Even if you have just spent months in the world of music, especially in the country of guitars, you are pretty familiar with the name Ibanez. If not, let’s take a brief journey into the company. In 1905, a bookmaker company in Japan took the bold decision of stepping into the world of guitars. They started their production and distribution by the name of Hoshino Gakki. The idea took some shape in a few years and in 1935, Hoshino Gakki decided to try their luck with Spanish classical guitars. Classical guitars were making their way to the top during those years only. They were getting immensely popular because of their unique soft and warm sound so Hoshino Gakki’s decision appears to be pretty rational. Anyways, they started manufacturing classical guitars and the brand name they decided to go with was Ibanez Salvador. Salvador Ibanez was a Spanish legend who used to make guitars and ukuleles, and some other string instruments. Later, that name just shortened to Ibanez and that is where the legacy took birth.
The face of Ibanez as a brand we see today initiated in the 1950s. They had loads of competitors in their market and obviously, as a brand, their primary focus was to uniquely position their brand. As years went by, Ibanez positioned themselves as risk-takers in the guitar making world. Risk-takers meaning that they were known as a brand that did experiments with guitars. They really did not leave anything in a guitar that they have not experimented with. Strings, bodies, shapes, material, electronics, they experimented with everything. Their guitars started to be known as “wild-looking” guitars. As a matter of fact, Ibanez was the brand that initiated 7 and 8 string guitars. Ibanez’s PN14-WK is also one of Ibanez’s successful experiments. It is a beautiful acoustic guitar that does not look like every other guitar hung on the walls of music stores. It looks different, it feels different, it sounds different, but it costs pretty much the same as any other average acoustic guitar. How to define “different”? We will see that next.
Ibanez PN14-WK Review
The Parlor Body
You hardly might have seen an acoustic guitar that does not have a dreadnought body. Most acoustic guitars have dreadnought bodies and without a doubt, they do have advantages. However, there are other options out there that can make a guitar sound extremely different. Also, it depends on the usability too. The parlor body is a little different from the dreadnought body, even in how it looks. It is small, it does not have cutaways, and it has smoother, more gradual curves. Dreadnought has deeper curves than the parlor. The lower part of the body in the dreadnought style is bigger. In the parlor body, it is small. It looks more like a uke, really. However, do not confuse them with a Baby Taylor or Little Martin. Those are different. Parlor bodies are quite close to baby guitars in how they look, but they more or less sound like jumbos or dreadnoughts only. Nevertheless, its parlor body makes PN14-WK a perfect travel guitar. And it looks super cute, to be honest. The neck is also smaller; it has 18 frets.
Mahogany All The Way
The Ibanez PN14-WK is an all Mahogany piece! The top of this guitar, the back, the sides, and the headstock are all made of Mahogany wood. Mahogany is a top-of-the-line choice for a guitar. Usually, guitars are a mixture of several different kinds of wood. Mahogany is often only used to make guitar tops to put a cherry on the top. That is the most important position that influences the sound of the guitar. However, if Mahogany is used to manufacture the complete guitar, the sound gets as warm and smooth as it could. It does increase the cost of the instruments, though. Because Mahogany is an expensive wood. The fingerboard and the bridge of this guitar are made of Rosewood. Ibanez did not really experiment with that. Probably because there is no better way of making a fretboard other than making it out of Rosewood.
Open Pore Finish
Most acoustic guitars follow the standard. They usually have a gloss finish. It is not about the looks; gloss finish dubs the sound to a certain extent. However, Ibanez lived up to their risk-taking abilities and tried another way in this guitar. PN14-WK does not have a lamination. It is an open pore finish which means that the wood is as raw as it gets. The sound you hear is the exact sound the wood is producing in the soundhole.
If you know what Mahogany does to a guitar’s sound, you might understand how an all Mahogany guitar would sound. The sound of this guitar is super, super warm. There is almost no sharpness or screaming in the guitar. Two, the body resonates like anything. The guitar only looks small; it does not sound small. PN14-WK sound as large and loud as a normal dreadnought guitar. And honestly, it is absolutely beautiful when a warm sound is decently amplified. The lows, mids, and highs are totally balanced, nothing overshadows anything. The genres this guitar suits the best are blues and folk. These genres usually require soft and warm sounds and that is what this guitar essentially serves. Otherwise, it is a great option for other genres too. Not like you can’t use it for pop or rock or something. It will pull off those too, pretty decently.
Ibanez’s PN14-WK is literally the only all Mahogany guitar that falls in an average price range. It costs almost as much as any other decent guitar. Taylors and Martins are probably four times as expensive as this. It competes in the price ranges of Yamaha and Fender acoustic guitars. Finding a guitar that uses an expensive wood entirely in that price range is next to impossible.
Pros & Cons Of Ibanez PN14-WK:
- All Mahogany parlor body.
- High-quality construction.
- Beautifully warm yet loud sound.
- Good size for traveling. Really handy.
- Average priced.
- No added value. No gig bag, tuners, or keys.
- Needs good care.
PN14-WK by Ibanez is a beautifully constructed guitar that is made of Mahogany in and out. It produces an unbelievably warm, loud, and balanced sound. As per reviews from professionals, this guitar is the best choice for live performances. Not like it can’t prove itself in studios; it will pull it off like anything. But, the sound it delivers will totally stand out in a live band performance. The price point is so decent that even starters can afford it. That is probably the only all Mahogany guitar beginners can afford. Ibanez’s experimentation made Mahogany available for starters.