When done right hollow body electric guitars definitely deliver some impressive tones. You should focus on the done right part since not all hollow body electric guitars will provide the tones you are looking for. Hollowbody and semi-hollow body guitars have been a staple of different genres such as jazz, rockabilly, and blues in some cases. These instruments are costly most of the time, and I don’t recommend more affordable models. However, the Ibanez AF75 looks to be an excellent model, based on reviews at least. Ibanez has delivered some great models for the value-based market, and this one is named as one of the best so let’s see.
I don’t recommend hollow body electric guitars for beginner guitarists since they are not really dedicated to those users. However, the Ibanez AF75 has a value-based price and it is not quite a high-end instrument. So it comes to the rescue for an interesting market, guitarists that need a hollow body model but can’t quite get their hands on premium models. Ibanez has delivered some excellent quality and great value for the price all over their lineup, and I don’t expect anything else from the Ibanez AF75. At least in the quality and value aspect of things, but we will see what happens.
Specs and Features
When I say value-based people think of lesser models with fewer features. On the contrary, it means that a model will deliver more performance and features than expected from its price. Ibanez for a long time has struck a great balance between features, quality, and the price, thus being one of my favorite guitar manufacturers in the market so far. So we will take a look at a lot of features here. Let’s take a look.
I don’t expect a lot from the craftsmanship of the Ibanez AF75 as it not a made in Japan model, but then again it should be pretty good overall. Since in recent years, the brand has upped the quality and assurance in their Chinese factories and it has paid off significantly. We have mentioned it time and time again, the Ibanez AF75 is a hollow body instrument and it is made from maple all-around, top, back, and sides with a glossy finish. Maple is a great tonewood which is one of the sturdiest materials used in guitar construction. The tone lacks a little sustenance, but it is exceptionally sharp, clean and pure overall which adds to the transparency of the sound
Most guitarists worry about the durability of these instruments, but the reviews state the contrary for the Ibanez AF75. The neck of this instrument is made out of mahogany which is a set-in neck. It has some nice tapering features to make it easier to play and it has a bound rosewood fretboard which is a classic. The fretboard has 22 large frets without any sharp edges to give you a more comfortable playing. The scale length is a traditional 24.75-inches which is a classic.
Moving on to the hardware, the Ibanez AF75 is equipped with exceptional parts that surprised all of us. It has a synthetic bone nut that delivers plenty of stability, and a Tune-o-Matic bridge with a Trapezoid tailpiece that should allow you to set everything in place accurately and add a bit of aesthetical value. The floating bridge with the tailpiece should add a nice sound and tonality to the guitar, but the string setting will be difficult if you have no experience with a floating bridge. On the headstock, you will find the Grover Rotomatic tuning machines. I should also mention the ACH1 humbucker pickup at the neck and the ACH2 humbucker at the bridge position.
I like hollow body electric guitars as they deliver some beautiful aesthetics that are retro vintage and a little classier in my opinion. The Ibanez AF75 despite having a low price doesn’t disappoint as well. It has a single-cutaway body shape with a larger bottom like a proper hollo body instrument. It three different finishes you can get it in including Transparent Red Sunburst, Brown, and my personal favorite Olive Metallic. The body looks exceptional with the f-soundholes, the pickguard, and the triangular tailpiece. On the other hand of things, the headstock looks pretty good overall and I have no complaints about it. I would invest in a great quality case such as the Gator Cases Deluxe GC-335.
I have to mention that this guitar weighs just 11-pounds in total which is pretty lightweight for such a guitar and has some contouring that makes it perfect to play on. The controls of the Ibanez AF75 are pretty standard nothing exceptional but pretty nice overall. I would just swap the strings for some higher action ones as the fret touching may cause some buzzing overall. However, you have two wheels under the bridge that allow you to adjust however, for the non-experienced it is extremely difficult. For the pickups, you have the three-way pickup switch, two tone knobs, and two-volume knobs for each pickup.
Sound and Playability
Checking out the sound of this guitar I plugged it in with one of the most interesting tube amps out there, the California Tone Research Set5, which delivers great tones for jazz, blues, and also surf music. I have to admit that this guitar has excellent playability thanks to the Artcore neck shape that is pretty thin and has a great feel to it. It delivers an airy and bluesy tone that sounds very interesting, even without plugging it in. It may be equipped with humbuckers, but it won’t be appropriate for genres that require higher volumes such as hard rock and metal. However, it handled jazz and blues like a pro, and what else can you expect at this price. I added the Electro-Harmonix Big Muff π to the equation, which is my favorite blues pedal and it delivered a great performance overall, working seamlessly with the signal.
This is the perfect hollow body electric guitar for those that are looking to get their hands on such an instrument. Looking at it between the other models in its category, you will see that it is significantly better and it delivers better qualities. It won’t be the best guitar to gig with, but it can handle some if you keep the volumes lower. Great craftsmanship, tones, and value for the price, Ibanez has hit the sweet spot with this one.