Brand/Model: Ibanez Artwood AW4000-BS
Number of Strings: 6
Hand Orientation: Right
Body Material: Mahogany/Spruce top
Neck Material: Mahogany
Fretboard Material: Rosewood
Price Range: Under $500
Our Rating: 10/10
Ibanez Artwood AW4000-BS Acoustic Guitar Review
The Artwood Series acoustic guitars from Ibanez is one of our favorite line of guitars – ever. If you want a guitar that’s worth every penny, it’s this AW4000 model.
While Ibanez may be the underdog brand when others certainly have some heft in the industry, they’ve won us over with their Artwood series. It doesn’t get better than this model to prove why we’ve been seduced by them!
The AW4000 has a dreadnought body with a solid Caucasian spruce top. It’s been finished with a stunning brown sunburst high gloss.
While we normally see laminate back and sides on guitars in this price range, ditch what you think you know and be prepared for a shocker. This guitar has solid mahogany back and sides. For the price, how do you pass this baby up? You don’t!
It’s out of this world all kinds of gorgeous. Tortoise shell has a very welcome presence for the pickguard body binding, and back strip inlay without being overwhelming. It exudes an extremely classy appeal, but the back strip is sleek and adds a very sexy touch to the guitar.
You also have maple dot inlays, Grover chrome open gear tuners, butterbean knobs, bone nut, and compensated bone saddle.
The sound is on point for a spruce and mahogany guitar. It’s crisp and bright, but it’s also rich, mellow, and note-defining. It’s a full-size guitar with a 25.6″ scale, and it’s more than worthy to show all its glory and potential on stage.
The entire design plan for the Artwood series is to combine both traditional and modern elements together, and Ibanez executed it flawlessly. We are not slow to say that this may be our favorite guitar in this price range across the board hands down!
- Solid top
- Solid body
- Advantage bridge pins
- Extraordinary sound
- May need setup
As a guitar from a brand that’s still finding its own amongst the big kahunas of the guitar industry, don’t expect a huge buzz. However, anything you find on this guitar is going to be raved about and will be positive.
When you’re talking about value, this guitar has it, and it by far beats the other guitars in this price range from Taylor, Takamine, and Martin. Trust us, we’ve been downright dirty and scrutinous!
Needless to say, but we’re going to say it anyway, we want to remind you that it has a solid mahogany body. You won’t find this in on any guitar in this price range. If you do, we’d be interested, but for now, this Ibanez is the guitar to buy, especially if you’ve been saving up for a while and you want your buy to count.
Alternatives to Consider
Since we’re Artwood fans, you know we must throw you another Ibanez option, right? The AC240-OPN Artwood guitar is another favorite. It has a gorgeous open pore finish that allows resonance to do its thing uninhibited by a gloss finish.
It’s an all-mahogany guitar with a solid top, and it’s under $300. We had to lead with this with guitar because we don’t want to compare it to any others.
But, if you don’t share our love for Ibanez, then you might want to stick with the crowd like an obedient sheep and check out the Takamine GD93-NAT acoustic. Of course, it’s a fantastic guitar, but we’re spotlighting the Ibanez remember?
So, whatever you do, don’t be tempted by the gold finish (that’s right – gold), unique 3-piece rosewood and maple back, split saddle, or the solid spruce top. We wouldn’t be doing fair by you if we didn’t mention it’s also under $500.
Ibanez Artwood AW4000-BS Q&A
You know it will be. Thanks to excellent hardware and solid tonewoods, you can depend on consistent performance from the Artwood. But, be aware that as the guitar ages and the more you play it, sound will change – for the better. It will eventually enhance and develop more rich, dense, and deep tones. It only adds to your signature sound.
If you have the budget to buy one, it can be a beginner guitar. It’s playable, comfortable, and affordable. But, this guitar deserves respect from the get go, and you might not want to expose this guitar to your learning curves.
However, this is a lifetime guitar that you won’t ever want to give up or sell. All skill levels will appreciate the beauty, quality, and value the AW4000 offers.
The guitar top and body has a gloss finish, however, the neck has a satin finish.
Ibanez has cleverly made an innovative bridge pin design. The bridge pins have a stopper design under the bulb of the pin to prevent from pushing the pins in too far and getting stuck.
Just try pulling pins out when you’re restringing your guitar and they don’t want to budge! They also have a tapered end that prevents the ball end of the string from getting caught and causing the pins to pop out.
It’s no fun to be tuning your newly strung guitar and have a bridge pin fly across the room. Thanks to Ibanez, both problems are eliminated.
The bridge is made from the same material as the fretboard: rosewood.
The AW4000 guitar has a body length of 20″, width at the lower bout of 15.75″, and a max depth of 5″. It’s a full-size dreadnought guitar with a non-cutaway shape.
This specific model is not an acoustic electric guitar. It’s an acoustic only guitar.
Hardware/Electronics You’ll Need:
You’re already getting a steal by landing this guitar for the price.
Don’t get greedy and expect anything more with this buy. The AW4000 Artwood guitar is more than fairly priced, so you’ll have to purchase a case and all the other necessities separately.
It’s not such a bad thing if you think about the value you’re getting for quality. However, buying your own equipment can get expensive.
It’s best to do your research and ensure your budget goes to the essential accessories before you opt for things you “want” versus things you “need.” For more clarity on this, see our “Must-Have Guitar Accessories Guide” for your acoustic, or start with our beginner’s tips here.
- Excellent value
- Solid top and solid body
- Ibanez Advantage bridge pins
Our Verdict on the AW 4000 BS
To strum it up, it’s no secret that are drooling over the Ibanez Artwood AW4000-BS acoustic guitar. This guitar takes things to a whole new level than just practice and jam sessions on the couch. This is a guitar you want to have on stage with you if you want to look and sound any good.
How do we show you how much we love Ibanez Artwood guitars without using caps? Maybe we can’t – WE HEART-EMOJI THIS GUITAR! Yes, it’s a fab fave.