Ibanez Artcore AS73 Review (2021) – Semi-Hollow Goodness?

Updated on by Ross McLeod | There may be affiliate links on this page.

The Artcore range features a selection of Ibanez’s best electric guitars. The AS73 is a fine semi-hollow body instrument that combines affordability with aesthetic and sonic quality.

Capable of producing a wide range of tones, the Artcore AS73 is perfect for the multi-dimensional guitarist. The three available color schemes each give this guitar a classy, vibrant look.

If you’re considering adding a semi-hollow body guitar to your collection, the AS73 could well be the perfect option. In this breakdown, I’ll analyze the various aspects of this instrument so that you can determine whether it is the right choice for you.

Ibanez Artcore AS73 - Overview

The guitar is equipped with the following components:

  • Linden Top
  • Linden Back & Sides
  • Nyatoh Neck
  • Walnut Fretboard
  • 24.7” Scale Length
  • Classic Elite Humbucker Pickups
  • Versatile range of tones
  • Sustain block adds rich acoustic resonance
  • Low-noise humbucker pickups
  • Smooth & responsive walnut fretboard
  • Slightly lacking in the low-end power required for heavier styles of music

Build Quality

When designing the Artcore AS73, Ibanez set out to provide the highest quality possible while ensuring the affordability of the guitar. This resulted in some smart choices of tonewoods and additional materials.

Firstly, the semi-hollow body is composed solely of linden. This wood has enjoyed increased popularity in recent years, partially because it’s easy to source, and also due to its highly resonant sound.

Using linden for the top, back, and sides of the guitar ensure that the tone is consistent. When unplugged, the AS73 produces a surprisingly loud acoustic resonance, which is directly translated when the guitar is amplified.

The neck material chosen by Ibanez is nyatoh. This wood is both forgiving and smooth, allowing you to slide up and down the fretboard without any unnecessary resistance.

Walnut has been used for the fingerboard, which includes 22 medium-sized frets and has a scale length of 24.7 inches. Walnut is a popular choice for affordable guitars, and it rivals the comfortable feel of more expensive wood types.

Finally, the inclusion of solid Ibanez-designed machine heads ensures tuning stability. The ART-1 bridge with a Quick Change III Tailpiece further reinforces the guitar, giving it a robust and durable quality.

Tone

Many guitarists associate Ibanez with high-octane, energetic tones. Indeed, they produce several axes that are perfectly suited to heavier styles of music, such as metal or hardrock.

The Artcore range deviates from this stereotype. With its semi-hollow linden body, it is capable of producing rich, resonating tones that fall somewhere between solid-body electric guitar and the natural warmth of an acoustic instrument.

Therefore, the AS73 is a great choice for guitarists who regularly switch up their playing style. Using the onboard tone controls, you can dull the brightness for subdued chord playing, or add more character for melodies and solos.

The installed pickups further emphasize the multi-faceted sonic capabilities of the AS73. Not only do they eliminate the possibility of hum, but they also add a layer of thick, immersive tone that only humbuckers can achieve.

Blending acoustic resonance with a sweet electric tone is no easy feat. Many manufacturers have tried and failed to strike the perfect balance. Ibanez, with their decades of experience, have seemingly mastered this artform.

Both the neck and bridge pickups come with their own volume and tone pots, so you can tailor the sound of the guitar to suit any musical scenario.

The low-end output of the Artcore AS73 is perhaps its only weak spot, but this can be solved by adjusting the pickup selector or using the guitar with an EQ pedal.

Overall, it produces a well-balanced sound with immersive mids and singing highs.

Playability

Due to the semi-acoustic design of the Artcore AS73, it is both lightweight and solidly built. The medium-sized frets are great for playing chords and single-note melodies.

One of the qualities that significantly improves the playability of this Ibanez guitar is the slim carve of its nyatoh neck. You can easily wrap your hand around it, promoting dexterity and expressive styles of playing.

The neck is designed to allow easy access to the upper frets. You can easily get into the higher registers without being impeded by the body design, ensuring that the full fretboard is within reach.

Another feature that boosts the playability of the AS73 is the ultra-smooth walnut fretboard. Responsive and fast-playing, it facilitates slides, hammer-ons, and licks with no resistance.

The elegant shape of the guitar’s body, combined with its lightweight feel, reduces the pressure on your shoulder when standing up to play. You’ll find it easy to play for multiple hours before fatigue sets in.

The AS73 is also suitable for more intimate styles of performance and sits comfortably on one knee when playing in a seated position.

Ibanez chose gloss polyurethane for the body finish, which reduces the friction between your hands and the guitar. There’s no danger of your palm sticking against the neck or body, thanks to this smooth finish.

Overall, the Artcore AS73 is very playable. It combines solidity with mobility, making it a great choice for guitarists who play for long periods and need to minimize the strain on their hands and fingers.

Manufacturer

With a rich history dating back to the early 1900s, Japanese guitar producers Ibanez are considered one of the most prolific and dependable manufacturers in the world.

The company officially started producing guitars under the Ibanez brand around the time that rock music exploded across the continent, in 1957. Like many other Japanese manufacturers, they originally copied the American heavyweights to an extent.

However, in the decades that followed, Ibanez developed their unique style and designs. The Iceman and Roadstar series were two of their most popular early creations, amassing a loyal following amongst guitarists.

The now-legendary solidbody design that Ibanez created continues to be one of the most recognizable models on the market. They became increasingly popular with heavy rock and metal guitarists, for their high-energy tone.

The Artcore series, which contains the AS73, was first introduced in 2002. It exclusively featured semi-acoustic hollow body and semi-hollow body electric guitars and went on to become a staple of the Ibanez brand.

Like the AS73, the Artcore series features a range of affordable instruments that rival more expensive guitars in terms of quality.

Many Ibanez guitars utilize their signature pickups, which have become very popular in their own right. With a long list of professional endorsers, the brand has maintained its place at the forefront of electric, acoustic, and bass guitar production.


Conclusion

To summarize, the Ibanez Artcore AS73 is one of the best semi-hollow body guitars in its price range. It looks the part – with classy and distinguished accessories giving it a unique and recognizable appearance.

A versatile instrument, the AS73 produces a wide range of tones that are thickened by the inclusion of two Ibanez-designed humbuckers in the neck and bridge position. It sounds great for jangly chords but can also shred when required.

If you’re looking for a semi-hollow body guitar made from high-quality tonewood that doesn’t cost a fortune, I’d highly recommend considering this brilliant Ibanez axe. It combines feel, robustness, tonal variety with an eye-catching design.

Ross McLeod

About Ross McLeod

Ross McLeod is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. His most recent project is named Gold Jacket, and he is the frontman and bassist of the garage rock band The Blue Dawns with whom he has released 4 EPs and toured extensively.

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