AW badge in the Artwood range is reserved for the dreadnought models, acoustic and acoustic-electric, alike. Dreads are the most populous tribe in the Artwood range and represent the backbone of the Artwood segment. For 2014, Artwood is being heavily updated and AW54CE is one of the models introduced into the lineup. It is acoustic-electric variant of the AW54 model (also introduced at the 2014 NAMM). AW54CE is a single-cut dreadnought guitar with six steel strings, 25-3/5" scale, combined Ibanez/Fishman electronics and standard neck and fingerboard. Body of this model is made entirely of mahogany, as opposed to the majority of the Artwood models which combine mahogany with spruce and cedar tops. Black binding, tortoise shell pickguard and abalone rosette decorate the top. Rosewood bridge is featured on the top. It`s fit with a compensated saddle and Advantage pins. Fishman`s Sonicore pickup and AEQ10T preamp comprise the electronics unit. Neck is made of mahogany and it features the standard 14th fret dovetail joint. On it`s top, Ibanez installs the standard 20-fret fingerboard made of rosewood.
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I was seriously looking at many guitars in this pricepoint. I had studied specs and prices for Fender, DiAngelico, Guild, Taylor (GS Mini), Gibson, Epiphone and Yamaha. This Ibanez was not even on my radar. I spent six hours playing every guitart on my list, even moving up my pricepoint to include the Taylor Academy and GS Mini (e) series. With the exception of the DiAngelo and the Taylors, I was hugely disappointed - until I picked up this Ibanez. It had the solid top (Mahogany) that I demanded and the Fishman electronics I desired. The high ends are clean and crisp, the low end deep and rich, the sound just resonates and sounds GREAT amped!! The playability falls just short of my Taylor (it surprized me.) I have nothing but overwhelming great things to say about the guitar. If there is one drawback, it does not come with a hardshell case (or gig bag). Then again, not many guitars in this pricepoint do. The Ibanez dreadnaught hardshell case can be had on Amazon for $129 (it's worth it!).
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