Ibanez AEF18NT 6-String Acoustic-Electric Reviews 5

Bought at Manny's Music in New York City for $230. I hadn't been intending to buy a 6-string acoustic, but I fell in love with it.

Great V-shaped neck. Very easy action, great cosmetics with a creamy natural finish and bound neck. Good projection for guitar in this price range. The cutaway was a great thing to have -- ever since I played this guitar, I won't consider a 6-string acoustic without a cutaway. Good solid Fishman pre-amp -- when coupled with brass bridge pins (see below), the amplified sound is punchy with incredible sustain. I've been complimented several times on the live amplified sound of this guitar by players who think I'm playing a much more expensive instrument.

Sound is a little thin and dry. Substantial relief to the neck means action up the neck gets a little high even after servicing. The bridge pins are flimsy -- snapped upon the third string change and had to be replaced with D'Andrea brass pins (but that gave the guitar a great amplified sound). The bridge is even worse, a fragile plastic affair that started having multiple grooves cut by the string, which affected intonation and string spacing. The creamy finish and inexpensive woods mean that the guitar bruises easily and noticeably.

The top damages easily and feels a little soft. The neck, back, sides and headstock feel substantial and the gloss finish improves the feel, but the plastic parts are definitely sub-par. And I don't personally like Grover tuning machines, even though they're supposed to be high-class. I prefer pearl-buttoned Klusons.

This was a very good guitar for its price range. The bridge and fragile string pins lose marks, but for an acoustic-electric under $300, this is an excellent buy.

Derek Mok rated this unit 5 on 2003-11-12.

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