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AS73 vs AS73B difference in pickups?
evan333
#1 Posted : 5/27/2010 8:09:29 AM
evan333


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I haven't found any information online about the difference between the AS73 and its matte black version, the AS73B. Most reviews I've seen talk about them interchangeably and suggest that the only difference lies in the finish.

Ibanez.com is similarly vague, although it lists a slight difference in pickups: the AS73 uses ACH1 and ACH2 pups, while the AS73 uses ACH1-S and ACH2-S. The latter combo, they say, is "tight and trebly," while the former is "clean with slight overdrive."

Wall

Could someone kindly explain what that means? My interest in the AS73B lies in its abilities as a blues/rock guitar, for which it has been well-reviewed, but I'm still unclear as to the differences between models for that purpose, as all the other specs appear identical. Thanks for any guidance!
Tracy Dae
#2 Posted : 5/27/2010 8:52:04 AM
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The difference between the standard model AS73 and the lower grade "B" model AS73B is in lower overall quality of the fit-n-finish. There is less attention to detail during the manufacturing process for "B" models. The pickups are basically the same except they are uncovered on the "B" model. Uncovered humbuchers tend to be a bit brighter than otherwise identical covered humbuckers.

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evan333
#5 Posted : 5/27/2010 8:01:37 PM
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Thanks very much for that explanation.

Could you -- or anyone -- shed some light as to what the net effect of brighter uncovered humbuckers might be? There's a sense I get from Ibanez's marketing and elsewhere that the matte black model is geared more toward the rock/blues side of the rock/blues/jazz spectrum. Or am I misinterpreting? Thanks again!
Tracy Dae
#6 Posted : 5/27/2010 9:10:16 PM
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evan333 wrote:
There's a sense I get from Ibanez's marketing and elsewhere that the matte black model is geared more toward the rock/blues side of the rock/blues/jazz spectrum. Or am I misinterpreting? Thanks again!


The only light I can shed is to advise you that marketing copy is just spin. Nothing more... The only reason the "B" models exist is so Ibanez can offer a more buget friendly Artcore than a standard model - which is already pretty buget friendly.

Ibanez Artcore semi-hollow body guitars are very versitile. Pretty much anyone you choose will give you what you are looking for. However the higher up the food chain you go, the better guitar you get and the more "bang for your buck" you get. A standard model has reasonably good attention to detail. A deluxe model has very good attention to detail. An Artcore Custom model has excellent attention to detail - as well as much better sounding pickups.


The mind is like a parachute...
...It only works when its open.
evan333
#7 Posted : 5/27/2010 10:08:09 PM
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Thanks Tracy. I think most of my confusion (as you've seen in another thread I created) stems from my comparison of the AS73B and AF75. One variable I've managed to lock down is that I want whichever guitar is best suited for blues and rock, not so much jazz. I now know that the AF75 will have more trouble with feedback, but I still don't have my head fully around their differences in purpose. This is exacerbated by the fact that the AF75, while superior in finish and features (sunburst, pickguard, etc.), seems better suited to jazz, while the 'lesser' AS73B model seems better suited to my needs as a blues/rock guitar.

I hope I'm at least formulating that right. With versatility being a selling point of both guitars, I'm still left with a seemingly simple question I can't answer: if blues/rock functionality (not jazz) is my overriding concern, am I best off foregoing the AF75's superior details? Put another way, if both models were lovingly handcrafted and diamond-studded, which one would B.B. King or Clapton prefer?

And again, thanks for your input!

Hedgehog
#8 Posted : 6/1/2010 12:55:38 PM
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You hit both sides of the coin with those two artists. Clapton can be seen playing both styles of guitar, but hes most commonly seen playing one of the solid body guitars, Telecaster, Les Paul, Stratocaster and others. But he played an old fully hollow bodied Gibson in "Hail Hail Rock & Roll" a tribute to Chuck Berry's 60th on "Wee Wee Hours".


When it comes to B. B. King his style of guitar is VERY well known.

Fron the internet:

"Lucille in her current form is a Gibson ES-355. B.B. has been playing the ES-355 for at least 25 years, before that he played an ES-335. The main difference between those two guitars is that the ES-355 is a solid body. B.B. likes to think of the ES-355 as the "big brother" of Gibson's Les Paul. Although B.B. is partial to Gibson guitars, he has played just about any guitar he has gotten his hands on. His very first guitar was a Stella acoustic. Early in his career, he played and owned many different makes, such as Fender, Gretsch, Silverstone and of course Gibson."

