The AS93 is lightweight and less bulky feeling than an ES-335 and it retains a bright acoustic resonance. With a clean tone the medium output bridge pickup displays a clean edge right from the off - it’s certainly less dense than a contemporary ES-335.
Though bright, there’s a nasally core that’s key to the semi-hollow vibe and prevents things from getting too clinical or glassy. It’s a perfect platform for anything from John Scofield’s angular fusion to modern pop and indie. With more gain, it’s easy to launch into those classic sixties riffs and here the AS93 provides the perfect, if a little tight, tone to do so, while offering a more focused chord response.
The neck and middle selections offer a more rounded response, with the neck offering a dynamic response for finger picking and soulful blues licks.
Pros: Build; light weight; value; old-school semi voicing.
Cons: Fancy looks aren’t for everyone.
Buy: Ibanez Artcore AS93 is currently available from Andertons Music Co., PMT Online and Thomann
Verdict: The AS93 is a serious guitar that pitches its own voice and style into the semi-hollow arena. It’s a real treat for under £500.