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Ibanez Artstar series AS120
Overall Rating
Submitted: May 18th, 2018
by PC3x_
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Sound Quality
Super58 Humbuckers which are quite close to a vintage PAF - enough growl, but clean up well with pots. Clean tones are excellent and string selection will dictate tone a fair bit. I've run many types over it in the last 21 years, but to my ears, the Thomastik-Infeld JS-110 with brass plated 5th & 6th's give best overall balanced tones for my style. XL 11-49's are somewhat brighter and were the mainstay for the first 10 years. This guitar can deliver almost any tone from subtle clean Jazz, through to cracking blues and even serious metal - but 'image' may suffer if you play metal with this on stage. works well and is very responsive to germanium fuzz, and amps with excellent headroom. For reference, I use a blackface twin reverb and JC-120.
Reliability/Durability
In the last 21 years of owning the guitar, the only real issue I have had is a couple of scratchy volume pots, which is to be expected. The gold plating on the humbucker covers, bridge and stop bar have suffered from over 2 decades of playing, and I consider this to be normal wear and tear. Frets recrowned once, (not replaced) and a new nut. No issues with pickups, output jack or switching. No neck issues, no issues with tuning machines. 
Price/Value
This was about half the price of an ES-335TDC in 1997. I consider it to be excellent value for money, especially as it was a relatively unloved model in the 90's when it first came out. 
General Comments
I've had this guitar since 1997. It has remained unmodified until 2 weeks ago when I replaced two scratchy volume pots (21 years of almost daily use). The quality of the guitar is excellent, in fact it has required less attention than any of my vintage fender or gibsons. I bought it because at the time my budget did not extend to an ES-335TDC.  I do not regret the purchase in any way. 
Reviewer's Background
35+ years industry experience.
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