Ibanez Semi-Hollow AS73G Guitar

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by Dudemeister, Dec 13, 2020.

  1. Dudemeister

    Dudemeister Active Member

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    I'm looking at a Ibanez AS73G semi-hollow body guitar. These are very similar to the Gibson/Epiphone ES335.

    Has anyone used one of those, what do you think of it. More importantly, how does it sound unplugged. I'm looking for something I can play without having to plug it in. I know it's not going to sound like a full bodied acoustic, but I'm hoping for something that will sound a bit richer/louder than a solid body guitar
     
  2. Supersonic

    Supersonic Well-Known Member

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    I've never played the Ibanez but if you're not going to plug in, I'd be looking at something fully hollow like a Casino.....or an acoustic guitar.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2020
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  3. Dudemeister

    Dudemeister Active Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. I did handle an Epi Casino at Guitar Center and liked it, but the models I liked were all in the $600+ range.

    Since posting this though, I lost out on a bid for a nice Ibanez AS73G, and as I started reading up a bit on "budget" ES335 like guitars, I ended up reading about, and buying a Grote ES335 clone. These guitars appear to be an incredible bargain for under $200. I opted for the slightly higher end version with figured wood and the trapeze tail piece, primarily because I plan on changing it out to a Bigsby/clone trem.

    [​IMG]

    I should be getting the guitar this Thursday, and will post a few impressions of it.
     
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  4. John

    John Well-Known Member

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    In another forum a good friend of mine sent me a Grote 335 and to be honest it needed a few things. I changed out the pups to Dream 90s, installed Gotoh tuners and changed a switch. I'm stilling going to rewire it because it seriously needs attention but I really like the guitar. A bit rough out of the box but very upgradable and sounds awesome with the P90s.

    IMG_0880.JPG
     
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  5. Dudemeister

    Dudemeister Active Member

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    Got the guitar this afternoon, and spent a few hours getting acquainted.

    Built:
    It's very nicely built. There are some thing that are as expected, not exactly "top shelf", but in general, it's a very nice guitar, and certainly worth the price.

    First the finish appears flawless, or nearly so. I can't find any flaws in it yet. The binding is real, and it's even inside the "F" holes. The only question I have is whether the binding is really 5 ply or just some kind of simulation. I looked with a 10x loupe and I can't really tell. It looks really good and clean.

    The body is nicely made, and the finish is very good. I know the tiger graining is some kind of simulation, as it doesn't have the usually shimmer you see in actual wood grain, but even looking under magnification you can't tell it's a photo or a print

    The neck is cleanly set, with a small and unobtrusive heel. It came set about as straight as you can get it, and I actually had to releave some of the tension to prevent a bit of fret "deadening" past the 12-14th frets. The inlays are probably pearloid, but are very nicely inset, nothing poking out, or oversized holes that needed to be filled in. The side dots (in the binding) are near the edge, not centered in the binding, but that's not a a big thing. The nut is made from the same material as the binding, and is surprisingly cut just right. Usually on Asian guitars the slots are cut just deep enough to seat the string, but always need rework, but not this one.

    The headstock logo and center symbol seem to be some kind of laser cut iridescent material that refracts the light depending on the angle you look at, and the truss rod cover can simply pivot out of the way to allow access for adjustments. The tuners similar to Gotoh with Grover style heads, and so far are doing a pretty good job of holding the guitar in tune.

    And now to the only disappointment I found. The bridge. I don't know what it is, but there seems to be a ringing or buzz coming from it. You don't really hear it when plugged in, but you do hear it when playing unplugged. I stuffed a sock right behind it between it and the trapeze tail piece, and that got rid of the buzz, so there's something there.

    I plan on replacing the trapeze piece with a Bigsby clone, and I'm thinking about a Wilkinson roller bridge to replace this one.

    Electronics:
    Last but not least. The electronics: It sounds a lot better than I though it would. I think I'll leave these pups in place. The pots are nice and smooth and no noise. Surprisingly, the 3-way switch is a leaf type, not the cheap box type you usually find in Asian guitars, and the wiring is nicely tied together and out of the way (you can't see it through the holes unless you look inside from an angle.

    Conclusion:
    I'm very pleased with this guitar. I think it will satisfy my hankering for a ES335 style guitar .... for now.

    Update:
    After a couple of days, I can say that this is a keeper. It's got a nice mellow sound when played clean, yet the pups have enough byte if you introduce any overdrive, and can give you some serious rockability.

    The only thing I'm a bit disappointed in, is the interior of the guitar. On the inside, the wood seems unfinished. By this I mean there's no varnish or anything. I would have thought that you'd want to seal the wood to prevent it from drawing moisture, but this appears to be totally bare. Has anyone else seen something like this on hollow or semi-hollow bodies?
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2020
  6. Jonathan Hands

    Jonathan Hands New Member

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    I am glad that the Grote fits all your needs. I have two Ibanez AS models, the 73.and an as80 from 1999. To answer your earlier question about the Ibanez guitars, they are excellent. The two I have are different from each other however. The Korean 80, has a wide but thin neck. Thin front to back. It’s a fast neck. The newer(2007) as73 has a thicker, more old style neck. The 80 has the super 58 pups, which are very traditional a la Gibson PAFs. The as73 has generic sounding humbuckers, not bad, but nothing special. Fit and finish are top rated IMO. Good fretwork and hardware though on the older 80, I installed Gotoh locking with ivory colored knobs. Well I know you needed the input a while ago, sorry I didn’t see your post, but better late than never. It was good to read your review of the Grote! Excellent guitar for the price.
     
  7. Dudemeister

    Dudemeister Active Member

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    Thanks for the input on the Ibanez. I've been playing around with the Grote now almost exclusively since I bought it, and it's really growing on me. I posted in another thread some of the changes I made, I added a Bigsby B70, with a Wilkinson roller bridge, and while I was at it, I replaced the Gotoh? tuners with auto-locking Grover rotomatics.

    [​IMG]

    Meanwhile there was 1 fret which was a bit too tall and was causing buzzing on the top E and A strings, so I filed and re-crowned that, but the rest is really nice.

    I also found an answer to my last post question. Well, sort of, I found that some guitars are NOT finished on the inside, the wood is bare. I went to guitar Center and looked at some Epiphone and Gretch semi-hollows, and neither appeared to be finished on the inside. I then asked their in-house luthier and he said there are 2 camps, some that say that leaving it unfinished on the inside lets the wood breathe and be more naturally resonant. While the others think that it should be finished because it prevents moisture absorption, and warpage. Either way, he said he's seen some brands that finish or at least seal the interior on some of their guitars, but not on others, so it may have something to do with the wood type too.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2021
  8. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

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    Is the interior ever sealed or finished on an acoustic?
     
  9. Dudemeister

    Dudemeister Active Member

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    I don't know. The only acoustics I have are Ovation, so it's a plastic bowl, and I never tried to see what the top looks like from the inside.
     

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