If you’re curious about Ibanez vs Fender acoustic guitars, this is the post for you!
The history of Ibanez takes us back to the early 20th century with the Hoshino Gakki company.
It was sometime in the 1930s that they got into classical guitar territory.
And that was when the Ibanez name was used for the first time.
However, the Ibanez brand as we know it started working in 1957, and it got into the spotlight around the 1970s.
In particular, it was due to incredible budget-friendly Fender and Gibson copies for the US market.
These are the so-called “lawsuit guitars” that are still valued among collectors.
Nonetheless, Ibanez eventually got famous for high-quality original models too.
Although we all mostly focus on their virtuoso-friendly solid-body electric guitars, there’s much more to Ibanez.
In particular, their acoustic guitar line has a lot to offer.
They make everything from budget-friendly up to pro-tier guitars.
At the moment, they offer about a dozen or so acoustic guitar series.
Some of these even rival some of the company’s well-known electric guitar models.
You can also find some nylon-string Ibanez guitars, including those modern twists with cutaways.
But we’ll get to that.
This is the company that reinvented electric guitars.
Fender has been around since the 1940s.
With the Stratocaster, Leo Fender changed the game, setting standards for many decades to come.
Of course, Fender also has Telecasters, Jazzmasters, Jaguars, and many other models.
Fender Musical Instruments Corporation owns other brands, including Squier, Jackson, Gretsch, and others.
Mostly, they’re famous for their incredibly “twangy” and sharp single-coil pickup tones.
Additionally, their designs have remained consistent over the years with only minor changes.
There’s also a very long story about the company’s history.
In short, Leo Fender sold it all in 1965 to CBS.
CBS then sold it to employees in 1985, and it has been developing ever since, including all of the subsidiaries it acquired along the way.
Of course, they’ve also been producing acoustic guitars for a very long time now.
For the most part, these are your conventional steel-string acoustic guitars.
However, in recent years, they’ve also brought in the Acoustasonic series.
But these are somewhat specific and require separate discussion to understand fully.
Ibanez Vs Fender Acoustic Guitars
Overall, it’s tricky to compare entire brands for a particular type of product.
To have a definitive say in which one is “better” or “worse” would be impossible.
At least, that’s the case with such established mainstream brands.
Nonetheless, we’ll tackle this by dividing it all into entry-level, mid-tier, and high-end acoustic guitars.
This way, we’ll get a somewhat clearer picture and help you make a better choice for your needs.
Within the low-priced category, we can find some basic steel-string models, mostly with Dreadnaught and Grand Concert shapes.
However, there are a few unexpected guitars by Ibanez, like their small-sized Parlor guitars.
These are PN1 models that come with either spruce or mahogany tops.
EWP13 also stands out, not only for its Macassar ebony body and unusual design as well.
And going up to about $300, you’ll find some super-extraordinary models, like the Talman TCM50.
This one even has a magnetic pickup which can bring the tone closer to electric guitars when plugged in.
Within this price category, Fender is somewhat more conventional for the most part.
We’re looking at Dreadnaughts with your basic beginner-friendly features.
These are, however, by no means bad guitars.
CD-60S in all of its iterations over the years proved to be a reliable “workhorse” even for some gigging musicians.
If it’s up to me, I’d give Ibanez an advantage in this category.
Firstly, both Fender and Ibanez outsource these to Chinese factories and the overall build quality is roughly the same.
However, if you need something different and more diverse, then Ibanez wins in my opinion.
You’ll even get those great aesthetic features, including fretboard binding.
Taking It Up a Notch with the Mid-Range Instruments
Taking the price higher, things get more interesting with both Fender and Ibanez.
Interestingly enough, Ibanez brings more diversity, especially with the AEW models.
For instance, AEWC400 has a very comfortable body design.
There are slopes both at the front and the back, allowing more comfortable performance.
As for Fender, things are, once again, pretty conventional with some minor modifications.
