Ibanez Acoustic Electric Guitars under $300 Review: Colorful Choices for Not a Lot of Cash

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Are you looking for a quality, inexpensive, acoustic electric guitar and want some variety in your color options? If so, you’ve come to the right place. The Ibanez acoustic electric guitars I’ll look at in this review should each be available for less than $300, and you will have 9 colors from which to choose.

I’ll look at 8 guitars here, which at first seems like a lot, but we can put 6 of them into two groups because they are very similar models. So in the end this will feel more like we’re comparing just 4 guitars instead of 8.

If you’re in a hurry and just want to see the pricing and availability at Amazon, you can click the links in the list below.

If you want to skip ahead to a certain section of this review, you can click a link in the box below.

What Features Are Common to All These Ibanez Guitars?

Even though there are technically 8 models in this review, there are actually a few things that Ibanez kept the same from one to the next.

The first item is the materials used in construction. The backs, sides, and necks of these guitars are made of mahogany, and the fretboards and bridges are made of rosewood.

The body binding on all but the AW54CE is ivory. On the AW54CE it is black instead.

The other main feature that is the same is the pins that hold the strings into the body. Ibanez uses their own Advantage pins. Here is Ibanez’s description of these pins.

“These pins really are an advantage over old-fashioned pins. Advantage™ pins are easier to take out and easier to put in than standard pins. A special bulb-shaped end makes the pin easy to grip and also prevents the pin from being pushed in too far. Best of all, with Advantage™, the pin and string stay put.”

There actually is quite a difference in how these pins work compared to standard pins as you can see in the diagram below.

Ibanez Advantage pins

Comparing the Performance Series Guitars

The table just below the pictures shows you at a glance the other similarities and differences among the Ibanez Performance series acoustic electric guitars in this price range. Although these are in the same series, there aren’t as many similarities as you might expect.

Ibanez PF15ECE
PF15ECE

Ibanez PF28ECE
PF28ECE

Ibanez PN12E
PN12E
Model PF15ECE PF28ECE PN12E
Colors Black, Natural, Transparent Blue Sunburst Dark Violin Sunburst, Transparent Red Sunburst Vintage Mahogany Sunburst
Body Shape Cutaway Dreadnought Cutaway Dreadnought Parlor
Top Spruce Flamed Maple Mahogany
Body Binding Ivory Ivory Ivory
Tuning Machine Chrome Die-cast tuners; Half moon knobs Chrome Die-cast tuners; Half moon knobs Chrome Die-cast tuners
Number of Frets 20 20 18
Strings Ibanez IACS6C D’Addario* Coated bronze
Pickup Ibanez Under Saddle Fishman Sonicore Ibanez Under Saddle
Preamp Ibanez AEQ-2T with tuner Ibanez AEQ-SP2 with tuner Ibanez AEQ-2T with tuner
Output Jack ¼” Balanced XLR and ¼” ¼”
Neck Scale (mm) 650 650 620
Neck Width at Nut (mm) 42 42 42
Neck Width at 14th Fret (mm) 54 55 54
Neck Thickness at 1st Fret (mm) 21.5 21 20
Neck Thickness at 7th Fret (mm) 23.5 22.5 21
Neck Radius (mm) 250 250 250
Body Length (in.) 20 20 19 ½
Body Width (in.) 15 ¾ 15 ¾ 14 ⅓
Max. Depth (in.) 5 4 ¼ 4

*Ibanez failed to list which strings come with the PF28ECE on their site. A post at Amazon mentions D’Adarrio.

I didn’t list the finishes for the Performance guitars in the table above (as I do in the tables below) because everything here – fronts, back, sides, and neck backs of each – has a gloss finish.

See these Ibanez Performance Series guitars at Amazon now.

Comparing the Ibanez AEG Series Guitars

I haven’t found it in print anywhere, but I think “AEG” stands for “Acoustic Electric Grand” in reference to the body style of the instruments in this second group.

Unlike the group above, here you will see many similarities from one guitar to the next. In fact, the only main difference, besides colors, is the material used for the top of each. The AEG15II does have different finishes and body depth as well.

One nice touch that makes the AEG12II a little different is that the fretboard has a fancier inlay, as you can see in the picture below.

Ibanez AEG10II
AEG10II

Ibanez AEG12II
AEG12II

Ibanez AEG15II
AEG15II
Model AEG10II AEG12II AEG15II
Colors Black, Transparent Blue Sunburst Natural High Gloss Natural
Body Shape AEG AEG AEG
Top Spruce Mahogany Cedar
Body Binding Ivory Ivory Ivory
Finish: Top Gloss Gloss Satin
Finish: Back & Sides Gloss Gloss Satin
Finish: Neck Back Satin Satin Satin
Soundhole Rosette Abalone Abalone Abalone
Tuning Machine Chrome Die-cast tuners Chrome Die-cast tuners Chrome Die-cast tuners
Number of Frets 21 21 21
Strings Ibanez IACSP6C Ibanez IACSP6C Ibanez IACSP6C
 Pickup Fishman Sonicore Fishman Sonicore Fishman Sonicore
 Preamp Ibanez AEQ-SP1 with tuner Ibanez AEQ-SP1 with tuner Ibanez AEQ-SP1 with tuner
 Output Jack ¼” ¼” ¼”
 Neck Scale (mm) 634 634 634
Neck Width at Nut (mm) 43 43 43
Neck Width at 14th Fret (mm) 55 55 55
Neck Thickness at 1st Fret (mm) 20 20 20
Neck Thickness at 7th Fret (mm) 21 21 21
Neck Radius (mm) 400 400 400
Body Length (in.) 19 ¼ 19 ¼ 19 ¼
Body Width (in.) 15 15 15
Max. Depth (in.) 2 ¾ 2 ¾ 4 ⅓

Check out the Ibanez AEG Series acoustic electric guitar at Amazon today!

Comparing the Talman and Artwood Guitars

Finally, we come to the TCM50 (Talman) and AW54CE (Artwood Series) guitars. Here you will see many differences because each of these, as noted, is in its own series. Still, a side by side comparison is worth a look.

Ibanez points out that the neck joint on the Talman double cutaway is located at the 16th fret. This is a couple of frets closer to the body than on many acoustic guitars. The Talman is designed for the electric guitar player who wants the option of playing acoutically. If you tend to play those high notes a lot, this could be a real plus for your playing style.

The only other special item to note about the AW54CE is that it has a dovetail neck joint, making that connection extra solid.

Ibanez TCM50
TCM50

Ibanez AW54CE
AW54CE
Model TCM50 AW54CE
Colors Dark Night Ocean, Natural, Vintage Brown Sunburst Open Pore Natural (OPN)
Body Shape Talman Double Cutaway Cutaway Dreadnought
Top Figured Ash Mahogany
Body Binding Ivory Black
Finish: Top Gloss Open Pore
Finish: Back & Sides Gloss Open Pore
Finish: Neck Back Gloss Satin
Tuning Machine Chrome Die-cast tuners Chrome Die-cast tuners
Number of Frets 20 20
Strings Ibanez IACS6C D’Addario EXP
Pickup Ibanez AP2 Magnetic Fishman Sonicore
Preamp Ibanez AEQ200M; 2-band EQ Ibanez AEQ-SP2 with tuner
Output Jack ¼” Balanced XLR and ¼”
Neck Scale (mm) 648 651
Neck Width at Nut (mm) 42 43
Neck Width at 14th Fret (mm) 54 55
Neck Thickness at 1st Fret (mm) 20 21
Neck Thickness at 7th Fret (mm) 21 22
Neck Radius (mm) 250 400
Body Length (in.) 18 20
Body Width (in.) 14 ½ 15 ¾
Max. Depth (in.) 3 ½ 5

Get your Ibanez Talman TCM50 at Amazon

or…

Find your Ibanez Artwood AW54CE at Amazon.


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