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Ibanez Musician Bass Club

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by AphekGreg, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. buteo


    Jan 5, 2014
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    My Studio looks like this one and the serial number and according the serial number is made in June of 1981 :)
    Maybe they did it to reduce the weight and/or to increase the tone?
    Or, after the death of the model was announced, they did some improvisations? In any case, this variant is not shown in the catalogs. Very beautiful and inspiring bass!
    Abner likes this.
  2. Abner


    Jan 2, 2011
    Indeed, why I thought production of the Studio basses ended in 1980, they never showed up in catalogs past 1980. (I've seen catalogs labeled as 1981 on some third-party sites, but not from Ibanez itself, those pages/catalogs were tagged 1980.)

    But I'm still convinced it was an effort to simplify construction and keep costs down. Nothing wrong with that, it happens.
  3. Yes, there were a number of changes that made them cheaper to build. Nothing that made them any lesser performing as a bass, although people will naturally prefer one or the other. Along with simplifying the body construction, the SP5 and SJ5 pickups would have been cheaper to make. Where the Super 4 had heavier plastic and they filled it with some sort of epoxy, the SP5/SJ5 used a thinner cheaper plastic (same as Fender) and foam to fill in the gaps. [I added the copper shielding in the one pictured and replaced the foam, as the original stuff fell apart when I removed it.]

    There's no question they were still attempting to innovate and more forward. The '82 bridge, with the hinge and single screw height adjustment is a very clever design. Swapping the pickup sector for the blend control was also an improvement for a lot of people and I believe they were one of the first to use that design.

    Abner likes this.
  4. More on people who actually played Musicians, I had a look in John Entwistle's book. There is a theme throughout, where he mentions going on holiday without a bass and buying one while he's away. :)

    With this Musician, he say he was on holiday in New York and asked to play with Bruce Springsteen at Madison Square Garden. He says "I had to buy something". I always read that as him saying it wasn't great, but would do for a one off. Looking at it again today, my first thought is that it gets a full page photo, which he only seems to do for instruments he loves, are oddities or have historical significance and then a second page of text! The other page is the text about buying it and performing with Springsteen. The second thought is, from what I know of John, he wouldn't buy just anything to play at such a big show, even if he was only playing a couple of songs.
    Entwistle Musician.jpeg

    He lists the MC888, as an Ibanez Mini Bass and describes it as "a good little 'cary around on tour' practice bass". It shares a page with a Wal fretless, Charvel Limited Edition Precision Bass and an Ampeg Longhorn bass.
    Entwistle Bean 2 crop.jpg

    Both these basses have presumably been modified, as the chance of picking up 2 Musicians, that came with a pair of SP5 pickups and Kahler(?) tremolo, seems quite remote. This means he must have thought enough of them to have them modified. [I guess it is possible he bought them at the same time and the previous owner had both modified]. He mentions in the book, that he didn't accept the hundreds of basses he'd been offered by builders over the years, as most were junk and not up to the standard of the rest of his collection.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
    Abner likes this.
  5. Abner


    Jan 2, 2011
    Don't get me wrong, they were and are all fine instruments. But I still think some of the things they cut back on and moved to more "traditional" construction methods were an effort to keep costs down. These were, after all, regular production basses and not limited run boutique basses. To be honest, there's nothing wrong with my '82 940 as far as pickups and hardware go.

    The one thing that does bother me, though, is the extra carving they decided to do on the body. If they just did the front, it might have been a decent forearm contour like they used to have on the original '79 900s and 800s. If they did it just on the back, well, it would be a belly contour, like all of them have. But no... they carved the front and back, so you end up with a sharp ridge, that just happens to be in the perfect spot to dig into your forearm. I can't play it for more than a couple of hours without my forearm getting rubbed raw. These are early '80s basses, with near bullet-proof polyurethane finishes, yet mine has a spot on that ridge worn down to the wood by my forearm alone.

    Yet I still haven't sold it.
    lesliegl and AphekGreg like this.
  6. Abner


    Jan 2, 2011
    Is that really a tremolo bridge on the white one? Certainly not your standard Ibanez Musician bridge.

