Ibanez AS 73 Review – 2021 Overview

Craig
| Last Updated: March 12, 2021

Ibanez is a Japanese brand that has been making guitars since the 50s. Their Artcore AS 73 model is a versatile electric guitar and a much-loved hollow-body found on the market today.

Let’s explore the instrument, breaking down all you need to know if you want to buy it.

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Double cut-away maple body for longer fretboard
  • Pearl dot inlay for improved aesthetic display
  • Art1 classic Elite pickups used for improved sound output
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Ibanez Artcore AS73 Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar Tobacco Brown

PROS

  • Good price
  • Solid body build
  • Classic elite pickups
  • Unique, semi-acoustic sound

CONS

  • Watch your amp
  • Wood inconsistencies

Ibanez AS 73 Specs

Type of Guitar: Electric

Body Type: AS Double cut

Number of Strings: 6

Tonewood: Linden

Orientation: Right-Handed

Neck Size: 24.7”

Color: Olive Metallic, Tobacco Brown, Cherry Red

Weight: 7-8 lbs

Pickup Type: Ibanez Artcore Humbucker

Pros

Let’s explore some of the aspects that really make this model shine:

Unique, Semi-Acoustic Sound

The tones achieved by this Ibanez model are entirely unique to its build. The mellow sounds of a semi-hollow-body guitar are unique to the Ibanez AS-73 build. The all-laminate linden body provides some great characteristics to your tone.

The combination of build and wood type makes the AS 73 an incredibly versatile instrument. You’ll be able to achieve some great acoustic tones thanks to its semi-acoustic nature, and the tonewood is naturally bright sounding.

Classic Elite Pickups

It’s common for hollow-body electric models to have some hum issues. Thankfully, Ibanez has found a way to work around this, thanks to the special humbuckers they include on all of their classic models.

The Classic Elite Humbucker found on the AS 73 will provide a great range of tones while eliminating the humming issues that can plague other hollow-body guitars. This will allow you to hit some meaty lows and shining highs.

These pickups, paired with an ART-1 bridge and chrome tuners, will help to keep your instrument in tune with ease. After your initial set up, your Ibanez can easily hold a tune.

Solid Body Build

The 2020 Ibanez AS 73 models come in a double-cut shape, similar to the stylings of the classic Les Paul. This silhouette is a unique vintage look and will stand out in any player’s guitar lineup.

These guitars have a Linden body, with a nyatoh neck and a walnut fretboard. These woods aid the AS 73 in achieving its tone while providing a classic look. Though the use of a Linden tonewood can sometimes be denser than other materials, the hollow-body design helps keep it light.

Good Price

You are getting some great value for your money when it comes to the Ibanez AS 73. These guitars are super reasonably priced. Similar Gibson models can run higher than this guitar, and even the comparable Epiphone models tend to come at a higher price range.

The craftsmanship here is rock solid, especially for a guitar coming from overseas. Some guitar players tend to expect production flaws from guitars manufactured in Asia, but the Ibanez AS 73 remains solid despite this.

Cons

Where does the Ibanez AS 73 fall short? Let’s take a look at some of the cons:

Wood Inconsistencies

When shopping for an Ibanez AS 73, the build you get will be dependent on the year. There have been many adjustments made to the AS 73 over the years, which has led to differences in the kinds of sounds you’ll get out of each build.

The 2020 Ibanez AS 73 is made with linden, featuring a nyatoh neck and walnut fretboard. This model's predecessors were made with different tonewoods, mainly maple, in the guitars 2002-2018 run. The Fingerboard has also changed over the years and can come in rosewood, pine, or laurel, depending on your make and model.

For those who have specific wood build preferences, you’ll want to double-check your guitars build to ensure you’re getting what you’re looking for.

Watch Your Amp

Some AS 73 players have run into difficulties when it comes to the sound quality that is achievable on amps with this build. Though the pickups installed have worked to circumvent buzzing issues, they also limit the sound quality that is capable of with certain amp manufacturers.

It’s possible that depending on the amp you are using; you’ll achieve an entirely different sound than another player. Some players have found it necessary to switch out the pickups to circumvent this issue.

What Are The Components of the Ibanez AS 73?

Tailpiece

The Ibanez AS 73 features a Quick Change III tailpiece, which can be found on most hard-tail Ibanez models. The primary benefit to this piece of hardware is the ease with which you can change your strings - an easy upgrade recommended for this model. This is used in conjunction with a Tune-o-Matic style bridge and offers relatively easy adjustments to your guitar.

Knobs

On this guitar, you’ll find four Sure Grip III knobs that provide some great function. Two of these and for tone control, and the other two for volume. There’s also a 3-way toggle pickup switch to provide more tonal control. These work to match the guitar's overall aesthetic, coming in a simple black for a clean, understated look.

Pickups

As mentioned above, the AS 73 features some Classic Elite Humbuckers that can offer a solid sound, with some technical difficulties and limitations. These humbuckers are hot-vintage and have worked to eliminate many of the buzzing issues previously encountered on this instrument. However, they do tend to create some issues when using the AS 73 with certain amp models.

Because of this issue, many players opt to upgrade the pickups found here. Due to this guitar's low price point, this is a relatively easy fix and easy to justify for a guitar this price. 

What Types of Music is the Ibanez AS 73 Best For?

This versatile guitar can suit many different genres:

Rock

First and foremost, the Ibanez AS 73 can be considered a rock machine. The hollow-body combined with its pickups make it capable of the notes you’re looking for with a rock guitar. This model is a guitar of choice for rock and even pop-punk musicians, including Tom DeLonge of Blink 182.

