Also to add... I am not one of those that just goes mad for a Super 58. If I was going to swap out a Super 58 Custom for another pickup... it wouldn't be to a Super 58. It'd likely be a Seth Lover or something of the like. If a guitar HAD Super 58's... I'd likely leave it alone.
    Interesting, although I am genuinely confused over the entire Super 58/Super 58 Custom issue. Maybe that's what they set out to do? What do you think of the tone emanating from that model in the video review in my link?

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackcat
    Interesting, although I am genuinely confused over the entire Super 58/Super 58 Custom issue. Maybe that's what they set out to do? What do you think of the tone emanating from that model in the video review in my link?
    I thought it was very nice. Very listenable. It is brighter than what I'd go after, but not annoyingly so. I'd have no issue playing that guitar with that tone.

  7. #6

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    I've got an AFJ85 -- which I believe is the same body as the AF95, but with the mediorcre ACH (?) pickups.
    As stated above -- great build, great looking guitar. However . . .

    I've upgraded the pickups a couple of times. First time -- Neck PU gets a Gibson 57. Nice upgrade, but in the long run, I still kept tone searching . . .

    2nd time I moved the Gibson 57 to the bridge (just for fun!) and put a Dimarzio 36th anniversary in the neck -- which is where everything stays for now. Way better, but still not my tonal nirvana . . . sure, chasing rainbows I know.

    Super nice guitar for sure, but I still haven't found the tone out of that guitar I was searching for.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackcat
    Are there any owners/players of what appears to be an incredible bargain (even in the order of Artcore models )
    lurking out there and if so what is their take on this model? I know that Jim Soloway has been an advocate of the Exprsssionist range, but are there others amongst us? Would be grateful for any feedback.
    I have an older Artcore AF95 VLS (violin sunburst) which I bought as an inexpensive travel guitar. It looks great and feels great (beautiful neck profile). I am not too crazy about the ACH pickups, but they are ok. These guitars certainly are a bargain. Here is a video of me playing mine:



    Keith

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by floatingpickup
    I have an older Artcore AF95 VLS (violin sunburst) which I bought as an inexpensive travel guitar. It looks great and feels great (beautiful neck profile). I am not too crazy about the ACH pickups, but they are ok. These guitars certainly are a bargain. Here is a video of me playing mine:



    Keith
    Very tasteful playing, Keith! Thanks so much for sharing! I too wasn't too wild about the ACH but they'd certainly do in a pinch. I used to grab this model off the wall for a quick play on an amp in stores. Ibanez necks... man or man. They just do those necks right.

  10. #9

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    Terrific playing and very nice tone, Keith! Thanks! This puts paid to the myth of the unsuitability of the ACH pups for clean-tone, sweet-chord jazz. Again, my thanks.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    Terrific playing and very nice tone, Keith! Thanks! This puts paid to the myth of the unsuitability of the ACH pups for clean-tone, sweet-chord jazz. Again, my thanks.
    Oh, they are absolutely serviceable for sure. Pickup selection really is a matter of taste. I have met some that are not fond of the Seth Lover which I really like in my Heritage H575. I found that with rare exception, I can get pretty close to what I want somewhere between the guitar and amp... unless they are both just WAY off. haha.

  12. #11

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    Nice tone ( for me ) on first channel of a Superchamp XD here:



    Something a little different here:



    And if these are the stock pickups the tone is impressive for a guitar that retails under 600€:

    .

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    Terrific playing and very nice tone, Keith! Thanks! This puts paid to the myth of the unsuitability of the ACH pups for clean-tone, sweet-chord jazz. Again, my thanks.
    Thanks for the compliments. After I recorded that (straight into GarageBand) I felt that the tone ended up being a little brighter than I like. That was just a result of my recording and mixing settings though. The ACH pickups aren't normally too bright for my tastes. I have a few better humbuckers in my parts drawer, but I really don't think I need to change the pickups on the AF95. They are actually fine for what I use that guitar for.
    Keith

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by floatingpickup
    Thanks for the compliments. After I recorded that (straight into GarageBand) I felt that the tone ended up being a little brighter than I like. That was just a result of my recording and mixing settings though. The ACH pickups aren't normally too bright for my tastes. I have a few better humbuckers in my parts drawer, but I really don't think I need to change the pickups on the AF95. They are actually fine for what I use that guitar for.
    Keith
    One more thing....I put a wood saddle on mine. I think the expressionist series archtops come with both a wood saddle and a t.o.m. It's nice that they give you the choice. I like the tone better with wood.
    Keith

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by barrymclark
    I thought it was very nice. Very listenable. It is brighter than what I'd go after, but not annoyingly so. I'd have no issue playing that guitar with that tone.
    In that video ( Circa 2013 perhaps ) from Guitar Interactive Mag the two pickups are clearly both engraved - btm right corner in each case. I can now come clean and reveal that mine has just arrived chez nous and it has no such engravings - ostensibly the same guitar. At the same time, I have a friend's LGB30 here for fret dress etc and his has the engraving Neck p/u - S58 - N and Bridge - S58 - B. To my ear the two guitars sound identical. Are Ibanez trying to tell us something?!

    For what it's worth, the two bodies are dimensionally the same barring a florentine or venetian cutaway per case, and the only other real difference is an ebony fretboard on the LGB30 and rosewood on the AFJ95. Both laminates and the LGB30 has a maple top veneer and the AFJ95 is spruce. The other difference is..1099€ inc case for the LGB30 and 560€ + 129€ for case for the AFJ95. Horses for courses.

  16. #15

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    I think I have it - Super 58 'Customs' ( sic ) are the ones made in China - simple as that. Should have spotted the mktg speak as in 'Custom'! That said, the two guitars sound 95% identical - same strings, amp and player.

  17. #16

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    AFJ 95 sounds and looks great judging from the enclosed clips. While not wanting to redirect the thread, does anyone know what the sound difference is between AFJ 95 and the AG 95?

  18. #17

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    AG95 is smaller body, same as GB10.

    My AFJ75, with new Golden Age Parsons St. pickups from Stewmac sounds quite nice.

    I got it for $350 on closeout at Sweetwater, no better deal ever IMO.

  19. #18

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    boatleemusic
    Thanks and congratulations. Which pick ups did you install? There appear to be 2 different magnets on the Stumacs you mentioned. I too have installed stumac mics on a guitar, though I dont remember which ones now, I was quite pleased with the results though.

  20. #19

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    I recently picked up an AFJ95-7 as a "couch/traveler" guitar and I am really very happy with the fit, finish and sound of the instrument. I believe it's a lot of guitar for the money, more than you might expect. The pickups are fine for me.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackcat
    I think I have it - Super 58 'Customs' ( sic ) are the ones made in China - simple as that. Should have spotted the mktg speak as in 'Custom'! That said, the two guitars sound 95% identical - same strings, amp and player.
    The LGB30's have Super 58 Custom pickups.

  22. #21

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    Hi,

    How does the Ibanez AFJ95 sound without plugging it to an amp?

    I need some opinions from some Ibanez AFJ95 or AKJ95 owners since I am looking to buy one through Thomann based on the reviews. Unfortunately I can't find any local store nearby that has a guitar to test it before.

    I had the luck (or unlucky!!) to test a Gibson ES 175 which sounded really really great. Even unplugged (acoustic), which is the main thing I consider when testing a full hollow-body guitar. Since I will mainly use the guitar without an amp, this is something which I am really looking for. I have tested other Guitars Loan, Guild, Gretsch, etc. and have noticed that many of those sound very "metallic" and "plain".

    How will the Ibanez AFJ95 sound without an amp? Just acoustic? Is there a huge difference between the AFJ95 and the Gibson ES 175?

    Regards,
    p4chuss2

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by floatingpickup
    I have an older Artcore AF95 VLS (violin sunburst) which I bought as an inexpensive travel guitar. It looks great and feels great (beautiful neck profile). I am not too crazy about the ACH pickups, but they are ok. These guitars certainly are a bargain. Here is a video of me playing mine:


    Keith
    I'd say this video pretty much settles that question. Wow. I've been working on "Like Someone In Love" for weeks now, and was thinking I had made a lot of progress… Keith, you've sent me back to the woodshed, man. That was some of the most "tasty" playing I've heard in ages!

    And you never cracked a smile! I bet you were grinning on the inside, though!

  24. #23

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    Hi, thanks for the answer. However I was asking about the acoustic sound without amplifying. Just without plugging in.

    Besides that, what is the difference between the AF95 and the AFJ95?

    Regards
    p4chuss2

  25. #24

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    Two years ago I took a AKJ95 home for evaluation. After testing it for two weeks I bought it and I have played it every day since then. I play it through a Fender Superreverb silverface1973, Peavy classic 30 and Vox 15R.

    What I love the most;

    Its very even all over the neck. All notes sound the same.

    I live in Sweden and I have never felt that the guitar had "periods" during climatechanges. Some people complained on the amount of finish when it first came out. They said it would deaden the sound but I highly doubt that. In fact, allthough my youngest students tend to bump into my guitar with their headstocks there is still not a scratch on it.

    There is nothing wrong with the picups. Yes, they are bright but I have not played a guitar with the tone contol on 10 - ever. I guess most people fiddle with the tone all the time to adjust for the current acoustics in the room or postion to the amp. The lower spectrum of the tone is still inbeded in the pickups sound. Just roll of a notch or two and you will be fine.

    To me this is a very very high quality guitar! I have played since the begining of the 80ś and I am very happy about the evolution of guitar making. If my guitar got stolen I am quite sure that I could buy a replacement with the exact same quality for the same price. That was not very common when I was young.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grymtlund
    Two years ago I took a AKJ95 home for evaluation. After testing it for two weeks I bought it and I have played it every day since then. I play it through a Fender Superreverb silverface1973, Peavy classic 30 and Vox 15R.

    What I love the most;

    Its very even all over the neck. All notes sound the same.

    I live in Sweden and I have never felt that the guitar had "periods" during climatechanges. Some people complained on the amount of finish when it first came out. They said it would deaden the sound but I highly doubt that. In fact, allthough my youngest students tend to bump into my guitar with their headstocks there is still not a scratch on it.

    There is nothing wrong with the picups. Yes, they are bright but I have not played a guitar with the tone contol on 10 - ever. I guess most people fiddle with the tone all the time to adjust for the current acoustics in the room or postion to the amp. The lower spectrum of the tone is still inbeded in the pickups sound. Just roll of a notch or two and you will be fine.

    To me this is a very very high quality guitar! I have played since the begining of the 80ś and I am very happy about the evolution of guitar making. If my guitar got stolen I am quite sure that I could buy a replacement with the exact same quality for the same price. That was not very common when I was young.
    Many thanks Grymtlund. What about the sound used acoustically, without an amp?

    Regards,
    p4chuss2

  27. #26

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    To be honest, I can't really compare it with many other guitars because in that case I would have to bring them all home in a quiet room. It does not sound remotly as "full" as when plugged in. The acoustic sound does not turn me off in a musical way. I can still practise unplugged if I have to but yes, having the tiny Vox Pathfinder on just a little make a big difference.

    I dont know if I can answer your question more than this.

  28. #27

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    It has a very "mahogany" sound compared to my ES175, if that makes any sense.

    Tight, resonant. Very nice acoustically.

    Makes me think of Tal Farlow's tone.

  29. #28

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    Well I went and bought a hollow body jazz box today. I have only been taking guitar lessons since October of last year but am serious about jazz, at least as serious as I can be at my age (63); I don't ever expect to be all that good but I am only competing against myself. I had bought a Fender Deluxe Reverb a while back and got an eCertificate from GC for $210 and went shopping today. I had previously compared the Ibanez AF75, Epiphone Joe Pass, Epiphone Swingster, and a few others; the Joe Pass was my favorite of the bunch. Today I went back and added the AFJ95 to my list. Although I was prepared not to like it as much as the Joe Pass, something about it just spoke to me. It may have been largely due to the flat wound strings which it had and that I had never tried before, but it just felt better to me, and more solidly built. GC was having another one of their $10 eCertificate for every $50 spent so I got the AFJ95 and a case to protect it. The extra size is going to take some getting used to (I am used to an Epiphone ES 339 and a Strat) but I am sure it will get comfortable with time. It has a beautiful rich tone, much more acoustic sounding than the 339. I doubt that I will ever use the bridge pickup but they didn't have an AFJ91, and it may come in handy someday anyway.

    EDIT: Sorry the pictures are sideways, I didn't know how to rotate them.
    Attached Images Attached Images Ibanez AFJ95 - Opinions?-20160615_211920-jpg Ibanez AFJ95 - Opinions?-20160615_211931-jpg 
    Last edited by rdwhitti; 06-15-2016 at 10:28 PM.

  30. #29

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    Great choice. I have two Ibanezes: both are semi-hollow. One is an Artcore, the other an Artstar. Love them! I have had and currently have many guitars costing much, much more and the Ibanezes hold their own. Enjoy your new hollow-body!
    Last edited by jbucklin; 06-16-2016 at 08:12 AM.

