Traditional acoustic guitar brands fill the need of most guitarists. However, they don’t always offer the flexibility and excitement that some players need to feel like they can express themselves on guitar.
This is where the Japanese guitar brand Ibanez shines.
But I get it; Ibanez Acoustics are not the most popular acoustic guitars on the market.
They are overlooked by their more mainstream counterparts, Taylor, Gibson, and Martin Guitars. However, suppose you’re looking to take your guitar playing in different directions or want something that feels slightly different from what you’ve played before. In that case, this is where Ibanez excels.
In this best Ibanez acoustic guitars review, I’ll help open your mind to what Ibanez has to offer, no matter your needs or what kind of guitarist you are.
Let’s dive in!
The Short Answer
The best Ibanez acoustic guitar is the AEWC400. This guitar features everything that you want in a progressive acoustic instrument. A sleek body design that is comfortable to hold, has great sound, good price, and is easy to play.
If you want the best Ibanez acoustic guitar, check out the Platinum Collection. These high-quality guitar models will become a go-to favorite for tapping, fingerstyle, percussive, and traditional playing.-Brad Johnson (Founder/Writer of Song Production Pros)
Best Overall: AEWC400
The Ibanez AEWC400 combines excellent construction with modern playability.
Its slim design ensures comfort, while onboard electronics make it ideal for performers on the go. Though quieter acoustically, it excels when plugged in, offering versatility and value.
- Excellent plugged-in tone with AEQ-SP2 preamp
- Enhanced comfort and access to all frets with Asymmetric Comfort Neck
- Smooth playability with large frets
- Thinner sound when played unplugged
- Limited body volume due to smaller design
- Not ideal for traditionalists seeking a classic acoustic style
The AEWC400 is an elegant balance of tradition and modernity. This Ibanez acoustic guitar is for musicians looking to push their acoustic playing into more alternative styles, such as tapping and percussive hits.
I found the instrument adapts smoothly to whatever playing style while providing remarkable comfort.
This is thanks to the ultra-slim body, beveled armrest, mahogany neck, and asymmetrical walnut fingerboard. At the same time, the extreme florentine cutaway brings no limitations to the guitar’s upper frets. Plus, the large jumbo frets contribute to a smoother playing experience, perfect for phrasing quick, successive notes.
The AEWC400 is also a perfect choice for performers on the move. With the AEQ-SP2 pickup, Fishman Sonicore pickup, and onboard tuner, you can plug in and sound great no matter where you end up.
Although the specialized AEWC Comfort Body has ergonomic contour cuts and a thoughtful cutaway design, its smaller size results in limited body volume and a thinner-sounding guitar when played unplugged. This may not be a deal-breaker for those who primarily use the guitar with an amplifier, but it is worth considering for those who prefer a classic acoustic sound.
All in all, the AEWC400 is a fantastic instrument for guitarists looking for something different, affordable, and well-made.
Best for Beginners: AC340
The Ibanez AC340 is an ideal pick for beginners and budget-conscious players.
Its Okoume body naturally compresses dynamics, and the grand concert body produces a clear, focused tone. Its distinctive "pre-war" look, Thermo-Aged bridge, and reliable tuners promise style and consistent intonation.
- Lightweight with a dynamic sound
- Comfortable satin-finish mahogany neck
- Vintage vibe with torrified top & grand concert design
- A bit tinny in tone
- Some users have reported sloppy construction
- It doesn't come with a gig bag or case
The Ibanez AC34O is the best Ibanez acoustic guitar for beginners and players on a budget. It has classic features that will impress anyone regardless of style or experience level.
It has a natural compression from its Okoume body that helps even out overly dynamic playing. The grand concert body adds an articulate and focused tone loved by players.
This Ibanez guitar has a unique and captivating “pre-war” appearance that will stand out in any setting. It doesn’t come with electronics, so if you wish to play it out on the town, you must invest more to install a pickup.
The guitar’s tone also has a subtle sweetness with its Thermo-Aged bridge, genuine bone nut, and saddle. While the chrome die-cast tuners provide consistent intonation, you can be sure there are no wonky tuning issues as you play up and down the neck.
One potential downside of this guitar is that it may have some buzz right out of the box, so you might need to use the truss wrench that comes with it. Another possible drawback is that the tone might be tinny for some people’s taste. However, it is still a good value overall.
Suppose you are a beginner guitarist wanting solid value and playability with your guitar purchase. In that case, the AC340 is the guitar you should highly consider.