Jazz/Blues

Playing anything Jazz and Blues on this instrument can be a dream. Your pickups and tonal control will aid you in hitting the sustained notes you’re looking for when performing this genre. Plus, with the proper modifications, you can transform this guitar from something capable of these genres to your go-to guitar.

What Ages and Skill Levels is the Ibanez AS 73 Suitable For?

This is a great guitar for both beginner and intermediate players. Beginners will be able to appreciate this guitar’s hobbyist-friendly price point that doesn’t compromise its quality. Its lightweight and comfortable body and slim neck also make it an easy choice for younger beginners.

Intermediate players can also appreciate this guitar for its versatile sound and incredible build. Plus, this guitar can go from a solid build to an outstanding, impressive machine with some modifications. The price point makes modifications to this body easily justifiable for collectors who want to explore semi-hollow guitars.

What Makes the Ibanez AS 73 Stand Out From the Competition?

The biggest standout feature of this model is the quality for the price. Ibanez presents a great quality build for the price point this guitar comes in. This makes this model super accessible to a wide range of players, especially those who want to try a hollow-body guitar without breaking the bank.

Even though brands like Epiphone and Gibson have similar offerings, Ibanez remains a brand of choice for many players. They are known for their wide range of offerings for hollow-body guitars, making them a reputable choice for many buyers.

With over 30 years of work put into these model designs, they’ve helped form an industry standard for this type of guitar and its sound.

Comparison Overview 

How does this guitar compare to other models out there? And what makes the hollow-body build so special? Let’s take a closer look:

Ibanez AS 73 Neck vs AM 73

The Ibanez AM 73 is another hollow-body electric guitar found in their Artcore series, comparable to the AS 73. However, there are a few differences that set these two models apart.

The most notable difference found here is their size, as the AM 73 was created to run smaller than the AS 73. The AM 73 has some different hardware as well, equipped with Ibanez Artcore Humbucker pickups, not the Classic Elite Humbuckers found on the AS 73.

The AM 73 is also a maple build, with a mahogany neck and rosewood fretboard. It hasn’t had the wood material changes seen in AS 73 models.

Semi-Hollow vs Solid Body Guitar

Let’s take a quick look at the differences found between Semi-Hollow and Solid Body Guitars. What makes a semi-hollow-body like that on the AM 73 different from other solid-body electrics? It all lies in how the wood affects the tone of the guitar.

The solid body builds are what you commonly find when looking at electric guitars. They tend to have the best sustain in electric guitar builds, with the dense wood making them resistant to feedback that comes from the pickups. You’ll get a tighter, better-sustained sound.

In comparison, a semi-hollow-body guitar has less sustained and a less focused low end. This is due to the airflow that can run through the sound holes on either side. These chambered guitars will have a louder acoustic tone thanks to their build, providing a roundness in their tone normally found in acoustic guitars. Their hollow build also makes them lighter in weight than solid-body builds.

Conclusion

If you want to invest in a hollow-body guitar at a reasonable price, the Ibanez AS 73 is a trustworthy choice! Though it may lack some of the high-end hardware found on more expensive hollow-body models, you’re still receiving a great build that can be improved over time. All kinds of players can enjoy this great instrument.

People Also Ask

Need some more information before deciding on whether or not this guitar would make a good purchase for you? Here are some of the more commonly asked questions regarding this guitar:

How to Care for an Ibanez AS 73

It’s important to take good care of your guitars with basic maintenance. Be sure to store your guitar in a cool, dry climate, preferably in a protective case. This is best to increase the instrument's longevity. Though this guitar is sturdy, hollow-body instruments are more prone to injury than a solid-body.

It’s also good practice to regularly clean and polish your guitar to preserve the gloss. Clean the strings regularly, and oil the fretboard to keep it in good shape.

How to Date an Ibanez AS 73

The easiest way to date an Ibanez guitar is to locate the serial numbers. These numbers will tell you all you need to know, including the region the guitar was produced, the factory it was built in, and the year of its construction. To locate this number on an Ibanez, look for the number found either on the head sock, neck plate, inside the hollow-body, or the last fret.

Who Plays an Ibanez AS 73?

Though it’s hard to identify those who play this specific model, there’s no shortage of great musicians who prefer Ibanez guitar like this! Famous Ibanez players include Chris Broderick of Megadeth, Phil Collen of Def Leppard, and Coy Bowles of the Zac Brown Band.

How Wide is the Body of an Ibanez AS 73?

An Ibanez AS 73 is 15 ¾” in width across the body of the guitar, running a little wider than typical Ibanez models.

How to Restring an Ibanez AS 73

If you’re looking to restring your Ibanez AS 73, we got you covered. This process is thankfully easy enough, thanks to the Tune-o-Matic bridge.

Your first step will be laying your guitar flat and tuning the strings down until they're loose and can't make a note. Then, you’ll remove them from the tuner. Once removed, insert your new strings through the tailpiece, and run them towards the tuner, over the bridge.

Thread them around your tuner peg and turn until the tension is formed. Your new strings should now be attached!

Restringing your guitar can be an intimidating process. Consider taking your guitar to a reputable repair shop to change your strings with less hassle if you're struggling.

Craig

Hi there, my name is Craig. I took over Gear Savvy in mid-2019 and have had a blast writing content about music ever since. My role here is to steer the ship and ensure readers have the best information available for learning a thing or two. When I’m not working on content, I’m a husband and a dad. I enjoy spending time with my family, playing guitar, or messing around in my woodshop.