Ibanez AW54 6-String Acoustic Guitar

93 out of 100. Incorporating 650+ ratings and reviews.

Gearank High Notes

Ibanez AW54: Highest Rated Acoustic Guitar from $200 to $300 - 2020.09

Gearank Recommended

The AW54 appeared on our recommended list for Acoustic Guitars Under $200 when we published the first edition back in November 2016.

It remained on that list until September 2019 when a price increase resulted in it moving to our Acoustic Guitars Under $300 recommendations, where the only guitar to out-rank it at the time was the Ibanez AC240.

It is also on our recommended list for Beginner Acoustic Guitars where it has been since August 2019.


  • Sustain is lacking
  • Non-traditional voicing


  • Solid Okoume top
  • Warm mid to upper-mid focused tone
  • Musical sounding harmonic overtones
  • Student friendly playability


The AW54 is also known as the AW54OPN or AW54 Open Pore Natural.

This is part of the Artwood series which Ibanez says is their “modern approach to acoustic guitar tradition”. It originally had an all Mahogany body including a solid Mahogany top, but Ibanez later changed the wood used to help keep the cost down..

The top is still made from solid wood, but it now uses Okoume, which is a lighter and more readily available wood compared to Mahogany. But it does have a similar “warm” tone, with stronger representation of low-end and low-mid frequencies. The tone of this guitar is focused on the mids to upper-mids range with lots of nice harmonic overtones.

This tonewood and body shape configuration is very well suited to blues, country and finger style playing.

Being a dreadnought, it has good low and high-end response. But it has a warmer voice because of its Okoume tonewood. It lacks sustain, although not by much.

It has a neck that’s around 0.83″ thin, topped with an ovangkol fingerboard with a 15.75″ flat radius, both of which result in a comfortable neck profile that is easy on the fretting hand.

Build quality is top-notch. All the details are done well, including neck, fretwork, finish, and body bindings.

All in all, the Ibanez AW54 is a great instrument to learn guitar on, it is the best acoustic guitar for beginners who are into folk, ballads, and other musical styles that utilize warmer tones.


  • Body Shape: Dreadnought
  • Top: Solid Okoume
  • Body: Okoume back & sides
  • Finish: Open Pore
  • Bridge: Rosewood
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Neck Profile: Not specified
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Fingerboard Radius: 15.748″ (400 mm)
  • Number of Frets: 20
  • Scale Length: 25.62″
  • Nut Width: 1.69″

Rating Source Highlight

Website Source *Rating Value
YouTube Hoff Guitars 94/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm’s adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

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