Was in the market for a new baritone acoustic electric as I had owned an Alvarez Yairi YB70 a couple of years ago, but sold a couple of weeks after purchase, as it was too difficult to play, (jumbo body, and carpal tunnel syndrome started in my fingers). I was sad to sell it, but still had hoped to eventually find a replacement.
I was happy to see that Taylor came out with a 6 and 8 stringed edition, and although I loved how they sounded and felt, they were way out of my price range now. Typically, my rule of thumb had always been, try a really top of the line instrument and then try the less expensive models to see how they feel in your hands and to your ears.
To my amazement, I saw a variety of reviews of the Ibanez AE255BT, with favorable results. I had only wished I could have tried it myself. Then, last Saturday, I went to my local Sam Ash store in Charlotte, NC, and there it was, in the acoustic room, at the very end cap. And the price tag said “close out price” of $499. I tried it for about an hour and purchased it accordingly.
Acoustically, even toned, and comfortable against the body. Plugged in, through a Fender Acoustic 100 amp, it has great lows and mids and chiming highs. Everything worked well for me. Given that I learned later on that Ibanez decided to change the designs of this baritone and use Okoume back & Okoume sides, compared to their original Ovangkol back & Ovangkol sides, as well as a Katalox fretboard over their previous Cultured Maple variety.
If you have the chance to find this guitar, try it and buy it.
Did you find this review helpful?yesno