Best for Recording: Platinum Collection
- Topwood: Solid Sitka Spruce or Solid African Mahogany
- Body Wood: Solid African Mahogany
- Body Shape: Dreadnought or AE
- Scale Length: 25.5''
- Bracing: X-M Bracing
- Neck Wood/Radius: 5-Piece African Mahogany or Pau Ferro/15.75''
- Neck Shape: Asymmetrical
- Fingerboard: Macassar Ebony
- Frets: 20
- Electronics: Ibanez Custom Electronics w/ Magnetic Pickup
- Case: Hardshell Case
If you want modern playability and high-end acoustic tone for recordings, look no further than Ibanez's Platinum Collection.
Pick from the dynamic Sitka Spruce or the controlled Mahogany tone, with my nod going to the versatile AE style. It boasts dual outputs for experimental sound design.
Just a heads-up: at $2,000+, so weigh it against other brands. Quality-wise? It's top-tier for the studio.
- Uses a combination of CEC and handcrafting to ensure expert construction
- Premium woods and appointments
- Excellent electronics with two outputs for creative amplification and experimentation
- A premium sound for your recordings
- It's expensive
- The finish is applied after the neck has been assembled, which can be a costly fix if you ever want your neck reset
The Ibanez Platinum Collection is the high-end acoustic guitar series released in 2021. If you’re looking for the best acoustic Ibanez offers, this is it.
The Platinum Collection features three different styles of guitars that all share similar feature sets, with slight variations to give you options for your specific use case. The difference between the three models is your choice of a solid Sitka spruce top or a solid Mahogany top. The Solid Mahogany top has the option of their “super-dreadnought” or AE body style.
The difference between the three models is your choice of a solid Sitka spruce top or a solid Mahogany top. The Solid Mahogany top has the option of their “super-dreadnought” or AE body style.
Go with the Solid Sitka Spruce dreadnought guitar if you want more dynamics, top-end sparkle, and projection.
Go with the Solid Mahogany top guitar if you want more mid-range presence, less dynamics (more controlled tone), and a less pronounced high-end.
The AE body style will be the more versatile of the body types. It will have less low-end girth and projection than the others, but this would be my preference for recording purposes.
The electronics are also high-quality, and each instrument comes with dual outputs, so you can run the guitar with some interesting effects and blend it into your acoustic guitar tone.
While these guitars are high-quality, at a $2,000+ price point, you are entering a market where it may make sense to go with a more traditional manufacturer. Also, while the construction on these guitars is undoubtedly built to last, Ibanez does finish the guitars after assembly. This can cause problems with neck resets later and may be a costly fix.
The bottom line is that this guitar is meticulously crafted with premium materials and sounds just as good as many other excellent options at this price point. Everything that you need to get a fantastic-sounding recording.
Best for Gigging: AEG200
The Ibanez AEG200 is a performer's dream: a thin body design with a clear amplified sound from its solid Sitka spruce top and Okoume body.
Its short scale eases playability, but its slim design helps reduce on-stage feedback. Priced higher for beginners, it's a standout for live gigs.
- Solid spruce top for vibrant sound
- Slimmer body for a comfortable playing experience and less on-stage feedback
- Onboard electronics sound great plugged in
- You will probably need to get a professional setup after the purchase
- It doesn't come with a gig bag or case
The AEG200 is an acoustic-electric guitar with a streamlined body design for comfortable performance, allowing you to play all night without discomfort while avoiding nasty feedback.
It features a solid Sitka spruce top paired with Okoume back and sides. This produces a surprisingly wonderfully articulate amplified tone when playing through its AEQ-TTS preamp and Ibanez T-Bar II under-saddle pickup.
Ibanez Advantage bridge pins keep strings in place during performances. At the same time, the Nyatoh neck and ovangkol fingerboard plays easy and feels good on your hands.
The shorter-scale length of these acoustic guitars provides an overall “slinky” string tension, which requires less effort to play.
However, some users find that the Ibanez AEG200’s slimmer body design may compromise the overall projection and volume of the instrument. Also, as it is priced higher than many entry-level acoustic-electric guitars, beginners should consider more affordable options.
If you’re looking for an affordable, short-scale quality guitar to plug in and play on your next gig, then the AEG200 should be on your shortlist!
Best for Fingerstyle: PA230E
Hey, if you're into fingerstyle, you've got to check out the Ibanez PA230E.
Its cedar top and Okoume body are super responsive to a lighter touch. That asymmetric jumbo body? All about deep tones. And with its unique scale length, down-tuning's a breeze. It might feel a tad big for some, but its electronics let you dial in your sound. Definitely worth it!
