Question of the Day - Important Stuff
With its dazzling looks and its ability to growl like a pit bull scorned, I'm leaning toward Sarah.
And, the body and neck are made of maple.
Thank you, I'll be here all night.
UPDATE: More on Sarah's pedigree...
Made in Korea (Cort factory)
Rounded horns a la ES-335
Super 58 pickups
Vintage Sunburst finish
Multi-ply cream-colored binding
It turns out it's quite unique in that it was manufactured during the transition period in which Ibanez switched factories in 1996, and as luck would have it, combines the best (IMHO) features of both factories' production runs into one guitar.
The changes made to the AS80 during this transitional period (1996 to 1997 models) include (1) the body shape at cutaway, (2) headstock design, and (3) upgrade of pickups. Here are some Ibanez catalog scans to illustrate this.
The serial number of my guitar indicates a manufacturing date of August 1996. The headstock shows it was manufactured in the new (Cort) factory with the upgraded Super 58 pickups. My guitar however has the old body shape with the rounded horns on the cutaway, which mimics the shape of the Gibson ES-335 on which this Artstar series'design was based. Note the 1997 model has the more pointed horns on it.
So, this guitar was one of the first ones made at the new factory using (based on what other have told me) the unused 1996-style bodies, explaining why it doesn't match any of the models in the Ibanez catalogs from that time period.
I really like the old body style better, but didn't want to have to pull out the Super 50's that were in the older models to upgrade them. So, when the opportunity came up to buy this "mutant" AS80, I jumped on it.