Ibanez Axstar

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by elisapruett, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. elisapruett


    Feb 20, 2007
    I have an Ibanez Axstar headless bass that I bought for college. I have no idea what year it was made and I was hoping to use the serial numbers to find out. Does anyone have advice on this? Thanks in advance for your help!
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    No pics....no bass.
  3. elisapruett


    Feb 20, 2007
    yeah, that was pretty stupid...duh!
  4. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford

    Feb 15, 2008
    Were waiting!
  5. Mike Shevlin

    Mike Shevlin

    Feb 16, 2005
    Las Vegas
  6. I know Fl Knifemaker had one for a long time

  7. I believe this is it:

    I think the Axtar bass was available only in 1985 and 1986.
  8. Yes!! Cool bass!! Probably the BEST factory made headless bass of all time. I got really lucky and picked up the one above from a local TBer. It could hang at GC as a new bass!!! Diogeness is right on the dates. There are two versions, passive and active. My new one, pictured above is an active version. Instead of a normal tone knob, it dials in a funky compression almost phaser kind of sound. I found it WEIRD at first and considered modifying it. Now, I basically set my normal tone with my Zoom box and crank that knob for a wild slap tone :D It's kind of cool in an odd 80's way :cool: These are great slapping basses by the way.

    You can spot the difference between the active and passive models, the active one has a battery compartment on the back.

    The passive one I had typicals straightforward controls. The Ibanex guitar pickups are VERY HOT so even the passive one sounds like it's running a preamp.

    There's also a RARE full size body Axstar, if anyone has one, I want to buy it :D

    The passive one that I sold like an idiot :crying:
    doctorwholittle likes this.
  9. darkblack99

    darkblack99 Supporting Member

    I have three...One active 5-string '86, one passive 4-string '85 and another of these from '86. Substantial design changes in the bridge and string locking between those two years, the '86s being more of a Steinberger style of design.
    Ibanez discontinued the line after 1986 due to weak sales and lack of endorsers. A shame...As FL K says, they were probably the best wooden headless bass available at the time...Never goes out of tune.

    The first three alphanumerics in the serial numbers will tell you the manufacture date, the first letter indicates the month (A to L, A for January and so on), followed by an 85 or an 86 for the year.
  10. COOL! Do you have photos of the different bridge versions??
  11. darkblack99

    darkblack99 Supporting Member

    Certainly - here they are:

    The trio:


    The '85's 2 piece bridge:


    Each saddle has 2 hex bolts for intonation adjustment, and string height is changed from the block that the saddles rest upon.

    ...and the '86 5er's bridge, which is of the same construction as its 4-stringed mate:


    The tuners themselves work on the same principle in both - The string's ball end clasped by brass retainers, and drawn tight by the tuning screws.

    The '85's 2 bolt/twin locking plate string block:


    ...and the '86's string block:


    From a design perspective, quick string changes were easier with the '86 models - that twin plate string block was not user-friendly for first-timers.
    That said, it holds tuning without slippage once it has been set, just like the later models. Electronics and woods are the same between the two 4-strings.

    A couple of asides - the case that the 5er rests in is the original case made for these instruments, 3/4s the size of a typical instrument case - And when the 5er came out for the first time in just short of a year...yes, it was in tune.

    doctorwholittle likes this.
  12. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I don't think the Axstar was wood. The neck was, but the body is plastic, isn't it? A buddy of mine had/has one of these, we did some surgery on it, and there was no wood to be seen in any of the cavities. All white plastic.
  13. darkblack99

    darkblack99 Supporting Member

    Nope...in '85 and '86 the entry level AXB bodies were basswood, with maple necks. Upscale models had alder bodies and ebony fretboards.
  14. VERY INTERESTING!! Thanks for posting those photos!!! I have the OHSC for mine, it's tiny :) On my old black one you could see the wood grain, just slightly under the paint. Have you ever seen the version with the full size body??
  15. darkblack99

    darkblack99 Supporting Member

    The AXB 1000? Only once...I suspect it had even more limited distribution than the rest of the AXB series. Steinberger bridge, brass neck counterweight, 2-band EQ...Quite a find if one was to come across it.
  16. joenoone


    Mar 21, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    Hey all - Just picked up a 5 string version (active) and was having issues.

    I looked inside and seems the jack has dual SPDT switches in it to switch on the battery to the preamp (using the positive battery terminal), and the jack had split and someone taped it up to stay together which caused the switch to not always make connection when you connect it to the amp.

    I was going to just wire it up to the second SPDT switch, but since there's tape there it made me wonder - is this how it originally was? Most axes I've seen are wired such that when you plug in the cable it shorts together tip and ground which is wired to connect the battery ground to ground so no switch in the jack is needed.

    Anyone had theirs open and could let me know? I'd appreciate it...
  17. Carey


    Jan 18, 2002
    Redlands, CA
    Is this the rare one you guys are talking about??

    Attached Files:

  18. Carey


    Jan 18, 2002
    Redlands, CA
    One More up close.

    Attached Files:

  19. ishouldbeking


    Feb 5, 2007
    Hollywood, CA
    Endorsing: SIT, Eastwood, Hanson
    aw, i'd play the hell out of that thing! it looks like it was designed for carving off faces.
  20. frankthetank13


    Apr 24, 2012
    1986 Ibanez Axstar (AXB1000) Serial #0084


    Attached Files: