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A Tale of Two Semi-Hollow Guitars - Ibanez AS73FM vs. Epiphone ES-339


So I’ve been in the market for an inexpensive semi-hollow body guitar lately. This is because I’ve been getting into improvisation a lot more lately and one of the tools I’ve been using to practice is the app Solo. It listens for the notes you play and lets you know if you are playing things correctly. The app was having trouble picking up my solid body guitars unplugged, so I figured a semi-hollow guitar might be the solution. I also wanted a guitar with a darker tone for jazz and blues.


Chelsea has been getting into the blues more too, so I wanted to get her a guitar more geared toward the B.B. King tone and style. Anyways, I sold some things and ended up buying a used Ibanez AS73FM and an Epiphone ES-339 off of Facebook Marketplace for super cheap.

So what are the main differences between these two guitars? That’s what I hope to answer in this video. The playing examples toward the beginning of the video will help you form your own opinion. I left the guitars stock for the video, but I did change the nuts out on both guitars to Graphtech nuts. They just seem to improve the tuning stability on every guitar.

Here is a quick summary of my opinion on these two guitars.


The Ibanez is a bit more modern sounding and feeling. It's also a little more resonant unplugged, but that's probably due to it's larger size. The Classic Elite pickups are more modern sounding and have less output than the Epiphone.


The Epiphone is more traditional sounding and feeling. It’s also got a slightly darker tone. This is probably because of the Alnico Classic Pro pickups. Another feature that sets these two guitars apart is the coil tap function on the Epiphone.

If I could only keep one without any modifications, it would be the Epiphone. Luckily, I can modify these guitars, so I’m going to put a set of the Alnico Classic Pro pickups in the Ibanez and keep it as my primary semi-hollow guitar. The Epiphone will be Chelsea’s main guitar because it's smaller and more suited to her 5’1” frame.


Hope this was fun and/or helpful for you,

Nate

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4 Comments


Thanks for this video. I am new to playing guitars and I was looking at both of these models. I really appreciate the in-depth analysis about this and I think I have made my mind up on the Ibanez also.

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Unknown member
Feb 07, 2023
Replying to

Thanks for watching. Excellent with the Ibanez. ;D

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Tammy Anderson
Tammy Anderson
Sep 19, 2022

This was fun to watch! I love you catching @Chelsea Amber playing the Epiphone. 😂

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Unknown member
Sep 19, 2022
Replying to

Thanks for watching Tammy!

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