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Guitar of the Day: Ibanez AF95

The warm, rich tones that a large-bodied fully hollow guitar invokes are very enticing. Hollowbody guitars, of course, dominate in the jazz world, but they were also responsible for the very roots of rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly, and country, styles of music that were known more for their raucous twang. Blues, funk, modern roots and rock, even punk guitarists have wielded the mighty hollowbody. That expansive history makes most guitarists long for a big hollowbody in their guitar arsenal, until they see the price. A multi-thousand dollar investment to “see if you like it” is a tough commitment to make. Ibanez has always done a fine job of breaking the price/performance barrier, especially in the hollowbody market, and the Artcore Expressionist Series AF95 does that with style.

The first thing that jumps out on this guitar is the beautiful violin sunburst finish on the wonderfully bookmatched flamed-maple top, back, and sides, stunning in any price range — and with a 3-5/8″ body depth and a 15-3/4″ width at the lower bout, there is plenty of flamed maple to see and hear!

Speaking of hearing, all of the tones you’d expect to hear in a great hollowbody are represented in the AF95, courtesy of Ibanez’s classic Super 58 Custom pickups. The alnico magnets offer a warm, balanced articulation with excellent response, suitable for a wide range of applications. These pickups are favored by none other than George Benson, Pat Metheny, and John Scofield and featured on their signature models.

Add in great details such as Ibanez’s Expressionist 3-piece mahogany/maple neck featuring a bound, rosewood fretboard with pearl block inlay, gold hardware, VT06 trapeze-style tailpiece, and those awesome gold Ibanez Sure Grip II speed knobs, and this guitar is a gorgeous, great sounding, versatile player’s instrument. The price of this beauty makes it even easier to add to your collection.

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