Ibanez PF12MHCE Review & Prices

Ibanez PF12MHCE Review
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  • From Ibanez's 2020 PF series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25.6"'' scale
  • 9.843" Fretboard Radius
  • Mahogany top
  • Mahogany back
  • Mahogany sides
  • Nyatoh neck
  • Laurel fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Ibanez Undersaddle (Preamp/Active)
  • Laurel bridge
  • Acoustic PF Set neck
  • 20 Medium frets
  • Ibanez tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 73
Sound 80
Build quality 65
Value for money 83
Overall Score 73
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Ibanez PF12MHCE
  • Expensive Wood
  • Electronics
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • Low-Quality Material Saddle
  • Laminated Top Wood
  • 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 PF12MHCE is around 39% cheaper than the competition. 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 PF12MHCE meets 5 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. 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 PF12MHCE
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable shape
  • Short scale
  • Soft Strings
  • 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 PF12MHCE'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 PF12MHCE's 25.6" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Ibanez PF12MHCE Scale Length Comparison
Ibanez PF12MHCE's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

It's very similar to a typical long 25.5" guitar scale, but with an extra inch probably to compensate the saddle position in acoustic guitars. It should be pretty much the same as a 25.5" scale guitar.

It will allow you to strum hard without hearing so much fret buzz, even with lower tunings.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Ibanez PF12MHCE Neck Profile
Ibanez PF12MHCE'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 PF12MHCE's neck thickness is approximately 0.827'' (21mm) at the first fret, and 0.886'' (22.5mm) 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 PF12MHCE has a 9.843" fingerboard radius.

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

Ibanez PF12MHCE Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Ibanez PF12MHCE's fretboard radius compared to others

This is a radius that makes it comfortable to play chords, but that's just slightly flatter than the typical Strat fingerboard. It's still not as flat as a Les Paul, so it might not be as comfortable for soloing. The feel sits right in between a Strat and a Les Paul, although it feels more like the former.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Ibanez PF12MHCE has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

Ibanez PF12MHCE
This model
25.6'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
9.843'' 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
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

Nut Width

Ibanez PF12MHCE Nut Width
Ibanez PF12MHCE Nut Width

The Ibanez PF12MHCE has a nut width of 42mm (1.654''). This is considered a narrow width for a 6-string guitar. This means that this guitar will have a narrower string separation at the nut, which will affect your fretting hand.

If you are a player with big hands, you might find it difficult to play chords without muting strings. However, this is good for players who have smaller hands, as it will allow them to reach each string more easily at the nut.

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 PF12MHCE Fret Size Comparison
Ibanez PF12MHCE'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 PF12MHCE'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 65
Chord Playability 85
Solo Playability 70
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

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

Mahogany Top, Back and Sides: This is the type of wood found in many top-of-the-line guitars, so that's a positive point for the build quality. This red-looking wood Mahogany is found in Africa and Central America and has great sustain and a warm tone due to its high density. The downside about this type of wood is that it's relatively heavy.

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.

More made with the same wood:

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 70
Versatility 85
Tuning Stability 65
Sound 80

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 PF12MHCE 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 PF12MHCE 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 56
Features 75
Quality Control 65
Build Quality 65

All Specs

Ibanez PF12MHCE
General
Brand: Ibanez
Year: 2020
Configuration:
Strings: 6
Made in: Indonesia
Series: PF
Colors:
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Hollowbody
Body Material: Mahogany
Bridge: Laurel
Neck
Neck Joint: Set
Tuners: Ibanez
Fretboard: Laurel
Neck Material: Nyatoh
Decoration: White dot inlay
Scale Size: 25.6"
Shape: Acoustic PF
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.827'' (21mm) - 12th Fret: 0.886'' (22.5mm)
Frets: 20 Medium
Fretboard Radius: 9.843"
Nut: Plastic
Nut Width: 42mm (1.654'')
Electronics
Switch: 0 Way
Knobs:
Volume Controls: 0
Tone Controls: 0
Bridge Pickup: Ibanez Undersaddle (Preamp / Active)

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