    And wait a minute... spur of the moment bass purchase, yet ends up with a custom Musician? This story has a few holes in it, methinks. ;)
  7. hypercarrots


    Jan 28, 2009
    los angeles
    both of them have this bridge
    Abner and AphekGreg like this.
  8. This is why we need to interview some of the builders and Ibanez management from that time! :) So many possibilities. We've seen Sting with a pair of SP5 pickups and MC824s with pairs of SJ6 pickups or SJ6/SP5 combinations, so obviously it could have left the factory with a pair of SP5s. John clearly liked a pair of P pickups, as his Warwick Buzzards were built that way. We don't know what year he bought it, so it could have been new or used. If new, he might have asked the shop to take a SP5 from another bass and add it to that one. He may have used it with Springsteen and then decided it would be better with a pair of SP5s. He may have bought both of them at the same time or bought the Bean later and had it modified like the 924 or ordered it....... Who knows? Somebody!
    Abner and StatesideRambler like this.
  9. I have just the same one, so I think they stopped with the Quadra Lock in '81


  10. Basses used:
    Musician MC924 1982 with the P/J pickups in passive mode
    Studio ST924 1981 with T-4 pickups in passive mode
    one set of strings used on both instruments.
    Bridge is equal on both.
    right hand playing position is on the bridge pickups

    sound 1: MC924 bridge pickup only
    sound 2 to 7: ST924 bridge pickup only with tone selector set from position 1 to 6

    sound 8: MC924 bridge pickup plus neck pickup 50/50
    sound 9 to 14: ST924 both pickups with tone selector set from position 1 to 6

    sound 15: MC924 neck pickup only
    sound 16 to 21: ST924 neck pickup only with tone selector set from position 1 to 6
  11. Janforth

    Janforth Father of Chritobin Madden Challenge 19 Champion Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2009
    Thanks again, fav tone is the 1st recording (mc924 bridge) and 7th recording (st924 bridge tone #6 setting).
    Jan-Arend Blok likes this.
  12. DanAdams

    DanAdams Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2013
    Does the Roland G bass/synth look a tad familiar? I found this one on Reverb.
    Closer to a Greco... maybe, but still.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 5, 2020
  13. The original Blazer had a very similar pickup from memory too. Yes, definitely a lot of crossover on the ones that weren't copies of the US brands. Or maybe Greco copied Ibanez? :)
  14. That's great thanks. The brightest setting on the tone filter, has quite a lot of highs, doesn't it. I wasn't expecting that. I still like the sound of the tone switch at either end and prefer the sound of the Musician overall. The Studio sounds great though and very different to the Musician. You were saying the other Studio sounds quite different too, weren't you? Look forward to hearing that.
    Jan-Arend Blok likes this.
  15. The weight reduction I did a few pages ago worked well, but still wasn't as light as I would like, so I thought I'd remove some more of that nasty mahogany. :) The bass started at 4.7kg, went down to 4.6kg with Ultralites. Got it down to under 4.5kg, with my initial 'mining' Now down to 4.3kg!!!! Much better

    I didn't post photos of the inside before. Hard to photograph, but the cavity goes up further towards the strap button (although nowhere near as far as that).

    It only goes a little further towards the bridge, so it's nice and solid. There is another smaller cavity above the bridge pickup, so there is no reduction in the wood near the bridge. Even with the chips I've taken out of the side of the rout, you can't see it with the pickups in.
    Abner and Jan-Arend Blok like this.
  16. hypercarrots


    Jan 28, 2009
    los angeles
    as you were removing that mahogany, did you wonder where you were going to? and other lyrics from the diana ross song...
  17. Abner


    Jan 2, 2011
    I dunno... that seem like a lot of work to remove about 10% of the total weight. But if it works for you... :thumbsup:
  18. Janforth

    Janforth Father of Chritobin Madden Challenge 19 Champion Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2009
    How did you eliminate the 60 cycle hum on the '82 Musician MC924 bridge Super J5S pickup?
  19. Actually I did not.....
    I never think about it, but now you mention it: I really don’t know why I get such low hum.
    Maybe it’s related to our power network in the Netherlands, it is known as the most stable and reliable power network in the world. Plus, we have 230 volts 50hz over here. And not all the basses are the same of course. But it’t nothing what bothers me I have to say.
    AphekGreg and Janforth like this.
  20. It wasn't all that hard and got me a useable Musician. More than worth it for me. Not suggesting anybody else should do the same thing, but I have no regrets. This is the best of my Musicians and now works for my back.
    Abner and Jan-Arend Blok like this.

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