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Ibanez Lawsuit ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by john11461, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. Hello all. Being a huge fan of Graham Maby I saw and bought a 76 P/J on EBay not realizing that his was a 77 and "Silver Series" I gather the one I bought is not a Silver Series. Any big deal on that? Thank you.
  2. doodahwarrior

    doodahwarrior Banned

    Dec 16, 2015
    WTH does have to do with a lawsuit?
  3. A lot of basses made in Japan during that time were called "Lawsuit" basses, usually wrongly, but it's come to be an accepted term.
  4. Sorry should have been more specific.
  5. Dluxe


    Jan 9, 2011
    Austin, TX
    It should be the same bass. The pickup spacing gave it that tone. I has a Memphis branded one that sounded great too.
  6. doodahwarrior

    doodahwarrior Banned

    Dec 16, 2015
    Just to be clear.... there were no lawsuits. Gibson and Fender simply sent messages saying "STOP IT", and so they stopped.
  7. ajkula66


    Sep 23, 2016
    Not quite true.

    Fender never sued.

    Gibson (actually Norlin, their parent company at the time) did sue Hoshino corporation which owned Ibanez in 1977. The lawsuit was settled out of court the following year.

    Ibanez - Wikipedia
  8. The fact Ibanez had stopped using the suspect headstock design a year before Norlin filed the case would effect that settlement. Probably went like this :laugh:

    Norlin - " Stop using our headstock ! "
    Hoshino - " Err. We don't. "
    Norlin - " You don't ? Oh right, well just don't OK "

    5 minutes later
    Norlin - " Fire the idiot who said we had a case."
    cdef likes this.
  9. ajkula66


    Sep 23, 2016

    While I obviously haven't been a part of the settlement negotiation, my hunch is that Norlin wanted to make a point/create an example/call it what you will and that they succeeded IMO.

    Now, had they been as successful in not turning Gibson into an outfit producing lame and boring (for the most part) instruments during their tenure, I'd have a lot more respect for them.


    Dec 21, 2007
    Cowtown, USA
    Be sure to get some Rotosound tape wounds for it.
    And only use the P pickup.
    And get an old Fender Bassman 135 with a 2-15" cab.
    And transplant Graham Maby's brain and fingers for your own!

    I, too am a huge fan. Several years ago Graham was selling the actual Ibanez he used on eBay, it went for $4,500 I believe, a bit out of my league. Another popped up on eBay shortly after in near-perfect shape that I obtained for $550.
    The secret is the pickup placement, as the P pickups are much farther forward than a usual P.
    With the tape wounds through my Fender Super Bassman's vintage channel I can nail his tone from the first 2 Joe Jackson albums, even without his brain and fingers!
  12. IMG_1202.PNG
    Great tips and advise thank you. Sounds like you got a hold of a good one. Attached is the one I bought and waiting on the delivery.
  13. ajkula66


    Sep 23, 2016
    The times they-are-a-changin'...

    Owned one of those in the early 80s. We really didn't think *that* highly of them back then...a decent, usable, serviceable instrument by all means, but no more than that.

    It would be interesting to re-visit a well-preserved example nowadays and verify how it holds against my own - flawed in many respects - memory.

    Enjoy your new bass, OP. May it serve you well.
  14. Axstar


    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    Those PJ basses with the pickup right at the neck are cool. Very much of an era.

    "Lawsuit" is one of those phrases that is so widely used that it has lost any sort of meaning. I find it roughly translates into "this instrument was made somewhere other than the US between 1965 and 1980 and I want a bit more money for it than the market currently recognises".
  15. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I've always taken it to mean "made so similar to the original that it's a poor man's version of the real deal".
  16. Axstar


    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    I dunno man that's a bit unfair. Consider where Gibson and Fender ended up in the late '70s, and those Japanese manufacturers presented a threat of sorts. My criticism would be that they relied too heavily on cloning designs, rather than designing something original. I guess the Yamaha SG2000 was a sorta original design, but it was meant to basically be a Les Paul killer and came out as such. Ditto the Ibanez Artist, though Ibanez were more successful in courting American musicians during this era. There is some rinkadink cool things out there (Dan Armstrong copies with PAF-style humbuckers), and some things where clearly they were working from a fuzzy photograph rather than an actual instrument. I would critique them like any instrument from the '70s; a tendency to be too heavy and have a sort of baked-in tone. Generally pickups were hotter which strong-arms you into playing a certain way to follow the tone being made by the instrument.

    Still, open up a '70s Japanese instrument and the lead dress will be good, as will the quality of the components. Likewise the fretwork, nut, hardware etc will all be good, as those guys were touting for business by directly offering a market rival to US products. Open up an 'import' today and don't be too surprised if it looks like a rats nest of ridiculously overly long wires running to 'Alpha' brand mini pots, and those dreadful 'barrel' jacks that wear out and become useless. Putting a spalted maple veneer on a bass and making it the 'deluxe' model somehow seems more important than using decent components and cutting a nut properly.

    Having said all that I have GAS for a mid-to-late '70s ES-355. I tried one once, with the ridiculously oversized headstock, tenon, coil cut switch, weird body outline, and it was a really nice instrument. It straddled jazz to classic rock perfectly. That guitar was alive somehow. I would get one with that dreadful mustard 'n' ketchup 'clownburst' as applied off-centre and asymmetrically by some new recruit in the Norlin plant. :roflmao:

    Personally I think some of that Japanese '70s/'80s stuff is overrated, and I've seen enough OEM cream Dimarzio pickups with rusted pole-pieces, and tarnished brass hardware, to last me a lifetime. Then again every 'Silver Series' Squier I've played has been an joylessly unmusical boat anchor, despite sellers claiming these things are one-rung below Pre-CBS Fenders lovingly kissed by Leo himself.

    Perhaps it is just me.
    ajkula66 likes this.


    Dec 21, 2007
    Cowtown, USA
    Yours looks exactly like my '77 except for my truss rod cover is black and the headstock says "Silver Series"
    I would say they are the same, just Ibanez added the name after '76.
    Really well made, great playing & sounding basses.
    john11461 likes this.

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