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  1. #1

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    Hey all - new guy here. I currently play an Epi ES-339, and like it quite a lot. It was gift last year from my wife for my 60th birthday.

    I've been jonesing for an Ibanez AM153QA - my other functioning electric is a shredder Ibby (SZR520), and I also have an ancient 2350 LP copy that needs some help. The new 153 should be available in a few weeks, and my guy at Sweetwater is going to hold one for me.

    I like Ibanez guitars and they do seem to have a good rep these days for their semi-h guitars.

    Anyone here have one, and can recommend, or....?

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Welcome, BigBear!

  4. #3

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    BigBear, welcome! You will probably lose sleep just waiting for that email notification that it has shipped! If it's anything like my Ibanez AM-83 LTD, you will very likely smile each (and every) time you pick it up for practice! Keep us updated.

  5. #4

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    I have an Ibanez Artcore Expressionist AS93FM, for the money it's a great guitar.

  6. #5

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    You are basically just looking at the Ibanez version of the guitar you already own. Why?

  7. #6

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    Thanks all.

    Mr gumbo....you do raise a fair question, and without spinning too deep into the "I want/I need" thing that conflicts some guitar players and their equipment acquisitions, I'll just say that I think the Ibanez has a better build quality and may be better suited to what I aspire to play. I haven't fully committed to the purchase - unlike some, I'm not made of money - but I'll confess to a little "shiny new toy" affliction, and after a year of some financial challenges from which my wife and I are just emerging, I'd kind of like to treat myself.

    Is that a great answer? Not really....

    While we're on the subject, this guy has some thoughts on the matter.....cheers!

    How many guitars do you "NEED"? - YouTube






  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBear
    Thanks all.

    Mr gumbo....you do raise a fair question, and without spinning too deep into the "I want/I need" thing that conflicts some guitar players and their equipment acquisitions, I'll just say that I think the Ibanez has a better build quality and may be better suited to what I aspire to play. I haven't fully committed to the purchase - unlike some, I'm not made of money - but I'll confess to a little "shiny new toy" affliction, and after a year of some financial challenges from which my wife and I are just emerging, I'd kind of like to treat myself.

    Is that a great answer? Not really....

    While we're on the subject, this guy has some thoughts on the matter.....cheers!

    How many guitars do you "NEED"? - YouTube



    That's what I call restraint :-)

  9. #8

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    Me? Or the YouTube guy?

  10. #9

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    You. Classy reply.

  11. #10

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    Hey @BigBear, have you played that AS153 in particular? If you have and it spoke to you BUY IT!!! Finding a guitar that fits you is an opportunity not to pass up. 25 years ago, with my first real paycheck, I bought a Martin D18. I played maybe a dozen others at two storeswhen one just was "right". I still have that guitar. I have probably played dozens of friends' D18s over the years and still pick this old guy up and can't believe how magical it is.

    If it is just the model or Brand you are interested proceed with caution. There is quite a bit of variability within a model line. I've said this before, but guitars are not like cars. One Ford Focus is pretty much going to drive just like the next one of the same model and trim. You can have two AS153's and wonder if they are even from the same factory (hint, the probably aren't). Because I make guitars as a side business I make it a point to go in and try whatever arch top or semi I find in any music store or GC I happen to be passing. I have played Epi's that are sublime and Gibson's that are an embarrassment. Ibby's that felt underpriced and ones that made you wonder if someone didn't spill a bucket of poly on it or mistakenly grab a neck out of the reject bucket.

  12. #11

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    An Ibanez nomenclature idle curiosity? AF is a hollow body, AS is a semi-hollow, what is AM?

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by TedBPhx
    An Ibanez nomenclature idle curiosity? AF is a hollow body, AS is a semi-hollow, what is AM?
    Smaller size AS.

  14. #13

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    Thank you.

  15. #14

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    Thanks Gary.

    rlrhett - admittedly, no. I did play a bunch of guitars when I settled on my Taylor 114CE, including two or three Martins, and at my price point, the Taylor was the best fit for me. Still have it and still love it, at least for my limited acoustic playing.

    I have looked at the reviews and specs of the 153 compared to the other Ibby semi's, I like the tri-bridge toggle, the fact that it has a bone (not plastic) nut and that it comes with a case. My Epi came un-played as well, and did need a good setup, but I am happy with it. I'm not an equipment connoisseur (does it show?)

    I do have a return policy, so the way I look at it, all I'm risking is the hassle of a re-box and shipping/insurance cost. Not nothing, but not alot.

    Do you think that's irresponsible?

  16. #15

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    Irresponsible is a strong word, but I think you are missing an opportunity. At a $1k price point there are at least a half dozen brands that offer very similar instruments. All of them will likely need a good setup, so the additional cost of replacing a nut, or some other minor customization is negligible to get your desired specs.

    But you are unlikely to return anything short of a real dud given the hassle of it. Buying sight unseen means you have a real chance of ending up with a serviceable meh guitar when a real gem might have been right around a corner.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBear

    >>SNIP<<

    I have looked at the reviews and specs of the 153 compared to the other Ibby semi's, I like the tri-bridge toggle, the fact that it has a bone (not plastic) nut and that it comes with a case. My Epi came un-played as well, and did need a good setup, but I am happy with it. I'm not an equipment connoisseur (does it show?)

