Ibanez has taken some of the most brilliant leaps in guitar design during their 100+ year history – and the Artcore Expressionist series certainly is no exception. From the standard AF models, to the slimmed down AG and AM variety, there’s something for everyone in this series, and as usual, Ibanez has sprinkled in a few surprises along the way.
There are five models to choose from – each with their own unique and intriguing characteristics.
The AF95 & AF95TDG
The AF is the most standard and traditional in the series, with a full hollow body (at 15.75 inches) it’s going to have that rich, amazing tone we’re looking for. It comes with the Super 58 pickups – providing that biting clean jazz / blues tone that they’re known for.
The AF95TDG comes with a Vintage Vibrato that allows for those rockabilly (dive-bombs, right?) bends, but also has roller saddles so you don’t run into as many tuning issues.
It’s made from flamed maple all around, and has a 3-piece Maple / Mahogany neck.
The AFJ91, AFJ95, and AFJ957
If you’re more into being jazzy, the AFJ series might be a better fit for you. They come with flat-wound strings, which should tell you something about the guitar’s intention. The AFJ91 has only a neck pickup, and the other two come with neck and bridge pickups. The AFJ957 is a 7 string model, and they all come with spruce tops with flamed maple backs and sides. They’re also 15.75 inches deep, so you’re going to get that tone.
The skinniest in the fully hollow bunch (3 & 5/8 inches deep), the AG95 is a treat to behold – both visually and sonically. Its made from figured bubinga and its absolutely beautiful. Like the others in this series, it comes with the Super 58 pickups. You’ve got a three way Les Paul style pickup selector, and individual tone controls on this one. It’s built for articulate guitar work.
Built for musical flexibility and increased sustain, the AS93 is the first of two semi-hollow bodies. The sustain is furthered and feedback is reduced by placing the pickups in a “sustain block”. The bridge and tail piece are Quick Change III (modified Tune-O-Matics) and the body is built out of flame maple. It’s got standard Les Paul style controls as well. It’s 15 & 3/4 inches wide, and 2 & 5/8 inches deep.
If you want the semi-hollow experience without the semi-bulky experience, the AM93 might be the perfect fit. It’s 14 & 1/2 inches wide, but still 2 & 5/8 inches deep. It’s still got the Super 58 pickups, but comes with a quilted maple body. It can still do what it’s bigger brothers can, but it’ll fit you better, especially if you’re a smaller person.
Overall, impressive lineup from Ibanez. This series has only been around a few months, but we’ve been hearing more and more about these guitars, and why wouldn’t we – they’re unique, yet familiar, stunningly beautiful, and they sound and play exactly as you’d expect. Check them out at your local Ibanez dealer!