5 Best Ibanez Acoustic Guitars of 2020 – Reviews


"Ibanez guitars are affordable guitars that are fun to play...."


By James Wall

Ibanez has been making acoustic guitars since 1908, known for quality guitars at an affordable price. They come in a variety of sizes and materials and are perfect for the new guitar player or someone looking for an inexpensive guitar to take on the road.

In addition to beautiful looking guitars, many of the models include factory installed electronics allow you to play live with a band or offline in the quiet of your home.

Lets dive into some of our favorite Ibanez acoustic guitars.


Best Ibanez Acoustic Guitar


Ibanez AVC9CEOPN Grand Concert Acoustic Electric

Reasons to buy:

  • Fishman Sonicore Pickup
  • Thermo-aged Tone wood
  • Open Pore Finish
  • Cut-away design
  • Bone and Nut Saddle

Reasons to avoid:

  • Case Sold Separately

Picks for the best Ibanez acoustic guitars in 2020:


Summary of Ibanez Acoustic Guitar Picks 

Image

Product

Benefits

Spec's

Ibanez Grand Concert Acoustic Guitar
  • Fishman Sonicore Pickup
  • Thermo-aged (torrified) Okoume top
  • Cut-away design
  • Ibanez Advantage Bridge Pins
  • Open Pore Finish
  • Bone Nut and Saddle
  • 24.9" Scale Length
  • 1.77" Nut Width
  • Body Depth 4 1/4"
  • Body Length 19 1/4"
  • Body Width 15 1/4"
  • Solid Okoume Top
  • Laminate Okoume back and Sides
  • Ibanez Advantage Bridge Pins
  • Ovangkol Fretboard
  • 25 5/8" Scale Length
  • 1 11/16" Nut Width
  • Body Depth 5"
  • Body Length 20"
  • Body Width 15 3/4"
  • Onboard Electronics
  • Comes in Transparent Black or Blue
  • Full toned Dreadnought Body Shape
  • Nice guitar for beginning guitarist
  • Layered Nyatoh back and sides
  • Layered Spruce top
  • 25.59" Scale Length
  • 1.65" Nut Width
  • Body Depth 5"
  • Guitar Length 19 3/4"
  • Body Width 15 3/4"
  • Choice of two Colors
  • Venetian Cutaway Design
  • Solid Spruce Top
  • Rolled Fingerboard edges
  • Layered Mahogany back and Sides
  • Fishman Designed Pickup & Preamp
  • 25.3" Scale Length
  • 1.69" Nut Width
  • Body Depth *not available*
  • Guitar Length *not available*
  • Body Width *not available*
  • Solid Sitka Spruce Top
  • "X" Bracing style
  • Taylors Patented Neck Design
  • Largest of Taylors small body guitars
  • Taylor Padded Gig bag
  • Arched back for stability
  • 25.5" Scale Length
  • 1 11/16" Nut Width
  • Body Depth 4"
  • Body Length 19.5"
  • Body Width 15 1/10"

Best Ibanez Acoustic Guitar Reviews [Updated]


1. Ibanez AVC9CEOPN Grand Concert Acoustic-Electric

Our top pick

User Rating

95%

Product Details

Top: Solid Thermo-aged Mahogany
Back/Sides: Laminate Mahogany back/sides
Fretboard: Ovangkol
Scale Length: 24.9Inches
Features: Fishman Prosonic pickups, cutaway design, Bone Nut/Saddle

Pros

  • Easy to Play
  • Thermo-aged top for vintage tone
  • standard x bracing
  • Bone Nut/Saddle
  • Open Gear 18:1 ratio chrome tuners

Cons

  • No case or gig bag

The Ibanez AVC9CE-OPN acoustic guitar is designed as a convenient as well as a contemporary guitar. The open pore finish enhances the tone of this guitar that is built with a solid Thermo-aged Okoume top as well as Okoume back and sides.   The Ovangkol fretboard and bridge are a nice touch to the guitar.

The Ibanez AVC9CEOPN model is very similar to the Taylors Grand Auditorium shape (though slightly smaller) at a fraction of the price.  Ideal for the guitar player that uses a finger-picking style. The bridge and nut are made out of bone a long time favorite material of professional guitar players.

The Fishman pickups with the Ibanez pre-amp give this guitar the flexibility to be plugged in.  The cut-away design is also a feature that more experienced guitarists will appreciate.


2. Ibanez AW54OPN Dreadnought acoustic guitar

User Rating

94%

Product Details

Top: Solid Okoume top

Back/Sides: Layered Okoume

Fretboard: Ovangkol

Scale Length: 24.96 Inches

Features: Bone Nut and Saddle, Chrome tuners, Ibanez advantage pins

Pros

  • ​Great Sounding guitar
  • Ovangkol Fret board feels good to the touch
  • Open Pore Finish 

Cons

  • ​No case or Gig bag

This is a great no nonsense guitar with no electrics to get in the way of the tone. 