  31. #30

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    You have a well-crafted, solidly built guitar that looks good, feels good, and sounds good, that will give you many years of reliable performance. Congratulations, and play it in good health!

  32. #31

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    You must have bought that DR 6 weeks ago when they had the 20% rebate in Guitar Center Bucks.

    You picked a great time to buy -- you combined the 20% rebate in Guitar Center Bucks with the eGift cards that get you an extra 16% off. I'm doing the same thing this week, so it will be NGD + NAD for me in the near future.

  33. #32

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    Congrats!

    As other members have observed, the Ibanez Artcore/Artstar series are very nice and cost effective instruments. They perform at a level that competes admirably with more expensive instruments.

    I own an AF125 Custom and it's a great guitar.

  34. #33

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    Yes I am quite pleased with this buy. I was surprised that I liked it better than the Joe Pass which just had a cheap feeling about it, although I can't pinpoint why it seemed so. And to top it all off I found out after I got home that it was supposed to be on sale, so I need to see about getting a refund for the difference.

    It is much bigger than I am used to but also lighter. It just seems to play so effortlessly. I'm sure I will be enjoying this for many years.

  35. #34

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    Danny, great guitar, congrats. As to having a bridge pickup instead of just a neck pickup...I use the middle position a lot, but use the bridge pickup just to add a little "color" to the neck. Play around with the knobs and you will find a "voice" that you will like as an option to just the neck pickup. Again, congrats.

  36. #35

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    Hi, Guys. I need some advice before buying an Ibanez AFJ95 sold at Thomann.de. I don't know if it has a serial number on its headstock or not.So, what is the difference between a guitar that have a serial number and one that doesn't have it? Does it matter to have a guitar that have a serial number on its headstock? Thanks in advance fo your help. Sorry for my bad english

  37. #36

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    I believe the serial is on the sticker inside the body that's visible through the f-hole but I'm not an Ibanez owner.

  38. #37

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    The newer Ibanez guitars usually have the serial number on a label inside the body, not on the headstock. R

  39. #38

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    Hello liehax and welcome - you are possibly our only member in Madagascar !!

    I believe that buying an Ibanez guitar from Thomann is a very safe way to buy a guitar over the internet. Both companies are highly reputable. European sourced Ibanez guitars are, in my experience, very well set up and will play well out of the box. Thomann also has a 30 day return policy - so if you are not happy, they will take it back.

    I must say, if I were in the market for a jazz guitar in the same price range, the AFJ95 is probably the guitar I would buy. I have had 3 Ibanez in the past and was always highly satisfied. I have bought lots of gear from Thomann, most of it I have kept - but I did return a couple of amps without any problem.

    As the other responders have said, the lack of a stamped serial number is not an issue - if you are concerned about reselling at a later date, just keep the delivery note from Thomann as evidence of provenance.

  40. #39

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    Thanks a lot for your replies. This is the first time of my life I join a forum. Imagine my joy reading your responses . So cooool. It took me so many years to economize (6 exactly). Now I know it will be a well spent money

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by newsense
    Hello liehax and welcome - you are possibly our only member in Madagascar !!

    I believe that buying an Ibanez guitar from Thomann is a very safe way to buy a guitar over the internet. Both companies are highly reputable. European sourced Ibanez guitars are, in my experience, very well set up and will play well out of the box. Thomann also has a 30 day return policy - so if you are not happy, they will take it back.

    I must say, if I were in the market for a jazz guitar in the same price range, the AFJ95 is probably the guitar I would buy. I have had 3 Ibanez in the past and was always highly satisfied. I have bought lots of gear from Thomann, most of it I have kept - but I did return a couple of amps without any problem.

    As the other responders have said, the lack of a stamped serial number is not an issue - if you are concerned about reselling at a later date, just keep the delivery note from Thomann as evidence of provenance.

    Thanks a lot for these details, newsense. I have one more question, what does the "B-stock" term mean? I've seen ibanez AFJ95 B-stosk on the website, and it costs less.

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by liehax
    Thanks a lot for these details, newsense. I have one more question, what does the "B-stock" term mean? I've seen ibanez AFJ95 B-stosk on the website, and it costs less.
    Hi there LH.

    B-stock means that there is either a paint defect or it is a customer return and therefore used.

    This does not mean it is bad or broken.

    It's like when you go into a music shop and play a guitar and it gets a knock or scratch, it means that it is no longer shiny and new.

