Hello there! It’s been a long time since I posted a real guitar review here 🙂 In this review, we will be looking at a great value for money dreadnought acoustic guitar by Ibanez. This guitar belongs to PF series (stands for Performance!) and called Ibanez PF15ECE.
Ibanez PF15ECE has been always a great seller among other entry to step-up acoustic guitars due to its excellent value for money. I remember having sold this guitar regularly, to be honest not like hotcakes but it would sell at least twice a week among its competitor models both by Ibanez itself and Cort, Epiphone, Jay Turser and Fender.
I must tell you this guitar never came out of the box with structural problems even though it’s quite cheap. If you have already had a look at my “Ibanez V50NJP & VC50NJP Jam Pack Review The Best Starter Pack?” review and are still thinking about a step-up model, this is one of the best options you can still have!
Ibanez PF15 series has more than one model and colour options for you to choose. They are basically the same guitar but you will have the option to choose either Ibanez PF15 (a classic dreadnought model, still on Ibanez’s website but not easy to find), Ibanez PF15C (a dreadnought cutaway model without the preamp, probably discontinued), Ibanez PF1512 (12 string version of PF15, still available) and Ibanez PF15ECE (a dreadnought cutaway model with preamp).
Before we dive into some technical details, let’s hear some of our options down below.
The first video you will be watching features an Ibanez PF15 recorded with a pair of Rode NT5 microphone.
As you can hear from the video, it just produces great, solid dreadnought acoustic sounds without any problem! Just before we skip to cutaway versions, there’s another video of Ibanez PF15 recorded with a Rode Stereo Video Mic Pro so you can compare the sounds!
The next video we’ll be looking at features an Ibanez PF15C, again this guitar was recorded with a pair of Rode NT5 microphone directly into the computer without any effects or EQ applied. You will notice this guitar sounds almost identical to the dreadnought version.
Cutaway dreadnought models will not sound completely different than the same identical model’s dreadnought version due to slightly different body design. I’m sure there are guitar freaks out there that would claim these two body types sound completely different but I don’t agree with that really 🙂
If you are to play in the higher register, it would be way painful to do with a classic dreadnought design. But if you are planning to use a lot of single lines and play solos down there, you will feel way more comfortable with cutaway models.
The last video of Ibanez PF series belongs to an Ibanez PF15ECE which features a dreadnought cutaway body with a built-in preamp.
This model was also recorded with a pair of Rode NT5 microphone, but the cool thing about this recording is that built-in preamp sounds were also recorded simultaneously into the computer and you will notice we switched from microphone signal to the preamp signal back and forth so you can hear the difference!
|Body Design||Cutaway Dreadnought Design|
|Back & Sides||Mahogany or Okoume*|
|Fretboard||Rosewood or Laurel*|
|Bridge||Rosewood or Laurel*|
|Rosette||Black & White Multi|
|Bridge||Rosewood or Merbau|
|Pickups||Ibanez Under Saddle Pickups|
|Electronics||Ibanez AEQ2T Preamp w/ Tuner|
|Tuners||Die-Cast Chrome Tuners|
|Bridge Pins||Ibanez Advantage Pins|
As you can see from the tech specs table above, there is some misleading information spread on the internet. To be honest, it’s very difficult to obtain the correct information. What I suspect here is that many websites still claim that this guitar has a mahogany body and rosewood fretboard & bridge. As some of you are already aware of CITES, there have been radical changes in guitar tonewoods selection by manufacturers. And they have been acting quite quickly to change what they use in order to get around with regulations and legislation. However, all of the models I have mentioned above with videos had all rosewood boards and bridges for 100%! 🙂
As I have mentioned in the introduction part of this review, Ibanez PF15ECE is an excellent step-up model for the ones who have been looking for a fairly reasonable acoustic guitar with a built-in preamp. For its price range (around €180 to €190), it’s really hard to beat this model especially if you want to own one with a preamp. Most guitars in this price range will not offer you a decent preamp.
As far as I remember, there was not a single problem with the preamp section of the instrument. But always check 9V battery that comes with it as most of the times they arrive a bit drained! 🙂
Also, some of the PF15ECEs that we sold needed a slight neck adjustment, but it’s not even a problem. But anyways, if you decide to order one, you can always choose Thomann which is the best musical instruments company on this planet and they will make sure your guitar has been tested rigorously before they ship it to you! So you will probably never notice a single problem!
By the way, I have recently published “25 Best Selling Acoustic Guitars For Beginners and Intermediate Players” review which also includes Ibanez PF15ECE as well. I highly suggest you check out my review before you decide 🙂
Hope this has been a helpful review for you to choose your step-up acoustic guitar and I highly recommend you to consider Ibanez PF15ECE model guitar. Please do not hesitate to post your comments and questions down below, I’m always here to help and assist you with your instrument selections! Thanks for stopping by and see you in the next review!