Best Acoustic Guitar for the Money – Ibanez AW54 Review

Review of the Ibanez Aw54OPN. Filmed with a smartphone so I apologize for the video/sound quality. The sound of the guitar in the video does no justice to how it sounds in person. Try it out if you can! Let me know if you have any questions or comments.


Suicidal Rockstar says:

The film on the pick guard is so it doesn’t get scratched at the store. When other people are playing it. When you get home you peel it off. That’s the point of having film on it. Even buying a fender Stratocaster film on it unless it was purchased and returned. If you leave the film on too long for example six months it will be a bitch to take off.

72Stiles says:

My brother has the version with a cedar top, cutaway, and electronics. He paid around $300 and it sounds awesome for the price. I’ve been trying Martins, Gibsons, Guilds, etc… in the $1500 price range myself and might just get this one instead. Great bang for the buck.

Donny brown says:

Try the Yamaha fg 800..Even better than that one..And its only 199.99

Jason Busch says:

I’m considering this model. Is it full size?

CJ Davison says:

well worth $199!!!!!!!!!

I was on the street with mine for two years in snow, rain and southern heat all over the country and it held up better than I thought (with a gig bag and pancho), and its beautiful….I used to sleep half way on top of it in cities so noone stole it while I slept…I have an expensive Taylor now but for the $200-400 price range its really good, I refuse to get rid of it even though I have a Taylor 324ce SEB (the wood on the Ibanez AW54 OPN is what made me choose the SEB Taylor in the 324 model because its the closest look)

Miljan Kostadinovic says:

Can you tell me which guitar do you prefer
Yamah fg800 or this one?

Jigsaw1131 says:

Does the sound have aged after few months?
Thank you for your review really helpful!!

Dylan Rimbaud says:

the AW54 is a great sounding guitar and how Ibanez sell it for so little astonishes me, i love mine

troyahudson says:

Thanks for taking the time to make this video. It’s really helpful!

MrSjoback says:

Just bought this guitar and it sounds great. Still, just as you said, the action is too high, although I have adjusted the neck. Now is the time to adjust the saddle. Is the other one that comes with this guitar lower than the one already mounted?

Rock Riley says:

You my friend are absolutely correct. The AW54 is one of the best guitars I own. And I own ten guitars. I bought a used one for $100.00 at Music go Round. It has a hair line split in the top about 2-3 long, you can barely feel it. If I didn’t show you where it was you couldn’t find it. Beyond that, when I picked up this guitar, it felt light, and I mean nice light. I pictured it ringing like a bell when I went to strum it. Ok, so it boomed out this loud mellow beautiful sound as I strummed it. I have to go right to some finger picking to listen to each string I am thinking. Yes each string sounded like it is supposed to sound, even, crisp, mellow, bright, it was all where it was supposed to be.

After literally 2 minutes I knew I was not leaving without it. Being a used guitar someone had done a fantastic setup on it and the action was perfect. Intonation was spot on. I can’t believe it had been in the store for more than hours. But I was the lucky one to jump on it first knowing what a buy it was. As you say it may appear plain, but it has a simple beauty that is just the surface of what she’s got inside her. I have 4 Martins in the 500-800 dollar range, a 1,000 dollar Taylor, a Fender T-Bucket 400, an Epiphone EJ-200 and I find myself playing this guitar as much as or more than some of those guitars. And again you are right no electronics on this guitar, but I too love pure acoustic. I mic it when necessary. I couldn’t have improved your review one bit, if fact it’s kind of funny because basically what you say in your review is what I tell my friends about this guitar. What a find. I have put a Tusq saddle in it and a set of new D’Adarios on, but that’s pretty much it. I am giong to try a set of Med Elixirs non-Phos.

All I can do reiterate what you said, if you are a beginner, on a budget, or great guitar player, you just CAN NOT find a better value guitar. The Open Pore finish lets you really hear and feel this baby sing!

Great review, And I know, because I’m lucky enough to have one!


simplelangperorock says:

Martin DRS1 (Road Series) is the best for the money. It may be a little more expensive than Artwood 54. But Thanks for da info and effort. I agree on most you have said. I have 1 too. Better than Fender CD – 60S in my opinion. The gloss finish traps the sound inside the wood and prevents more resonance.
Bro, Do you know that the engineers that designed this guitar? If you don’t, Ibanez has this “acoustic sound research project” named Artwood and this is their product so far. Just like the new Yamaha engineers. They believe that guitars do not need to be expensive to sound good.
Yamaha FG820. Have you tried that? If not, you will be in love with it too.

Cuico Amar says:

i did bought the cutaway one.. sounds good tho, and im buying this one for some customizations like putting an amp into it..

Joshua Taylor says:

I learned on a Service Merchandise special. I’ve owned thousand dollar guitars but I had rather have a good 500 dollar guitar any day of the week over a thousand. Not enough difference to me to justify the cost. I have a takamine and Yamaha, about to get an Ibanez that I played in a store a couple years ago that I liked the sound of. It was 500 at the time and now marked down to 250. A friend of mine swears by Ibanez. They are nice.

Andrew Matushewsky says:

How do you like this guitar now that you have had it for awhile? Did you try the acoustic electric version? I tried it and was wondering how it compared to the one you are playing.

Ellisa Gutierrez says:

I love hearing when peeps who love playing get a great deal on a guitar. I understand. I traded an iPad for the Ibanez Artwood Vintage Thermo Aged AVC9OPN. I love the sound of it. It just sounds right…the way I think a guitar is supposed to sound.

John Smith says:

All of it is true….keep it up Ibanez !!!

Jordan C Dennis says:

Man… what is that song you’re playing at 9:50? I keep thinking Taking Back Sunday… is that it?

Poop Pooop says:

Was this made in North America?

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