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AEL108MD inquiry
Zandit75
#1 Posted : 8/10/2015 12:29:53 PM
Zandit75


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Hi guys, new member here.
Looking for feedback on the AEL108MD 8 string electric acoustic.
I've pulled apart the web and YouTube looking for reviews, but apart for Ibanez's own blurb, I can't find much.
I'm currently playing a Maton EM725C that I've had since new in '95.
I've been looking to add to my collection, but I'm not after "just" another 6-string. I started out looking at 12-string guitars, but most that I have played have a real jangle to them that is a little unappealing.
Having said that, what first attracted me to the ibanez range was the AEL2012, and from there, I found the AEL108MD.
If anyone has played this guitar, please give me your honest opinion.
Thanks in advance and I hope to hear from someone soon.
Bill@Ibanez
#2 Posted : 8/17/2015 9:09:24 PM
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I've played both the AEL108MD and AEL108TD. I really like the MD over the TD. The TD sounds good and is great for giving general chords a bit more of that jangle that some people love in a 12 string. The AEL108MD is much more unique sounding. You have some of the 12 string octave sound without the higher string jangle.

I tended to change my playing style to playing more "lead" on those 2 middle strings which I really like!

If you are on the fence between the two 8 strings, I'd choose the MD for a more unique experience, and I'd choose the TD for an easier feeling 12 string sound.

-Bill
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Zandit75 on 8/17/2015(UTC)
Zandit75
#3 Posted : 8/17/2015 10:21:45 PM
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Thanks Bill, most appreciated. The MD is certainly my pick of the two models, so thanks for confirming my thoughts.
By any chance have you played the AEL2012 12-String model?
I really love that transparent black flame burst look, and seriously considering just removing the added strings to make it an 8-string like the MD.
This would also give me the option of resetting it back to a 12-String when the mood gets me.
The added features of the pickup shape shifter would be an added bonus as they are not available on the standard 8-String models.
What are your thoughts?
Bill@Ibanez
#4 Posted : 8/18/2015 8:11:14 PM
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Not a terrible idea, haha!

I actually know someone that bought a 12 string guitar and strung it up for only 6 strings! The string spacing may be slightly different on the 12 string(a touch more space). Stringing that 12 string up like an 8 string would definitely give you the same sound, but the spacing may be a little wider.

The neck specs look the same, so I may be incorrect. Either way, it would definitely be nice to be able to switch back to 12 if needed.

-Bill

Zandit75
#5 Posted : 8/18/2015 8:25:55 PM
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Great, at least I'm not sounding like a crazy person!
I'm still a couple of months away from purchasing, none of the local music shops stock these models, but I'm heading to Melbourne over the Xmas holidays, so I'll try them then.
For the price difference of about $60AUD, the 12-String is looking more like an option.
Thanks again Bill!
Zandit75
#6 Posted : 9/22/2015 2:22:42 AM
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So, finally I am in a position to test run one of the AEL108MD's this weekend, funds permitting.
I have to travel more than 4hrs to get to the music shop, but their pricing is pretty competitive compared to Mainland prices.
Unfortunately, they do not have a AEL2012 coming in, because they believe it is too close in price to their stocks of Martin 12-stringers.
Since starting looking at these guitars, I have seen a steady increase in pricing around the entire country, quite possibly as a result of the dollar conversion between AUS and US dollars.
The gap has increased between the 8 and 12 string models, where the best price I can get now is over $100AUD dearer than the 8 string model.
I still love the look of the 12 string model, but my budget is going to be the limiting factor here. A few issues have popped up recently that were not originally planned for. Such is life I guess!
Anyway, for those who are not familiar with the model, here's a video and photos for reference.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeS3JrXigDA

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/AEL108MDNT
Zandit75
#7 Posted : 10/1/2015 2:23:41 AM
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New guitar day!!!!
What you see below is the Ibanez AEL108MD that I've been talking about for the last couple of days. Before playing this, I visited another guitar shop, and tried out a couple of LAG 12 stringers. One sounded and looked pretty good, but my preference was for one with electrics already built in, and also a cutaway. Sitting right next to the nice sounding LAG, was another one with all the features I just mentioned above, but surprisingly, it was cheaper, and didn't sound or look anywhere near as nice as the first one. The last 12 stringer in the shop in my price range was a Yamaha, which wasn't bad either, on par with the first LAG, but again, no electrics, or cutaway.

I then visited the shop that had the Ibanez's. This shop seriously needs a bigger premises, as there was barely any room for walking amongst the guitars! Everyone working there had been briefed that I was coming, so once I introduced myself, I was whisked off into the back corner of the shop away from everyone so I could have some peace and quiet. I would expect this kind of attention if I was looking at a several grand high end guitar, not a $659 entry level!!
After about 30 mins of playing, I decided to purchase it.
The next issue was finding a case for it. As it sits between a Dread and a Jumbo, I was thinking my only option would be to purchase a genuine case built for that model. It was way too big for the standard basic dread cases they stocked, but the guy thought it might fit an Epiphone Hollow body case.
It was pefect(except for the Epiphone branding and scratches on the outside of the case. I was thinking I might spray the lid of the case with bedliner to cover up the branding and scratches and give it some better protection, but we will see.

Anyway, I guess you want pics by now??!!
Alrighty!!


Spruce top, with a gloss finish. I'm guessing the whole guitar is a Laminate. Top seems pretty thin around the sound hole.




Nice patterns to the timber on the back and sides. This is Mahogany, again no doubt laminated.




Built in tuner, which seems to work pretty well.


Standard 1/4" jack, as well as an XLR plug for plugging directly into a sound system/PA


The back of the neck has a really plain feel to it, It's supposed to be a satin finish, but it's not what I would call fast. I'm not a fan of the label on the back of the headstock, but it's printed on the timber, not a sticker. Neck is also Mahogany.


Bridge and Fretboard are Rosewood, and personally, they look a little dry. I'll put some new strings on in the next couple of weeks, and put some lemon oil onto them. Saddle is compensated Bone. Nut is Bone also


Abalone and Maple rosette inlay


So, how does it play?
I won't lie, I guess I had my expectations up fairly high, and it doesn't quiet meet them. In the shop, the area I was in probably gave me a different perspective compared to playing it in my living room. The bass strings sound a little dull, but when I play it hard on the open chords, it really has some great volume and sustain. The chord seems to last forever.
Finger playing is a little weird to get used to, and I guess it will all come together with more practice.
The neck is wider, obviously, and I will have to buy a new capo designed for a 12 string guitar, I have two capo's that are the right length, but the pressure is not right, as the octave courses are not trapped properly, and either buzz, or are harshly muted. It may be the taper of the neck that affects the capo also.

So why did I buy it?
I still prefer the sound over any of the 12 strings I played, and the sound is different enough for it to not be classed as just another 6 string, which is exactly what I was after.
Some new strings are in order. While it has only just arrived in the store last week, there are some signs of corrosion on a couple of the strings, so there is no telling how long since the strings were fitted.

Took the guitar over to my parents place this afternoon. A couple of Dad's friends were there, one of whom is one of the best guitarist and Pedal Steel players I know.
Listening to him play this guitar was brilliant. Everything that I thought was a negative was turned into a positive with the way he was able to play this guitar.
He played through some intros of big 12 string songs, and while he missed the added strings, he really believes it is a great playing guitar.
Certainly made me look at the guitar in a new light!
RIX
#8 Posted : 10/1/2015 4:51:12 PM
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Congrats Zandit75, that is a real beauty. I glad you were honest with what you thought of the guitar once you got it home. I've looked at that model and really like what I saw and heard from the demo video, but because none of the stores here have one in stock I'm not wanting to make the jump and order one just to try it only to find out i don't like it. Since I've never play a twelve string guitar and don't really have any interest in one. I thought this model would be more suitable for me and my playing style, but now I don't think it is. Thanks again for your honest perspective.
RIX
Zandit75
#9 Posted : 10/1/2015 9:32:43 PM
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Don't write it off completely Rix, It's still a good sounding guitar, but I would suggest you play it first before making a final decision.
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RIX on 10/4/2015(UTC)
Zandit75
#10 Posted : 10/28/2015 3:49:00 AM
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Decided to record a song I have been learning recently.
Hope you enjoy the sounds of the guitar.
https://youtu.be/nWfdibssK2E
RIX
#11 Posted : 10/28/2015 4:38:41 PM
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You both sound good!('Clap)
RIX
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Zandit75 on 10/28/2015(UTC)
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