    I do have a return policy, so the way I look at it, all I'm risking is the hassle of a re-box and shipping/insurance cost. Not nothing, but not alot.

    Do you think that's irresponsible?
    Irresponsible is buying a git and not paying the rent, but not as irresponsible as spending the coin on beer, driving drunk AND not paying the rent :-)

    I have an AS-153 and AM-93 as well as a few other Ibbys and they are all top notch and their quality has been for me very well made year to year. They must hold tight reigns on their builders.

  18. #17

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    There are two used AS93's on craigslist nearby - one for $600, the other for $395, both with HSC. The cheaper one is violin, the other dark sunburst. The cheaper looks like it's had a rough life. The other looks mint, but the seller doesn't say too much about it and the pictures are crappy. I've been tempted to contact the guy with the $600 one.

    But that new AM153 just won't let go....

    Either way, the mortgage gets paid and the dogs get fed.

  19. #18

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    I own a JSM10 and an AMV10A. I owned an AS93 and an AS153 in the past. I am a huge Ibanez fan. For me, the neck on all their guitars is very comfortable and the quality is great. The Artstar line has a special fret treatment that is very cool. You will like your choice.


    I think there is something to be said for trying the actual instrument that you want to buy. The guitars that I spent extensive time with in the store are still with me. Others are gone. The AMV10 is a good example. I played about 10 guitars in its basic price range. I kept going back to it and knew it was the one. I still love the guitar. Same with my Cordoba Orchestra CE.


    The AS153 that I owned was used from Guitar Center. It was in bad condition so I returned it after about 30 days. I am still kicking myself over selling the AS93. I had to cull the heard.

  20. #19

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    Thx Knuckles - I was kinda/sorta considering the JSM10 as an alternative to the AM153.

    My guy at Sweetwater told me that the 153 arrives to stock this coming week - but they've moved the date back twice so far, and the other online retailers I've look at all say July.

    Which is fine - gives me more time to dither.

  21. #20

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    Well, it looks like the Ibanez-retailer supply chain agrees with my skeptical friends in this post - the AM153 is not in, and probably won't be until August, by which time the NGD fever will have broken and I'll likely have come to my senses.

    S'all good. I still have a very nice Epi ES-339 at hand to burnish my mediocrity.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBear
    Well, it looks like the Ibanez-retailer supply chain agrees with my skeptical friends in this post - the AM153 is not in, and probably won't be until August, by which time the NGD fever will have broken and I'll likely have come to my senses.

    S'all good. I still have a very nice Epi ES-339 at hand to burnish my mediocrity.
    Big Bear

    You will not regret your choice and waiting. I own one actually....and looking at it is like a piece of art...but playing it makes you create art.
    Jazz, Blues and probably any style is accessible with that axe.

    It can have a soft soft mellow tone...and can growl like a Gibson LP..

    Hope you get it soon man...I for one hate waiting.

    Take care

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Normie
    Big Bear

    You will not regret your choice and waiting. I own one actually....and looking at it is like a piece of art...but playing it makes you create art.
    Jazz, Blues and probably any style is accessible with that axe.

    It can have a soft soft mellow tone...and can growl like a Gibson LP..

    Hope you get it soon man...I for one hate waiting.

    Take care
    Thanks Normie...I appreciate the feedback. As you can see, lots of opinions in this thread. I'll need to decide this week, I think, and I'm leaning 'yes'.

    And welcome to the forum !!!

  24. #23

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    In my opinion the wait is worth it
    The AM153 is in the upper range in the Ibanez catalog, and they are always stellar.
    One alternative would be to search a used AM205, but they are pretty scarce in my experience
    They sometimes appear at very good prices, I once saw a new one from the Prestige line at 1250€ and that was a huge deal..
    But you can't go wrong anyway with high end Ibanez semi hollows.
    In the small factor semi hollows, the very first Es339 style semi hollow way before Gibson, there is the AS50. Great great guitar.. They appear sometimes at good prices under 1000€
    It's always such a pleasure to be in the search phase, can drive you nuts sometimes, don't go too fast would be my advice.

  25. #24

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    The 80's old ones are also very good, AM50, AM80, AM100 (if I remember well the model numbers.. Just be sure they are made in Japan)

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jx30510
    The 80's old ones are also very good, AM50, AM80, AM100 (if I remember well the model numbers.. Just be sure they are made in Japan)
    After buying my AF55 unseen (something I hadn't done before), I must say I have a lot of respect for Ibanez' quality control! The AF55 is their cheapest archtop and made in Indonesia, but everything on that guitar was perfect: fretwork, trustrod, adjustment, intonation, top nut depth, fit and finisch... it even was perfectly tuned to pitch when I took it out of the sturdy cardboard box. And that for a $250 guitar! And the 21K views of the little movie I put of it on YouTube seem to agree ;-)

  27. #26

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    My Sweetwater guy called today, after I applied for their credit card. No ETA on the guitar, but if I want to take advantage of their financing offer (36mo @ 0%, which is WAY longer than I'd need to pay for it anyway), they have to charge me for the thing by Monday and I'll owe my first payment in August.

