1980s Ibanez Identification - Jemsite
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-19-2021, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
 
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1980s Ibanez Identification

Hello all,

I was hoping to get some more information on this guitar I recently picked up. Apparently it’s a 1988 540S but all the examples I see of those are slightly different, like the pickup configuration, I hardly see any that are HSH. It plays great, sounds killer but I’d like to know more about it.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-19-2021, 09:18 PM
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Re: 1980s Ibanez Identification

Does it have a Bensalem neck plate?
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-19-2021, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
 
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It does not. Same style neckplate but it has “Made in Japan” under the serial number.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-19-2021, 11:51 PM
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Re: 1980s Ibanez Identification

If it had a Bensalem plate H&S would do alot of customizing during that period and you could have a single added, or an extra switch, etc. I'm sure one of the experts in these will come along, but back then you'll find alot of stuff that isn't in catalogs, or was only available in Japan, or some distributor ordered a special run, etc. Not everything fits neatly into a box, sometimes it's outside.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2021, 04:49 AM
 
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Re: 1980s Ibanez Identification

Here ya go! Its not in any catalogs, but its not super uncommon either. You ARE missing your beehive knobs though, and thats sad! lol




and, despite Ibanez being super brilliant and not featuring in their catalog as a model... heres Frank Gambale featured in the 1988 catalog playing that exact model.... that apparently doesnt exist haha

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2021, 06:29 AM
 
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Re: 1980s Ibanez Identification

Get yer Gambale on!

Looks like a summer NAMM release (maybe EU only?). Rich is right though, in 1987-88 there's plenty of kooky stuff out there which never featured in a catalogue or pamphlet.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2021, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the responses and the information. Interesting to learn about the slight differences and how they weren’t all cataloged. I’m very glad I picked it up for a good price, I think it was worth it. Now to try to track down some of those beehive knobs lmao, those are awesome.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2021, 12:27 PM
 
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Re: 1980s Ibanez Identification

Eh, good luck finding the original style knobs. You can actually get a rubber version without the rings these days, it's called a Tek Grip 4KB1JH3R. Just get some rubber rings for the grooves to complete the look.

Here's an old thread where someone was asking about the same model S: https://www.jemsite.com/forums/f18/h...0s-129885.html. Seems likely then that certain European dealers ordered batches of guitars with specs that deviated a bit from official catalogues. It's like having a Wildwood spec Gibson or a GC special run of something.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2021, 12:41 PM
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Re: 1980s Ibanez Identification

4KB1JH3R - long discontinued.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2021, 12:44 PM
 
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Re: 1980s Ibanez Identification

Yeah the beehive knobs are sweet. Closest you can find new these days are probably the Hipshot O Ring Knobs, but they don't have the cool taper to them.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2021, 03:01 PM
 
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Re: 1980s Ibanez Identification

Ah, that's too bad about the rubber ones, thanks for clearing it up, Rich. I guess the only option is finding those used as well.

Maybe Ibanez should reissue them as a Genesis range part .
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-20-2021, 10:14 PM
 
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Re: 1980s Ibanez Identification

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Originally Posted by Ashurbanipal View Post
I guess the only option is finding those used as well.
Good luck! LOL Usually people want a hilarious amount for them from what Ive seen lol.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-24-2021, 07:57 PM
 
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Re: 1980s Ibanez Identification

I owned the exact same model. It's a 540S Saber, MIJ. I made a few mods: Upgraded the pups to PAF PROs out of a Jem 77FP. Rewired the switches to be on/off only. So in effect, each was a kill switch, so I could turn the guitar off or have any pup config.

It had the thinnest neck of any guitar I've ever played. I think the body was mahogany, because it weighed more than it should have, given its size and thin profile.

It was the most 'alive' guitar out of all my mates' guitars, not just looks, but after the PUP change, it was so responsive. You couldn't touch it without the amp screaming at you - fun! The colour was described as lime green, but I don't actually know. In person, I'd describe it as fluorescent yellow, it's THAT vibrant. Under stage lights it would blind people. lol

Great guitar. It's funny, my mates used to laugh at it, but now all these things are coming back into fashion. Should have kept it maybe...
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-24-2021, 08:00 PM
 
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Re: 1980s Ibanez Identification

I should add that the smoked chrome plating on all the hardware suffered enormously from tarnishing and corrosion. Mine originally had the beehive knobs but they were so corroded from handling I got rid of them. You can see the issue on the bridge saddles in my photo. I always dreamt about replacing the hardware but it would have cost more than the guitar so I never did.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-24-2021, 08:09 PM
 
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Re: 1980s Ibanez Identification

I have one that I've never seen a catalog picture of, an '88 540SHHBK.
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