Getting an electric guitar can be quite a hassle, especially because of the many options available to choose from. Today, we would be looking at Ibanez AS73 Vs Epiphone Dot, as we aim to find which is the better guitar for you.
This article is going to be quite a lengthy read. There is a lot to be discussed concerning Ibanez AS73 Vs Epiphone Dot. However, if you do not have the time or patience to read through the whole article, then you can simply check out the overview below.
Ibanez AS73 Vs Epiphone Dot – Comparison Overview
Surprisingly, these two guitars have a lot of similarities, despite being made by two different companies. They both are semi-hollow guitars, have rosewood fretboards, mahogany necks, and maple necks.
Although, Epiphone Dot comes with laminated maple, as opposed to the solid maple on the Ibanez AS73. To find out the difference between laminated and solid wood, check through the article.
As for differences, we found out that they come with different pickups. The Ibanez definitely has better pickups than the Epiphone Dot. In fact, the pickups in the Epiphone Dot are disliked by a lot of people.
For the price to performance ratio, both these guitars are sitting pretty. At under $500, there are not many options for quality electric guitars available. These two sit as some of the best quality you would find at that price point.
Ibanez AS73 Vs Epiphone Dot – Brand Comparative Advantage
Comparing these two brands, they have a similar history. Although originally found in 1873, the American company Epiphone was acquired and became what we know it today, in 1957. This was the same year when the Japanese company, Ibanez, was formed.
Ibanez was the first Japanese company to make headway in the exportation of musical instruments to Europe and America. Epiphone, on the other hand, have been involved in supplying locally and globally, since.
Domestically, Epiphone is the bigger brand, although many believe that its glory years are long gone. But globally, Ibanez crushes Epiphone because of its wider reach and audience. Which of these brands do you trust more? Kindly tell us in the comments section.
Ibanez AS73 Vs Epiphone Dot – Comparison Table / Spec Sheet
|Tonewood (top, back, and sides)||Maple||Laminated maple|
|Neck||Artcore AS Mahogany Set-In Neck||Mahogany|
|Fretboard inlays||Acrylic block inlays||Pearloid dot inlays|
|Finish||Various types available||One each for the right-handed and the left-handed|
|Tailpiece||Quik Change III Tailpiece||LockTone™ Tune-o-matic StopBar|
|Body Style||Semi-hollow body||Semi-hollow body|
|Pickup model||Classic elite||Alnico Classic Humbucker|
Ibanez AS73 Vs Epiphone Dot – What Situation Is Which Best For?
|Well, the first thing we see about this guitar is its body shape. This semi-hollow body shape is one that cuts crowds into split opinions. |
A lot of people prefer solid guitars, as they claim that they produce better sound and are more traditional.
On the other hand, some other people prefer these semi-hollow guitars and the resonant sounds that they produce.
That being said, if you belong to the second school of thought, you would definitely enjoy this guitar.
| The Epiphone dot also comes with a semi-hollow body. |
The Epiphone dot is like the ultimate throwback guitar. It comes with a vintage design, looks and feel that makes you look like you’re playing the same guitar that your fav played, back in the day.
|If you’re a beginner who doesn’t even know which of the body types you prefer yet, it would still be great to get this one. It’s not completely solid, neither is it completely hollow. It gives you a great bias to start your judgment from. |
Also, the price to quality ratio is very economical. Plus, because of its durability, this is one guitar that would last you well into your intermediate years.
| For a beginner, this might not be the best to start with. Being vintage means that it also comes with some vintage problems, problems that might not look like anything to the experienced, but may cause you headaches as a beginner. |
However, if you don’t mind the vintage problems, you can certainly get this guitar as a beginner because of its affordability.
Ibanez AS73 Vs Epiphone Dot – What Features Do They Have In Common?
Before moving forward, let’s drop the Ibanez AS73 Vs Epiphone Dot argument for a bit, and look at the similarities between these two guitars.
Although from different brands, these two guitars possess some similar features, features which we would be looking at right now.
Body Style: Semi-Hollow Body
The first, and probably the biggest, similarity between these two guitars is the fact that both of them are semi-hollow guitars. When it comes to body styles for electric guitars, there are three major types, and the public is split between those options.
The options are solid, semi-hollow, and hollow. If you don’t know what this means, it basically describes the wood inside the guitar. For solid, it’s completely full, for semi it’s partly full, and for hollow, it’s completely empty, as the box guitar.
More traditional electric guitars used the completely solid guitar type, which made the guitar really heavy. That’s the major reason why some people are still unwilling to let it go till date because it’s traditional.
The other reason is the sound produced. As you would already know, the sound of a guitar is dependent on the build and shape of the wood. Therefore, any alteration to the wood structure would definitely tamper with the sound.
While that is true, you can tell that the effects the wood has on the electric guitar are not as evident as the acoustic guitar. This is because, with the electric guitar, you can alter the sounds using the electronics, although, not totally.
Because of this, new age guitars manufacturers began to see fewer and fewer reasons to keep the guitar solid and heavy.
Finally, semi-hollow bodied guitars produce a really resonant sound, one that has quite a warm tone. Also, these guitars work really well with amplification.
One thing people really hate about hollow-bodied guitars is that they give off a lot of feedback, even when in mid volumes. Well, we’re glad to tell you that semi-hollow bodied guitars do not give off nearly as much feedback as hollow-bodied guitars, and definitely not in reduced volumes.
While both of these guitars are made with maple tonewood, one is made with carved maple, while the other is made with laminated maple. We would first look at the characteristics of maple as a tonewood.
Afterward, we would look at the differences between carved and laminated maple, stating their upsides and their downsides.
Maple is the most popular tonewood choice for electric guitars. This is because of the sound it produces. The sound produced by the maple tonewood is bright and striking, which is great for electric guitars.
Other tonewood choices include mahogany, alder, and ash. Rosewood does not get used often for electric guitars, as it produces a fuller, warmer, sound. That sound is one that is preferred on bass guitars, not electric guitars.
Maple comes with really nice sustain, something you want for those long solos. Although this sustain is really nice, the reason behind it is one that is not loved by many, it is the weight.
Maple is a really heavy and dense tonewood. However, being that both of these guitars are semi-hollow, the weight of the maple is reduced significantly, but still keeping the sustain.
Stepping away from the tone and sound produced, Maple usually has a really bright color. Most times, it resembles white. Also, maple has tight pores and thin grain lines, making it look really good. However, it is to be said that flamed maple looks a lot better than normal maple.
Just like we mentioned earlier, while both these guitars are made with maple, the Ibanez AS73 is made with solid maple, while the Epiphone Dot is made with laminated maple.
There are a few factors we would need to consider when comparing between solid and laminated woods, these are:
Look: While many might not admit it, the look of a guitar is what majorly determines whether we get that guitar or not, only behind the tone. Now, because the material being discussed is maple, looks don’t come into play. Maple needs to be finished. Because of that, the laminated and the solid maple will look the same, determined by the finish used on them.
Durability: Actually, when it comes to durability, it’s in two ways. Solid wood is obviously stronger than laminated wood. Laminated wood is simply thin pieces of said wood, pressed together and glued at high temperatures. So, it’s no surprise that solid wood is thicker, therefore more durable, than laminated wood.
However, if you travel a lot, laminated wood is better. This is because solid wood depends on its natural resins for stability. Rapid changes in temperature and humidity will have grave effects on the wood, causes it to develop cracks. On the other hand, because of the overlapping grains of laminated wood, they are a lot less susceptible to cracks.
Tone: Solid wood sounds better than laminated wood, no question. However, an argument can be brought up because these are electric guitars, not acoustic guitars and therefore, you don’t need to spend all that extra money for a slight change in tone.
Generally, we can see that the difference between laminated maple and solid maple is slight and picking one should be determined by how you intend to use it.
Neck wood: Mahogany
Both of these companies decided to use Mahogany as the wood for the neck of these guitars. As a neck wood, mahogany is not usually the first choice for electric guitars.
The first reason is the fact that maple is a harder wood than mahogany.
What do we mean? Okay, there is a test called the “Janka hardness test”, which determines how susceptible, or not, a particular type of wood is to wear and tear.
The result is usually measured in pounds, a higher score meaning greater hardness, and therefore, less susceptibility to wear and tear.
With that test, the most popular maple type we see has a hardness of 1450. However, there is ivory maple which has a hardness of 1500, and soft maple, which has a hardness of 1000.
On the other hand, mahogany has a hardness between 800 and 900. This is a big range because of the many types of mahogany available all over the world.
How does this hardness affect your guitar?
Well, in the long run, and after playing the guitar for a long time, you begin to see that it gets harder for the strings to stay tuned. This is due to the fact that the wood has become loosened after a lot of back and forth.
This will happen to mahogany a lot faster than harder woods like rosewood and maple.
When it comes to the sound, mahogany produces quite a warm sound. This is really nice on these guitars with maple body, as they both complement each other.
Maple has a really bright, punchy sound, while mahogany has a warm, mellow sound. Joined together, these two produce beautiful sounds that can be bright and warm, depending on the tuning of the electronics.
Remember that Janka hardness test we talked about earlier? Well, it turns out rosewood crushing both maple and mahogany on the scale.
East Indian Rosewood, the one used for the fretboards of both of these guitars, has a Janka hardness of 2440 pounds, absolutely ridiculous.
Being that the fretboard is the part of the guitar that you interact with the most, it is great to see that both Ibanez and Epiphone decided to use one of the best tonewoods out there for these guitars.
With this, you can interact with your fretboard however you wish, without fear of it breaking, or destroying.
As per, the sound, rosewood is a really warm tonewood. However, we are not sure that the fretboard will affect, so much, the sound of these guitars. Because we know that the neck being mahogany already offers some warmth, and nobody wants their electric guitar sounding like a bass.
Rosewood does not use finishes like most other tonewoods. Because of that, it has a really natural feel on your fingers. So, if you’re one that loves their guitars as natural as possible, then you definitely want a rosewood fretboard.
However, with this great feeling, comes great responsibility. Because rosewood doesn’t have a finish, it needs to be conditioned regularly. But don’t get soul-crushed, this is a pretty easy task.
You already know you have to periodically change your strings. Once you’ve removed all your strings, you can simply wipe your rosewood fretboard with a conditioner. You should get a conditioner made specifically for guitars.
That simple process of conditioning will keep your fretboard looking, and feeling, fresh. Which we’re sure is what you want.
Both of these guitars are available in left-handed versions, which is a really good thing.
If you’re a lefty, we’re sure you must’ve missed out on some interesting deals on guitars simply because they’re no available in left-handed versions.
If that has been the case for you, then we’re glad to tell you that both of these guitars have left-handed versions.
With these versions, you have the best of the guitars, just the way they are, but in the orientation that suits you. Just for the record, the left-handed version of the Ibanez AS73 is called the AS73L.
Ibanez AS73 Vs Epiphone Dot – Features Unique To Each Product
Alright! We’re done with looking at the similarities these two guitars share. Right now, we’ll be looking at the features one has that the other lacks, and how that affects their overall performance.
Features Unique To The Ibanez AS73
Finish Available: Multiple Types
The Ibanez AS73 is available in multiple finishes, unlike the Epiphone Dot which is only available in one.
Although, it has to be said that finding these different colors is not a very easy task, but as always, we’re here to help you out.
Do not be confused when you see letters attached as suffixes to the AS73. These suffix letters describe the color of that particular guitar. It doesn’t not affect any other feature of the guitar besides the color.
There are five major color types available for this guitar, these are:
- Transparent cherry.
- Antique amber.
- Olive metallic.
- Tobacco brown sunburst.
There are also several colors available, viz:
As guitarists, we know that a lot of the time, when picking a guitar, after the sound comes the looks. Yes, we know the main purpose of the guitar is the sound. However, we also know that you don’t want something that would scare you when you wake up in the morning.
The look of your guitar has to be captivating. You step onto the stage, in front of an audience who has never heard you play before. The look of your guitar should be able to captivate them long enough to want to hear you play.
This is one thing that many people don’t like to talk about because it seems superficial, but it’s actually real. People often judge a book by its cover, so, why don’t you get a great book cover?
Pick Up Model: Classic Elite
Probably the most underrated part of the electric guitar, the pickup. It determines, to a large extent, the quality and tone of the sound produced by the guitar. Why this part of the guitar is not talked about as much as other parts, is pretty surprising to us.
We often get caught up in talks about the wood used, the design, the build style, and all that stuff, that we often neglect that as an electric guitar, the sound would be determined greatly by the electronics. While those things affect the sound, the pickup affects the sound even more.
The pickups that come with this guitar are retro pickups, as you might have guessed from the name “Classic”. This is an original Ibanez pickup.
We really like it when the company that makes the guitars is the same company that makes the pickups. That way, you’re assured of proper integration between guitar and pickup.
The sounds produced by the Classic Elite pickups are very rich sounds. These sounds are usually nuanced, bearing certain subtle differences from normal electric guitar pickups.
This is because they emphasize also on the lower-end, fatter notes. Most of the time, electric guitar pickups tend to neglect the lower notes, giving it an overall really high-pitched sound. While this is great for rocking out, it’s not so great for playing warmer, fuller, chords.
