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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All-
Been awhile since I posted. I've been in mourning, as I was forced to part with my beloved 540sfm, and couldn't bear to gaze upon all the Ibanez splendor found here.
I've been on the hunt for another vintage MIJ Ibanez to add to the stable at an affordable price, and my hunt is at an end.
I just 'won' a black, HSS Roadstar II RS100, made in Feb. of '83. I'm guessing it's one of the first ones to make it's way west, as 83 was the first year of production.
It's on the lower end of the bell/whistle totem pole, but I've really been digging the less is more vibe as of late anyway, so I'm very excited for it to arrive. It's a hard tail, non-painted headstock, in the HSS config. I'm not sure if it's the coil tappable model, since the seller knew next to nothing about it.
It's got some battle scars, but in a good way. And looks to be all original, closet dweller for the better part of it's life.
I'm not planning on modding it in anyway, but anyone with any setup/maint. tips specific to these I'd appreciate it. As well as any known 'issues' to watch for as I roll it into the rotation.
From the research I've done, it looks like some were solid wood, and some were made from some sort of pressed/formed sawdust mixture. Any knowlede out there of if this is specific to certain models/years, or is it just a random thing? YouTube land has a lot to offer, but only a small percentage are useful, or recorded well enough to give any clue as to true tone, etc.
I'll post pics when she's delivered, and maybe get crazy and do a quick vid. 'review'. Just about got the basement ready for a mini home studio, maybe that'll be a good way to give it a shake down run.
 

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Hm, the RS100 for '83 was a SSS config, hardtail. Perhaps the humbucker is aftermarket? Offered colours were natural and tobacco burst. The pups are probably ceramic single coils, with steel slugs being powered by two small rail mags on either side.


I don't know if any were made of pressed sawdust (somehow I doubt any MIJ Ibanez was like this, could be wrong though); seems unlikely for a translucent/natural finished model.

Anyway, should be a good, solid guitar. I have an '85 RS525 which rocks hard; really like the neck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
PICS! The mystery deepens...

Found this link:
http://www.ibanezcollectors.com/RSModels-icw.html
Great chart, details the models by year, features color etc. Mine baffles me even more, the serial# starts with 'B83xxxx', according to the accompanying article, that equates to Feb. of '83.
However, the features on mine don't sync up with the chart. I've read elsewhere that they did mid-year short lived addendums to the official catalogs.
Here are some grainy pics from the seller, but at least they give some reference:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
It would appear to be one of these: (from the link listed above)
Model:RS125 Year:1983 Body:Solid Ash or Laminated, Contour:Slab Headstock: Natural Fretboard: Maple Frets:21 NPup:Super 70 Coverless BPup:Super 70 Coverless Cntrl:3-Way, 1V, 1T, Phase Switch Hrdwr:Chrome Brdg:Std Tremolo Pgrd:W/B/W Clr:BS NT
OR
RS100, 1983, Solid Ash/Laminated, Slab, Natural, Maple, 21, SB SB SB, 5-Way, 1V, 1T, Phase Switch, Chrome, Brass I, Black, BS NT, Hardtail
Issues: mine's black, not listed for 83, has different pup config, not listed either, I believe according to other models listed, the config is(from neck down): Super 6, Super 70 coverless,and poss V2.
I'm hoping someone can decode the mystery. Thanks!
 

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Well, the bridge and middle pups are not original. In that year, the single coils were typically with a plack plastic cover, and any bridge hb would be a regular uncovered one.

Not sure what the humbucker could be - it's not a stock Ibanez one. Could be an old DiMarzio - they did cover + visible hex screws (still do, I think).

Also, I've just noticed, the scratchplate looks like a homemade one - see how the shape is different down by the bridge of the ones in the catalogue.

Later on (84/85) they variously used single coils with visible poles like a Strat, or a metal bar.

So I'd wager it's an RS100 that's had a new HSS pickguard cut and was maybe even repainted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hmmm, I'm intrigued. I'll have to wait till it arrives and give it a through cleaning and get all CSI up in here! As I (think) I said, I'm by no means a Roadstar expert, but the pics are so bad, and its SO dirty, I can't say that I can tell what's going on with it just from the pics. Obviously you're much more knowledgeable on these, but I'm just thinking about all the one-off, undocumented, mid-year addendums I've read about, and just kind of hoping that's what I have here. The tracking # says it's on the way, so should know more in a couple days; like waiting for Santa in a brown suit!
 

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Roadstars are tricky even for those who know them! You're right that there's the occasional addendum model. Like these ones:


Or these, never seen them outside of a pamphlet.


I've seen a couple out there that aren't in any catalogues. Sometimes, a Japan only model makes its way to the US or Europe as well.

I do suspect yours is more likely to be a normal one that's been modded (scratchplate is the giveaway), but we'll see when you have it in your hands. These addendum models are typically fancier when it comes to colours and the like (it's the 80s!), less likely they'd do black in this issue format. Looks like someone has attempted to Photoshop something too on your one - see the blurry screws/scratchplate area?

Regardless, these guitars are typically very solid and the stock pups are often 'blah' so you don't feel bad about changing them :).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
... maybe even repainted.
I really hope not- if it was, in some photos, the dings reveal a white color underneath, which I'd like, and may help explain some if the confusion. But if it is a respray, I'd like to be able to safely remove it, without damaging the original finish, but based on the model chart describing the bodies as either: "Solid Ash or Laminate", (and what this owner discovered under the contol plate:
), I'm really hoping that it is of the solid ash variety, as I have no experince/desire trying to do a complete refin on a composite/laminate body.
Well- guess I'll just stop speculating about worst-case scenarios, and getting concerned over (hopefully) nothing; so guess its back to the waiting game...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Roadstars are tricky even for those who know them! You're right that there's the occasional addendum model. Like these ones:


Or these, never seen them outside of a pamphlet.


I've seen a couple out there that aren't in any catalogues. Sometimes, a Japan only model makes its way to the US or Europe as well.
Man! Those are some killer color combos! I'd like to get my hands on one of those baby's! Where the heck did you find those ads? I'm fascinated by Ibanez's penchant for all the sub-category, short run mystery guitars. I had a 540s it took me a couple months to sus out just exactly what was going on!
 

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They're all solid basswood, some had a birch veneer laminated on to the top and back for finishing purposes.

I agree with Ashur: It's VERY common to run across RS model that you've never seen before. I suspect that the one your looking at is an '83/'84 RS130 that has a replacement or altered pickguard.
 

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That doesn't look like a standard ibanez HB. I thought they used super 70's during that time. Also, the early years had 2 pickup screws on one side and one on the other. That looks like it was a s-s-s roadstar and was modified to a rear HB. You will be able to tell when you pull the pickguard.

I have an natural finish ash one from 83. It is one of my daily players. I took the original neck off and have it stored - 9.5 radius is not my favorite. I have a warmoth pro neck on it. Mine has the 2 super 70 HB's with a 3-way switch and phase switch.

It's funny because this model was the 1st real guitar I got. I later sold it. But bought another one back because they are just great.

Enjoy
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Didn't get a chance to discect it, but did plug in a bit, and discovered a few things: nut is split in the middle, so obvious tuning issues, and a missing switch tip, but other than that, its all in working order. Scratchy pots, lots of grime and of course it needs a good set up; So I've got some work ahead if me- but I'm looking forward to getting at it.
Updates, and progress pics, to come-
 

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Grimy indeed! But sounds like most of it is solid. Can't remember off the top of my head what the fingerboard radius of these is, maybe 9" or 10"? In later years (85-86), they're quite flat, about 14" I think.

Im curious about the bridge pup. At first I thought it was some kind of DiMarzio, like so:


But now I'm not so sure - the cover of yours looks plastic and the corners are more square.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Long overdue return to post; last night I finally popped the RSII open. Interesting find. The mystery pup is indeed a DiMarzio, and had a PAF sticker. Actually the sticker was so old, it had fallen off inside the cavity, but I could see where it had been attached, there was also a small piece of dried out tape that held in place that it matched up w/too. A little googling and appears to be a late 70s early 80s original DM PAF, unsure about neck and middle. They're 2 diff kinds, neck has 2 exposed magnets, other looks like stock Fender's do.
The paint under the PG seemed the same color, but no orange peel, thinking it's always been black, just bad respray; but the 'floor' of the neck pocket was silver???
I gently cleaned the scum off of it, and put it back together.
Can't post pic till I clear out some apparently, so I will later.
 

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The neck pup is probably the stock one. Typical early-mid 80s Ibanez single coil with two ceramic magnets on either side of the steel slugs, all epoxied into the cover like an EMG. Though Roadstars did come with traditional looking single coils too, but I don't know whether they're like a Fender underneath.

Hmm, still wonder about the hummer, as the PAF type DiMs have always had slug/filister screws on each respective coil. Others like Super Distortion, PAF Pro etc. have two rows of hex screws.
 
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