    Of course, no one can say when they or I will actually HAVE the guitar.

    Clearly there's something about the imported musical instrument supply chain that I'm not grasping. The guitar has been on their website since January. How does a retailer advertise something they don't have, and don't know when they'll get?

    Zzounds has two 'blemished' AM153's - demo's, I imagine, from last year - for $100 off list. I may just bite on one of those instead. Little nervous about that though.

  28. #27

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    Well if there is a return policy on the blemished ones, I'd try, you don't risk anything
    I would even keep the order at Sweetwater meanwhile and cancel it afterwards

  29. #28

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    I know no one's losing sleep waiting for the next episode of BigBear's New Guitar Adventure....but I cancelled my order.

    I have managed to dither my way into a "at my skill level, I really can't justify a new $1000 guitar, even if they had one, and they don't" mindplace, which kinda makes some sense, and kinda doesn't, but after taking a run through McErlain's True Fire course on using the half-step/whole-step diminished scale against the IV chord in a 12 bar blues....I'm thinking my Epi will be plenty of guitar for me for the time being.

    GAS swells, and then recedes. So it goes.

    Thanks for tuning in.

  30. #29

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    That is a very mature decision!
    Hats off for resisting from the GAS demons.. I cannot say the same thing for myself

    keep practicing and save up a bunch of money, and when you'll feel ready you'll be able to buy yourself a killer instrument and you will really deserve it!!

  31. #30
    Hey i picked up a AM153QB about seven months ago it is a wonderful guitar ''But''I had to put a lot of work into the set up. Ill try to make this quick. I think i was sent a floor model, that's the only thing i can figure out as to why it had unmarked bridge(which was bad news cheap).. So to make the guitar perfect i invested $40 bucks into a decent Gotoh bridge and $65 into new locking Gotoh tuners(there tuners weren't very good they slipped sometimes.. i spent a lot of time doing a very detailed set up including leveling and crowning the frets I let you know about this because the guitar is great just mine had problems that stemmed from the dealer not Ibanez. on the positive the ebony neck is very nice and the feel of the neck is nice in between a 50's and 60's LP c shape, the 58 specials are a little different from the older ones but still sound GREAT! One other important thing i should let you know , the neck is put together in a way so as you need to use 10 to 52 strings i found that if you try to move to a normal gauge (10/46,11/50) it messes with the neck and the whole set up goes out of whack. now as far as playing it is a dream sound is great perfect for jazz Blues Rock,and it really have it's own feel..people tell me it sounds like a early 80's LP which is probably do to the ebony fretboard. if you have any other questions feel free to ask.

  32. #31

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    I had experience with Ibanez Super 57 pickups.
    They were descent and good pickups.
    I don't know however about Super 58.
    But Super 57's were cool.

    Edit:

    Sry for disinformation.
    58s were in guitar. I needed to google it.
    I had a chance to try 1970s AR Ibanez. It looked like 1970s version of AR 420.
    It was amazing guitar.
    I wouldn't be sorry if I owned that one.

    So Super 58s from Ibanez do get thumbs up from me.
    Last edited by Mecena; 01-25-2020 at 11:18 AM.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by razzax9@gmail.com
    Hey i picked up a AM153QB about seven months ago it is a wonderful guitar ''But''I had to put a lot of work into the set up. Ill try to make this quick. I think i was sent a floor model, that's the only thing i can figure out as to why it had unmarked bridge(which was bad news cheap)..
    Thanks !

    I sort of put this purchase on hold, due to some other financial considerations (don't ya hate it when Real Life gets in the way of GAS ??? I suppose you could argue that guitars ARE Real Life...but that's another subject, isn't it ?)

    zZounds still has two AM153QA's that are 'blemished', presumably demo's. The $$$ savings make them tempting, but no warranty. In any case, if I bite on one of those, or a new one, it'll have to be later in the year. We have a two week trip to the UK this summer that'll soak up a bunch of my available resources, and for now, my Epiphone ES-339 is keeping me humble.

    I appreciate the feedback, and your story about the work you put into it makes me lean toward opting for a new one, rather than a demo.

  34. #33

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    I recently did a tone comparison of these guitars. When listening live, I like the JSM10, but on reviewing recorded tracks the AM153 has the sweetest sound (I know, not very descriptive). Very refined jazz tone. It has the 58 Customs with the stamped pickups (2013 I think). In my opinion the ACH humbuckers on the AMV10 hold up very well and are arguably the most well balanced (bass through treble). To be honest, there is not a huge tonal difference between these. All guitars had the same strings, same settings, and through the same amp.It is not really fair to put a Les Paul in this group with regard to a tone comparison. It is like a wild animal next to the Ibby's. The Burstbucker pickups are literally twice as loud as the Ibby's. I am wondering if this is true of the classic 57's as well. Overdrive is just nasty. I have always been a huge Ibanez fan for the playability and quality, and that hasn't changed. However, this Les Paul is really impressive for the money (~$700 used). I really like the neck with the 50's thickness and low frets. I find myself compelled to try a 339.