Ibanez AW54OPN Solid Top Natural Acoustic Guitar

Last updated: August 1, 2022

Ibanez AW54OPN Solid Top Natural Acoustic Guitar

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval
Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in the category.
Show Contents

We looked at the top Acoustic Guitars and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Acoustic Guitar you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 73 expert reviews, the Ibanez Solid Top Natural Acoustic Guitar placed 13th when we looked at the top 20 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

The Artwood Series was crafted to produce a traditional yet modern guitar. Technology moves forward at a frantic pace and the world of guitar craftsmanship is no different. In producing the Artwood Series, Ibanez has respected both the rich tradition of the acoustic guitar while adding modern interpretations in their continuing search for the ultimate in guitar tone. The AW54OPN Artwood Solid Top Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric features their popular dreadnought body shape, a solid mahogany top, mahogany neck, back, and sides, and a rosewood fingerboard and bridge with Ibanez Advantage bridge pins. The Open Pore Natural finish shows off the guitar’s naturally rich woodgrain. Finally, the AW54OPN is finished off with a tortoise shell pickguard and chrome die-cast tuners. Case sold separately.

Expert Reviews


What experts liked

Solid top. Advantage bridge pins. Open pore.
Premium tonewood used offers the guitarist a warm, rich sound quality.
The mahogany top and other Ibanez features combine for a rich and rewarding experience.
This is one of the most affordable high end guitars on the market. For this price you’d expect just another entry level beginner guitar, but what you get is more like an intermediate to expert level player’s dream than anything else.
It is said to be a traditional modern guitar because of its rich traditional tone that features modern ideas of what a great tone and guitar should be. Finished off with a tortoiseshell pickguard, and has chrome die-cast tuners.
It is a well thought out design that sticks to the basic elements of what make a great acoustic guitar: tonewood, finish, playability.
The mahogany has a natural open-pore finish that gives it a vintage feel. That vintage quality gets a little modern design touch from the chrome die-cast tuners that provide fairly consistent intonation. The Ibanez AW540PNN is the best looking and possibly the best built cheap acoustic guitar on the market.

What experts didn't like

May require setup.
The weight of the guitar does detract from the playability for some. Issues with tuning peg's durability.

Our Expert Consultant

Lewis McGehee  
Professional guitarist, songwriter and private guitar teacher

Lewis McGehee is a professional guitarist, songwriter and private guitar teacher. He began playing guitar at the age of 7, playing in bands at 11 and was signed to Lifesong Records as a singer-songwriter in his early 20s. On the strength of his live shows, he went on to perform with many national acts such as John Prine, Robert Palmer, Talking Heads, Christopher Cross, Bob Dylan and Christine McVie. He also completed a multi-city tour as an opening act for Bruce Hornsby and has been teaching private acoustic guitar lessons for over 40 years.

Overview

If you’ve always wanted to learn to play guitar, you aren’t alone. In fact, research has found that learning to play the guitar can improve a person’s quality of life. For that reason, it’s no surprise that an increasing number of people are picking up the guitar for no other purpose than to have fun.

Whether you have aspirations of becoming a professional musician or you simply want to entertain at parties, an acoustic guitar will get you started. Buying a guitar is easier than ever, with models available for every experience level. But before you start shopping for one, you’ll likely want to know the most important features.

Sound is, of course, of top priority. It can help to first know how an acoustic guitar works so that you’ll find one that puts out the best audio. Although you make music by moving your fingers over the strings, they actually make very little noise themselves. The sound comes from the way the vibration of the string is transferred by the bridge and saddle to the body of the guitar. This setup describes why the size and build of the entire guitar play an important role in the music you get from it.

Beyond the way your guitar sounds, though, it’s important to consider the look and feel of it, says Lewis McGehee, a professional guitarist, songwriter and private guitar teacher.

“A guitar is very personal,” McGehee says. “It needs to feel good, look good and sound good to you, which are all very subjective things. Everyone’s hands and bodies are different, which can determine how you hold and play a guitar.”

McGehee also recommends keeping the intended use of your new guitar in mind while you shop.

“Is your primary goal to have it strictly for personal use around your home or do you want to play it at an open mic? At your church? In a band?” he says.

Some guitars are smaller and lighter than others, so keep that in mind as you shop. You’ll also have the choice between various body styles, including the popular dreadnought or concert guitar body type. The latter is often more popular with beginners, who eventually graduate to dreadnought as they evolve.

You’ll also want to consider the quality of the wood used to make your new guitar, says McGehee. Some brands use better, tighter grain woods, which generally sound better, he added.

“High-quality wood — and if it is solid wood or veneer — has a big impact on the sound of the guitar. Solid wood guitars age better, which means they will sound even better in 10 years than they do now. If the guitar is made of veneer, it also has glue involved which affects the resonance of the guitar itself,” he says.

Also on the topic of wood, be sure to factor in your local climate when purchasing and maintaining your guitar.

“Because you are purchasing a wooden instrument, keep in mind that the environment in which you keep it matters,” says McGehee. “Radical changes in temperature or humidity can affect the wood of the guitar and make it require servicing. Wood can be very temperamental.”

Lastly, there’s the matter of price. If you’re just starting out, you may prefer a budget beginner’s guitar. Prices can vary dramatically, so consider whether you plan to continue to play your new instrument for many years before making a top-dollar commitment.

More to explore