- The solid cedar top provides a reliable response from a light touch
- Glassy highs with a present mid-range and balanced low-end sound
- The jumbo body creates big, resonating tones with a soft strum
- Comes with a gig bag
- An asymmetric body may take time to adjust to
- Heavier than some other models
- Jumbo body will be too big for smaller players
The asymmetric jumbo body is designed to deliver a low-end focused sound and a friendly shape for tapping techniques. While it might take some time for players to adjust, you’ll appreciate this instrument’s full-bodied tone once you get used to it.
One thing that sets the Ibanez PA230E apart is its 25 3/4-inch scale length. This feature allows for proper tension and intonation, even when down-tuning—a consideration significant for many fingerstyle players. Additionally, this scale length contributes to overall improved sustain, making it a pleasure to play.
While this guitar has a fantastic look, its jumbo, offset body may feel large in your arms, especially if you’re a smaller guitar player.
Finally, the Ibanez Custom Electronics within the PA230E help amplify the natural tonality of each pickup without losing any nuances in your playing. This feature lets you blend the pickups to your liking, suiting your particular music genre or playing style.
Best for Traditional & Alternative Playing Styles: AAD300CE
- Topwood: Solid Sitka Spruce
- Body Wood: Okoume
- Scale Length: 25.6''
- Body Shape: Grand Dreadnought
- Neck Wood/Radius: Thermo Aged Nyotoh/15.75''
- Fingerboard: Ovangkol
- Frets: 20
- Electronics: Ibanez Custom AP11 Magnetic
- Case: N/A
If you're after volume and versatility, check out the Ibanez AAD300CE. It's like a dreadnought on steroids, being 5% larger.
The Sitka spruce top and Okoume combo give it a punchy, resonant sound. The Advanced Access Cutaway is a game-changer for reaching the upper registers. Plus, the neck's designed for comfort, whether you're strumming or tapping.
- A loud, powerful tone
- Smooth playability
- Dual pickup system creates a natural plugged-in tone
- Fantastic for players who want a traditional design, but want to push the boundaries of their playing
- It doesn't come with a case or gig bag
- The larger size of the guitar could be uncomfortable for smaller players
The Ibanez AAD300CE is an acoustic guitar that is built to be loud! Dreadnought body guitars are already known for cutting through a dense mix, and Ibanez decided to make this one 5% bigger.
The solid Sitka spruce top and Okoume back and sides sound very close to the traditional tonewood combination of solid spruce and solid mahogany back and sides. This combo provides a very dynamic and resonant style of guitar.
One of the standout features of this guitar is its Advanced Access Cutaway. This deep straight cutaway at the 18th fret and shaved side allow you to easily reach those higher notes, giving you more room for creative expression during your performances. With its rounded fretboard edges, the Low Oval Grip Thermo Aged Nyatoh neck makes for comfortable chord strumming and tapping, a truly enjoyable experience.
Furthermore, the Ibanez AP11 Magnetic Pickup enhances the natural vibrations of the top wood while preserving presence and mid-range. This lightweight pickup works seamlessly with various effect pedals, allowing you to shape your sound according to your preferences. The Ibanez AAD300CE also features a functional Tapered headstock for improved tuning stability and reduced neck twisting effect, saving you maintenance costs.
Also, this guitar is very lightweight for a guitar of this size and tone!
While this guitar boasts all the performance Ibanez is known for in a more traditional design, some may argue that you’re better off going with another brand for a dreadnought acoustic guitar. Also, for the price, you would hope it would come with a gig bag.
All in all, this Ibanez acoustic guitar offers a diverse array of features that cater to both traditional and alternative playing styles. Its unique X-M Bracing and Advanced Access Cutaway make this a highly responsive and dynamic choice for those looking to enhance their performances.
Best for Electric Guitar Players: TOD10N
The TOD10N, a collaboration between Ibanez and Tim Henson, perfectly merges the characteristics of nylon-string guitars with the familiarity electric guitarists crave.
It's designed for those wanting the depth of classical tones without sacrificing electric comfort. The TOD10N is a top pick for electric guitarists seeking an acoustic experience.
- Widens musical horizons with its unique design
- Smooth playability
- Merges classical tones with electric familiarity
- Great plugged-in tone
- Users claim the initial setup isn't great
- Not the best construction for percussive hits
- It doesn't come with a case or gig bag
There’s something metal about nylon-string classical guitars. You can’t make it chug or get people in the pit with one, but metal and classical playing share many similarities.
The challenge with most classical guitars is that they aren’t built with electric guitar players in mind. This is where the partnership between Ibanez and Polyphia’s prodigal guitarists Tim Henson has hit a home run with the TOD10N.
