AS line in Hollow Body series from Ibanez is made of semi-acoustic guitars built to be versatile and able to live up to any challenge. The line is updated for 2012 with a brand new violin sunburst color option for AS93, the line`s top model. The AS93 starts off as a semi-hollow double cutaway guitar with the body made entirely of flamed maple. The top is bound in creme binding and equipped with two bound "f" holes on either side of the bridge. Currently, blue sunburst and violin sunburst are the only color options available, and they both come with gloss finish. The bridge on this model is an Ibanez tune-o-matic variant, the ART1 with a stoptail bar. Pickup department boasts two active humbuckers, Ibanez ACH2 in the bridge, and ACH1 in the neck position. They are controlled through split volume and tone knobs and a three-way toggle switch. The neck is made of three pieces of mahogany and maple with a set-in joint at the 17th fret. The fingerboard is made of rosewood and it features 22 medium-sized frets, abalone block inlays, 1.69" wide string nut and 12"radius. 24-3/4" scale, gold hardware and Sure Grip III knobs complete the specs for AS93.
Guitarists who reviewed AS93 play these music styles:jazz, gospel, experimental, progressive, indie, blues, country, rock, classic rock
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As is often the case with us guitarists, we are too often struck with a case of G.A.S, or Gear Acquisition Syndrome. I had never played a semi-hollow and was vaguely aware of their existence, seeing them in passing in a movie, magazine, or maybe in a video. I knew they existed, but never really aspired to play or even own one for that matter. Heck, for the first period of my guitar playing time I was basically a bolt-on, 25 1/2" scale strat guitar kind of guy and never really put much thought into neck shapes, pickups, or any upgrade that would start me on the tone-chasing path. As far as neck shapes went I can honestly say I never really noticed much difference from one guitar to the next, although looking back and doing my research now I see I never came into contact with a massive U shaped or Hard V shaped, asymetrical neck or anything else that was out of the ordinary. Nope, just grab a guitar and go...and my circle of guitar player friends were of course the bolt-on 25 1/2" scale variety as well. So, I mention all that for good background to set up the second period of my guitar playing years: finally embracing the 24 3/4" scale, set-neck and humbucker heaven in the form of a Gibson Les Paul Studio. Bolt-on guitar? None for me thanks. Life's too short. Where's the craftsmanship in screwing two pieces of wood together with four screws? Bolt-on guitar? And they get away with charging how much??? The first semi-hollow to really enter into my consciousness and register was a faded red Ibanez AS73. I mainly liked the color and the shape of the guitar was pretty cool. Basically it was different and I liked it. It would take several years later for me to finally pull the trigger on a semi-hollow, but I kept seeing that same faded red AS73 here and there. Fast forward a few years: I see the blue AS93 that would become my first experience with a semi-hollow. At this point I did not do any research on Ibanez' reputation for build quality on their semi-hollows, nor did I really comparison shop. Nope. I liked the blue guitar a lot more than the violin colored guitar. I still had a soft spot for the faded red AS73 and, in fact, thought about buying it instead of the blue AS93. Eventually, the blue guitar won me over and I clicked the buy button on the website. Stock, this guitar with the ACH (the C stands for ceramic. Barf. Some of the newer AS93s spec the Super 58 pickups which I hear are very nice) pickups was meh. The build quality was great though. It's hard to believe the level of quality you get for the price. Yes, mine was made in China but that did not matter. It seems the Chinese Ibanez factories take some serious pride in the semi-hollows they make. Binding on the f holes? For $549? Are you kidding me? The frets were great with no sharp edges. The inlays were nice but there was some filler here and there. Not a whole lot though and you really must be looking to find it. Overall the finish was poly but nicely done...not too thick. The flamed maple has some nice movement and depth to it. Basically, you can not beat this semi-hollow at this price for everything you get. Neck shape is Ibanez' own, kind of an in-betweener that is not too thick (Slim taper D on the Epi Dot) nor too anorexically slim (60s Slim taper on the Epi LP Custom Pro). Basically, it's more chunkier than slim, so if you're used to the slim shredder necks, this one might take some getting used to. If you like the baseball bat thick necks, then you'll be able to get along great. The neck is comfy, and while my big hands do love the baseball bat necks, I do find that the neck on my AS93 is just fine. I'm still not sure if it's more of a D or C shape...probably D. I own an Epi Swingster that has the Slim taper C chape and the neck on the AS93 feels more like the Epi Dot neck.Whether it's technically a C or D shape it really feels like home. Now, as I have had this guitar for a couple years, and as my research and my tone quest has continued, and as I've learned of the most worthwhile mods to be done to import semi-hollows, I've done the following mods: Upgrading the wiring harness with CTS pots and paper-in-oil caps Upgrading the pickups with the 490T & 498R pickups out of the Gibby LP Studio. Added a regular tailpiece. The stock tailpiece with the slots for quick string changes never looked right to me on a semi-hollow. Added black speed knobs. Future mod? Possible bone nut or I may simply re-file the stock nut for a set of .011 strings. And just a word of caution for those attempting an electronics and pickup upgrade in a semi-hollow: Do your research, read a few websites in this area and watch the youtube videos BEFORE you attempt the upgrade. It is a pain in the butt, takes longer than you think it will and will make you cuss more than once. Odds are you will have everything in, then realize you forgot something which requires you to start over. But, once you get everything in and it all works, you are glad you went through the hassle. With the upgraded electronics, PIO caps and humbuckers this thing is a tone machine. If you've ever had a guitar that you've bonded with and one that feels like an extension of yourself while playing, then you know what I'm describing. When you hit on the right combination of everything in a guitar you simply want to become a better player. So, whether you upgrade or if you keep it stock, you won't regret buying the AS93. It really is a great guitar that can hold its own against other semi-hollows in even higher price ranges. You won't find a better option for a semi-hollow at this price.
Ibanez AS93 4.18 out of 5 based on 31 ratings
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