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Whether you’re looking for your first electro-acoustic guitar or just something affordable to practice, jam and even perform with, the Ibanez V70CE is one model well worth adding to your shortlist. It’s an acoustic guitar that the rock-fueled Japanese brand have been producing for more than a decade, with an army of enthusiastic players who own and love it. Let’s check out why it’s so popular.
The body of the Ibanez V70CE has a full-size dreadnought shape that will appeal to beginners and more experienced players alike, with a big single cutaway on the treble side. The top of this body is made from laminated select spruce, while the back and sides are mahogany. There are two color choices – either the eye-catching blueburst (which is slightly darker than it appears in photos) or a very sophisticated black, both with glossy finishes. There are some other appointments such as the multi-ring rosette and ivory-colored plastic binding that add a refined finishing touch to a good-looking instrument. As for the neck, this is also mahogany, with a standard 1 11/16” nut width, a rosewood fretboard and 20 frets. At under $200 it’s clearly a mass-produced guitar, but it doesn’t show any telltale signs of being ‘cheap’ – in fact it feels pretty well made.
Being an electro-acoustic, the V70CE sports some active electronics, with an Ibanez-designed AEQ200 preamp and an undersaddle pickup. This is a very simple, beginner-friendly system that offers EQ controls in the form of three sliders – one each for the master volume, bass and treble control. Elsewhere the guitar sports some good quality and responsive die-cast chrome closed tuners on the Ibanez-branded headstock. There’s a black pickguard and a rosewood bridge, while the nut and compensated saddle are both plastic. For the price, there are no complaints with the hardware.
Truth be told, the sound on the V70CE is actually very good for such a measly asking price. Spruce and mahogany is a classic pairing because it works together to produce a well-balanced tone, and this V70CE is crisp and bright with good projection. Through the pickup system the guitar performs well, and retains a natural clarity – equally suitable for strumming, flatpicking or fingerstyle. The EQ controls aren’t as wide-ranging as some other systems, but allow you to adjust your sound to a decent degree.
If you had to purchase an electro-acoustic and your budget was $200 or under, you wouldn’t go far wrong with the V70CE. While there’s nothing premium about it – and you may find a little fret buzz now and again – the looks on offer are as desirable as some more expensive guitars, the sound is very pleasing, and the electronics allow you to plug in and perform with clarity. For smaller gigs – think campfires, coffee houses, and churches – this affordable Ibanez is a sensible choice.