The Gibson Website describes it a bit differently:

"B.B. King Lucille

Blues legend B.B. King had been playing Gibsons for over 40 years when he and Gibson officially joined forces in 1982. B.B.'s personal touches on his signature model include the fine-tuner tailpiece, the semi-hollow body with no soundholes and, of course, the name that has adorned his guitars throughout his career— Lucille."



Michael
Jota
#3 Posted : 6/3/2010 3:58:15 AM
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Tracy Dae wrote:
The difference between the standard model AS73 and the lower grade "B" model AS73B is in lower overall quality of the fit-n-finish. There is less attention to detail during the manufacturing process for "B" models. The pickups are basically the same except they are uncovered on the "B" model. Uncovered humbuchers tend to be a bit brighter than otherwise identical covered humbuckers.



I was thinking that the "B" is just because of the matte black finish of it. Am I completely wrong in that assumption?
dmcp
#9 Posted : 6/3/2010 9:24:38 AM

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I called Ibanez to ask about the difference between (i) the ACH1 and ACH2 pickups in the AS73 guitars versus (ii) the ACH1-S and ACH2-S in the AS73B... and the service rep I spoke with did not seem to know the answer?!

· The rep did not have impedance data on either set – so no way to know if one is hotter than the other by comparing output in ohms.

· He insisted the pickups are “different,” but this because “they have different part numbers.” He did not know if the two sets are actually wound differently or if there are any other differences beyond that fact that one set is covered and the other is uncovered.

My guess is the two sets are identical but for the covers. I noticed the ACH1-S is available on some other Ibanez guitars (ARX320, ART100, AMF73) and always appears in uncovered form. Similarly, the ACH1 (without S) is always covered. Seems unlikely a large manufacturer like Ibanez would go to the expense of creating a specially-wound “S-version” pickup to put in only four guitar models.

The added brightness in the AS73B is likely due solely to the lack of pickup covers, not different winding or output.
Tracy Dae
#4 Posted : 6/3/2010 9:47:36 PM
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Jota wrote:
I was thinking that the "B" is just because of the matte black finish of it. Am I completely wrong in that assumption?


All these guitars are "B" models, but only three are flat black.










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...It only works when its open.
Jota
#10 Posted : 6/4/2010 4:30:18 AM
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Tracy Dae, thanks for the reply. I can not see the pictures. What I know is that here in the UK they sell the AS73 and the AS73B for exactly the same price!
Jota
#11 Posted : 6/4/2010 4:37:07 AM
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These are the Ibanez UK product spec pages for the AS73:
http://www.ibanez.co.jp/...t_id=1&series_id=374

And for the AS73B:
http://www.ibanez.co.jp/...t_id=1&series_id=374

I can not spot any difference in construction / finish other than the different pickups (ACH1 or ACH1-S).

I am sorry to be a pain but any one else can be sure that (quote) "...."B" model AS73B is in lower overall quality of the fit-n-finish..." is right?
Tracy Dae
#12 Posted : 6/4/2010 5:49:41 AM
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Jota wrote:
I am sorry to be a pain but any one else can be sure that (quote) "...."B" model AS73B is in lower overall quality of the fit-n-finish..." is right?


This is something you cannot see by looking at catalog pictures and/or reading the specs. You have to hold them in your hands and play them. The difference is very evident when you do so, especially when you can do a side by side comparison. Much less attention to detail goes into producing a "B" model. I wouldn't say so if I didn't have first hand experience doing that.

Jota wrote:
What I know is that here in the UK they sell the AS73 and the AS73B for exactly the same price!


Here in the U.S., the "B" models are less expensive than the standard models. There is a reason for that.

The mind is like a parachute...
...It only works when its open.
evan333
#14 Posted : 6/7/2010 3:43:55 AM
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Tracy Dae: I remain confused, as others appear to be. You've implied several times that "B" models are cheap and inferior somehow, with "less attention to detail," etc. But I don't have the foggiest idea what that is supposed to mean. Can you be specific, please? I've read dozens upon dozens of invariably glowing reviews of the AS73B (and now, as an owner, I must concur with all of them). And yet your comments stand completely alone in speaking of this model as some kind of cheap, low-quality stepchild. Are you suggesting that those who purchased an AS73B should have spent the extra $50 for "greater attention to detail?" What on earth does that mean? I'm sorry, it just sounds like you have some kind of vague axe to grind. Lol, get it?


Tracy Dae wrote:
Jota wrote:
I am sorry to be a pain but any one else can be sure that (quote) "...."B" model AS73B is in lower overall quality of the fit-n-finish..." is right?


