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AS153 New Member
ibenenderibson
#1 Posted : 9/23/2013 3:30:35 AM

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Hi Everyone.

I'm new here.
Currently own a 1991 Fender Strat Plus Deluxe in 'red burst', 1996 Schecter C-1 Classic, 1997 Taylor 414CE.
I ordered an AS153, and it should be in my hands by tomorrow evening, according to UPS.

I've been wanting a semi-hollow electric for a while now, as I love the different tones these guitars produce vs solid electrics.
I played a few Epiphone ES335's and ES339's, and some Gretsch models, and AS73's.


Then I tried the AS73 and was impressed with the quality, tone, and quality. The couple I played needed good set up's, but quite nice for the money. For me, they are a better value than the Epiphone.

AS153 and AM153. Reading the details really impressed me, as the 153 versions up the options, and I prefer ebony fret boards. Ibanez also claims that the 153 models have extra and better fret manufacture and set up.
Price? The AS153 and AM153 are a good bit higher cost than the model right below them the 93 series.
Retail is about $1000 for either AS or AM.
The 93's are $600 for the AM and $550 for the AS at GC.
That's over a 50% higher price for the AS153 and AM153.
So I'm really hoping the Ibanez did step up the construction build quality with the AS153.

And I don't understand why the AS153 doesn't have a quilted top like the 50% lower cost AS93?
Quilted tops are typically higher in cost compared to flame. Maybe the flame top of the AS153 is thicker compared to the quilted top of the AS93?
Anyone know if the tops/caps are thicker on the AS153 and AM153?

So I opted for the yellow-burst as my 3rd color choice, but after looking at picts more, the color is growing on me and I'm really digging it.
I'll know for sure tomorrow once it's home and in my hands. :)

I'll post my impressions of the AS153 once I get some playing time on it
REALLY looking forward to this guitar.

Sorry about the long post, but I had to get it out there.
drog
#2 Posted : 9/23/2013 3:44:19 AM

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You will enjoy your AS153, they are really nice playing and good build quality. The AM153 uses the same neck as the AS153, but has a smaller body and different wood. The thickness of the tops will be about the same. The big difference are the necks,frets and fingerboard.
ibenenderibson
#3 Posted : 9/24/2013 3:13:16 AM

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Originally Posted by: drog Go to Quoted Post
You will enjoy your AS153, they are really nice playing and good build quality. The AM153 uses the same neck as the AS153, but has a smaller body and different wood. The thickness of the tops will be about the same. The big difference are the necks,frets and fingerboard.


Picked it up today.

Other than using ebony for the fret board, and nicer inlays, I don't see or feel much difference from the AS73, which costs
$400.

It needs a set up in a bad way. Action is too high.
High E tuner is sticky, likely an internal problem with gear mesh.
2 minor cosmetic issues right out of a well package box and case, so it left the factory that way.
Expected better.
Paid for better.

At nearly double the cost of an AS93 it has the same pups and same flame top.
What is the extra $450 for, for the AS153 over the AS93?
An included case, ebony fret board, fancier fret inlays, coil tap on neck pup only(tonally nearly non existant, so pointless),
and something called "artstar fret edge treatment" that doesn't feel much different than the AS73 I played.

So far, I don't think the AS153 is worth $1000, when compared to the AS93 at $550.
You can buy an AS93 at $550 PLUS an AS73 at $450 for the price of one AS153.
The AS153 doesn't feel or sound like twice the guitar.
It has the same pups as the AS93 so no difference there. Same body construction and same flame maple top, so no tonal difference there.

Might be better served with an AS93 and use the extra $450 for better pups and a case and still have money left over.

I'm hoping to have a better experience and opinion once I do a FULL and proper set up that Ibanez couldn't do, while charging the same price it would cost to buy BOTH an AS93 and AS73.
I don't get it, I can't understand the cost for the AS153.
I've read so many glowing reviews that I was expecting more.
I don't feel, see, nor hear the extra $450.
Maybe I just got a bad one. Think
Bill@Ibanez
#4 Posted : 9/24/2013 1:27:08 PM
Bill@Ibanez


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Sorry to hear about your issues!

The only thing you did not list in the differences was the bone nut, although given your stance, this does not change much in regards to price point. I do see where you are coming from, and agree that they are very similar guitars(AS153-AS93)

The differences that will contribute to the sound seem most important to you. The included case is also an added value that most people would consider more important.
-Ebony Fretboard
-Bone nut
-Trisound Switch
-Included Hardshell Case

Some of the cosmetic features do add to the price point, even though they may not be what you personally consider important.
-Pearl/Abalone inlay
-Matching flamed maple pickguard

All in all, this guitar may not be exactly what you are looking for, for the price. The setup shouldn't have been terrible out of the box and, unless it was sitting on a dealer shelf for a while, shouldn't have been shipped in bad condition. If there are serious issues with the guitar I would suggest returning it to avoid having issues in the future, or a sort of buyer's remorse. If I had a guitar with some immediately noticeable flaws(that couldn't be fixed of course), it would likely bug me for a while, especially if my hopes were higher.

I hope you resolve these issues you have with this guitar and end up happy with our products!
-Bill
ibenenderibson
#5 Posted : 9/24/2013 10:48:15 PM

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Originally Posted by: Bill@Ibanez Go to Quoted Post
Sorry to hear about your issues!

The only thing you did not list in the differences was the bone nut, although given your stance, this does not change much in regards to price point. I do see where you are coming from, and agree that they are very similar guitars(AS153-AS93)

The differences that will contribute to the sound seem most important to you. The included case is also an added value that most people would consider more important.
-Ebony Fretboard
-Bone nut
-Trisound Switch
-Included Hardshell Case

Some of the cosmetic features do add to the price point, even though they may not be what you personally consider important.
-Pearl/Abalone inlay
-Matching flamed maple pickguard

All in all, this guitar may not be exactly what you are looking for, for the price. The setup shouldn't have been terrible out of the box and, unless it was sitting on a dealer shelf for a while, shouldn't have been shipped in bad condition. If there are serious issues with the guitar I would suggest returning it to avoid having issues in the future, or a sort of buyer's remorse. If I had a guitar with some immediately noticeable flaws(that couldn't be fixed of course), it would likely bug me for a while, especially if my hopes were higher.

I hope you resolve these issues you have with this guitar and end up happy with our products!
-Bill


Hi Bill.
Thanks for the response.

Yes, I left out the bone nut. I forgot to include it when I had to do a rewrite.
I had actually written out a post including the bone nut, but when I went to post some weird error came up, and when I hit "back/prevoius" the whole post was gone. :)
So I had to rewrite it.

I did mention the case in the part about getting the AS93 and using the extra $450 to get a case and different pup's.
The case sells for $100 retail.
I agree it's a selling feature.
So let's give it a $50-$75,since it's included, and quite likely costs less than that to manufacture
Taken off the $450 premium, that leaves $400. Ibanez sells a WHOLE AS73 for that price, case not included.

I do appreciate and like the fancier cosmetics of the neck inlays, it adds appeal to the over all guitar, along with the case.
The pick guard is cool, but even the 93 has one.

The ebony fret board is a playability upgrade. As for the "fret edge treatment, I don't notice it for playability.
And the only tonal upgrade is the coil tap only ONE pup(neck), but it's not much of an "upgrade" as it's barely noticeable.
I still say the AS153 should have the real 58 pup', to really make a tonal difference over the less costly 93.
There needs to be something more special about a model that is nearly twice the price.

Can you tell me what is the "fret edge treatment"? What is actually done? Is it better fret material? Better fret setting, dressing, etc...?
And why is it done? What is supposed to be the end result from that treatment?

I'm going to try a neck adjustment tonight, new strings, intonation adjust again, and see what happens.
I found the action spec's on Ibanez's website and the spec's show that this guitar should have great low action with no buzz.
I'm hoping it works out.

If I can get it to play better, I'll have a different opinion. Then, I'll likely take it back and have them order me a new one.
The cosmetic issues are minor. The "sticky" tuner is annoying. Combined, they are bugging me too much to keep it.

BTW, I like to suggest more color options for broader appeal.
You've already got the blue flamed top on the 93, and since the bodies and tops are the same this would be an easy no-brainer to add choices. And the blue has the chrome hardware to differentiate more.
ampjunkie
#6 Posted : 9/25/2013 11:38:58 AM

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Just chiming in as a new AS153 user ... I'm the same as you. Have owned solid body electrics, acoustics, and actually a hollowbody -- but never a semi-hollow body guitar. I like that this style of construction seems to lend itself to all styles of music -- from jazz, blues, and rock. I like Ibanez guitars -- my first was a Roadstar II in '84 which I still have and it still rocks.

Here are my impressions of the AS153:

* The AS93 according to the Ibanez website has ACH1 and ACH2 PUs. I assume these are not as good as the Super 58 Customs on the AS153.
* The AS153 fret edge treatment is awesome. Take a look at the fret ends. Often times, when playing and moving your hand, your palm will scrape against the fret ends. The AS153 has fret ends that have an almost hemispherical shape, making it really smooth. This is almost never done on low-end guitars, and even many high-end ones don't have this.
* My AS153 came out of the box with no cosmetic flaws and excellent action. No fret buzzing, extremely playable, and no dead spots anywhere on the neck. No problems with any of the hardware or electronics.
* The coil tap on the neck PUP on my guitar is clearly noticeable and gives more tonal variations. It isn't pointless to me. But it does depend on your playing style and amp tone.

Note that for semi-hollow guitars, I think laminate vs solid construction is not as big a deal in tone as opposed to a hollowbody, archtop, or acoustic. There are plenty of semi-hollows that are laminate which sound terrific. I think most people would agree that an ES-335-type guitar usually has laminate construction which gives it a different sound than a carved solid top. See here: http://www.thegearpage.n...php?t=578432&page=1

I own plenty of guitars that cost me a lot more than the AS153 guitar (some 5X) and for the money, the AS153 is an amazing value. I don't think you can get an ES-335-style guitar better than this for less than $1K. It competes with guitars costing much, much more.

Cheers.
Bill@Ibanez
#8 Posted : 9/25/2013 12:59:55 PM
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ampjunkie,

The pickups in the AS93 are the Super 58 customs according to this website:
http://www.ibanez.co.jp/..._id=7&series_id=109

These were upgraded in the last year from the ACH pickups.

As for the fret ends, ampjunkie generally pointed it out. They are more rounded and smoothed out than the AS93. On some guitars, the neck shrinks over time and with climate change, which causes the frets to stick out further. The AS153 will have less of a problem because the fret ends have a less sharp shape. The factory spends more time on the AS153 fret ends and dresses them with more attention to detail than the AS93. Nothing is different with the material.

Hope this helps,
-Bill
ibenenderibson
#7 Posted : 9/26/2013 1:27:40 AM

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Originally Posted by: ampjunkie Go to Quoted Post
Just chiming in as a new AS153 user ... I'm the same as you. Have owned solid body electrics, acoustics, and actually a hollowbody -- but never a semi-hollow body guitar. I like that this style of construction seems to lend itself to all styles of music -- from jazz, blues, and rock. I like Ibanez guitars -- my first was a Roadstar II in '84 which I still have and it still rocks.

Here are my impressions of the AS153:

* The AS93 according to the Ibanez website has ACH1 and ACH2 PUs. I assume these are not as good as the Super 58 Customs on the AS153.
* The AS153 fret edge treatment is awesome. Take a look at the fret ends. Often times, when playing and moving your hand, your palm will scrape against the fret ends. The AS153 has fret ends that have an almost hemispherical shape, making it really smooth. This is almost never done on low-end guitars, and even many high-end ones don't have this.
* My AS153 came out of the box with no cosmetic flaws and excellent action. No fret buzzing, extremely playable, and no dead spots anywhere on the neck. No problems with any of the hardware or electronics.
* The coil tap on the neck PUP on my guitar is clearly noticeable and gives more tonal variations. It isn't pointless to me. But it does depend on your playing style and amp tone.

Note that for semi-hollow guitars, I think laminate vs solid construction is not as big a deal in tone as opposed to a hollowbody, archtop, or acoustic. There are plenty of semi-hollows that are laminate which sound terrific. I think most people would agree that an ES-335-type guitar usually has laminate construction which gives it a different sound than a carved solid top. See here: http://www.thegearpage.n...php?t=578432&page=1

I own plenty of guitars that cost me a lot more than the AS153 guitar (some 5X) and for the money, the AS153 is an amazing value. I don't think you can get an ES-335-style guitar better than this for less than $1K. It competes with guitars costing much, much more.

Cheers.


Cool. Sounds like you got one where the factory did it right.
My experience doesn't negate this guitar as a whole. And your experience doesn't diminish nor negate my experience.
I was expecting the type of experience you had, but it didn't happen.

Those comments are just my experience and opinions, yours is different and I certainly respect that.
We may have different expectations or levels of acceptance, nothing wrong with that.
I just wanted to give my experience, impressions as a different viewpoint for those who may come here, like me, looking for information and what to look for.
Since my experience is as real as yours, it's a valid perspective to consider.

Just to put it out there, I've been playing for 35 years, and own and have owned high quality guitars and amps.
I'm no stranger to bad, good, and great tone, and to what appeals to me.
I don't own more than about 3 guitars at a time, and one is always an acoustic. The one I have is sweet 1997 Taylor 414CE acoustic, bought it new.
The AS153 put me at 4, so I may sell my solid body Shecter C1 classic. Gorgeous guitar, neck-thru body construction, quilted maple top, and it plays great. But it's tonal palate is quite limited, pretty much just bridge or neck pup's with everything at 10. Twisting tone knobs results in pretty much nothing. It could have easily been wired from the pup's straight to the output.
It's more or a "Metal" music guitar, where most of those players just turn everything up to "11". :)
For the solid body humbucker sound, a Gibson LP standard is VERY likely to be mine for Christmas.
Pricey, but, oh well. I'm not getting any younger, and I've always wanted one.
The 1991 Fender Strat Plus Deluxe is going nowhere. It stays with me, and always will. :)

I know my comments come across as overly critical, and I'll admit that.
It comes from the excitement and anticipation of getting a new guitar, along with the expectation of higher quality and attention to detail that I, or anyone, expected when paying such a premium over the model right below it.
That excitement and anticipation was thwarted, and set my mind to questioning why I spent the extra money, and what am I really getting for it.

I don't want to give up on the 153. I want a good semi-hollow and won't give Gibson what they want for an ES335.
The AS153 has very good specs, and I can see the potential of quality build that should be there.
It just didn't happen with this one.

I was going to try and adjust the neck, but after all my b'ching and complaining, even if I could get the neck and action right, I know in the back of my mind I'll question keeping it. Every time I use that faulty high E tuner, or see the ding right on the front, or potentially having to adjust the neck all the time, I'll be reminded. There's a poster in another thread here that is having neck problems too. Maybe his neck was built by the same person. :)
I'm going to take it back and have them order me another one, and hope to have the experience you and other's have had.
If the new one doesn't work out, then it's just not the guitar for me, and I can move on.


BTW, the AS93 does come with the 'super 58 custom' pup's.
Perhaps you were looking at the 73 and didn't notice?
Take a look again at the AS93 spec's on the Ibanez site.

Here's something I noticed about the inlays on my 153.
On a good number of them when I run my nail across the inlays edge where it meets the fret board, I can feel a slight gap where there isn't inlay material not fret board wood. There are very small gaps some more some less.
Then on some inlays when I run my nail across the edges I feel he inlay edge raised higher than the fret board.
Could you check this on your guitar neck, and let me know if it's the same?
My initial guess would be that it's the same on your neck as well, but I'd like to confirm or refute.
ampjunkie
#10 Posted : 9/26/2013 1:52:09 AM

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I hope you get to return that guitar if you are not happy with it. And maybe try another one? There are duds every now and then.

Regarding the inlays on the AS153. I only see one or two inlays where there is a very slight gap between the inlay and fretboard -- and only on one side of the inlay. It is hard to see. I ran my finger over it and could not feel it while playing. That is the real test. Of course I can feel it if I choose to (and was really looking for it by pressing down hard), and did it under the string. But that is not a real situation. I did not have any inlays that rose above the fretboard that you could feel it.

Every guitar I have has slight flaws -- even the very best ones. I try not to let that get in the way of playing -- esp if you can't really see them, hear them, or feel them! I guess if you are paying big $$ for them as art works -- yes. But as guitars for the enjoyment of music -- they need to be judged accordingly.

Overall -- I'm extremely happy with the AS153 ...





ibenenderibson
#9 Posted : 9/26/2013 2:08:44 AM

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Originally Posted by: Bill@Ibanez Go to Quoted Post
ampjunkie,

The pickups in the AS93 are the Super 58 customs according to this website:
http://www.ibanez.co.jp/..._id=7&series_id=109

These were upgraded in the last year from the ACH pickups.

As for the fret ends, ampjunkie generally pointed it out. They are more rounded and smoothed out than the AS93. On some guitars, the neck shrinks over time and with climate change, which causes the frets to stick out further. The AS153 will have less of a problem because the fret ends have a less sharp shape. The factory spends more time on the AS153 fret ends and dresses them with more attention to detail than the AS93. Nothing is different with the material.

Hope this helps,
-Bill


It helps.

But the marketing of that eludes me.
It's nothing more than what SHOULD be done on any guitar over $500.
I've played a number of guitars in the $300 and up range with perfectly fine fret ends.
When you under $300 that's where many/most manufacturers can't spend the labor hours to meet the price point.

Since Ibanez upgraded the pup's on the AS93 to what the 153 has, why not upgrade the 153's pup's to genuine "super 58's"?
That holds higher appeal and adds to the $450 up charge.
You can leave the coil tap out and save on the added wiring, switch, and labor.

Maybe you can help me out here?
I'm going to return the AS153, and have them order a new replacement.
I was wondering, can you tell me something.
I bought the guitar from guitar center. I was initially wanting the AM153, but they don't have it in stock and it doesn't show in their system, but they are an authorized Ibanez dealer.
They only have the 153 in 'yellow burst'. I asked about the 'antique amber' and was told that they could order either the AM153 or the 'amber' AS153, BUT, they said they didn't know if the price would be the same.
I didn't understand that, and I hinted that we should find out, but they seemed reluctant or lazy to check.

Other retailers carry the AM153 and both colors of the AS153.
The AM153 sells for the same price as the AS153, $1000.
If I insist that guitar center order me an AM153 or the amber 153, would it still be the same price?
For whatever reason they made it sound like if they ordered an Ibanez that wasn't in their computer that the price would higher.
Any idea on the truth about that?
And, is it really that difficult for such a huge guitar retailer to have a problem ordering these guitars?

Your info and/or help is much appreciated.
ibenenderibson
#11 Posted : 9/26/2013 3:16:51 AM

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Originally Posted by: ampjunkie Go to Quoted Post
I hope you get to return that guitar if you are not happy with it. And maybe try another one? There are duds every now and then.

Regarding the inlays on the AS153. I only see one or two inlays where there is a very slight gap between the inlay and fretboard -- and only on one side of the inlay. It is hard to see. I ran my finger over it and could not feel it while playing. That is the real test. Of course I can feel it if I choose to (and was really looking for it by pressing down hard), and did it under the string. But that is not a real situation. I did not have any inlays that rose above the fretboard that you could feel it.

Every guitar I have has slight flaws -- even the very best ones. I try not to let that get in the way of playing -- esp if you can't really see them, hear them, or feel them! I guess if you are paying big $$ for them as art works -- yes. But as guitars for the enjoyment of music -- they need to be judged accordingly.

Overall -- I'm extremely happy with the AS153 ...




Thanks for checking. :)
I was curious to see if maybe it was just mine.
Not considering it a flaw, just an observation.

Yes, I am going to try another one.
30 day, no questions asked refund or exchange.

Question:
My 1991 Strat was $1000 new in it's day, a long time ago.
The Taylor was like $1100-$1200 in it's day.
Current new Strat equivalent is $1650-$1700.
Current new Taylor 414CE is $2000.
These are made in the US.

How much do you think a $1000 Chinese made guitar would sell for if it were made in America, considering Chinese labor and parts costs?
IOW, if Fender made the AS153 here in the USA, how much do you think it would sell for?
ampjunkie
#12 Posted : 9/26/2013 11:44:37 AM

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Guitar Center -- that is a one of your problems already! :-)

I had such poor service from them in the past, and few people there seemed to know anything about the product. Try to avoid if at all possible.

The AS153 should be the same price regardless of finish.

The retailer I used is amazing. They had one in the warehouse new (just received), got a tech to look at it and check it before I demoed it in a scheduled appointment. It played really well. I compared it to some American-made Gibson ES-335s, and I honestly did not see much of a difference. These were guitars that were $3K and up. Fit and finish were neck and neck.

So to answer your question on how much do I think that $1K chinese-made guitar would be priced if it were made in the USA? The answer is already out there for me. At least $2K and up. At least for the guitar I bought. Which, by the way, was only $899 in Canada! The AS153 is $899 in Canada, $999 in the USA. Not sure why the price difference as most products in Canada are always higher than in the US.

That said, do I think I could get that price 10 years later? Maybe not. The "Made in China" tag might discourage people. But I am not necessarily buying my instrument based on resale value (though I do consider that now, much more than when I was younger). The funny thing is that "Made in Japan" also used to be a bad tag -- now it's great. Maybe the same for China in the future. Certainly they can make high quality stuff. Where do you think Apple makes all their stuff (answer: Foxconn in plants in China)!

In any case, I am quite happy with my AS153 which I snagged for $899. It is the equal of many of my guitars -- some that are much more expensive. Only time will tell if this becomes a classic.


ibenenderibson
#13 Posted : 10/6/2013 2:21:26 AM

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Updated 10/7/2013:

I feel compelled to edit this post, to better reflect my final impressions after playing the guitar after all the fiddling and adjustments I made.
I've come to the conclusion that the problem is this guitar that I got, and that it's not likely to be representative of all AS153's nor all of Ibanez'ss semi-hollow guitars.
The gold plating I still have issues and concerns about, and it might not be just this guitar.
I'll see after my new AM153 shows up.

My biggest change in impression is the tonal quality and the coil tap on the neck pup. After playing around with it more and using it in conjunction with the bridge pup, there are a lot more tonal options than without the coil tap.
Fit and finish are actually very nice, barring the small issues with my AS153.

Even though I couldn't get this AS153 set up to spec's and to my liking, overall playability is still pretty darn good.
I came to like the feel of the neck, and I'm sure it would play like butter if you get one that can be set up properly.
And don't forget about the TONE. Great tone that can be customized in more ways than the models without the neck coil tap feature.

I actually DO recommend that players try this guitar if they want a great sounding semi hollow guitar.
This guitar way exceeds what most Epiphone's can offer.
The upgrades are good ones, especially the ebony fret board, cool inlays, and a very nice included hard shell case.
The price for them is a good bit higher than the models below it, but worth it for the most part, not all of it, but most of it. :)
Ibanez needs to put high quality tuners on the upgraded AS153 and AM153 to bring it more in line with the added cost.
The difference in cost between the stock tuners and high quality Grovers, Schallers, or Gotoh's can't be that much more, yet would go a longer way to impress the player/buyer who does choose to pay more to get more.
I stand by that.

Original post:

I adjusted the neck last week. Action was not in Ibanez spec's.
Adjusted the neck per Ibanez spec's with the action I wanted, which was at the low end of Ibanez spec's and still there is buzzing.
Did a few more adjustments and can't get the action to what Ibanez says this guitar can do.
I'm DONE adjusting, it won't get there.

Then the other day I noticed how thin and weak the gold plating is on this guitar.
One the bridge piece I can see the lighter color metal under the thin gold plate.
Got me to looking at the other hardware bits.
The gold finish looks like it will last maybe 2-3 years before it's going to be noticeably bad.

Overall I'm disappointed, in this particular guitar I received, not the model in general.
I tried and tried to adjust this thing.
I tried to over look the small cosmetic things, but the average quality tuners, lack of playability (due to not being able to get it adjusted properly), and finally, the weak hardware plating have done me in.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and mine is that this particular AS153 is NOT worth the added premium price, even with the include hard shell case.
Ibanez can't even put high quality name brand tuners on this guitar. They look like higher end tuners, but they don't feel it.
65% higher cost over the AS93 and not even an upgrade in tuners.

Obviously it's going back.
I'd like to get another one. If I can get the playability I expect, then I can over look the cosmetic issues, that shouldn't be there either.
I LOVE the tone and sound of this guitar, but it does me no good when I can't bond with how it plays.
I'm thinking of trying the AM153, and hope that for some reason it might be of better quality, though I'm not holding my breath, though I am holding my breath now.
Dick Foster
#14 Posted : 10/7/2013 6:16:49 PM
Dick Foster


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Maybe it's a good thing that I couldn't get my hands on one afterall. I'm not exactly wild for either of the finishes it's offered in anyway. The transition for the so called sunburst is just too stark with not enough shading between the light and dark areas and the blonde one looks as ugly as a mud fence to my eye, even in the pics.

Originally Posted by: ibenenderibson Go to Quoted Post
I adjusted the neck last week. Action was not in Ibanez spec's.
Adjusted the neck per Ibanez spec's with the action I wanted, which was at the low end of Ibanez spec's and still there is buzzing.
Did a few more adjustments and can't get the action to what Ibanez says this guitar can do.
I'm DONE adjusting, it won't get there.

Then the other day I noticed how thin and weak the gold plating is on this guitar.
One the bridge piece I can see the lighter color metal under the thin gold plate.
Got me to looking at the other hardware bits.
The gold finish looks like it will last maybe 2-3 years before it's going to be noticeably bad.

Overall I'm disappointed.
I tried and tried to adjust this thing.
I tried to over look the small cosmetic things, but the cheap tuners, lack of playability, and weak hardware plating have done me in.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and mine is that the AS153 is NOT worth the added premium price, even with the include hard shell case.
Ibanez can't even put high quality name brand tuners on this guitar. They look like higher end tuners, but they don't feel it.
65% higher cost over the AS93 and not even an upgrade in tuners.

Obviously it's going back.
I'd like to get another one. If I can get the playability I expect, then I can over look the cosmetic issues, that shouldn't be there either.
I LOVE the tone and sound of this guitar, but it does me no good when I can't bond with how it plays.
I'm thinking of trying the AM153, and hope that for some reason it might be of better quality, though I'm not holding my breath.
ibenenderibson
#15 Posted : 10/8/2013 12:03:54 AM

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Originally Posted by: Dick Foster Go to Quoted Post
Maybe it's a good thing that I couldn't get my hands on one afterall. I'm not exactly wild for either of the finishes it's offered in anyway. The transition for the so called sunburst is just too stark with not enough shading between the light and dark areas and the blonde one looks as ugly as a mud fence to my eye, even in the pics.



It's not the best choice of shading sunburst, but it's actually pretty nice in person. The finish work is great on that guitar.
The solid amber is also very nice. I would have likely chose the amber if they had it when I ordered.
Cosmetically these are very nice guitars, better in overall fit and finish than an Epiphone, imo.
It even rivals the much higher cost Gibson ES335.

Don't let my one bad experience turn you off on this guitar. I think that the one I got wasn't as good as these can be.
There are many reviews from owners who love these guitars. I can see why, IF the one I got had been given more quality control.

The 'super 58' pup's sound very nice, and when played with higher gain the tone "growls" nicely. It's very cool and quite different than a solid body. That's why I really want a semi hollow as I have 2 very nice solid bodies, a Strat Plus Deluxe for single coil, and a Schecter C-1 Classic for humbucker tones.
I did play around more with the neck pup coil tap. I was wrong initially. The coil tap works quite nicely, especially when you mix the neck pup with the bridge, and use the various coil taps. By adjusting the pups volume differently, the tap really adds a wider variety of tones. I am now converted on the coil tap. :)

I decided to give Ibanez another try. I didn't reorder the AS135, instead I'm trying the AM153 with all Bubinga wood for the body and top. In the pictures it looks REALLY sweet. I've not heard a guitar with that wood, I hope it's sweet and cool.
Guitar Center just listed the AM153 over the past week, so I went for it. They didn't have it when I ordered a few weeks ago.
And, they now also have the Amber color AS153.

I agree that Ibanez really needs to offer the AS153 and AM153 in more finishes.
They have these colors available on different levels of these guitars, so why not offer some of those colors on the higher end models? If it's to keep the higher models different, then add a couple of cool choices.
A cherry orange to dark amber burst would look really cool on the Bubinga.

The AM153 comes in only ONE color. There really needs to be a second choice, a lighter color like the one I just mentioned. :)
The Violin burst from the AS93 would be a quite nice finish too on the Bubinga AM153. It doesn't go to a solid black or brown. It's just right going to a subtle brownish on the edges.

The AM153's Dark Brown Burst, the black is too opaque on the edges, and the black starts MUCH too soon.
The Bubinga looks fantastic with a sort of 'quilted' look, but the amount and darkness of the black doesn't let the enough wood come through. It's too much black covering that gorgeous wood. I think I'll be taking off the pick guard to let the cool wood come through.
Still, it looks super cool, so I decided to give it a shot.
Hopefully, it will come with a better set up, or allow me to do a better set up, along with ALL the tuners working nicely. :)
I tried to get that AS153's action to the lower end of Ibanez's spec's but it wouldn't work, and yet their spec's show that it should.

I've never heard a Bubinga guitars tone, so I hope it's cool.
With the smaller AM153 body, the neck joins the body at a different fret/point, so it might feel better for me.

My advice is to find one at a store/shop and try it out yourself. I think you'll be impressed, and if you want a cool, sweet to nasty tonal variety that guitar will give it to you.
As I said, my one experience shouldn't dissuade you from a potentially great guitar.
hockeydad154
#17 Posted : 1/1/2014 4:27:33 AM
hockeydad154


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]Hi Folks,,, Just wanted to add something to this thread... I've been shopping for an AS103BM or SM or an AM103BM. I haven't been able to find anything after scouring the net sites. I already have an AS103BM and an AM200. I love them both. I've seen this AM153 online over the past week or so and took the opportunity to contact the seller which is an authorized Ibanez dealer. We reached a comfortable price and made the transaction. As soon as I get it I'll be taking it to the Guitar Factory in Orlando for a professional setup. They are super reputable with tons of luthier experience. I'll post their opinion later in the week... In the mean time,,, check this darling out... Yeah, I know,, you'll love it or well not so much, but it sang to me :)
hockeydad154 attached the following image(s):
hockeydad154 attached the following image(s): am153blg1.jpg
hockeydad154 attached the following image(s): am153blg2.jpg
hockeydad154 attached the following image(s): am153blg3.jpg
hockeydad154 attached the following image(s): am153blg4.jpg
Dick Foster
#16 Posted : 1/1/2014 5:25:39 PM
Dick Foster


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Well I've been trying to do just exactly that. Buying a guitar is something I choose not to do over the Internet but would rather do the old fashioned touchy feely way in a real brick and mortar store, if for no other reason than your experence. Besides that, there is that whole connection thing you get with an instrument that you can't get over the Internet. Trouble is Ibanez doesn't seem overly concerned with filling the supply pipeline. If and when they do, I'll take a look at one.

Originally Posted by: ibenenderibson Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Dick Foster Go to Quoted Post
Maybe it's a good thing that I couldn't get my hands on one afterall. I'm not exactly wild for either of the finishes it's offered in anyway. The transition for the so called sunburst is just too stark with not enough shading between the light and dark areas and the blonde one looks as ugly as a mud fence to my eye, even in the pics.



It's not the best choice of shading sunburst, but it's actually pretty nice in person. The finish work is great on that guitar.
The solid amber is also very nice. I would have likely chose the amber if they had it when I ordered.
Cosmetically these are very nice guitars, better in overall fit and finish than an Epiphone, imo.
It even rivals the much higher cost Gibson ES335.

Don't let my one bad experience turn you off on this guitar. I think that the one I got wasn't as good as these can be.
There are many reviews from owners who love these guitars. I can see why, IF the one I got had been given more quality control.

The 'super 58' pup's sound very nice, and when played with higher gain the tone "growls" nicely. It's very cool and quite different than a solid body. That's why I really want a semi hollow as I have 2 very nice solid bodies, a Strat Plus Deluxe for single coil, and a Schecter C-1 Classic for humbucker tones.
I did play around more with the neck pup coil tap. I was wrong initially. The coil tap works quite nicely, especially when you mix the neck pup with the bridge, and use the various coil taps. By adjusting the pups volume differently, the tap really adds a wider variety of tones. I am now converted on the coil tap. :)

I decided to give Ibanez another try. I didn't reorder the AS135, instead I'm trying the AM153 with all Bubinga wood for the body and top. In the pictures it looks REALLY sweet. I've not heard a guitar with that wood, I hope it's sweet and cool.
Guitar Center just listed the AM153 over the past week, so I went for it. They didn't have it when I ordered a few weeks ago.
And, they now also have the Amber color AS153.

I agree that Ibanez really needs to offer the AS153 and AM153 in more finishes.
They have these colors available on different levels of these guitars, so why not offer some of those colors on the higher end models? If it's to keep the higher models different, then add a couple of cool choices.
A cherry orange to dark amber burst would look really cool on the Bubinga.

The AM153 comes in only ONE color. There really needs to be a second choice, a lighter color like the one I just mentioned. :)
The Violin burst from the AS93 would be a quite nice finish too on the Bubinga AM153. It doesn't go to a solid black or brown. It's just right going to a subtle brownish on the edges.

The AM153's Dark Brown Burst, the black is too opaque on the edges, and the black starts MUCH too soon.
The Bubinga looks fantastic with a sort of 'quilted' look, but the amount and darkness of the black doesn't let the enough wood come through. It's too much black covering that gorgeous wood. I think I'll be taking off the pick guard to let the cool wood come through.
Still, it looks super cool, so I decided to give it a shot.
Hopefully, it will come with a better set up, or allow me to do a better set up, along with ALL the tuners working nicely. :)
I tried to get that AS153's action to the lower end of Ibanez's spec's but it wouldn't work, and yet their spec's show that it should.

I've never heard a Bubinga guitars tone, so I hope it's cool.
With the smaller AM153 body, the neck joins the body at a different fret/point, so it might feel better for me.

My advice is to find one at a store/shop and try it out yourself. I think you'll be impressed, and if you want a cool, sweet to nasty tonal variety that guitar will give it to you.
As I said, my one experience shouldn't dissuade you from a potentially great guitar.

joerg petersen
#19 Posted : 1/2/2014 8:34:45 PM

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The Ibanez AS 153 is a marvelous guitar!


actually after a proper set up I am absolutely happy with my as153.
what a georgeous guitar! soundwise and from handling and from the looks.
the bookmatched top incld the laminated pickguard is stylish and fits
from choice of materials and design to the colors and fading used. A1 grade
woodwork and finish.

cannot understand why other cats always compare with other brands, this
is something unique again, like the Artist 2630 or the AM200series from the 80s.
Forgot to mention the AM50 I got as my 3rd guitar back then, stupid to have
sold her.

was a bit concerned about the sound being to brittle and harsh due to
the finish, but the sound is deep, mellow and rich now, not as much as a
hollow body, but as well not that boomy and bassy also. sweet overdrive and
string feedback when getting cranked and played at bandlevel.

even if you include a complete luthier set up this guitar is a steal for the price!!!

If anything than I would change the pots as they are not really OK. Changed
mine to big diameter 500k volume and 250k tone pots.

I mean, the ones able to judge the value of such a guitar are rare to find, its
not for everyone searching the mainstream budget stuff, this is guitar with its own
touch and will be a classy.

stay tuned!
joerg

fingerboard blues
#18 Posted : 1/3/2014 1:54:45 AM

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Originally Posted by: hockeydad154 Go to Quoted Post
]Hi Folks,,, Just wanted to add something to this thread... I've been shopping for an AS103BM or SM or an AM103BM. I haven't been able to find anything after scouring the net sites. I already have an AS103BM and an AM200. I love them both. I've seen this AM153 online over the past week or so and took the opportunity to contact the seller which is an authorized Ibanez dealer. We reached a comfortable price and made the transaction. As soon as I get it I'll be taking it to the Guitar Factory in Orlando for a professional setup. They are super reputable with tons of luthier experience. I'll post their opinion later in the week... In the mean time,,, check this darling out... Yeah, I know,, you'll love it or well not so much, but it sang to me :)



Cool Guitar, and it is Blue!. This is obviously a new color for the lineup. Do you know anything else about the model you have?
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