Ibanez AW54OPN Artwood Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
Last updated date: May 13, 2020
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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.
Update as August 27, 2021:
Checkout The Best Acoustic Guitar for a detailed review of all the top acoustic guitars.
In our analysis of 79 expert reviews, the Ibanez AW54OPN Artwood Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar placed 9th when we looked at the top 19 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.
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Our Expert Consultant
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.
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An Overview On Acoustic Guitars
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.
The Acoustic Guitar Buying Guide
- Sound is probably the most important feature in a guitar, and you’ll get good music from even entry-level guitars.
- Some guitars are built using laminated wood, which experienced guitarists know as problematic when it comes to sound. Although you’ll get good enough sound to learn to play, you’ll notice a slight difference between the results you get from these models as opposed to guitars made from natural wood.
- Some acoustic guitars come with a built-in tuner, which keeps your guitar sounding good session after session.
- Size is an important consideration, especially if you’re buying the guitar for the little ones in your household. There are beginner acoustic guitars that weigh only 2.2 pounds and are only 38 inches long, compared to other guitars in its range that weigh in the 9- to 13-pound range and are 43 inches in length.
- Some guitars are quite impressive, with details like a rosewood bridge and synthetic bone saddle. These small things can make a difference in sound quality.
- The amount you pay for your guitar will likely be linked to your level of commitment. Beginners simply interested in learning may veer toward a model that retails for a little less. More advanced musicians will be fine with the higher price tag for a more professional acoustic guitar that has all the bells and whistles.
- When considering price, it’s also important to factor in whether it includes accessories. Sometimes the highest priced acoustic guitar doesn’t come with any accessories, which makes it not such a great deal. On the other hand, you may come across a more affordable acoustic guitar that includes a guitar pick, shoulder strap, pitch pipe, digital tuner, extra strings and a carrying case.
- Look for a guitar that gives you options that you don’t have with other guitars. You can choose an all-acoustic or electric-acoustic combination, as well as picking from the ultra-popular dreadnought body type, which is an easier-to-play version for beginners.
- There are various ways that the build of a guitar makes it better-suited for the novice musician. One is the location of the strings. Some guitars place their strings closer to the fretboard than others, which means you won’t have to press as hard.
- Size and string location are important to easy playing, but so is the makeup of the frets. Frets are those metal strips you see along the fretboard, which is the part that extends from the guitar’s body. The frets separate the fretboard into segments, with the first segment closest to the very top of the guitar, called the head. Look for a guitar that has smooth frets, as this makes for a great experience for someone learning to play for the first time.
- If you’re left-handed, it’s important to make sure you can play the guitar you purchase. Guitars are built for right-handed players, so you’ll need to reverse the guitar and change up the instructions as you learn to play. It’s important to note, though, that one of the best-known guitarists of all time, Jimi Hendrix, was left-handed.
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