The Ibanez AW540OPN provides the extra sound projection you get from the traditional dreadnought shape. This guitar provides more volume than some of the smaller models.  The okoume wood lends itself to those prefer fingerstyle playing. The bone nut and saddle provide the player with more articulation and is a feature usually reserved for more expensive models. 

The Ibanez Advantage pins and Chome die-cast tuners add to the ease of use on this guitar. The fingerboard and bridge are made of Ovangkol and the surface is smooth making it easier for the player to fret.


3. Ibanez V Series V70ce Dreadnought Cutaway

User Rating

90%

Product Details

Top: Layered Spruce Top
Back/Sides:  Layered Nyatoh
Fretboard: Nandu Wood
Scale Length: 25.59 Inches
Features: AEQ200 equalizer, Transparent Blue or Black finish, Cut away design

Pros

  • Priced well for a beginner guitarist
  • Narrow neck at nut good for smaller hands
  • Dreadnought body shape projects a good volume of soun
  • On board electronics so that you can plug into an amplifier for performances.

Cons

  • No Gig bag
  • If you're looking for an all wood guitar this isn't it

The Ibanez V70CE is a versatile guitar that comes with many features. The cutaway design allows the guitar player to easily fret notes and chords above the 12th fret.

For those that have a need to amplify the sound, this guitar comes with the Ibanez AEQ-2T preamp w/Onboard Tuner. The built-in tuner makes it handy to adjust the tuning with the built-in electronics. The preamp requires a 9-volt battery and comes with the guitar.

For those that want choices, this guitar offers a choice of colors: Black, and Transparent blue. The features of this guitar make it an excellent all-around guitar if your not sure exactly what your features you need or you have needs beyond a basic guitar.


4. Ibanez Talman Series TCM50NT Acoustic-Electric Guitar

User Rating

88%

Product Details

Top: Figured Ash
Back/Sides: Sapele
Fretboard: Purple Heart
Scale Length: 25.9 Inches
Features: AP2 Magnetic Pickup, AEQ200M - Preamp, double cutaway design

Pros

  • Choice of colors
  • Modern shape 
  • On-board electronics
  • Nice combination of the features of an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar.
  • double cut away body for easy access

Cons

  • Tone lacks depth when not plugged in
  • No gig-bag or case comes with the guitar

For those that like something that has a little style, the Ibanez Talman TCM50 series is for you! Sapele back/sides and figured ash top are quite striking. In addition to the great looks, this model also comes with a double cutaway giving it that extra flair giving the acoustic guitar more of an electric guitar look.

While this guitar can be played without plugging in,  it is built for amplification, this model comes with the Ibanez AP2 pickup and Ibanez AEQ200M pre-amp. ​

The neck feels great on this guitar and the purple heart fret board adds to the exotic look of the guitar.  For just playing around the house without an amp the bass can be a little thin for this guitar.   But because it was really made to be plugged in,  we don't really fault it for this (too much). 

The Talman series is a refreshing guitar and is just a little different than a traditional guitar which makes it a fun addition to anyone's guitar collection.

5. Ibanez PN15 Parlor Size Acoustic Guitar Brown Sunburst 

User Rating

87%

Product Details

Top: Spruce
Back/Sides: Nyatoh
Fretboard: Nandu Wood
Scale Length: 25.19 Inches
Features: Burst finish, ibanez advantage bridge pins.

Pros

  • Spruce Top
  • Small size ideal for travel and around the house.
  • No frills design
  • Perfect as a travel guitar or a parlor guitar

Cons

  • no case
  • factory setup was lacking but was correctable

The Ibanez PN15 is an affordable parlor shaped guitar.   Because of the smaller size, it doesn’t feel too bulky to hold when playing.


The chome tuners .  The Nandu Wood in the fingerboard feels great to play and has a goo feel to the fingers. This guitar also comes with the Ibanez Advantage™ bridge pins for ease of changing strings.


This has no pickups and gives a nod to vintage styling. The PN15 is a pleasure to play for both beginners and experienced guitar players.  Finger style players will especially appreciate this guitar.


Because its not an expensive guitar you don't feel the need to keep it in its case everyday.  You'll be more inclined to keep out out where its ready to play at any time.


Conclusion


Ibanez Vintage Series AVC9CE-OPN

Ibanez Grand Concert Acoustic Guitar

Ibanez has a great lineup of guitars that are fun to play, sound good and don't stress the budget.


In our opinion you can't go wrong with any of the acoustic guitars we've reviewed as long as you chose one that fits the purpose you have for the guitar.  


The AVC9CE-OPN is our choice as the all around best Ibanez acoustic guitar.  The guitar is easy to play and offers many extras to suit most guitarists even if they aren't ready for the feature yet (for example cutaway for upper frets and electronics).   


