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Ibanez Artstar: 21st Century Update on the Classic Jazz Guitar

Jazzy new line of hollow body electric guitars from Ibanez


By Alex Baker


Introduced earlier this year, Ibanez’s new Artstar line of hollow body electric guitars were designed with one thing in mind: jazz baby.


Although the Artstar is very much a 21st century affair in terms of construction and components, there are many elements present in both the Artstar AF151/155 and the Artstar AS153 that harken back to the kind of classic instruments you’d be likely to see in fading photos from the jazz age. Bone nut, ebony fingerboards, smoky flamed maple bodies, and Ibanez Super 58 custom pickups all combine to make the Artstar a stylish producer of rich jazz tone.


The single pickup AF151 and the AF155 which comes with an additional pickup at the bridge, both sport the same Aged Whiskey Burst finish, while the AS153 sports Antique Yellow Sunburst. The AS also sports twin Super 56 custom pickups and has a different bridge and tailpiece from those found on the AF models. The AS is shallower than the AFs and is more suitable for transitioning from jazz into blues, rock, or country. It comes equipped with the Ibanez Tri-Sound Switch, which allows players to switch tones, further increasing the guitar‘s versatility.



The AF151 and AF155 are much more in the classic jazz mode. The 151′s single Super 58 pickup is set as close to the neck as possible, helping to obtain a warm, full tone. The 155′s second pickup gives it a wider range of tonal possibilities while still maintaining the guitar’s faith to pure jazz sound. Hear the Ibanez Artstar in action for yourself in this video clip of jazz guitarist Mark Whitfield demoing and talking about the AF155.




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