    It is funny that you can buy a B-stock guitar with a slight scratch for less money but spend more on a custom finished distressed guitar of the same shape!

    Oh, and welcome to the forum.

  43. #42

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    Jazzbow has given a good definition of B-stock. The problem is that Thomann are unlikely to tell you why a particular instrument is B-stock - they usually just say " may have slight traces of use". So it can be a small gamble, but perhaps one worth taking, because most likely it will be OK and indistinguishable from a completely new guitar. If the small chance of it being bad happens - you can always return it.

    I just looked on the Thomann web-site and from the UK I cannot see a B-stock AFJ95 - perhaps you have already ordered it !

  44. #43

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    I have ordered other gear of the B-stock type from Thomann and been very happy with the results and of course the better price. That said I have not ordered guitars but have no doubt that I would be just as happy with them. What is the postage to Madagascar?

  45. #44

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    I have one of these guitars and I like it a lot. It is designed for amplified performance. It has a great neck, excellent intonation, and a comfortable feel, as well as great looks. The volume and tone controls are smooth and even. The pickups have depth and clarity. Some people like to replace them with their favorite aftermarket brands; I have never found it necessary, but it remains an option. The AFJ-95 is pleases the hand, the ear, the eye, and the bank account. I think you will enjoy it. Welcome to the forum, and play your guitar in good health!

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by newsense
    Jazzbow has given a good definition of B-stock. The problem is that Thomann are unlikely to tell you why a particular instrument is B-stock - they usually just say " may have slight traces of use". So it can be a small gamble, but perhaps one worth taking, because most likely it will be OK and indistinguishable from a completely new guitar. If the small chance of it being bad happens - you can always return it.

    I just looked on the Thomann web-site and from the UK I cannot see a B-stock AFJ95 - perhaps you have already ordered it !
    You're right newsense, I mixed things up.It was a B-STOCK AF95RW-NT and not AFJ95 . As I replied to jazzbow, the "may have slight traces of use" causes me to hesitate.

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    I have one of these guitars and I like it a lot. It is designed for amplified performance. It has a great neck, excellent intonation, and a comfortable feel, as well as great looks. The volume and tone controls are smooth and even. The pickups have depth and clarity. Some people like to replace them with their favorite aftermarket brands; I have never found it necessary, but it remains an option. The AFJ-95 is pleases the hand, the ear, the eye, and the bank account. I think you will enjoy it. Welcome to the forum, and play your guitar in good health!
    Thanks citizenk74. I replaced nothing on my old Caraya, so I'll replace nothing on an AFJ95 for sure

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by liehax
    Thanks citizenk74. I replaced nothing on my old Caraya, so I'll replace nothing on an AFJ95 for sure
    Fair enough, but do be aware that the excessively heavily styled pickguard has only a paper thin finish to it and can wear through if the guitar experiences much in the way of rythym playing / comping. As a finger rest no problem. Other than that I changed the nut to bone. Great value.

    Excellent review here: http://www.iguitarmag.com/magazine-e...onist-guitars/

    AFJ95 at 10:18secs.

    Bonne chance!

    David

  49. #48

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    I bought an af 95 recently and was really impressed, if you get without case the gator for 12 string is a really good match for a reasonable price.

  50. #49

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    I bought my AFJ 95 from thomann a year and a half ago - my first archtop ever. It is exceptionally well made - not only considering the price point but well made period. Setup and intonation out of the box were and are perfect.

    I first had ordered a B-stock which was like brand new - no scratches, no nothing. After a week or so I discovered (there was a slight buzz in some spots on the fretboard that I couldn't get rid of) that two frets were a bit low below the d and g strings. So I returned it with no problem at all, got my money back and ordered the one that I have now and that I have been playing pretty much every day since I got it (with quite "a few" others sitting idle and waiting to be played...)

    edit: forgot to mention that the SN is on a sticker inside the body which is quite usual for a hollow body guitar.
    Last edited by TOMMO; 08-02-2016 at 04:52 AM.

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by liehax
    Thanks Tommo, now I know why registering to a forum is very important before buing anything
    Here is the guitar with my 'improved' ( more contemporary perhaps ) pickguard/finger rest: Ibanez AFJ95 - Opinions?-dsc_3157-jpgIbanez AFJ95 - Opinions?-dsc_3158-jpg and the rear view. Perhaps the best value guitar in my collection ranging from Peerless Cremona to Classic Vibe 50s Tele.

    Good choice.