The TOD10N is a game-changer for those seeking a fusion of classical warmth and electric comfort. It’s the ideal transition for electric guitarists eager to venture into the rich tones of nylon strings without forfeiting that familiar feel. Its dynamic solid spruce top accommodates a variety of styles, ensuring that fingerstyle intricacies and strums resonate with clarity.
The built-in Ibanez AEQ210TF preamp and Fishman Sonicore pickup capture the guitar’s authentic acoustic essence and offer tonal versatility for any performance scenario. Plugged-in is where I found this guitar truly shines.
Users consistently praise its inspiring playability and ability to widen their musical horizons.
However, the TOD10N has its faults. First, the guitar is extremely lightweight and doesn’t take well to percussive hits. Also, many users have claimed that the action is too high when they first receive it. So if you aren’t skilled at basic setup, you must hire a professional luthier to get the most out of the instrument.
Suppose you’re scouting for an Ibanez that masterfully bridges the electric and classical worlds. In that case, the TOD10N should be at the top of your list.
The Best Ibanez Acoustic Guitars Buying Guide
Ibanez guitars are most associated with their ability to shred. This comes from having fast, flat necks. So while Ibanez is no stranger to the electric guitar for metal, they are often overlooked for producing acoustic guitars.
So when looking for the best Ibanez acoustic guitars, you need to look at the lineup differently than your traditional acoustic guitar brands like Taylor or Martin.
Ibanez guitars have unique and innovative ideas for the guitarist experimenting with alternative playing styles. The following section should help you discern what might be the best Ibanez acoustic guitar for you.
If you’re new to guitar, keep an open mind as Ibanez will not be the first brand you discover on forums for the best acoustic to buy. However, when you do a little research, you’ll see that Ibanez does make some great acoustic guitars for beginner and intermediate players.
The Ibanez Acoustic Series
Here’s a quick breakdown of the Ibanez acoustics series and what kind of guitarist they’ll best suit.
The Ibanez Advanced Acoustics series is the reimagined take on the classic dreadnought body shape.
Ibanez calls the Advanced Acoustics lineup of guitars the “Super Dreadnought,” which takes an already dynamic and bold-toned body shape and pushes it to the extremes.
This guitar series produces loud guitars with a focused low end, brilliant highs, and clear projection.
If you’re a guitar player looking for something that will cut through a busy mix and fill a large room, then the Advanced Acoustics series is for you.
The Ibanez Artwood series takes a modern approach to a vintage “pre-war” guitar but retains a traditional acoustic sound. These guitars are easy on the eyes and will never go out of style.
Traditionalist guitar players with an eye for detail love these guitars for their uncomplicated design, excellent price tag, and quality tone.
The Artwood series is Ibanez’s most conservative acoustic styling. The fact that it has a mahogany body with solid top wood makes it a steal for a budget guitar.
PF Ibanez acoustic guitars are an excellent option for new guitarists looking for an affordable first guitar.
This series comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes that will suit the needs of any beginning guitarist. Whether you’re looking for a dreadnought, concert, auditorium, or parlor guitar– there’s something for everyone.
One of the drawbacks to this series is that they’re made of laminated wood rather than solid wood, so the tone will suffer slightly.
If you’re looking to buy your first guitar, then a PF series acoustic guitar will provide you with a playable and durable guitar.
The Ibanez AE series acoustic-electric guitar has a beautiful, solid top wood (either Solid Sitka spruce or solid Okoume) with gorgeous flamed Okoume back and sides. It offers the best of both worlds – premium electronics and traditional craftsmanship for an exceptional instrument that will be appreciated by anyone who plays it.
The Ibanez Acoustic AE body has a narrower waist, a deeper depth, and a rounder lower bout. The body strikes the perfect balance between projection and comfort.
The Ibanez acoustic AE series is an excellent option for intermediate to advanced performance musicians searching for an alternative acoustic guitar that punches above its weight.
Ibanez’s PA acoustic guitar is the best Ibanez acoustic guitar for fingerstyle and percussive tapping techniques. The unique asymmetrical jumbo body design gives it an edge over other acoustic designs for this playing style. It will allow you to be more percussive and produce a focused low-end.
The PA Ibanez acoustic guitars are designed with a solid German spruce top for a more dynamic and lively performance or a solid cedar top for a more intimate and subdued performance.
These Ibanez guitars are great for performing artists and come standard with their stereo pickup system.
If your primary playing style is shredding arpeggios on electric guitars, then Ibanez Guitars has designed the AEW acoustic guitar with you in mind.
