Note: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
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.
- Ibanez PF15ECE
- Ibanez PF28ECE
- Ibanez PN12E
- Ibanez AEG10II
- Ibanez AEG12II
- Ibanez AEG15II
- Ibanez TCM50
- Ibanez AW54CE
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.
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.
|Colors||Black, Natural, Transparent Blue Sunburst||Dark Violin Sunburst, Transparent Red Sunburst||Vintage Mahogany Sunburst|
|Body Shape||Cutaway Dreadnought||Cutaway Dreadnought||Parlor|
|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.
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.
|Colors||Black, Transparent Blue Sunburst||Natural High Gloss||Natural|
|Finish: Back & Sides||Gloss||Gloss||Satin|
|Finish: Neck Back||Satin||Satin||Satin|
|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|
|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|
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.
|Colors||Dark Night Ocean, Natural, Vintage Brown Sunburst||Open Pore Natural (OPN)|
|Body Shape||Talman Double Cutaway||Cutaway Dreadnought|
|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|