If I were to pick one model that stands out here, it would be FA-345CE.
This is a modified Grand Auditorium model with a deep cutaway.
On top of that, the guitar has some incredible visual and ergonomic traits, all while retaining classic vibes.
But for the most part, you’ll find more or less conventional Fender stuff up to the $600 price point.
These are also mostly equipped with Fishman electronics which have become an industry standard.
In some ways, the comparison would be similar to that within the cheaper category.
However, I wouldn’t say that either Fender or Ibanez stands out so much that I’d call one better than the other.
When it comes to the high-end pro stuff, Fender took a different turn with the Acoustasonic series.
These guitars are unlike any other acoustic instrument you’ll see.
The best part is that they combine magnetic and piezo pickups, making them super diverse.
However, these have become a category of their own, a unique blend of thin-bodied acoustic-electric guitars.
And this whole line is pretty big, offering models from $1,000 to $2,000.
Looking at some of Fender’s other high-end acoustic guitars, they seem to have gone all-in on the classic traits.
You’ll find some incredible Parlor models, like PS-220E.
Then there’s a variety of Dreadnoughts, like the Redondo Classic or Redondo Special.
They come with either spruce or mahogany tops, as well as “6-in-line” headstocks.
Things get slightly more out-of-the-ordinary with Newporter models, combining classic tones with modern ergonomic traits.
Ibanez, however, isn’t super-exciting in the high-end category.
Sure, there are some weird models for those who prefer that stuff.
For instance, Ibanez Euphoria 5 is worth mentioning.
But aside from that one, Ibanez gets way more conventional as the price goes up.
Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t great guitars to find there.
Some of their AE models are great, like the AE295LTD which bears a full okoume body.
Currently, the most expensive acoustic guitar by Ibanez is ACFS580CE.
Price-wise, it’s more expensive compared to Fender’s high-end acoustics if we exclude the Acoustasonic series.
But it also comes with incredible traits, including its Alpine spruce top and a 5-piece mahogany and pau ferro neck.
Here’s where Ibanez also prefers to have their own electronics instead of packing different stuff into guitars.
Fender is certainly more diverse in this category, particularly with the Acoustasonic guitars.
However, Ibanez is still a force to be reckoned with.
Ibanez Vs Fender Acoustic: Which Is Better?
If I were to say that one is “better” than the other, I’d be lying.
For the most part, they’re all great choices in their respective price categories.
This goes for all the traits, including tone quality, build quality, playability, reliability, and anything else.
There are, however, a few things that I’d like to point out here.
Firstly, Fender’s Acoustasonic series is more specific.
These instruments are a modern blend of acoustic and electric guitars.
And they’re unlike anything I’ve seen.
Although you can play them acoustically, they come with their own twist to the tone.
It’s as if the tone is thinner and sharper, bringing it closer to the electric guitar.
Of course, you get a full-on electric tone with the magnetic pickup.
Therefore, it’s a whole other category of guitars, and it’s difficult to compare it to anything else on the market.
Secondly, the strength of Ibanez lies in its unique designs.
Sure, their conventional acoustic guitars are great as well.
But if you want to get the most out of them, especially within the cheaper category, go with those more unique models.
In short, Ibanez is a great option for all those who love a slightly different twist to conventional acoustic guitars.
This is, in my opinion, especially the case within the entry-level category.
On the other hand, Fender’s stuff is great for anyone looking at a regular guitar.
Of course, both sides have common tonewood options, allowing you to go anywhere from sharp to mellow tones.
As I already mentioned, I can’t make a definitive objective choice, and there’s no real consensus among guitar players.
In all honesty, you can’t go wrong with either.
Ibanez vs Fender Acoustic: Conclusion
I hope this article has helped you think through which brand of acoustic guitar is better for you!
But I’d like to know what you think!
Let me know in the comments!
And if you want to read more brand comparisons on this blog, check out: