The Ibanez AR (Artist) series was first introduced in 1974. It was one of the first original Ibanez series unlike other previous series that mostly represented copies of other brands. The AR guitars were designed specifically for heavy metal and rock music. All guitars in this series have 3-pc Maple slim neck and Tri-sound switching system for each pickup. The AR guitars feature rich sound and good playability.
Many people do call the Ibanez AR series Ibanez’ own version of the Gibson Les Paul. Their designs are really very similar. Due to high competition and most probably insufficient sales volumes the AR series was discontinued in 1992. But in 1998 it was reintroduced again. Nowadays Ibanez AR provides a good combination of a decent quality with affordable price and is widely seen as one of the best guitars for classic rock and metal.