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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
NGD: 1st 'real' Ibanez (1990 540SFM), let's see your 1st!

Hi all- 2nd post. 1st was asking for help deciding wether or not to trade my georgous, dead mint MIK Iceman IC300 w/OHSC, plus cash for an overlooked beauty, 1990 540SFM transparent ocean blue. Only got one reply, but it confirmed my gut, so I went for it, and im still pinching myself; she's a stunner! Polished 'er up a bit and snapped a bunch of pics to share. My excitement got me thinking: I bet many members here still remeber that feeling, and probaly would like to share their pics and stories.
So let's see 'em!
PS: had her with me in the car when I stopped in 'the temple' (Chicago Music Exchange) and they were kind enough to let me use one of the demo rooms, got to crank her through a div. by 13 full stack, Hi-watt stack, JVM800, orange etc etc; pure bliss!
EDIT: See my reply below re: the 'Custom Made' misnomer on specimens if this era.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! Like everyone says, the pics don't do it any justice. In the sun, the flame is insane; even on the back! I swear it's 3-D! Peaks and valleys, and reflective? It's actually lenticular! When you tilt it back and forth, it moves, like one of those stop-motiom type trading cards!
 

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Great first Ibanez!!

The Ibanez Blazer (thus my moniker) was my first Ibanez back in 1981 and second "good" guitar. The first good guitar I got was an Aria Pro II Cardinal Series so I knew that MIJ stuff was solid. I got the Blazer 550 but in red instead of the blue pictured below. It had overwound single coils with coil tap and phase reversal toggles on top of the standard five way strat switch. The trem was solid brass throughout and had great sustain and the guitars hardware was gold plated.

http://www.ibanezwiki.com/display/CATALOG/1981+-+Ibanez+Electric+Guitars+-+Blazer+Series

It was $499 back then or $1,327 in today's US dollars. I worked all summer for that one as a kid when minimum wage was $3.35 an hour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm just learning the (complicated) rich history of Ibanez, and the landmark models that I'd like to pursue, that is near the top of my 'G.A.S. list!
 

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Wow nice. That color is just awesome :D

I've seen a 540 here that has the same pups with the "custom made" thing on the fretboard. Why do the S540s have those?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I forgot to address the misleading 'Custom Made' inlay in my original post, as I see that everytime one of these comes up. I meant to nip it in the bud, in my frenzy, I forgot. It's a classic case of lost in translation, intentional or not. Having worked for a Japanese company for 10 yrs in the 90s, I found it common for Japanese manufactures/marketers to assign sometimes random (or slightly off) english phrases, or decriptors, to many products to make them seem 'cool' or authentic. (See engrish.com) Similar to people over here getting a tattoo of a Chinese character that they take the tattoo artists word that it means luck, when in reality they have no idea, and they're walking around with 'I'm an idiot' on their bicep. All they were really saying was what Fender or Gibson does when they slap 'deluxe', or limited, etc. on something a bit more up-spec. It had no 'custom shop' mojo behind it, although it kills 90% of what comes/came out of anybody's custom shop.
 

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I forgot to address that in my post, as i see that everytime one of these comes up. The japanese cultre likes to assign sometimes random or close approximation english phrases, or decriptirs, to many products. (See engrish.com) All they were really saying was what Fender or Gibson does when they slap 'deluxe', or limited, etc. on something a bit more up-spec. It had no 'custom shop' mojo behind it, although it kills 90% of what comes/came out of anybody's custom shop.
Look at my location and you'll see I know more about Engrish than Engrish.com does :lol: (not to mention communicating in Japanese fluently :D )

So basically they just slapped "custom made" on there as false advertising, even though it destroys almost any custom shop's guitars. That's cool :D I liek that sort of false advertising lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Don't think it was intenional, just off. Prob why it only occured for a brief period in their history.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Pic of what I traded for it: (sigh: still miss her; like trying to decide which of your kids you love more, I know, Ineed to let it go- and therapy for a chronic case of possible-marriage-ending gas)
 

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Pic of what I traded for it: (sigh: still miss her; like trying to decide which of your kids you love more, I know, Ineed to let it go- and therapy for a chronic case of possible-marriage-ending gas)
I had a grx40 Beam blue (i LOVE that color with the white pick guard) and sold it on the cheap to a friend. I still miss her too so I know how you feel. I have 2 new ones in her place, but that GRX was the first guitar I ever bought with my own money so I of course miss her a lot. Maybe one day I'll get another one and turn her into a crazy axe to make up for the loss of my old one. Still though, the replacements for my grx are a '93 550 CA and a '90 560PN so I cant be too sad :D
 

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Suhweet 540SFM mang
Im prob the only guy whose first Ibby was a Jem777, sadly the neck was perma-warped so ironically ended up trading her in for a 540 back in the day. Damn, miss that triple 7 though.
 

