As the smoke cleared above lush verdant green fields it revealed that a small group of Spanish generals had indeed succeeded in overthrowing the government established by the Second Spanish Republic, and many long-standing symbols of Spanish freedom lay in ruins upon the red earth, including a company known as Salvador Ibanez. Salvador Ibanez was well-known for producing high-quality Spanish acoustic guitars, some of which were being imported by a Japanese company by the name of Hoshino Gakki, a book company that had been established in 1908 and worked to branch out into the area of musical instruments. Hoshino Gakki had been importing Salvador Ibanez guitars since 1929 but after the company was destroyed they were in a position to make a monumental decision. They opted to buy the Ibanez Salvador name and begin making their own Spanish guitars, initially utilizing the Salvador Ibanez name but later shortening it to simply Ibanez.
We then fast forward our story to 1957 when Ibanez became known for producing wild and esoteric designs emulating other company's designs such as Hagstrom (Swedish instrument company) and Eko (Italian electric guitar producer). The 1960's brought Ibanez to a period in which they focused upon copying notable American guitar companies including Gibson, Fender and Rickenbacker and which unfortunately resulted in numerous lawsuits against Ibanez. It came as no surprise that the Ibanez company began producing their own designs, including the Iceman and Roadstar series, and have continued to do so to this day. Ibanez continues to thrive and produce unique and remarkable guitars that incorporate such novel aspects as locking-tremolo bridges, slimmer head stocks, 2-octave fingerboards as well as unique and brightly-colored finishes.
The Ibanez A-100 E Bk (Black) six string features a cut-away solid Spruce top with laser engraved rosette and arched Mahogany wood back and sides. The bridge and fingerboard are both composed of Rosewood while the nut and saddle are composed of Ivorex II. The guitar is sealed in a high gloss black finish and completed with the addition of Ibanez chrome die-cast tuners.
Scale length of the A 100 E is 25.4â€ (or 641 mm), width of the body is 15.5â€ (or 393.7 mm), length is 19.5â€ (or 495.3 mm) and the depth is 4.5â€ (or 114.3 mm). Width at the nut is 1.69â€ (or 43 mm) while the width at the joint is 2.18â€ (or 55.4mm). This relatively inexpensive model of Ibanez cutaway comes with the Fishman Sonicore pickup which also includes the Fishman Presys Preamp, a compact amplification system which features a 3-band equalizer phase and an on-board tuner. The guitar also features both 1/4â€ and XLR outputs giving the player more than one option in terms of how the guitar's sound is channeled into the sound system.
The A-100 E BK is currently available for around $350 and can be purchased either on-line or through local Ibanez distributors. This guitar is another great example of why a manufacturer shouldn't try to fit too many extra's into a guitar package. Inevitably, something is lost in translation and the overall quality of the guitar itself is compromised. Yes, the materials employed are decent and the workmanship is substantial, but corners will be cut at some point and usually it's at the level of the guitar itself.
Hollow and thin are the first two words to come to mind when I think about the sound quality of the Ibanez A-100 E BK. The guitar lacked resonance and seemed to lack the ability, in general, to produce any significant sound. Mid and bass responses were decent but if I were to compare its sound side-by-side with other guitars in the same price range, I would say it compared poorly. Plugged in, the guitar improved measurably but once again, what is the point of purchasing an acoustic-electric if the guitar truly can't be played as an acoustic guitar? I think as a consumer I would be more prone to spend my money an an instrument that played well as an acoustic, then eventually add a pick-up if I wanted to give it the capability of playing through amplification.