The flamed maple top, back, and sides give the guitar a warmer tone. The walnut fingerboard adds to the lovely sound of the instrument. At the same time, the mahogany neck makes it more enjoyable to play.
The asymmetrical design is distinctive and innovative. It will appeal to people seeking a more forward-thinking, comfortable acoustic guitar design. This instrument includes a Fishman Sonicore pickup, an Ibanez AEQ-AP2 preamp, and an onboard tuner.
The AEW series provides an excellent acoustic-electric guitar when you want modern performance and rich acoustics.
The AEG series from Ibanez guitars is a versatile, budget-friendly guitar with an auditorium-style body (think Taylor Guitars).
This is a great beginner instrument for someone seeking a “Swiss army knife” acoustic guitar.
The AEG also uses solid spruce or solid Okoume top woods for a few models in this series, which give the instrument greater resonant and depth in tone.
The Ibanez Talman shape is another Ibanez acoustic guitar design aimed at electric guitar players. The Ibanez Talman is a unique take on an acoustic guitar that isn’t quite an electric or acoustic.
This guitar’s body is designed with a double-cutaway to encourage players who wish to move up the fretboard rather than take a more conservative playing style.
It’s lightweight, affordable, and a great beginner acoustic guitar for those who want to eventually transition to the electric guitar.
The Altstar is essentially an Ibanez electric guitar disguised as an acoustic guitar. With a traditional Ibanez Guitars headstock, flat and fast neck, shallow dreadnought body shape, and neck joint at the 16th fret, this acoustic isn’t meant for your campfire sing-a-longs.
You buy this guitar when you want to kick acoustic guitar tradition in the face and casually shred into the night!
Also, Altstars are an affordable acoustic guitar that makes for a great practice guitar for the hotel-bound electric guitar player.
The Ibanez Platinum Collection was introduced in 2021, and is the top-of-the-line acoustic guitars in their lineup. Made with all high-quality material and combining CNC machines and handcrafted construction, you’re sure to find these acoustic guitars stand up against the “big 3.”
You’ll want to consider a Platinum Collection instrument if you’re looking for the Ibanez modern playability with forward-thining electronics but want the sound quality of a Taylor or Martin.
The FRH series are modern classical guitars. These acoustic-electric guitars are meant to be plugged in and played like an electric guitar.
If you’re an electric guitarist looking for a great practice guitar or want to bring classical flair to your stage performances, check out this unique offering from Ibanez.
Electronics and Pickups
Since the best Ibanez guitars are often built with the electric guitar player in mind, most Ibanez acoustic guitars have a built-in preamp for easy plug and play.
A unique feature of Ibanez’s acoustic-electric guitars is often equipped with stereo outputs for the pickups. This can give front-of-house mix engineers extra control over how your acoustic sounds while performing live.
For example, they could add effects to one signal while keeping the other dry. This blend can bring extra depth and dimension to your live sound.
One feature that comes with most Ibanez acoustic guitars is the Ibanez Advantage Bridge Pins system.
Unlike traditional pins, the Ibanez advantage pins make removing and replacing the pin simpler and changing strings easier. The pin and string stay put because of a unique bulb-shaped end that makes it simple to hold.
These small innovative features make Ibanez stand out from other brands.
The most frequently asked questions about Ibanez acoustics answered.
Are Ibanez acoustic guitars good?
Ibanez acoustic guitars are known for their good build quality and durability, especially in their mid-range and higher-end models.
They use a variety of tonewoods and materials in their construction, ensuring great sound and playability.
Overall, they are well-regarded for their performance and value for money.
Are Ibanez acoustic guitars easy to play?
Ibanez guitars tend to be known for fast, sleek guitars, and their acoustic line often shares these same design qualities.
However, for some of the budget guitars, users have mentioned that the action was too high, affecting playability in their Ibanez acoustic guitar reviews.
Are Ibanez electro-acoustic guitars good?
Yes, almost every guitar in Ibanez’s lineup is an acoustic-electric guitar. Being primarily known for creating electric’s, they bring this same ethos into their acoustic guitar lineup.
Ibanez stands out because their acoustic-electric guitars include a neck pickup and an under-saddle pickup for various playing styles, such as tapping and lead lines. In addition, they provide separate stereo audio outputs for further tone possibilities.
In this best Ibanez acoustic guitars review, I shared what I believe to be the best options for you for different use-case scenarios.
For most guitarists reading this article, you should be looking for a versatile guitar that is great value for your money and will grow with your skill level over time.
This is why the best Ibanez acoustic guitar is the AEWC400. This particular guitar gives you the best value while being able to experience the unique angle that Ibanez brings to the acoustic guitar game.