Ibanez PF-4 Acoustic/Electric Guitar Reviews 4

I picked up this instrument at Sam Ash in December of 2000. It cost me slightly over $200 with full accessories (strap, strings, bag, small repair kit). Basically I am a rhythm guitarist in a rock/blues band, and I really like the sound of the acoustic guitar, and I was interested in pursuing that warm zip you get when one of them is plugged in...

This guitar plays just like a Martin, kept in the right conditions; the strings are close enough to the fretboard so that it's a matter of light pressing to get them to play nicely, but not so low that you ever have a problem with the bridge height. It has a teriffic sound, especially when it's newly strung, and projects nicely with or without amplification. It sounds very professional, and for $200 it's the best deal I've seen yet. There is little or no buzz to the sound.

I kept mine in a varying climates, and so I believe the neck has bent a little, and the strings are slightly higher above the higher frets than they used to be. Though this isn't a problem for traditional open-chord players, I find it slightly problematic when I get into the upper frets. Also, the EQ and pickup built into the intrument aren't very high quality, but I have no doubt that this is an easily replaced part.

I have a lot of confidence in the construction of this guitar, because it seems to me that the body was just taken from the standard Martin design. My guitar has handled the way I would expect a Martin to, kept under the same conditions. The back and sides are a beautiful finish (I'm not sure of the wood, unfortunately), and the top is maple. The fretboard is rosewood and has an incredibly warm tone to it.

This is definitely the top of line when it comes to beginner's guitars, at $200. If you're a professional with a money shortage and you're looking for a Martin imitation, this is it. And it's acoustic/electric cutaway, to boot.

Y Zohar rated this unit 4 on 2002-01-28.

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