Not many of us would look up to the Ibanez name for an up-market acoustic performance. The acoustic realm continues to be dominated by the big 3: Martin/ Taylor/ Takamine. The Ibanez acoustic is just another offshoot from the manufacturer's solid body prominence, yes? Not true. If you dig deeper into the Ibanez history, Salvador Ibanez made fine acoustic instruments in his time. Along the way, the commercial aspects of music had the market leveraging more on solid bodies with the advent of amplification. Ibanez AE models weren't quite the manufacturer's firm reference when it comes to great acoustics. The AEGs & AEWs continue to sport non-solid body features for prices which could easily get you solid top/full solid models. The debate continues pertaining to whether a solid top detail would guarantee a more appealing acoustic resonance but we know the solid top has an upper standing in terms of initial body resonance compared to the best laminated top.
Coming back to the Ibanez AE models, these instruments have come a long way in terms of tonal acoustic deliberation. The manufacturer now has a dedicated series of AEs which are serious tools when it comes to tone. The AE305 seen above feature a solid sitka spruce top.
The AE500, a model higher up in the series tier, is an all solid (top/ back/ sides) instrument. So there we have it, a sign that Ibanez is moving on with quality acoustics & not just being mavericks in the solid body electrics. However, the players' mentality out there continues to be partial with the aforementioned big 3 names as they proved to be the tried & trusted references in the industry. Let's hear the AE900 in action with Cim Frode: