Ibanez V50NJP – Highly Affordable Beginner Acoustic Pack

You might know Ibanez for their brightly-colored, metal-inclined shredder guitars, but this brand has something for just about everyone. Ibanez also manufactures affordable beginner guitars that are a smart choice for players on a budget who want to start learning guitar. The Ibanez V50NJP is a highly affordable beginner acoustic pack that comes with a jam pack of everything you need to start playing.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Beginner Acoustic Guitar

If you're just starting to learn guitar (or if you're buying an instrument for a child who's just starting out), you probably aren't looking to buy a high-end instrument. While it is possible to find a beginner guitar that is both affordable and has a decent sound, it does require you to search carefully. Here are some things to think about before buying:

  • Consider size and body style -- For most older children and adults, it's best to learn on a full-size acoustic guitar. Smaller children may have an easier time playing on 3/4 or even 1/2 size instruments.
  • Do you need a solid top? -- It's generally accepted that guitars with solid wood tops sound better than all-laminate instruments. However, especially if you're on a tight budget, it's possible to start out on a decent-quality, all-laminate guitar. Some inexpensive laminate options also include a jam pack of accessories, which can simplify your buying experience.
  • Read about playability -- In a perfect world, you would be able to try out a beginner guitar before buying. If you aren't in a position to do so, make sure that you read reviews that discuss playability. Especially if you're a beginner, a guitar that is uncomfortable or hard to play may make you more likely to quit.
  • Listen to sound demos -- A guitar that sounds good to your ears will also be more inspiring to play. Make sure that you listen to sound demos and choose a guitar that sounds good to you.

Our Picks for Review

Guitar

Guitar

Model

Price

Full Review

Main

Ibanez

V50NJP

Cell

Alternative

Squier

Dreadnought Bundle

Cell

Alternative

Ibanez

PF2MHOPN

Cell

Alternative

Donner

DAG-1C Beginner Acoustic Pack

Cell

Ibanez V50NJP Guitar

PRO's & CON's of Ibanez V50NJP

Before we really delve into our review of the Ibanez V50NJP-NT, let's look at some of the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Full-size dreadnought is remarkably affordable
  • Guitar comes with a jam back that includes a gig bag, accessory bag, strap, tuner, and a few picks to help you get started
  • Quality construction means it sounds better than many starter dreadnoughts

Cons

  • All-laminate construction isn't likely to sound as good as a solid-top guitar
  • Some units have roughly-finished frets or scratches on the body

Features and Benefits

Ibanez is known for making guitars that offer excellent value. Even though the Ibanez V50NJP-NT is one of the most affordable options, this guitar still may be a good choice for some buyers. Here are some of its notable features.

The Jam Pack

With an Ibanez guitar that's this affordable, the products included in the accessories jam pack are important when you're deciding whether to buy this guitar. Here's what comes in the jam pack included with the Ibanez V50NJP-NT:

  • An Ibanez gig bag
  • An Ibanez accessories pouch
  • A plain guitar strap
  • A few different pick choices
  • An electronic tuner

This is a fairly basic jam pack. If you've recently viewed several starter guitar options, you may have found that some jam pack products sometimes include video lessons, while the one that comes with the Ibanez V50NJP-NT unfortunately does not. Buying a guitar with a jam pack saves times, but you also might prefer to choose your own accessories--this video helps you choose what you need.

Tonewoods and Build Quality

While the jam pack may make the Ibanez V50NJP-NT an attractive product for new players, the jam pack isn't the only thing to consider. The Ibanez V50NJP-NT is one of the most affordable product choices for new players, so its build quality isn't likely to sound as good as a solid top guitar.

The Ibanez V50NJP-NT has a top made of laminated spruce, and the body is made of laminated agathis. If you are not familiar with agathis, it may be helpful to know that is is one of the softer, more affordable tonewoods. You probably won't see a high-end guitar made with agathis, but the incorporation of agathis into this guitar's body is part of what keeps the price so low. If you are new to guitar, this informative video offers an introduction to tonewoods.

When it comes to build quality, the body style of the Ibanez V50NJP-NT also matters. This spruce and agathis guitar is a full-size dreadnought. This classic body shape is known for its ability to produce full, nuanced sound. And since agathis isn't really known for great tone, this product's body style may help make it sound better.

Other Features

The tonewoods and body style contribute a lot to the sound of the Ibanez V50NJP-NT. However, especially if you're choosing this Ibanez as your first, playability and other features have the potential to shape your playing experience. The Ibanez V50NJP-NT comes equipped with the unique Ibanez Advantage bridge pins. If you are a new player, you may have trouble changing strings at first. These easy-grip pins make string changing a breeze.

The special bridge pins from Ibanez make maintenance easier, but for the new player, playability features are often more important. Even though the jam pack comes with a tuner, inexpensive instruments often have issues with tuning stability. Like most inexpensive instruments, the Ibanez V50NJP-NT comes equipped with house-made tuners. Tuning stability issues can make playing very frustrating, and this video offers a possible solution.

Sometimes, inexpensive guitars like the Ibanez V50NJP-NT also have playability issues due to fast manufacturing and substandard quality control. While some players have praised this instrument for its easy playability, others have complained that the Ibanez V50NJP-NT has uneven frets. These can cause scrapes and general discomfort while playing.

Social Proof of the Guitar

If you've recently viewed several starter guitars like the Ibanez V50NJP-NT, you may be unsure which you want to choose. Luckily, most products have been extensively reviewed online. We've found a few Ibanez V50NJP-NT reviews to help you decide whether it's the right product for you.

Ibanez V50NJP Review 01

This thorough review addresses some of the downsides of the Ibanez V50NJP-NT. This person found issues with tuning stability and some quality control issues with the finish. Unfortunately, both of these are common with Ibanez guitars and other instruments at this price point.

Ibanez V50NJP Review 02

This positive review of the Ibanez V50NJP-NT is far from the only one. Despite the fact that its spruce top is laminate, this guitar sound surprisingly good for the price. While the jam pack isn't as comprehensive as the jam pack you get with some other guitars, it's nonetheless one of the best values you can get from Ibanez.

Ibanez V50NJP Review 03

This Ibanez V50NJP-NT review is especially helpful because the reviewer posted pictures of the included jam pack. Sometimes, the picks and other jam pack components end up looking better in pictures than they do in real life. In this review, each product looks true to the listing. This buyer noticed a few issues with the Ibanez V50NJP-NT, but they found this guitar to be a good value overall.

Alternatives to Ibanez V50NJP

Before you commit to one beginner guitar, it's a good idea to consider a few alternatives to the Ibanez V50NJP-NT. Here are three other related products you may want to consider.

Squier Dreadnought Bundle

How it Compares to Ibanez V50NJP

  • Its jam pack comes with Fender Play, a great quality online lesson program
  • It's also a full-size dreadnought, but it's made of laminated linden-wood top and laminated mahogany body (as opposed to the spruce and agathis build of the Ibanez V50NJP-NT)
  • Slim, easy-play neck is great for beginners
  • Jam pack accessories bundle includes strings, beginner's guide DVD, gig bag, guitar strap, tuners, and picks

Review

Fender is a renowned musical instruments manufacturer, and Squier is their budget brand. Like the Ibanez V50NJP-NT, this guitar does not have a solid top, but it's full-size, highly affordable, and comes with a jam pack that includes what you need to learn to play. If you're looking for a starter guitar that comes with a jam pack with more instructional materials than the Ibanez V50NJP-NT, make sure you check this one out!

Ibanez PF2MHOPN

How it Compares to Ibanez V50NJP

  • Smaller body is easier to handle and has great projection
  • Mahogany has a warmer sound than the spruce top of the Ibanez V50NJP
  • It does not come with an accessories jam pack
  • It's also made of all laminated wood

Review

Ibanez is a manufacturer known for quality yet affordable acoustics. many Ibanez acoustic guitars also come with unique top tonewoods. This one is a mini dreadnought, so its smaller size may be better for children or smaller players.

The top and body are made of laminated mahogany with a beautiful open-pore finish. This guitar doesn't come with the Ibanez jam pack accessories that you get with the Ibanez V50NJP-NT, but its affordable price means you can choose your own accessories. If you want a smaller, affordable guitar and prefer to choose your own jam pack accessories, make sure you check this one out!

Donner DAG-1C Beginner Acoustic Pack

How it Compares to Ibanez V50NJP

  • Included jam packs give you more products than the Ibanez jam pack
  • All-laminate build with spruce top is also affordable
  • Cutaway means that you get easier fret access than with the Ibanez V50NJP-NT
  • It's only slightly more expensive than the V50NJP

Review

Donner is a relatively new musical instruments manufacturer, and this guitar is likely to show up in a related products list if you've been shopping for a beginner guitar. This one comes with Donner's take on the jam pack, so you also get what you need to start playing.

Donner's jam pack contains more products than what you get from Ibanez--you also get a capo, strings, and an optional pickguard. This full-size dreadnought has a spruce top and mahogany back and sides for classic tone.

If you prefer a spruce top guitar with a cutaway and also want a jam pack, this is a great alternative to the Ibanez V50NJP-NT. Make sure you give this one a look!

In Conclusion

Ideally, you want your first guitar to be a solid top. However, if you're on a very tight budget, a laminate-top guitar is much better than no guitar. And as all-laminate guitars go, the Ibanez V50NJP is a good one with a surprisingly rich and full sound.

Plus, the included jam pack means you're ready to play as soon as you open the box, making the Ibanez V50NJP-NT a great choice for new players. Click here to check it out!

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