This is something you cannot see by looking at catalog pictures and/or reading the specs. You have to hold them in your hands and play them. The difference is very evident when you do so, especially when you can do a side by side comparison. Much less attention to detail goes into producing a "B" model. I wouldn't say so if I didn't have first hand experience doing that.

evan333
#13 Posted : 6/7/2010 4:20:01 AM
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Jota wrote:
What I know is that here in the UK they sell the AS73 and the AS73B for exactly the same price!


Tracy Dae wrote:
Here in the U.S., the "B" models are less expensive than the standard models. There is a reason for that.


Eh Setting aside the fact that you've conveniently ignored the U.K. pricing, what is your specific theory as to the $50 price difference in the U.S.? It seems rather logical that a matte finish and uncovered pickups are $50 cheaper to produce. Your implication that the B model is $50 cheaper because it's inattentively constructed just seems flat-out absurd, quite frankly.

Perhaps an Ibanez rep is reading and can kindly spell out the actual difference?
Aguitarnamedzero
#15 Posted : 6/7/2010 6:49:54 AM
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I'm going to assume that the upcharge is for the fancy schmancy finishes on the non B models and nothing more. . .reminds me a bit of gibson and their hierarchy to a degree: want the actual version of the guitar that's advertised? you're going to have to pay more for it (although this difference might not be as big as the difference between a LP studio and a LP standard) if not, here's one that works the same but looks butt ugly as we're cheap bastards trying to make a cheap buck (note: this tactic worked for the RG321MH insanely well. . .I even own one of the effing things) and this finish is the cheapest to apply
enlgish4bw
#16 Posted : 6/7/2010 10:01:09 AM
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I totally agree with my fellow Ontarian (Aguitarnamedzero) here. It's fairly straight-forward and common practice among ALL guitar manufacturers. You mentioned LPs but even a more significant example would be the Epiphone DOT series of guitars. As the price goes up and down, you find a BIG difference in how much work was done on the finish. All of the electronics and PUPS are identical on the standard models (except the DOT studio which has only 2 pot switches on it), but if you've ever picked up a low-end DOT with that ridiculous matte ugly finish on it, then moved up the line one price range to the next higher model, you see an IMMEDIATE difference in the two.
I think that was Tracy's point as well... just sayin.

The best part is when firms like Gibson and Fender try to fool us by calling cheap, crappy paint jobs "VINTAGE" finishes... talk about insulting my intelligence. At least Ibanez hasn't stooped to the level of sheer rip-offs like that.

Tracy Dae
#17 Posted : 6/7/2010 11:46:34 AM
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enlgish4bw wrote:
I think that was Tracy's point as well... just sayin.


You are correct...

Its not about reading the reviews, the specs or looking at pictures... Its not about how pretty one is over the other - though "pretty" is important to me... Its about getting your hands on them a playing them. If y'all would do that, you would "get" what I am talking about.


The mind is like a parachute...
...It only works when its open.
dmcp
#18 Posted : 6/7/2010 6:35:25 PM

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I agree with "Evan333" that the "less attention to detail" comment is vague and misleading. From what I've seen in the guitar shops, all of the AS models get adequate "attention" as far as quality control is concerned... And "Aguitarnamedzero" is correct that the price increases from one model to another relate mainly to cosmetics.

Each of the AS73B, AS73, and AS93 have a similar feel in hand, and the "upgrades" you get as you move up the line are not material in terms of sound and playabilty (but for the pickups, perhaps, on the AS103, depending on the tone you're looking for).

The extras stack up as follows:
· AS73B: One-piece neck; matte finish; uncovered pickups.
· AS73: Add shiny laminate finish; covered pickups.
· AS93: Three-piece neck; upgrade to quilted maple finish; add gold hardware; add fancy inlays.
· AS103: Five-piece neck; add pick-guard and wooden knobs; upgrade to Custom 58 pickups.

Hope this helps...
enlgish4bw
#27 Posted : 6/7/2010 6:49:38 PM
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I disagree with the one thing you've written only... that being the part about the AS73 and AS93 feeling "similar in hand". In my opinion they're not even close. The AS93's neck and feel are completely different and better than the neck and feel on the AS73. Apart from that I agree with the rest of your post dmcp.

It's all apples and oranges really...

Tracy Dae
#19 Posted : 6/7/2010 7:30:04 PM
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dmcp wrote:
And "Aguitarnamedzero" is correct that the price increases from one model to another relate mainly to cosmetics.


This is not true, though cosmetics certainly do play a part, there is more to it than that... I don't know how to describe "better attention to detail" during the manufacturing process in more plain English than I already have. For those of you who do not get it, go out to the store and play them. Maybe then you will get it... Of course I am also well aware that there are some of you who simply don't want to get it, and thats fine. There is nothing wrong with that.

The mind is like a parachute...
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