NGD: Ibanez AWD83T (Rare Artcore Content)

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by Opion, Aug 27, 2016.

  1. Opion

    Opion Sir Mattafer

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    Nov 1, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    Hey y'all :wavey: It's been a while since I posted a NGD here. There have been a few guitars that have come and gone, but recently I picked up something very special and felt like I had to share this with my fam.

    BEHOLD! :eek: :


    So, what you are looking at is an Ibanez AWD83T. This particular model was apparently made in 2005 and then discontinued shortly thereafter. Quick backstory: I played one of these a couple of years ago in a local guitar shop and stupidly didn't realize how rare it was, and didn't have a reason/the cash to buy it. About a year or two later I stumble upon a picture of it and subsequent internet searches for any information on it yielded basically nothing. No joke: try looking up this guitar and you'll find and old Zzounds page, maybe a few pictures of it in the wild. Very rarely does this guitar pop up in the used market.

    This added to my lust for this model - and since then it's been about 4, maybe 5 years since I first played it in that guitar shop. Every now and then i've searched the used market for this guitar and some of the similar AWD models (the black/blue fixed bridge AWD82 model, the orange FWD) are easier to find than this one. This guitar is quite the oddball Ibanez with a peculiar spec sheet:

    Semi-hollow, Archtop body
    ACT Floating Tremolo
    Bubinga Top, Maple back/sides, Mahogany/Maple Neck (Maple center, Mahogany outer)
    2 Humbuckers
    Rosewood Fretboard
    Vol/Tone/3-way toggle switch
    Large frets
    24.75" scale
    Bound fretboard and body

    So basically, when one of these popped up for sale on Reverb for a very decent price, I jumped on it, and here we are. Quick little review, since i've had it for such a short time and I obviously am not out of the honeymoon phase and have not yet gigged with it:

    PROS: It's in fantastic condition for its age - no dings or scratches on the body except for a few headstock dings here and there. It's made in CHINA, and the quality of the craftsmanship is remarkable, IMO. The pickups are pretty good - not amazing, but it does not feedback terribly bad like most hollowbody/semi hollows. The neck is a great shape, similar to the SA models. The tremolo is very interesting - it works by using 4 small springs located underneath the tremolo, and you can string it up 2 diffeent ways, one with the ball-ends top-loaded or loaded further into the tremolo, for a better break angle and increased sustain (this IMO works better). It's a wonderful 6 pounds, and the semi-hollow construction gives it a beautiful jazz tone that can sound very articulate with medium gain and effects. The binding is done quite well, no sloppy edges save for maybe the top horns and the edges of the F-sholes where the binding looks a bit discolored, but for a Chinese made guitar the cosmetic quality is very very awesome.

    CONS: There are a few dead frets, but that's about all I can really complain about and will be either fret-leveling or refretting with a similar fretwire.. The back strap button obviously makes it neck-dive terribly; for a moment I was about to redrill it to the top horn using a drywall anchor at the advice of a Youtuber who has the Blue model and did the mod with this method, but I discovered that taping a FuTone Floyd brass block to the end of a leather strap works perfectly since it is so light (about 6 lbs.) and the brass block brings it to a good playing position standing up. The guitar is not inherently neck heavy, it's the strap position that is flawed. It's not something I was happy about, but with this method I can live with it, because I was not very keen on taking a drill to such a rare guitar. It keeps in tune relatively well, but since it technically is a floating bridge guitar doing big bends can whack it out of tune. I'm contemplating blocking the tremolo and adding locking tuners, but for now it's fine. If I wanted to be nit-picky, I would mention that the inlays aren't completely flush with the fretboard, as running your finger across it reveals that it's a bit sloppy, but you don't feel it at all when you're playing it.

    I wanted to make this thread to add to the lack of information about this particular guitar, because as far as Artcores go this has to be -the- coolest one i have ever seen, or had the pleasure to play. It's almost like their take on a PRS semi hollow - it looks drop dead gorgeous, is my favorite color :yesway: and sounds and plays exactly like I hoped it would. Thanks for reading! :hbang:
  2. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    Jun 18, 2011
    Most underrated Ibanez ever. :agreed: Always had a thing for semihollow superstrats. Was considering one of these when I had my Ibanez kick.
  3. InCasinoOut

    InCasinoOut syncopAZN

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    May 23, 2008
    Badass. These were awesome, and I have to admit I totally forgot about them until you posted this. Those early 2000s MIC Artcores really were pretty good! I have a 2003 AS73 that I still play to this day, and it's still bone stock except for strap locks. I had to get the frets levelled when I used to have all my gear in a basement, but it plays like new since then.
  4. Dawn of the Shred

    Dawn of the Shred Chunky Chuggy Riffs and Shredding Solos

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    Mar 20, 2012
    Parts Unknown
    Congrats man!

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