With these pickups, your high notes sound high, and your low notes sound low, giving you the overall balance that you deserve in an electric guitar.
At the end of the day, this is just our opinion, no need to be convinced. Check out the video below for a quick play-through with the Ibanez AS73, check out how the pickups work for yourself:
Features Unique To The Epiphone Dot
Hardware Available: Nickel
This guitar is only available in one hardware option. Whether this hardware is what you like, or not, is not the business of the manufacturers.
The hardware that this is available in is nickel. The first reason we think that nickel is used ahead of chrome in this is the fact that it is a vintage design. Nickel was used a lot in old times, way more than chrome. However, chrome has gained increased popularity in recent times.
Nickel has a yellowish, warm look as opposed to chrome’s blueish, cooler look. The first really great thing about nickel is the fact that it is corrosion-resistant.
However, it does tarnish faster than chrome. Chrome is harder than nickel, but nickel ages a lot more nicely than chrome, which is why vintage guitars with nickel plating can still look cool, or warm, after such a long time.
One thing you have to take note of with regards to repairs is that nickel and chrome parts should never be mixed up in the same guitar. Make sure you double-check the guitar parts you want to buy to make sure they are not mixed up, that can be damaging.
While it might not be easy to determine the difference between chrome parts and nickel parts individually, this task is made significantly easier once you place both of them side by side.
Pickup Model: Alnico Classic Humbucker
Well, to be honest, this is one set of pickups that splits opinions. On one hand, people think that the pickup is not good enough and produces a really “muddy, farty, sound”.
On the other hand, people think that the sound produced by these pickups is different from what is common, definitely, but not as bad as people ring it out to be.
However, one thing everyone agrees on is the fact that these are meaner sounding than their preceding colleagues. At the end of the day, things like this always go down to personal opinion, bias, and preference.
With that said, we think you should hear for yourself what this guitar, and these pickups sound like. Check out this video:
Ibanez AS73 Vs Epiphone Dot – Unique Pros
- They are available in many different finish options.
- Classic elite pickups make high notes sound high, and low notes sound low.
- Although it only has one hardware option available, nickel is really good for the vintage look and feel that this guitar was going for.
Ibanez AS73 Vs Epiphone Dot – Unique Cons
- No unique cons.
- The pickups are not considered to be top-quality.
Ibanez AS73 Vs Epiphone Dot – Pros Common To Both
|Price|| The greatest thing these two guitars share is their price. |
These two guitars are reasonably priced, carrying great cost to performance ratios.
| This guitar is also reasonably priced for the quality that it provides. |
Although this costs slightly more than the Ibanez, they still belong to the same price category.
|Tonewood||Maple serves as a great tonewood for electric guitars and it’s great that both of these guitars used maple instead of some other inferior woods.||Although this is made from laminated maple, it still carries most of the characteristics of solid maple, and as such, shares its pros.|
|Body shape||Being semi-hollow guitars, these two guitars don’t weigh so much and still produce very resonant sounds with minimal feedback.||This is also a semi-hollow guitar.|
Ibanez AS73 Vs Epiphone Dot – Cons Common To Both
|Neck wood: Mahogany||Mahogany is not the strongest wood out there, yes, it’s not an absolute disaster, but there are better options available.|| When compared to maple, mahogany is not very hardwood. |
But because they were made from maple, it’s quite confusing as to why they didn’t just use it for the neck too.
Ibanez AS73 Vs Epiphone Dot – General Feeling Amongst Users
| Well, people who bought this guitar are really happy with their purchase. They consider this guitar a really great guitar and like the sound of the pickups. |
With both right and left-handed orientation, this was a great guitar for most people.
| The Epiphone Dot was created, for many people, to satisfy a nostalgic feel of old-school guitars. We are glad to announce that this guitar did just that. |
With the nickel hardware and warm look, this vintage-looking guitar caught the hearts of many.
Ibanez AS73 Vs Epiphone Dot – What Do We Think?
With regards to the Ibanez AS73 Vs Epiphone Dot argument, these are our final thoughts:
|We think that this is actually a pretty good guitar. If you’re a beginner, or you’re just getting into your intermediate stage, you want something like this for yourself.||The Epiphone Dot is one that caught the hearts of many, as we said before. However, it is to be said that we feel like Epiphone could have done more with the pickups. Whether that is made or break, is left for you to decide.|