A close second was the Ibanez AW54OPN  if you prefer a no-nonsense Dreadnought guitar with no cutaway and no electronics. 


For more information on choosing a budget guitar continue reading our guide that follows.  Check out our picks for
guitars under $500.


What Should You Look for in an Ibanez Acoustic Guitar?

Innovative Features in use on many Ibanez Acoustic Guitars

  • Open Pore Finish: This allows the wood to breathe and provides a sweet sounding tone with an increased sustain.
  • Ibanez Advantage Bridge Pins: These pins are easier to remove with the bulb-shaped end and the angled end allows the string to easily position correctly when installing the string.
  • Thermo Aged Technology: This gives the guitar move volume across the entire spectrum, but especially in the bass and treble ranges.  This is Ibanez's spin on torrification of woods to alter the cellular structure of the wood to give it an aged vintage sound.

Shape/Size

This is an area where many of the Ibanez body shapes are a little bit smaller.   This tends to make them more comfortable and easier to play.  When picking your guitar look at the depth of the body as Ibanez guitars tend to run thin.  With electronics and amplification this isn't much of a concern tonally.  However in a pure acoustic setting when competing with other instruments the tone may feel a little thin.

Ibanez offers the following shapes: 

Grand Concert - rounded body shape has more of a modern look.

​Dreadnought - traditional body shape for a guitar 

Parlor - smaller guitar that you can take with you just about anywhere

Talman - acoustic shape that looks like an electric guitar only thicker and hollow.

Contour Body - its a grand concert shape but has refined curves on the cutaway and where the arm rests on the guitar body for added comfort.

​If you'll be playing with a larger group or competing with other instruments you may want to consider a larger dreadnought guitar if you won't have amplification. 

Wood Selection

Most of Ibanez acoustics you find will mostly be laminate or layered woods.  Why many prefer the subtle sound qualities of an solid wood guitar.  In the models we tested the laminate performed pretty well and a we've stated in other articles there are some advantages in the laminates in that they are more durable and less reactive to rapid change in the elements.

While not our preference Ibanez uses laminate tops on a lot of their guitars, if you have electronics where you can shape the sound digitally this isn't that big of a deal but if its a straight up acoustic with no electronics we found that the solid top guitars sounded better.  


You'll also find that Ibanez uses some woods that are not the typical mahogany, rosewood, or maple bodies with spruce tops.   You'll see Ibanez use Nyatoh, Nandu Wood, figured Ash,  Sapele, Ovangkol and Okoume to name a few.  Most of these woods have similar qualities to the more common ones at a lower prices.  These woods even though they are laminates come with some beautiful flamed patterns and other interesting designs that these woods offer.   This adds to the beauty of the Ibanez guitars.


Bracing/Nut/Saddle

For the most part Ibanez uses a traditional x-brace pattern for their acoustic guitars.   However the newer models are starting to get some new bracing call X-M bracing.

Ibanez X-M bracing

Like other manufacturers, Ibanez has been experimenting with variations to their x-bracing.  They have developed an out-of-the-box X-M Bracing to improve sound when standing on stage.  It is their own form of modified scalloped X-bracing which distributes the vibrations across the tone braces and finger braces transmit efficiently to the body.  With the new X-M bracing, you'll hear clear bottom and a tight treble sound with a warm mid-range.

In the models we tested the Nut and Saddle were on two ends of the spectrum  either Bone or Plastic.  One place you could inexpensively upgrade the entry level models is to replace the Plastic with either Tusq, Corian or Bone.   It was pleasant suprise to find bone on some of the in expensive Ibanez models.  This is usually reserved for more expensive guitars.

For the Bridge Ibanez almost exclusively uses their Advantage Pin Design. Here is a diagram of how it works. A picture is the best way to describe it.

It seems like a good design all though in our testing there is not enough time to prove out the long term affects of this technology verses traditional.

Ibanez Advantage Pin Design

Cost


Most people will find Ibanez Guitars very affortable and that you get a lot of style for that price.  While the price is really good we found ourself wish they had more options for solid wood.   


Extra Features

As stated in other articles previously, the two extras you’ll mostly consider are electronics and cutaway.

​Ibanez guitars offer a cut away and or electronics option for almost all of their guitars.  This is a plus giving the consumer great flexibility to get what they want in almost any style.

​The biggest issue we have with Ibanez guitars isn't the wood they use or tone  or playability.  But the lack of a gig bag or case for the guitars.  Whiles its not a big deal to get one in the after market it doesn't seem that it is to much to ask for a padded gig bag to protect the guitar at a minimum.

Thats our take on Ibanez guitars we hope you have found one that meets your criteria and our information has helped you narrow down your choice or the confidence to take that leap of ordering your guitar!

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