Is this for real? Was this the SJ Cabriolet precursor? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-22-2005, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Is this for real? Was this the SJ Cabriolet precursor?


The seller says that this Ibanez Tele prototype was built by the Bensalem Custom shop and that the model never took off. Anybody knew about this guitars?

Given that they came up later with the Starfield SJ Cabriolet (wich has a MUCH better design...... I really regret selling mine), I dont find the idea that strange, but Ive never heard of this guitars before.

BTW, I really dont care much for this design, its too close to the tele original design IMHO (wich I dont like at all).

Last edited by RCB; 08-22-2005 at 12:18 PM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-22-2005, 12:14 PM
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Re: Is this for real? Was this the SJ Cabriolet precursor?

Wow, I've never seen that before. Good spotting, RCB.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-22-2005, 12:20 PM
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Re: Is this for real? Was this the SJ Cabriolet precursor?

Ibanez did a very limited run of Saber teles in the late 80's but they weren't very popular.
here's a link to one - 580T

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-22-2005, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Is this for real? Was this the SJ Cabriolet precursor?

Well, its an imrpovement over the one for auction, but it seems they still couldnt get it right before the SJ Cabriolet.

That design with another colour could imrpove a lot (I really dont like that metallic pink). Black or white would suit that guitar much better.

Its amazing that a lot of these failed designs (the Power, The Power II, the guitar in the picture, and the SJ Cabriolet) sill look better than a most of the new guitar designs offered by other brands. I know that the 540P, 540PII and the cabriolet werent a complete failure, but they never took off. I found this pretty odd since the timing was right for both the PII and the SJ Cabriolet (may be the SJ Cabriolet came a bit too early).

There s a guitar to reissue.... but with the Ibanez brand this time.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-22-2005, 02:02 PM
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Re: Is this for real? Was this the SJ Cabriolet precursor?

That's a 580 BallBack. I've had one, they're nice. It's mahogany, with a mahogany pickguard covering a rather large hollow space, so it's sort of half hollow. They are nice, but not at all Tele-like and sort of average (truth be told). The tone knob is a push pull coil splitter and these did come with the original backstop. These usually get about 400-500 bucks in black, so I think he's high (take that any way you want ) with that asking price IMHO. The pink one shown above looks to be an arched top, now that would be a different story altogether.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-23-2005, 02:59 PM
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Re: Is this for real? Was this the SJ Cabriolet precursor?

995 does seem high. But ballbacks are usually pretty hot items when they do come up.

I don't think it was the precurser to the Starfield Cabriolet, other than some of the same design team probably worked on both designs. I think the Ballback and Turbot (580T pictured above) were attempts at space age teles in the '80s. The Starfiled designs were aimed at the retro, anti-metal mindset of the early '90s. Even though Ibanez was capable of building great traditional guitars, many people wouldn't touch them because of the metal association. So the Starfield offshoot was started by Hoshino USA in '91. It flopped just like all the other Ibanez offshoots. Starfields are great guitars though. I love my Altaire.

Here's a quote from Jim Donahue, who was with Ibanez through the '80s and 90s (580T "Talbot" is a typo, 580T "turbot" is correct - it was named after a flounder like fish for it's extremely flat profile)

"The 580 models, This was supposed to be the USA model, This is when H&S guitars were in Bensalem. The models the 580B (Ball Back) and 580T (talbot) came out. The bodies and necks were made in Japan and shipped to bensalme to be assembled with Dimarzio pickups. But no Catalog was printed so no one knew they exsisited, The Ball back had a wooden pickguard and the Talbot had a tele shape. maybe 5 month total of these and they were gone, When H&S moved to North Hollywood in 1990 they left all the 580 bodies in Bensalem and everyone in the checking and repair bought the 580T bodies so there are some strange versions of these around. Still I think there are some of these bodies left. This was mainly bad marketing, No Catalog and not such a great design that ended it. (H&S is Heartfield and Starfiled) Yes heartfield like Fender, StarField means Hoshino in Chinese Charicters and Heartfield is Fujigen, So H&S was a partnership bwtween Fuji and Hoshino is bensalme to make USA made guitars, they mover to North Holly wood in 1990, then Kurt Cobain came out and no one wanted custom guitars so they closed."
-Jim Donahue


Last edited by fuze; 08-23-2005 at 03:08 PM.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-23-2005, 06:28 PM
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Re: Is this for real? Was this the SJ Cabriolet precursor?

That is a sweet guitar! I wish they were easier to find lying around!
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coil split , custom guitar , custom guitars , custom shop , dimarzio pickup , dimarzio pickups , hoshino usa , jim donahue , kurt cobain , pull coil

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