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1978 Ibanez MC500 Musician Carved Body Neck Thru Super 88 Humbuckers Original Flight Case
Out of stock
Today, Lawman Guitars is Presenting….
A first year, 1978, Ibanez MC500 Neck Thru Carved Body Musician guitar with the awesome Tri-Sound Super 88 Humbucker Pickups, Power Boost circuit AND Original ANVIL Flight Hard Shell Case. No one has this original case! Extremely RARE!! Only 178 were produced in the carved body model this first year!
This guitar is incredible. Huge sound out of these humbucker pickups and activate the power boost, be prepared to leave your drummer in the dust! This guitar is LOUD!!!
This is a wonderful, versatile and unusual guitar. Heavy, weighs 10 lbs 6 ozs, solid with a fat neck and lots of sustain.
It is all original, including the Flight Case…. The frets are still in really good shape. See pic 5...Just superficial dings and scratches as expected in a 40 year old guitar.
IT HAS A WALNUT/MAPLE BODY AND A THROUGH THE BODY MAPLE NECK. THE WALNUT PROVIDES A WARM NATURAL TONE WITH PLENTY OF MID-PUSH, THE MAPLE ADDS IN SOME SPARKLE AND THE THROUGH THE NECK CREATES FANTASTIC TONE TRANSFER AND SUSTAIN. DUAL SUPER 88 TRI-SOUND PICKUPS PROVIDE A WORLD OF TONE. EACH PICKUP HAS ITS OWN PHASE/COIL TAP/HUMBUCKER SWITCH. THESE ARE FED INTO THE ACTIVE 3 BAND EQ. WITH ITS OWN ON/OFF SWITCH. IN THE SAME EQ. CIRCUIT IS A ADJUSTABLE BOOST WHICH IS A REAL LIFESAVER WHEN YOU COME ACROSS A TUBE AMP THAT DOESN'T HAVE ENOUGH GAIN (GENERALLY WHAT YOU ECOUNTER AT A SHOW WHERE THE BACKLINE IS PROVIDED). JUST FLIP THE SWITCH AND ROLL THE GAIN KNOB AND YOUR READY TO GO.
The original Tri-tone Super 88 Humbucker pickups can be used as passive humbuckers, split for single coil, or engage the active circuit in both modes for a volume or gain boost. Along with the three way pickup selector this means you can get endless combinations of tone. Electronics include: 1 Volume, 1 Preamp level, 1 3-way pick up switch, 2 trisound switches, 3 band EQ, 1 EQ/Preamp on/off.
Jeff the Tech went over this guitar completely. The Power Circuit has its own volume gain knob to add just how much extra you need for your HOT Lead lines. A very versatile guitar! He set it up with awesome playing low action for fast leads and effortless bending… The neck is straight, the frets have lots of life left and it feels great with the ebony fingerboard and wonderfully colorful abalone fret markers. It’s a pleasure to play!
Heres some info and review of these guitars that has plenty of history for you…
In 1977, Norlin, parent company of Gibson, sued Elger, the American arm of Hoshino/Ibanez, over trademark infringement for copying Gibson headstocks. The end result was an out-of-court settlement, and despite what you read on the internet, this was the only copy-guitar “lawsuit” of the 1970s.
By 1978, the Japanese makers were selling new designs based on evolving tastes. Resorting to lawyers didn’t accomplish anything except to create new areas for Japanese successes!
Ironically, Ibanez, the focal point of the American counterattack because of its growing market share, had already changed its headstocks to look more like – funnily enough – Guild! In any case, the first guitars out of the gate in 1978 for Ibanez were the Performer series, Les Paul-type guitars with a little Tele curve at the upper bout/neck joint. This shape would be used by other Japanese makers, as well, and has been more or less in constant use ever since. If you’ve ever played one, you know how good they are!
The Ibanez Performers went into a easy holding pattern until two new series could be introduced – the Studios and Musicians. Both capitalized on late-1970s predilections for neck-through construction, brass fittings to enhance sustain, and active electronics. Neck-through guitars had gained favor through efforts of companies such as B.C. Rich and Alembic, who also championed active electronics. Travis Bean and Kramer were also pioneering sustain with their aluminum-necked guitars.
The Studios and Musicians were fairly similar, except the Musicians were more upscale. The Studios had set necks, whereas the Musicians (except for the entry-level bolt-neck MC100) were neck-through-body.
As the top of the line, the Ibanez MC500 Musician is a superb piece of guitar art and engineering from Fuji Gen Gakki. Meeting the taste for exotic woods with natural finishes, the MC500 was made using a sandwich of either carved walnut or dark-stained ash with a maple center and walnut or ash back, around a laminated maple and mahogany neck. Only the MC500 had a carved top. Hardware that wasn’t gold-plated was solid brass for enhancing sustain, including the extra-large scalloped tailpiece. As with all instrument series, electronics were more sophisticated as you moved up the line. The MC500 sported active Tri-Sound Super 88 humbuckers with a dizzying array of controls. Two three-way mini-toggles offered regular humbucking mode plus a coil tap and phase reversal for each pickup. A third mini-toggle activated an EQ circuit with volume and tone plus boost and cut controls for a three-band EQ (low, mid, high frequencies). All were controlled by a master volume.
The beauty of the wood, the excellent construction, and the electronic horsepower would be enough to recommend the MC500 to anyone who likes a fine-playing, versatile-sounding guitar. To the lucky ones ordering they got an aluminum flight case!
The Ibanez Musicians were extremely well-received, much to the chagrin of American manufacturers, who had hoped to cramp the style of the Japanese makers with the challenge to copying. Other Japanese companies quickly joined the fray; Aria Pro II debuted its own RS Rev-Sound series and even the Korea-based Cort introduced models clearly following the Musician’s lead. Even Gibson joined the active game with its estimable RD Artist line in 1978, though the timing was probably due more to Zeitgeist than to emulating Ibanez.
All Ibanez Musicians, and especially the MC500 are really nice guitars. They’re fun to play, and if there’s a downside to them, it’s that the search for sustain almost inevitably makes for added weight. Plus, as wonderful as it is to be able to fine-tune your sound with onboard EQ, there’s a powerful streak in many guitar players that likes to keep it simple. That’s the other extreme represented by a young Edward Van Halen, who wanted one pickup and one knob – a volume control! In any case, the rage for brass nuts, sustain blocks, and active electronics eventually passed, as all things do. The original Ibanez Musician line was gone after the 1980 season, replaced briefly by a bolt-neck with passive electronics, as the guitar business began its inevitable drift toward the Stratocaster-style guitars that would come, after a brief flirtation with exotic shapes, to define the decade of the 1980s.
The success of Ibanez Musicians during their brief three-year run means they’re not especially rare birds. The carved-top MC500s were, understandably, less common and prime examples can easily sell today for $1,500. Only 164 were built in 1978, when this custom-ordered guitar was finished, and by the end of 1980, some 1,180 MC500s had left the Fuji factory – enough to make it possible to find one of these beautiful tributes to the search for sustain at the end of the 1970s.
Check out the original Hard Shell Flight Case. You never see these guitars with the original Flight case. Quite a find to get this one with the case. Very very RARE! Fits the guitar perfectly and protects it like no other case can!
Used and vintage so its sold as-is no returns..however, I have been hand picking my customers guitars for them for close to 20 years now. They all love the instruments I find. This Ibanez beauty will certainly not be an exception.
Thanks for checking out our cool guitars.
Lawman Mike at Lawman Guitars