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FDP Forum / Non-Fender Gear Reviews / Ibanez AC240 OPN acoustic guitar

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
**********

west Omaha, east NE

The real Rev of the FDP
Aug 3rd, 2016 03:23 PM   Edit   Profile  

Don't see too many reviews around here these days, and I mentioned this in the Unplugged Forum, but here's an overall review.

Ibanez calls it an OM/Grand Concert model, but it's got a short scale length (24.9") which I associate with vintage 000 Martins...

Also has some other nice specs for a $300 guitar:
Solid mahogany top
Bone nut and compensated bone saddle
Abalone rosette
1 3/4" nut
Grover tuners
what Ibanez calls "open pore" ("OPN") finish - a very thin finish on top/sides/back
and:
rosewood headstock overlay, fingerboard and bridge.

The guitar was set up pretty well, like many eastern Asia guitars in this price range. I had to lower the nut slots, but that was it - I don't even think I tweaked the truss rod.

Other materials and workmanship are excellent: the woods have a nice grain to them, all binding is clean, and the abalone rosette's color is muted and understated, which is appropriate for this guitar. (Pics below)

The tone is pretty decent - it sounds like a small body, all hog guitar: midrangey, intimate, a bit honky and growly, but still with the right amount of clarity and sparkle on the high strings. It's not at Martin 15 series levels of tone, but it's got the right character. It's not real loud, but I've already felt like it's opening up a bit. And this is a guitar you can play hard on and it responds well, doesn't fall apart or cry "momma" (it just appropriately cries "Oh, baby...").

I've tried a number of the Fender Tim Armstrong signature guitars that are all hog/solid hog top (because there are lefties available), and I've never been the least bit tempted to buy one because they sound so flat and anemic. This one has much more power and punch compared to those (and they sell for just a bit more than the Ibanez - but some of them also have a pickup in them - Ibanez makes a right-handed version of this one that comes with a pickup installed).

The Ibanez's design and materials just seem nicer to me than the Tim Armstrong one as well - but that's a personal choice thing, I know... his just looks like more of a toy - like my first plastic ukulele; this is more of an adult, player's instrument.

Anyway, all in all, a great package offered to lefties with some nice different specs that called out to me (1 3/4" nut, short 24.9" scale length). (So the lefty model is called the AC240L OPN, in case you're doing a search for one.)

Bravo Ibanez!

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super mario
Contributing Member
*********

USA

tone to the bone no other way
Aug 6th, 2016 10:23 AM   Edit   Profile  

Rev Mikey - love your comment on the Fender acoustics about sounding "flat and anemic"....not as an indictment but rather how certain guitars will speak to us personally and when they do it is tonal magic. A great review of a good guitar.....makes me think I need to do a write-up of my daughter-in-law's Alvarez.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
**********
**********
******

Eat. Sleep. Guitar.

Repeat
Aug 6th, 2016 10:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

Great review.

Ibanez has been turning out consistently good acoustics for quite a long time, and they just seem to be getting better at it. Add the very affordable prices to the mix and you cannot go wrong.

I had an Ibanez AE that I bought new in the 80s in Athens Greece (it was new and very few drachmas), and it was a real peach of a guitar. I played it for many years before foolishly trading it away for a MIM Strat.

Find one that speaks to you and you'll be very happy with it.

Tony Salieri

Houston, Texas

I'm a tone deaf hack.
Jan 20th, 2018 07:23 AM   Edit   Profile  

RM, great review. Do you still have the AC240? If yes, anything new to report?

My wife has tried quite a few of them, some were more responsive than others (gee, imagine that with mass produced inexpensive acoustic guitars!). It might be my imagination, but the differences in mahogany tops seem more pronounced. She's a finger-style player, and doesn't quite understand that some solid mahogany tops need to be pushed.

We were at a local GC a couple of weeks ago. For some reason they had the straight acoustic, and the one with EQ, both tagged at $299.00 (????). My wife plugged in, and we were not positively impressed with the EQ. It might've been a weak battery, but the volume control didn't do much until around eight, and the tone controls were meh (could be we're not used to how a mahogany top responds).

I'd say the AC240 is great way to get into the mahogany sound for small money. We keep our eyes open for used one.

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
**********
**

N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Jan 27th, 2018 12:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

Tony,

Just saw this post. Yes, I still have the Ibanez; I just picked it up and played it for a bit after seeing your post.

