I think Ibanez had us figured out 35 years ago

Herr Squid

I was severely impressed
Aug 19, 2012
Well, the thread title may be a little out there, but I accept the fact that I'm lousy at naming things, so what the hey...

I was blundering around the interwebz as one does late at night some times, and came across a guitar for sale at Reverb. I had a moment of confusion about what I was looking at, but while it's an early 80's Ibanez, darned if there aren't a lot of cues on this thing that aren't at all out of place on a late-model PRS. I mean, look at it:


What do we see here that looks really familiar?

Double cut: check.
White pickup rings: check.
PAF-style pickups: check.
Two piece squared-off bridge with slotted tailpiece: check.
Enhanced knobbage: check.
Coil-switching on both pickups: check.

I'm just really struck by some of the things that they were doing back then that seem really relevant and on-point today. One of my early formative guitar experiences was sending a few bucks in an envelope to Ibanez for their 1985 electric guitar catalog, and when I got it, I spent an awful lot of time ogling those guitars, wondering if I could ever afford one. There were so many things in that catalog that I coveted and still appreciate today: the Marine Sunburst finishes on the Lukather guitars, vintage-styled Artists with and without F-Holes, PAF-inspired pickups, coil-switching that a lot of makers didn't offer at the time.

I mean look at these and tell me you don't see strong resemblances to the guitars we appreciate so much today (OK, aside from the battleaxe tremolo bridges). I think these guys were seriously ahead of their time:

I used to play Ibanez guitars. Had three of them. I bought a 570 used then a kid came in to the store I was working at with a two humbucker version with rootbeer top. He wanted to dump it cheap so I bought it.

I liked it better than the 570 because I like the middle position with two HBs more than the single coil center of the 570.

But they are looooong gone.
Very insightful! Used to love going in music stores as a young kid in the early 70's and trying to noodle around
on some of those old Ibanez Artists!
I had an AR120RD when I was in high school, it was a dope guitar, and I still have a couple of the “Suregrip” knobs in my parts drawer (great knobs!)

These, Hamers, Yamaha SBG’s and Image Customs... the “Super” LPDC platform of guitars has been around for a minute.
I had a white 1986 Ibanez Artist "Super Edition" for a few months that had an Ibanez Edge trem… Foolishly sold it because it was too "classic" looking at the time... Oh Sergio, there are still making the SuperGrip III knobs which I have put in a few guitars... The best knob for push pull pots..
One of my guitar teachers had an Artist. It was pretty and he was a spectacular player...and only a few years older than me, so I took extra notice of his guitar choice. I already had my Les Paul, so it didn’t influence buying anything, then. Later, is another story.

When it was time to guide my youngest son toward his first real guitar, the shop he was taking lessons had a gazillion Les Pauls. They were also an Ibanez dealer and they had a bunch of stuff that I would noodle on while waiting to pick up Taylor. At the top of the heap was this candy apple red Satriani JS-1200, one of the Japanese made pro models. The neck was phenomenal. Heck, everything was phenomenal! It was me that pushed him to consider it, despite the double locking trem. He chose it, and 20+ years later, he still has it. And I borrow it frequently. I’d buy it from him in an instant.
Yamaha also had us figured out aroungd the same time.

Yamaha MSG / Image Standard (produced for yamaha by Fujigen in Japan. the same factory that made ibanez's)

Check List =
Two piece contoured figured maple cap: check
One piece mahogany back: check
Double cut: check.
Chamfered cutaways: check
White pickup rings: check.
PAF-style pickups: check.
Triangle control layout: check
Two piece bridge with slotted tailpiece: check.
Coil-switching on both pickups: check.
I've always wanted an Artist... Still do! Some of the Ibanez and Yamaha options were stupid ugly, but there's plenty of gems to be found.

Unfortunately when I find one locally it at a show they're all messy with piles of problems and an obscene price tag.... Maybe someday...
I had a white 1986 Ibanez Artist "Super Edition" for a few months that had an Ibanez Edge trem… Foolishly sold it because it was too "classic" looking at the time... Oh Sergio, there are still making the SuperGrip III knobs which I have put in a few guitars... The best knob for push pull pots..

I'll have to check those out. They fit prs core models?
The Japanese companies were making better “American” guitars than the American companies. That was also part of the beginnings of PRS. Getting back to making quality guitars here. I still have a late 70s Yamaha SA2000 that remains a stellar example of craftsmanship (a 335 that was better than Gibson’s own!).

IIRC Santana also played one of those Artist series..
Carlos was also playing a 70s Yamaha, the SG2000. He later used a Yamaha SBG3000 before the PRS came along.

I had a 1983 AR100 Artist and a 1982 MC150 Musician for a few years just before I got into PRS. They are great guitars with great pickups. I sold them off because theyare just way too bloody heavy!