If you go onto Google and type in ‘Jazz Guitar,’ you’re going to come up with a lot of hollow-bodied guitars that look almost exactly like the Ibanez AG75BS Artcore Hollowbody Electric Guitar.
Though very popular amongst Jazz musicians, there are also plenty of County, Rockabilly and Roots Rock players that gravitate to this kind of guitar. But this is a guitar that’s more than versatile enough to be used across more than just a few musical genres. There are even Punk Rockers and Metalheads out there using them.
So what’s this guitar like, and how does it fare across a broad range of musical styles?
Let’s get this Ibanez AG75BS Review underway and find out…
Overall this is a very nice-looking and well put together guitar. The Ibanez AG75BS, which was previously made in China, is now made in Indonesia.
Most of you will already know that so many good quality and affordable guitars are now made in the Far East. There’s no doubt about it, as the level of far-eastern expertise in guitar manufacturing has increased, so too has the quality of the final finished product. The Ibanez AG75BS is a great example of this. Another Far Eastern produced guitar that’s inexpensive, well made and well finished.
The Ibanez AG75BS is a mid-sized, archtop, hollow-bodied guitar with twin bound ‘f’ holes. This is one of their more affordable guitars in a quite extensive range of hollow bodies. And the high gloss polyurethane finish on the Ibanez AG75BS’s sunburst finish looks great. We also like the aged white binding, also very nicely done, which further helps tie in the classic looks of the guitar.
This is an all-laminate Maple guitar. Maple is a common choice of wood for hollow-bodied guitars. And the good news is that Maple helps the Ibanez AG75BS to produce bright clear tones, with high levels of resonance, that are well suited to amplification.
More good news is that since Maple is a relatively light wood, this is also a relatively light-weight guitar. The Ibanez AG75BS weighs in at a very back-friendly 9lbs.
The neck is an AG Artcore. It’s a slimline neck with a radius of 12”, has a set neck design and is made from Mahogany. The fretboard is Rosewood with a scale length of 24.75” and a nut width of 43mm. The fretboard has 22 large frets and plain Pearloid block inlays.
Specifications & Hardware
At the heart of the Ibanez AG75BS is an ACH1 humbucker pickup at the neck and an ACH2 humbucker pickup at the bridge. The humbuckers do a solid job of complimenting the hollow-body guitar design. We’ll cover the guitar’s sound in more detail a little later.
Both humbuckers have standard chrome covers. The Art1 bridge, also chromed, sits on a wooden base and has a free-floating design. For those not familiar with a floating bridge, it’s worth paying a little bit of extra attention to when you’re changing strings. Just remember that this thing will fall off if you try to change all the strings at once.
You’re then going to have to go through a bit of a process to make sure it’s placed back in the correct position. Once your strings are to pitch, you’ll basically have to check the tuning of every string at the 12th fret and move the bridge forward or backward accordingly.
Anchoring the strings at the end of the guitar is the chromed trapeze VT60 tailpiece. This is a lovely ornate piece of guitar hardware that fits beautifully with the whole vibe of the guitar. It screams Jazz. Nice!
We’re not really sure what Ibanez we’re thinking here. Frankly, they look terrible. They do absolutely nothing for the guitar’s look and would be the first thing we’d look to swap out. Fortunately, if this is something you decide upon, it’s a very inexpensive fix and upgrade.
The plain black pickguard also has to go. There’s nothing wrong with the color, as such, but the execution of its looks are poor. It looks cheap and could be so much better. Just look at some of the pickguards from some of the rest of the Ibanez Artcore range. The fact is that they are so, so much better in terms of both looks and quality.
I know this is an affordably priced guitar, and savings have to be made somewhere. But those control knobs and pickguard look cheap and nasty. Not cool, Ibanez, not cool.
Even the toggle switch is barely acceptable.
And moving on to some good news in that we’ve no complaints with the tuners. At first glance, they look like Grover tuners, but they are, in fact, Ibanez’s own. They thankfully look great and, more importantly, do a good job of keeping the Ibanez AG75BS in tune.
This is a hollow body guitar with no sound block, so you can expect some feedback issues.
There’s no feedback suppression in the Ibanez AG75BS, so you’re liable to experience some howling, even at low volumes, if you get yourself into the wrong position. Usually, that’s too close to the amp. Now, this is really no big issue if you’re at home or in a stationary position. However, it could become a problem if you’re running, or actually just leisurely moving, around the stage.
Once you’ve got the Ibanez AG75BS under control, you’ll be rewarded with a pleasant rich tone with a full low end that combines beautifully with the maple and hollow-bodied construction. You can additionally expect some warmth and air to your tone.
Also, the two Ibanez humbucker pickups deliver high levels of clarity, which are so important in genres like Jazz. The humbuckers will produce some sweet, pleasant tones but are don’t have a particularly high output. You can expect to have to drive them a little harder than most humbuckers.
All in all, a guitar highly capable of producing a smooth and precise sound.
This is a smaller guitar in comparison to a lot of hollow-bodied guitars. Some of the larger guitars may feel awkward to players of smaller stature, so in this circumstance, the Ibanez AG75BS offers an easier to play option, so it would be a good choice.
Like a lot of guitars with a slimline 12” neck, this is an easy to play guitar. What’s more, the smooth fret ends, and frets only add to its high level of playability.
The action out of the box maybe a little too high for some people’s liking. We accept that string height is very much down to personal preference. However, adjusting the action is simple enough, and once you have it set up properly, there are no real issues with the Ibanez AG75BS.
A very playable guitar given the price.
Not sure about the Ibanez AG75? Maybe you want to spend a little more? If so, please check out our reviews of the Best Hollow Semi Hollow Body Guitars or the Best Blues Guitars currently available. You may also be interested in our in-depth Oscar Schmidt OE30 review.
Ibanez AG75BS Pros & Cons
- Nice build and finish.
- It’s a smaller sized hollow-body guitar.
- Clear, precise sound.
- It’s easy to play.
- The control knobs and pickguard look cheap and ugly.
- No case.
- Humbuckers take a lot of driving.
The bottom line is that the Ibanez AG75BS is a nicely built and nicely finished guitar that sits at the more affordable end of the spectrum for hollow-bodied guitars. In fact, once you strip away the no-name guitar brands, this is effectively an entry-level price.
For your money, you get a known brand, nice-sounding, and nice-looking guitar. For those looking to purchase their first hollow-bodied guitar, the Ibanez AG75BS offers excellent value for money.
But please change the control knobs and pickguard!