The guitar doesn't seem to have opened up much more (although it sounds fine), but I haven't been playing it much - too many other high end guitar options that get my attention.

Just for kicks I've thought about sending it to a good luthier (someone like Brian Kimsey) who shaves braces, and let them have a look inside to compare this to an old Martin.

I suspect this thing is braced pretty heavily, and some mods (or even removing one of the top braces, to make it more like the Martin 15 series which only has one brace below the X brace) - could open up and warm up the tone some.

I currently have Martin Monel Retro strings on it (the Laurence Juber "Medium-Lights") and they are a good fit; next I'm going to try a set of Martin Medium 80/20 Bronze, which I don't like that much, but they sound perfect on my Gibson J-45, and also currently sound pretty nice on my old Larrivee L-19.

So I still love the specs of this guitar, but would like to hear it warm up/open up a bit more. It's silly to spend as much as the guitar is worth to have a luthier shave the braces - it would be a wiser investment to put that money toward a higher end guitar (Martin's 2018 00-17 Authentic looks very cool - but will MAP at around $3500-3800 - that's a wad of dough!).

Tony Salieri

Houston, Texas

I'm a tone deaf hack.
Jan 29th, 2018 05:36 AM   Edit   Profile  

Overbuilt is very likely. The top on the AC240 definitely need to be driven a bit.

A very similar Martin small body ASW mahog, MIM--I can't recall the model number--was a much nicer guitar for a reasonable??? price. $299.00 vs $649.00 IIRC; that's almost comparing apples to oranges.

Unfortunately we haven't found one of the Seagull SWS mahog models locally.

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
**********
**

N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Jan 29th, 2018 07:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've thought of selling mine - I keep telling myself I've got to be ruthless and start downsizing - and I have a number of others that need to go as well.

I have a case for mine (bought new when I got the guitar). I'd sell guitar (mint condition) + case for $250 shipped.

Here's a store photo in my profile - I can send you a few other photos I snapped later if you're interested.

External link

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
**********
**

N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Jan 29th, 2018 07:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

Don't know what happened...? This post repeated about 10 times!!!

???

External link

(This message was last edited by reverend mikey at 11:52 AM, Jan 30th, 2018)

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
**********
**

N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Jan 29th, 2018 07:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

***

(This message was last edited by reverend mikey at 11:52 AM, Jan 30th, 2018)

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
**********
**

N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Jan 29th, 2018 07:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

***

(This message was last edited by reverend mikey at 11:53 AM, Jan 30th, 2018)

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
**********
**

N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Jan 29th, 2018 07:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

***

(This message was last edited by reverend mikey at 11:54 AM, Jan 30th, 2018)

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
**********
**

N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Jan 29th, 2018 07:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

***

(This message was last edited by reverend mikey at 11:55 AM, Jan 30th, 2018)

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
**********
**

N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Jan 29th, 2018 07:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

***

(This message was last edited by reverend mikey at 11:57 AM, Jan 30th, 2018)

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
**********
**

N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Jan 29th, 2018 07:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

***

(This message was last edited by reverend mikey at 11:57 AM, Jan 30th, 2018)

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
**********
**

N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Jan 29th, 2018 07:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

***

(This message was last edited by reverend mikey at 11:56 AM, Jan 30th, 2018)

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
**********
**

N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Jan 29th, 2018 07:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

***

(This message was last edited by reverend mikey at 11:55 AM, Jan 30th, 2018)

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
**********
**

N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Jan 29th, 2018 07:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

***

(This message was last edited by reverend mikey at 11:54 AM, Jan 30th, 2018)

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
**********
**

N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Jan 30th, 2018 10:03 AM   Edit   Profile  

Now there are some of my pics in my profile...

Guitar body front

Tony Salieri

Houston, Texas

I'm a tone deaf hack.
Feb 23rd, 2018 07:00 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'm just now seeing the response, my visits to FDP are a bit yo-yo. I'm a natural lefty, forced to be right-handed, and I thought maybe playing guitar lefty would awaken some well-hidden musical aptitude. It didn't.

My wife plays righty.

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
**********
**

N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Feb 26th, 2018 04:47 PM   Edit   Profile  

Gotcha... well, that gives you both many more options to choose from - and try firsthand before you buy!

Happy hunting!

FDP Forum / Non-Fender Gear Reviews / Ibanez AC240 OPN acoustic guitar




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