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Ibanez AF105 - Natural Reviews

4.5 stars based on 7 customer reviews
  • from Amarillo, TX USA January 9, 2012Music Background:

    Ibanez AF105 NT

    I've owned many guitars and played many more over my 40+ years experience in music. The instrument I own most similar in style to the AF105 is a mahogony '51 Century Spanish Electric made by the Gibson company. I've had the CSE since I was 10 and recently restored it. I've been interested in the Ibanez Artcore series for several years but never needed a jazz guitar to play outside the studio until now. I purchased the AF105 for exactly that purpose.

    My standards for tone and playability are high and the AF105 is no disspointment. I use the included rosewood bridge and set the intonation using a digital tuner. The fretboard is rail straight and you can set the action similar to a Gibson Les Paul electric (close). I use D'Addario Flat Wound Chromes 11-50 on all my jazz guitars as they tune well and enhance the natural sound of tonewoods.

    I set the height of the pickups for tone using a tube amp. Once I determined the setting, I removed the pickups and replaced the springs with braided fuel line cut to fit. This eliminates any harmonic vibration in the pickups and gives them a solid mount. I set the bridge pickup a little deeper in the body than the one at the neck postion to give the guitar a more acoustic sound when amplified. The guitar has a wide dynamic range for tone adjustment, warm to bright. Not Telecaster bright, but bright for a jazz guitar. Having this much range is kind of the point of having two pickups on a jazz guitar, most are happy with the tone of just one in the neck position. The pickups on the AF105 are powerful and clear.

    The AF105 is comfortable to play while sitting. This is the most comfortable guitar I own as I am able to practice with it for hours. The neck is fat like the CSE (not quite as fat) and is D shaped. The neck fits my hand well and I'm able to chord easily in the wide frets near the nut.

    I play the AF105 through a Bugera V22 with Sovtek tubes and a custom built 4x12 cabinet. I use the Bugera's internal 12" speaker as well so the sound is full to say the least. I don't play very loud but the 5 speakers fill the room. I find this setup gives the instrument great clarity. The guitar produces harmonics easily and sounds very acoustic. I thought I would have feedback issues since this is a full hollow body but no problems so far. It's effective to hold a chord and crank the volume on the neck pickup, this produces very nice sustain. The guitar has a lot of natural sustain for an acoustic guitar.

    The instrument I received from Sweetwater is beautifully built in every detail and has a wonderful finish, I could find no flaw. There are plenty of other good things to say about this model but I think I've said enough. I would buy this instrument again without hesitation.

  • from Vancouver BC Canada December 29, 2009Music Background:

    "A KEEPER"

    I rented this guitar with the thought of purchasing it in mind. A good friend of mine who is a true "Guitar Virtuoso"(that in his over 40 years of playing has rubbed elbows and swapped licks with the likes of Jan Ackerman and Lenny Breau just to name a couple)came to visit and took this AF105 for a test drive....the words "It's A Keeper"came out of his mouth....as a "newbie" ( almost 3 years) into the world of guitar playing I felt honoured to have that compliment in developing a relatively good eye for a guitar so soon..I've picked up and tried out probably 500 guitars in 3 short years and I'm convinced that for the price point...the Ibanez AF105 is very hard to beat if it can be beat....the external beauty of the piece doesn't stop there as the fit and finish along with the general construction are excellent and the sound that comes from it is oh so very sweet....

  • from honolulu, hawaii October 12, 2006Music Background:
    21years guitar/ 30 years blues harp.... just getting started

    ibanez af105 / unbelievable tone!!!

    this guitar is built for tone.... first ,take a look at the tailpiece behind the bridge; it is 1/2" thick piece of solid rosewood (called a cello tailpiece)and adds alot of character of the tone...it has a tune-o-matic bridge but, comes with an extra rosewood one, you can swap out for even more tonal quality...the '58 humbuckers have great range and clarity. string height was set low and intonation perfect out of the box (first time I see that on an electric)....great inlay work all over,the volume and tone knobs are made from rosewood and it seems even the pickgaurd is from the same nice maple as the body. now factor in the hardshell case off the price.this guitar is a winner in all aspects!!! #1 sound/tone #2quality #3looks #4 value

  • from Tokyo, Japan December 15, 2011Music Background:
    Hobbyist and amateur guitar repairman!

    Exceptional value for money.

    As I also own an Ibanez GB-10 and a Gibson ES-175, I wasn't expecting too much from this particular model, but I have to say that I've been really pleasantly surprised. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that I prefer it to the GB-10, mainly due to its slightly larger body which sits better with me. The fit & finish (especially on the frets) is second to none, and with the addition of Thomastik-Infeld flat-wounds, it is certainly a very fine jazz guitar. The controls actually work, which is not something I've come to expect with sub-$1000 guitars, and the prolific use of rosewood only goes to make it look and feel more professional. It doesn't match the Gibson for tone, but given the price, it does a pretty fair job on the GB-10. The only niggle is with the sustain of the pickups, and I might consider changing them someday. I play it through a Henriksen 110 Jazzamp in case anyone thinks that might be the weak link in the chain. They don't come much better!
    I've also heard that some people have complained about the quality of the hard case. Where are they coming from? It's a beauty, to my mind.
    Overall, a first rate instrument that should give many years of pleasure at an exceptional price. Thanks again to Troy Watson, my Sales Engineer, for his patience!

  • from Phoenix, AZ June 9, 2011Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Vocalist, Recording Engineer

    Excellent jazz tones and more.

    This is a great guitar; especially for jazz. It has an array of beautiful mellow tones that make it extremely versatile for many other musical styles as well! This is a keeper!

  • from leidschendam, holland September 23, 2008Music Background:
    2 years guitar


    its my first real guitar and im loving it. it sounds better then the guitar of my music teacher( i dont know wich guitar that is) i put on the rosewood bridge and it sounds even better. the only thing that i didnt liked was the setting of the snares. too low for me. p.s. sounds even better with special jazz-snares

  • from Boston, MA July 25, 2007Music Background:
    Student studying jazz guitar

    Overall, the best guitar I've ever owned

    This guitar gets great marks in all categories: Tone, playability, looks, and price.

    Tone: exactly what you'd expect. Dynamic, warm, bell-like notes. I had planned on replacing the pickups after I bought it, but the tone is great with the stocks, so I'm leaving it alone for now. This guitar is the best-sounding I've ever had. 5/5

    Playability: Pretty good, but could be better. I've played Ibanez semihollows which had better action. But this is still very good, it's just not the BEST I've ever had. 4/5

    Looks: Stunning. Gorgeous. Elegant. Detailed. Clean. 5/5

    Price: Ridiculously cheap for a hollowbody like this. 5/5

    Miscellaneous caveats: The bridge is not anchored down so you have to be careful, or you'll mess up your intonation. I only change one string at a time to keep it from moving (which is how I've read you SHOULD change strings anyway--it keeps the neck from being stressed from the subtraction and addition of so much tension). It's kind of annoying to change the strings, because of how they are inserted into the tailpiece. However, I gladly endure the extra couple minutes because it's such a fine instrument.

    Overall: 4/5

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