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Ibanez lawsuit-era P bass. Deal or not?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sixesandsevens, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. Hi all,

    I was recently at guitar center and they had an Ibanez P that appears to be from 1977 (CK770079 s/n). It's well worn with some checking on the back but overall in fair shape for something that old. They wanted $499 for it and since it was easily the equal of some of the genuine F basses there, I went ahead and took the plunge figuring that even as a "vintage" piece, I have three days to decide if I'm happy with the price.

    Once i started looking around more, now I'm not even sure its authentic. :)

    It's a bit unusual in that its truss rod adjustment is at the heel and it has a small rout to leave it open for adjustments via hex wrench. There's no cover at the top and it has a stripe down the back of its neck. None of which appear in the more common threads I've found on these basses (which normally have a white truss rod cover at the nut).

    The neckplate s/n only loosely matches the examples given online, and I've seen no reference to having a two letter prefix.

    The other thing that seems odd to me is that the neck seems to be less worn than the body, which makes me wonder if it had a neck swap or refinish done.

    I'll post some pics in the morning, but while I got along well with the bass at the shop, I'm not convinced I even bought what I thought I did. On one hand, it plays good and sounds good. But if I overpaid by more than a small amount, I'll probably look back on the whole thing with regret more than joy.

    Thanks in advance. Any insights, perspectives or advice are appreciated. :)

    Edit: Bump with a link to photos of the bass.
  2. purfektstranger


    Apr 10, 2003
    You don't see the lawsuit basses for sale all that often but price wise I have seen on average 350 to 500. I know tha the company who manufactured the ibanez lawsuits also did so for a few other companies. There is one for sale now on Philadelphia Craigslist......maybe have a look and see if it is similar to yours. If it plays and feels great then enjoy it!
  3. BogeyBass


    Sep 14, 2010
    Eventually A loyal Fender guy will say.

    Why buy a copy when you can have the real thing for same money.
    I have seen Ibanez Ric lawsuits go for alot more than what real ones are valued at.
    Return it, and think to yourself...... next victim.

    I see no value in lawsuit basses/guitars and for some reason this trend continues. They are rare, big wup... so for some reason that means they are overpriced.
    they are rare because they all got burned in piles so nobody could sell them anymore. eventually one pops up.

    Finding a vintage 70's pet rock might be easy, try to find one with undamaged packaging and the original straw packaging.

    oh yah that must be worth serious money...so so rare.
    No its a Freakin Rock!! who cares.

    Return it... or burn it.
  4. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    It may have a replacement neck on it, which is pretty common with fender style instruments.

    If it plays good, sounds great and you love the look, it probably worth the $500. I'd pay that much for a bass I could see myself keeping forever.

    And you get bonus points for pissing off the die hard, stick up the arse, Fender guys;)

    Btw, I don't believe in paying for fenders. Over priced and don't offer what I like for under $1500, when i can easily put it together for under $300.
  5. Thanks all for the varying perspectives!

    With regards to the "lawsuit" thing, I certainly didn't go out of my way looking for it, but it happened to be there, it was cheaper by half than the Fenders they had and I understand them to have been well-constructed instruments.

    I think my biggest concern is that if I paid $500 for a bass that I should have been able to get for $250, then I'll end up kicking myself for it. That coupled with the fact that because GC calls it "vintage", I get a three day return policy instead of 30. ;)

    Edit: Oh, and I updated the original post with photos.
  6. purfektstranger


    Apr 10, 2003
    You won't find one of those for 250 anytime soon. The bass looks great. How does it play?
  7. Not an expert, but the logo looks right for that era of Ibanez.

    I wouldn't be too worried about any ambiguity with the S/N. My understanding is that records for some of the Japanese companies aren't that good.

    If you like everything about the bass, no need to worry...
  8. lawsuit instruments require alot of modifications and work to get them up to a good standard imho.

    i have a few lawsuit hollowbody guitars and both have needed alot of mods to keep them going
  9. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    That bass looks original to me. Ibanez made a lot of changes between '76 and '78, going from cheap knockoffs to high quality originals; your bass is one of the last copies, meaning it was one of the best made copies. The serial number is a bit odd, but I'm pretty sure the 'C' is for Challenger, the 'K' is for the month it was built (November), and the '77' is for 1977. If it were mine, I'd keep it.
  10. I've seen similar ones go for 750-900 bucks in NYC area stores. Not saying I'd pay that much, but 450 seems like a pretty good deal.
  11. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I didn't know Ibanez made F Bass copies.
  12. I think it plays well. The action is low enough to be a touch buzzy, but that should be easy enough to fix. Of the basses I tried at the shop, it definitely outplayed a few in my hands. It also seemed to sound pretty much on par with the Fender P-basses I tried.

    That said, I'm still haunted by the neck from the EBMM Sterling that I played before buying this. Perhaps I'll try to take a field trip today with this bass over to a shop to try it out next to some other contenders and see if it comes out on top.

    I spoke to the guys at Ibanez Collector's World and they concur with everything danomite64 said regarding both the s/n and the quality. Apparently the Challenger basses were made at Fujigen in the last year or so before they got the contract for the MIJ Fender products.

    I still haven't decided if I'll keep it, but thanks to you guys and the guys at ICW, I've got a much better idea of what I'm mulling over.

    Thanks again!

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