Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ibanez PF Series Acoustic-Electric

This Ibanez PF Series Acoustic guitar is the "oldest" guitar in my entire collection, and essentially the second guitar I ever owned in my entire existence. Purchased in 2002 in Perth, this beautiful guitar was a present from my partner during our university days. I personally selected this guitar in a huge guitar mega-mart called Guitar World (nothing to do with the magazine) in Cannington, Perth. I remember walking into that store and being blown away by the sheer number of guitars they had hanging across all the racks. It was an amazing sight for a 21 year old who was just venturing back into the world of guitaring (yes, I gave up the guitar for almost a year - but that's another story). So I walked through the racks, stared at some of the "typical" natural finished acoustic guitars on the world, and didn't seem bothered. Then my eyes caught this beauty. At my age at 21, and Ibanez guitar seemed like the holy grail, and upon spotting this acoustic guitar, was blown away by the curves, texture, colour and design. I took it off the rack with the help of a "rocker" Aussie chap, who let me waste time strumming nothing but chords. He then said he'll sell it off for AU$500 bucks, which was AU$50 off the list price (at that time, MYR to AUD was close to 2.2). So after a few more quick strums, I decided with this guitar.

Up till now, I have not spotted the exact same model of this guitar anywhere else. I remember checking in the big guitar store in KL when I returned, and other places in Australia, but never ran into this model ever again. The versions I've seen were the scaled down electric-acoustics, which lacked the depth and tonal qualities of this one. To be honest, the sound from this guitar is "big", and sometimes, I forget how overwhelming the sound can be until I fire it up again. This guitar sounds great both plugged in or otherwise. It functions fantastically without being plugged up, offering enough quality to be heard stock - or when plugged up, the on-board EQ helps greatly in getting the right acoustic tone through the amp. I've played some other acoustic-electric guitars - more notably the "thinner bodied" Ibanez guitars - only to have a very "electronic" tone coming out of the amp. This baby sounds like an acoustic both ways.

With so much quality coming out of this guitar, it's no wonder it featured prominently in all acoustic tracks in my first and second album. My first EP had plenty of acoustic based rhythm playing, and it was all played on this guitar. It recorded great, with an instrument mic right up the body.

The only gripe I had about this guitar was that the strings it was shipped with was too thick for comfortable playing. The string gauge was thick, and I was stupid enough to continue playing on that string gauge for many years till I figured out that I could actually just get thinner acoustic strings! I used to end up with extremely sore fingers by the end of the sessions, but after a quick swap to 9-42s and everything worked out great. I won't trade this guitar for any other acoustic guitar. It packs too many memories and a great tone. Strum it once, and I'll be able to identify it.

Come to think of it, it's actually the 10th anniversary of owning this guitar. Happy anniversary Azalin!

Quick Facts (I don't really recall, but here goes from memory):

Neck: Mahogany
Fretboard: Rosewood
Body: Mahogany (Spruce Top)
Electronics: EQ/Pre-Amp
Pickups: Ibanez "under-saddle" pickup

Make: Made in China

Overall Rating: 9

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