The Ibanez AS200 Semi Hollow-body is a guitar that requires no introduction. It’s availability spans 40 years and yet could be the holy grail of Ibanez electric guitars. This sounds strange, but it might be the best kept secret from the guitar world & Ibanez enthusiasts.
The AS200 has been referenced extensively in the Ibanez AR2619 and Ibanez ASF180 Hollow-body guitar hands-on reports, as such this article is complete as a continuation of those.
The parallel histories of Jazz music and hollow-body electric guitars have been manifested in the Artstar. The influences of these legendary instruments are immediately apparent with bone nut, ebony fretboard, and Ibanez’s signature Super 58 custom pickups. The critical eye will appreciate the details like the smoothness of the fretboard and a skilled crimping technique generally found on instruments costing twice as much. The Artstar is a pure jazz-box that embodies the continual innovation that is Jazz. – Ibanez.com
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The Ibanez ASF180 is a fully hollow body version of the AS200 semi-hollow body guitar we’ve admired and loved since 1977. The AS200, as mentioned in the AR2619 hands-on-report here began as the #2630 semi-hollow body which in 1979 was renamed the AS200. Of course, these were and still are very much Gibson ES-335 derivatives with subtle improvements by Ibanez. The tri-sound (parallel & coil-split options) neck pickup wiring, ’60s Slim Taper profile neck and ebony fretboard are the notable differences between the Gibson and Ibanez.
The body construction is the primary difference between the Ibanez AS200 and ASF180 electric guitars. Specifically semi-hollow vs hollow. The hollow-body ASF180 has just a small block of wood directly beneath the bridge for it to attach (the thicker AF200 does not). One large continuous body cavity. The semi-hollows such as AS200 have two distinct cavities seperated by the wood block runnong down the center of the body from the neck under the bridge, tailpiece and beyond. This block adds mass and obviously is used to anchor both the bridge & tailpiece making it semi-hollow. It should also be noted that back in the day before quality potted pickups the semi-hollow body maybe helped eliminate feedback at high volumes.
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