2012 Small Jazz Guitars – Ibanez

Ibanez has followed the trend of many guitar marketers who do not feel obligated to consistently reveal the specifications of their products. This is very frustrating for someone like myself who wants to know everything about an instrument. I ended up using some information from a PDF catalog that is about 3 years old at the time I wrote this. Ibanez may have changed the specifications and design of instruments since then, so be warned: the data is suspect. It was the best I could find.

My last post reviewed small jazz guitars from Benedetto. This installment on small Ibanez jazz guitars includes many guitars that are more reasonably priced.

If you need reminding, the criteria for including a guitar in this survey can be found in my previous article (here).

Ibanez Small Jazz Guitars

Ibanez


AF Series

Ibanez has added models to the AF series of guitars. There are now five models available that meet my criteria for the survey. They all have 15.75 inch wide bodies and Venetian cutaways (smooth round) and a 70 mm depth (approximately 2.75 inches) at the tail.

The newest and least expensive model is the AF55. It has a flat tobacco finish, dot neck made from mahogany with bound rosewood fingerboard, all maple body and adjustable metal bridge with a simple trapeze tailpiece. The pickups are open, black without covers. It is a plain, entry model. The street price of is about $330 1. Case not included.

The AF75 comes in a traditional brown sunburst finish or a transparent red sunburst. The neck is solid mahogany and the fingerboard is bound rosewood with pearl block inlay position markers. The metal parts are nickel or chrome plated. The street price (online) is approximately $400. Case is extra.

The AF95 body is all flamed maple and finished in violin sunburst. It looks great. Everything on the guitar is upgraded. The block position markers appear to be abalone – though make no claim to be so maybe something else. The pickup covers and metal parts are gold. Estimated price is about $600. Case not included.

The next two AF models are designated as being part or the Artcore Custom series. These both include a hard shell case.

The AF105 is a new model. It is finished in a vintage brown sunburst on a flamed maple body. The neck is a 5 piece maple and walnut laminate.  Nice touches are wood control knobs and wood pickguard. Estimated price with case is $900.

The AF125 has an amber burst finish on a quilted maple body (top, back and sides). Most of the description of the AF105 can be applied here as well. The estimated price with case is $1000.

Buy 2012 Small Ibanez Jazz Guitars Sam Ash. Thumbnail images with links to the online retailer, Sam Ash, can be found at this link.


AFJ Series

The AFJ Series is new this year. I can find no definitive specifications for body width or depth. However, the only hollow body archtop Ibanez guitars I have found that do not have a 15.75 inch body width are custom artist models such as George Benson or Pat Metheny models. I am including them here and listing them as having a 15.75 inch. If you find they are wider (or narrower) I’d appreciate you leaving a comment.

Both AFJ models have spruce tops and flamed maple back and sides. They also both have rosewood bridges with compensated saddles instead of metal bridges with individual string adjustments to set the intonation. The spruce top and wood bridge should give the guitars a better acoustic voice. To appeal the jazz guitarist, the guitars come with flat wound strings.

AFJ81. This comes with a single humbucker in the neck position for classic jazz tones. It is finished in sunburst red. The tailpiece appears to be rosewood. It resemble a violin tailpiece and is similar to those used on some high end jazz guitars. The other features are similar to the AF105 and AF125. It does not include a case for the estimated $550 online price.

AFJ85. This differs from the AFJ81 by having two humbuckers and a vintage sunburst finish. It also has a simple trapeze tailpiece instead of the violin style of the AFJ81. The estimated price, without case, is the same as the AFJ81, $550.

Buy 2012 Small Ibanez Jazz Guitars Sam Ash. Thumbnail images with links to the online retailer, Sam Ash, can be found at this link.


AG Series

The marketing copy on the Ibanez USA website claims the AG series of guitars have smaller bodies than their other jazz boxes. However, no dimensions are given to support this. The 2009 PDF catalog makes the same claim regarding body size but gives the body width as 15.75 inches, the same as most of their other guitars. The guitars look smaller in the images. I am listing them with the 15.75 inch width – but maybe they are smaller. The body depth is about 2.75 inches which is the same as the other hollow bodies I’ve described above.

The AG75 is a brown sunburst all maple guitar with chromed metal parts. The bridge is metal. The neck is mahogany and position markers are pearl blocks. The online price is currently about $400. Case is extra.

The AG95 is made from figured bubinga. Bubinga has been used as a substitute for rosewood. The finish is dark brown sunburst. The hardware is gold, the tailpiece is fancy and the inlays are abalone-like (but not specified). The estimates price is $600 without a case.


AK95. At the present time there is only one model of guitar in the AK series, the AK95.

This guitar has a dark violin sunburst finish on a spruce top and flamed maple back and sides. The guitar has a rosewood bridge to match the acoustic properties of the spruce top. Unlike all the above guitars, this guitar has a Florentine cutaway (that’s the pointy one). The estimated price is about $600. Case extra.


George Benson Models (GB)

There are currently 3 George Benson models listed on the Ibanez USA website, but only one of them meets my criteria for a small body guitar.

The GB10 is the standard small body model that you can see George playing (such as in the image below). It has a spruce top, maple back and sides and an ebony fingerboard. The two humbucker pickups are floating mini humbuckers, attached to the pickguard. This is truly smaller than the other Ibanez models with a 14.75 inch lower bout. Of course a hardshell case included for the approximate price of $3100.


Buy 2012 Small Ibanez Jazz Guitars Sam Ash. Thumbnail images with links to the online retailer, Sam Ash, can be found at this link.

Summary

Model Top, Back & Sides Neck Width Pickups Bridge
AF55 Maple Mahogany 15.75 2 H Adjustable Metal
AF75 Maple Mahogany 15.75 2 H Adjustable Metal
AF95 Flamed Maple 3pc Mahogany Maple 15.75 2 H Adjustable Metal
AF105 Falmed Maple 5pc Maple Walnut 15.75 2 H Adjustable Metal
AF125 Quilted Maple 5pc Maple Walnut 15.75 2 H Adjustable Metal
AFJ81 Spruce; Flamed Maple 3pc Mahogany Maple 15.75 1 H Rosewood
AFJ85 Spruce; Flamed Maple 3pc Mahogany Maple 15.75 2 H Rosewood
AG75 Maple Mahogany 15.75 2 H Adjustable Metal
AG95 Figured Bubinga 3pc Mahogany Maple 15.75 2 H Adjustable Metal
AK95 Spruce; Flamed Maple 3pc Mahogany Maple 15.75 2 H Rosewood
GB10 Spruce; Maple 3pc Maple 14.75 2 FH Ebony

All Ibanez Guitars listed have a 43 mm nut width (approx 1 11/16 inches) and a 24.75 inch scale length.

Georges Benson at Jazz à Juan 2010 2

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Footnotes

  1. All prices are based on major online musical instrument retailers, as of March 2012

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