Ibanez AW54CE Review & Prices

Ibanez AW54CE Review
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  • From Ibanez's 2022 ARTWOOD series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 15.748" Fretboard Radius
  • Solid Okoume top
  • Okoume back
  • Okoume sides
  • Nyatoh neck
  • Laurel fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Ibanez T-bar Undersaddle (Preamp/Active)
  • Laurel bridge
  • Acoustic AW Set neck
  • 20 Medium frets
  • Ibanez tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 73
Sound 83
Build quality 69
Value for money 85
Overall Score 75
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Ibanez AW54CE
  • Electronics
  • Solid Top Wood
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • Low-Quality Material Saddle
  • Laminated Side Wood
  • Laminated Back Wood
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $330, which means that the Ibanez AW54CE is within the average price asked for this kind of guitar. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in Indonesia.

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Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Ibanez AW54CE meets 4 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not bad for beginners, but it could be better. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

Ibanez AW54CE
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Soft Strings
  • Comfortable shape
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale
  • Locking tuners

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Ibanez AW54CE's construction is balanced for most hand sizes.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Ibanez AW54CE's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Ibanez AW54CE Scale Length Comparison
Ibanez AW54CE's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the same scale length used in Stratocaster guitars, and it's one of the main reasons they have such a bright sound. It's considered a long scale when compared to most non-baritone guitars.

Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, you'll need to give the strings more tension to get them in tune. This higher tension will allow for a couple of things. First, you can get a lower action (get the strings closer to the fretboard) because the strings won't 'wiggle' too much when pluck and won't cause fret buzz. This can allow you to use lower tunings without increasing your string gauge, and it will make it easier to press down the strings fast.

However, the frets will also have a wider separation between each other, which can make it harder to play, especially if you got small hands. The higher tension will also make the strings feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Ibanez AW54CE Neck Profile
Ibanez AW54CE's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

The Ibanez AW54CE's neck thickness is approximately 0.827'' (21mm) at the first fret, and 0.866'' (22mm) at the twelfth.

These measurements were taken either from the official Ibanez website, or, in case this information wasn't provided, by researching multiple online marketplaces and forums where owners of this model have posted their measurements.

It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

More for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Ibanez AW54CE has a 15.748" fingerboard radius.

Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Ibanez AW54CE Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Ibanez AW54CE's fretboard radius compared to others

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Ibanez AW54CE has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

Ibanez AW54CE
This model
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
15.748'' Fretboard Radius
25.3'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
15.748'' Fretboard Radius
25.3'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
15.75'' Fretboard Radius
25.3'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
15.748'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
15.75'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Ibanez AW54CE Nut Width
Ibanez AW54CE Nut Width

The Ibanez AW54CE has a nut width of 43mm (1.693''). This is within the most common range of nut widths for a 6-string guitar. It offers a good balance of string separation at the nut. It's the size that most guitarists prefer as it gives them just enough space to play open chords without muting the strings, but without spreading the strings too wide and making bar chords difficult to perform.

Frets

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Ibanez AW54CE Fret Size Comparison
Ibanez AW54CE's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Ibanez AW54CE's frets are Medium size. With medium frets, you can feel the fretboard more than with jumbo frets, but it's still easier to press the strings cleanly than with small frets; notes might change their pitch just slightly if you press hard on the fret. Also, if you need to do some fret leveling after years of playing, you'll have some room to sand them down without having to replace them.

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 75
Chord Playability 65
Solo Playability 80
Playability 73

Tone Analysis

The type of wood and even the shape of the body will have a lot of influence in the final tone of an acoustic guitar. Here's we'll talk about what kind of tone you can expect from its specs.

Wood

Okoume wood pattern used for guitar building
Okoume Top, Back, Sides
Nyatoh wood pattern used for guitar building
Nyatoh Neck
Laurel wood pattern used for guitar building
Laurel Fretboard

Okoume Top, Back and Sides: It's an affordable wood and it was one of the first to replace Mahogany when prohibitions started. It's generally softer than Mahogany and the tone has warmer lows.

Nyatoh Neck: It's a wood type found mainly in Indonesia. It's fairly hard and durable and is becoming popular for building guitars because it isn't expensive.

Laurel Fretboard: There are many types of Laurel, but East Indian is the most common for guitar building. Its color can vary from dark to light brown with black lines. Many people find its tonality similar to Rosewood, which favors the warmer frequencies.

Pickups

This guitar comes with preamp pickups that will allow you to connect it directly to an amplifier and record with it, or use it live.

Sound Score

Sustain 80
Versatility 85
Tuning Stability 65
Sound 83

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Ibanez AW54CE is made in Indonesia. Many people prefer the quality of an Indonesian guitar over a Chinese. Respectable brands like Epiphone, Ibanez and Schecter are building in this country because of the great quality and lower price. Some people like to compare them to the ones built in Japan during the 80s, when Japanese guitar makers made a name for themselves.

Still, remember that we're taking about Ibanez here, which is a brand with good renown. They know how to use cheap labor in this country without sacrificing too much quality. So you shouldn't end up receiving a useless or ugly instrument.

Bridge

Laurel: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Ibanez AW54CE has a Plastic nut. This is a low-quality nut that you might want to consider upgrading soon. Bone and TUSQ nuts are the best for guitars with a fixed or simple tremolo bridge.

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 66
Features 75
Quality Control 65
Build Quality 69

All Specs

Ibanez AW54CE
General
Brand: Ibanez
Year: 2022
Configuration:
Strings: 6
Made in: Indonesia
Series: ARTWOOD
Colors:
Left-Handed Version: Yes
Body
Type: Hollowbody
Body Material: Solid Okoume
Bridge: Laurel
Neck
Neck Joint: Set
Tuners: Ibanez
Fretboard: Laurel
Neck Material: Nyatoh
Decoration: White dot inlay
Scale Size: 25.5"
Shape: Acoustic AW
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.827'' (21mm) - 12th Fret: 0.866'' (22mm)
Frets: 20 Medium
Fretboard Radius: 15.748"
Nut: Plastic
Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'')
Electronics
Switch: 0 Way
Knobs:
Volume Controls: 0
Tone Controls: 0
Bridge Pickup: Ibanez T-bar Undersaddle (Preamp / Active)

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