Some people firmly believe you need to spend thousands on a guitar in order to get the full package of good looks and great tones – however, it’s simply not true. It’s more than possible to get an amazing guitar at an extremely reasonable price, and the Ibanez Artcore AG75G is living proof.
Ibanez is a Japanese brand that has been producing fantastic guitars for decades, and while they’re most often thought of as a brand that makes rock and metal models, they also make some wonderful acoustic and hollow body electric models, too.
In this KillerGuitarRigs Review, we’ll be taking a closer look at the AG75G – the guitar we named as our best budget choice in our roundup of the best hollow body electric guitars.
If you’ve been looking for a quality jazzbox at an affordable price, you’re not going to want to miss this one.
Ibanez Artcore AG75G: Who Is This For?
The Ibanez Artcore AG75G is something of a sleeper, and would actually make a great choice for players of all ability levels. If you’re a beginner and looking for a good quality hollow body, this is a great choice, and even if you’re a gigging musician looking for a workhorse with good playability and quality tones, again, you can’t go wrong with this Ibanez.
Appearance / Features / Controls
The test model we received came in a lovely Brown Sunburst tone, which really nailed the vintage aesthetic. We were pleased to see Ibanez went with a classic finish, as something more contemporary might not have looked as good.
It had an all linden construction on the top, back and sides. The body itself was fully bound, too, on both the top and bottom, as well as the F holes. It also had a beautiful raised faux tortoiseshell pickguard
As for the neck, it was made from maple, and was set into the body. Topping the neck was a well finished walnut fretboard, which looked great, and felt good, too.
The tailpiece was a Gibraltar VT60 floating model, and it featured a tune o matic style bridge for easy intonation – something not often seen on hollow body models in the jazzbox style. For tuners, it had sealed gear units with Grover style keys.
Lastly, it came with a pair of Classic Elite humbucking pickups. Each pickup had its own volume and tone controls, and there was a 3 way selector switch for moving between the neck, middle, and bridge positions.
Considering the low price, the performance from this Ibanez Artcore was outstanding. It was light weight and comfortable, and the factory setup was way better than expected. The action was low, and the neck was arrow straight.
We found that the use of a tune o matic style bridge gave it accurate intonation, especially when compared to competitor’s models that use solid or compensated saddles. We found that the neck was thin, and very forgiving, which is good news for beginners, especially when reaching for complex jazz chords.
It had a comfortable 24.75” scale, which will appeal to a wide range of players, especially those used to Gibson models. If you’ve played an ES before, this should be an easy transition.
When played acoustically, we thought it was resonant, and gave us surprising depth of tone considering how slim the body was.
Plugged in, the Classic Elite humbuckers served up a great range of tones, from soft, warm cleans, through to throaty rock and roll sounds. We did have to be careful with anything more than moderate gain, as it was easy to generate feedback, but in all, it still performed well.
No matter whether we were in the bridge, neck, or middle positions, it still had a very earthy, woody tone, with that distinctive hollow body resonance that not even semi hollows can come close to.
Other Guitars to Consider
Even though we loved the Ibanez Artcore AG75G, we do understand that not everyone is into the jazzbox look. If you’re still interested in owning a hollow body guitar, but you’d like to look at some great guitars in other different styles, we’ve highlighted a couple of our favorite alternatives in the same price bracket below.
This Fantastic Gretsch G2420 Streamliner hollow body is another great workhorse option that offers effortless playability, amazing tones, and classic styling. It’s equipped with their Broad’Tron humbucking pickups, which are some of our absolute favorites – they’re incredibly versatile, and are capable of delivering everything from old school vintage sounds through to modern high gain rock tones. It has an exceptionally comfortable neck, making it perfect for newer players, and its art deco styling looks absolutely sensational.
The Epiphone Casino Hollow Body is one of the most iconic guitars in this category, and offers a lot of value for money. It’s loaded with a pair of fantastic Epiphone PRO P-90 single coil pickups, which serve up some amazing sparkling cleans, while still retaining the ability to shake loose with aggressive overdriven tones. Its ‘60s vintage neck is both slim and comfortable, making it forgiving for newer players, and simultaneously, fast playing for more experienced guitarists. It’s one of the coolest looking hollow body guitars around, and gives some real early Beatles vibes.
Final Thoughts on the Ibanez Artcore AG75G
The Ibanez Artcore AG75G is one of those rare guitars that really delivers when it comes to performance, while still being reasonably priced. The pickups were great, giving us a range of great tones, all of which were very useable, and the fit and finish was above and beyond what we expected at this price point.
Even played acoustically, it had a nice, rich tonal palate, which effectively makes it like getting two guitars in one.
Despite its vintage styling, it still offers modern reliability and playability, which is a real plus point. Beginners in particular will find it to be very approachable, and intermediate and above players will find it to be quite responsive, and excellent for exploring new styles and techniques.
There aren’t many guitars of this style at this price point, and there are far fewer that offer as much as this Ibanez does – in all, it’s a great buy.