Trying to find a good beginner-friendly acoustic-electric guitar has become easier past couple of years due to manufacturers focusing on creating some really nice affordable, decent quality models. There are hundreds of different models on the market which is, both, a good and a bad thing. Good because you have so many options to pick form. AND bad because how the hell are you supposed to choose out of hundreds of guitars, especially if you are new to guitars. The choice usually comes to nitpicking different details. On that note, let’s get into finding out whether Ibanez Performance Series PF15 is a good choice for you.
Ibanez is one of the most well-known manufacturers on the market today. That is one of the reasons why a lot of newcomers automatically go to Ibanez instruments. The other reason being that Ibanez actually knows how to make some nice quality instruments for beginners. Their PF15 is a dreadnought acoustic-electric model with a cutaway. Although this is a full sized model it is pretty lightweight. Plus, the cutaway makes it a bit easier to handle. The spruce top and mahogany back and sides might not be of the highest quality materials available on the market nowadays but they come together very well and create a nice volume and sound. The neck is also mahogany and it is slim enough to be very comfortable in the hands of an absolute beginner as well as an intermediate guitar player.
So, now let’s get a bit into the hardware on this model. When it comes to acoustic-electric guitars in this price range, it goes without saying that it is going to be basic. And basically does not mean bad or lacking. As a beginner, I doubt you will need any extra features that more expensive models offer so why overpay for them? The PF15 is equipped with black and white soundhole rosette. The machine heads are chrome die-cast and they are functional and extremely easy to use. Finally, the finish is transparent blue sunburst high gloss finish that does not prevent the guitar from vibrating freely.
The construction of the PF15 lends it to be an amazing instrument for any style and level of professionalism. Whether amplified or not, the sound on the PF15 is definitely nice and can compete with models at a higher price range. I would not compare it to high-end Fender or Yamaha but for the price, it is decent. The action might be a bit high for some (especially, if you are a beginner) so that might be one problem you encounter but that is also fixable.
The PF15, apart from having some decent, beginner-friendly hardware is also, surprisingly good electronics-wise. This model comes with onboard pickup and preamp system with 2-band EQ. They are pretty great for jamming if you are in a band or practicing on your own. It is easy to set up which is a big advantage for someone who has never done it before and has to learn from the get-go. Overall, I am very impressed with Ibanez’s ability to combine electronics with acoustic model and not make it sound sub-par (while also only costing under $200, which for me is just dumbfounding).
Whether you are looking for your first guitar, your first acoustic-electric guitar or need a short-term guitar before you buy your dream model, Ibanez Performance Series PF15 might be a great bargain for you. To be honest, I am a bit disappointed that I paid two times more for my first “affordable” model that sounded pretty much the same as PF15. This baby is going to be a great introduction to acoustic-electric guitars that will make you a fan of Ibanez forever and ever.