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^^ You win :).

My first one - RG320. Pretty blah guitar - the top E string always sounded weak past the 12 fret; constant modding done to make the neck mudbucker clearer sounding. Did play it for a long time but don't miss it at all. I was actually steering away from Ibanez but decided to take a punt on an old MIJ one, then I understood what the fuss is about.



Great first Ibanez!!

The Ibanez Blazer (thus my moniker) was my first Ibanez back in 1981 and second "good" guitar. The first good guitar I got was an Aria Pro II Cardinal Series so I knew that MIJ stuff was solid. I got the Blazer 550 but in red instead of the blue pictured below. It had overwound single coils with coil tap and phase reversal toggles on top of the standard five way strat switch. The trem was solid brass throughout and had great sustain and the guitars hardware was gold plated.
Wouldn't mind having one; the candy apple red ones with black plastics look sweet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just caught a pretty obvious typo- stupid tiny iPhone keys. Thread title now correctly inquires about your 1st Ibanez, instead of 1st 'Inanez'; duh! Although I hear they make a mean guitar too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It really surprizes me that these are still relatively 'affordable' compared to other models (and brands) of similar vintage. It seems nobody really knows about them outside the forums;also seems that contributing to lower demand may be the low numbers shipped, and the (confusing) obscure classifications by Ibanez, and/or the multitude of similar variations on the platform. What do you think?
 

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Because Ibanez has produced so many guitars and models over the past 35 years, it's easy for some things to slip through the cracks of perception, particularly when some models gain associations (i.e. RG, Jem), causing them to dominate the image of the company. Sometimes it's about timing and economics.

I'm a Proline guy and it's a case in point - fairly low production numbers, short span of availability, being as expensive as American guitars when they were released -, they've been largely consigned to oblivion outside the Ibanez brotherhood. I've shown my guitar to people and most of them would say, 'man, I didn't know they did stuff like this'.
 

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Because Ibanez has produced so many guitars and models over the past 35 years, it's easy for some things to slip through the cracks of perception, particularly when some models gain associations (i.e. RG, Jem), causing them to dominate the image of the company. Sometimes it's about timing and economics.

I'm a Proline guy and it's a case in point - fairly low production numbers, short span of availability, being as expensive as American guitars when they were released -, they've been largely consigned to oblivion outside the Ibanez brotherhood. I've shown my guitar to people and most of them would say, 'man, I didn't know they did stuff like this'.
I see pro lines all the time over here for less than 200 USD, I rarely see Roadstar IIs anymore.
 

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^^ Yes, but you are in Japan, my friend; in the rest of the world they are pretty rare - very few were shipped. I read a Jim Donahue interview once and he talked about Prolines a bit, and how they tanked.

My point stands though, seeing that they go for less than $200 where you are. I wouldn't mind having a few more :). In Oz and the US, I've seen them go for all sorts of $$.
 

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The internet has made the world very small and if people are willing to pay a little extra for shipping, anything common in one place can be common anywhere.

Some Ibbys may actually be very rare, worldwide and with enough time they will bring in more money in a few years. Before Ibanez was really great by the late-1970s, they made some so-so copies of American guitars that many later found useless, but today for historical purposes people are paying good money for them. Some lawsuit guitars were really good but many were simply copies of inferior workmanship. But just like some post CBS Fenders or Norlin era Gibsons that many people considered inferior or against a successful recipe, they both are now bringing in more because of both their historical value and the fact that Fender will probably never go back to a Marauder nor Gibson with active electronics and six way switches.

With time, every former Ibanez piece will find at least two collectors always willing to get in a bidding war over and thus greatly increase their value.
 
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