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NBD: Roadstar II

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rojo412, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Not much time to talk, on the way to practice, bringing this with me...



    Loving the bass so far. Cleaned and intonated, new flats (although the rounds were sounding pretty BA, if you ask me).
    Full review tonight after practice.
  2. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Nice score!
  3. brutalron


    Dec 5, 2007
    These are underrated basses. Nice score. Every time I see one, I try and talk myself into dropping the cash.
  4. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    Congratulations! I've owned a red one for 25 years, and I like it a lot. You can get a lot of different sounds with the hum/sing switchability. I usually keep the neck pup on single and the splitter favoring it, but bringing in just a bit of the bridge pup on humbucking, to bring up the treble. Give that a try, see how you like it!

    Let me warn you about one thing though... that V-shaped strap button. If you move around a lot, raise your bass neck up to the sky, rockstar stuff like that, and the hole in the strap is the slightest bit loose, the strap button can slip halfway out of the hole. Then you are in danger of dropping it if it slips the rest of the way out. This happened to me, and the bass fell straight down and hit the base of my mic stand, and it took a chip the size of a dime off the lower horn. Pissed me off big time. I urge you to avoid my mistake. If you're more of a stand-still type, you probably won't experience this. Either way, keep the screw tight and the button properly oriented, with the point of the V pointing up. Same with the other button. Good luck!

    And enjoy!
  5. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    I can see why... these are really neat basses.

    My review thus far:

    Showed up in the UPS today and I was stoked! Snagged it off of ebay. I asked the guy before I bid if it came with a bag or case. He said it didn't, but if I won, he'd send one with it... He was an honest a trustworthy guy because it came with a gig bag. Decent one, too!

    Anyway, the bass is 26 years old and it shows it. This has been loved a lot. Frets have been crowned, buckles have had their way with the back of it, and it's seen the ground a few times. But overall, in good shape for its age.

    As for construction, the neck is arrow straight, truss rod works, bridge is solid, tuners are fantastic. Weighs in at 8.2 lbs. The body is very light and resonant. That did, however, lend itself to some neck dive.

    The electronics are what drew me to this bass in the first place. Well, actually, a thread I started about my lack of desire for an Ibanez really started the search, but after some recommendations to check the Roadstar II out, I decided to look. Found this and THEN discovered the electronics.
    in 1984, Ibanez was offering a Japanese made bass with splittable humbuckers, a contoured top body, light weight, and made to last. In 2010, I added splittable pickups to a not-so-light US made bass and thought that was the modernest thing to do! I was late, I guess.
    Anyhow, the Push/Push knobs and the pan-pot in the front were a little different than I was used to. And I was expecting a really crappy feel. But honestly, they aren't bad. If I do keep this bass, I will be switching to 2 or 3 way switches for the pickups and a push/pull for the series/parallel mode. It will just make at-a-glance tone adjustments easier. This bass isn't exactly what I'd like for that electronics configuration, but at least they were thinking!

    Get to practice, whip the bass into the old-school Sunn rig and prepare for some testing. Flats and fat humbuckers make for a BEEFY tone. This is absolutely no exception. If I were in a Stoner Rock band, this is the ideal bass for that.
    What did surprise me, though, was that the Bucker/Split volumes were close. The Bucker mode just added beef, not as much volume and I like that! But it is pretty muddy with full bucker.
    It played and sounded GREAT, though. I was very impressed and am looking forward to more time whacking on the bass. I think I'm gonna have to go back to rounds and see how that treats it. The bass is very classic sounding with the flats, but my band is a bit more modern for tones, so I have to give it another shot.
    And as it happens, a friend of mine has a (matching?) Ibanez hardshell case that he keeps his EBMM Sterling in. I think I'm going to upgrade HIS case for him and snag the match in the process. It's aged like the bass is.

    And here's the questions:

    Anyone know of pickup wiring codes for the Super J6? I can probably figure it out, but diagrams are great, too.

    Assuming I like the bass enough to keep it around, should I refinish it? The back is really rashed, there are chips all over. The bass wasn't expensive and the value doesn't seem to be going up as a vintage instrument. But what do you all think?

    How much better is the Musician? Should I seek out one of those or will this be a sufficient dip in the Ibanez pool?

    RE: Strap buttons...
    I never go bassing without my Straplocks, so no worries there. It's been equipped!
  6. Kraygus


    Sep 25, 2010
    Good to hear you like yours as well!

    Refinishing?...It's all personal; some like to play well loved instruments. :D
    I can't really comment on how much "better" the Musicians are. The playing style of my two are like comparing apples and oranges... Though my musician is an early 1980 fretless, and they all seem to have noisy electronics. I'm assuming this changed with later models.
  7. Congrats on the Roadstar II! Nostalgia city. I had one exactly like that from 1986-1990ish. I bought it brand new when those first came out in 1986. Very different from the Peavey Foundation S that I played at the time (but still have.)

    I kept the Roadstar II strung with Rotosounds or Blue Steels, and that thing could rip the treble when you set single-coil on the humbuckers. But it still sounded sweet when cranked up due to the basswood body.

    That is a nice control set- VBT with coil splits on the VB. I liked the factory HSC that came with these also.

    Dang, I miss mine! I had a chance to buy it back from the guy I sold it to in Lexington (Ky) who was a good friend of mine in college, but passed it up. It's long gone now. :bawl:
  8. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    This one came from Kentucky, but it's an 85.
  9. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    I played this at a gig with flatwounds and the bass is great!
    Changed out the pots to push/pull (series/parallel) and it made it even better. Here's the thread on that, if anyone ever wants to do it:

    I am liking this bass a LOT. It has an incredible vintage vibe and is probably the best BEEF tone I've ever played. It is ideal for Dub reggae, stoner rock, psychedelic stuff. VERY full and doesn't need a preamp to make it sound like different stuff. It even has one of the best solo'd neck pickup tones I've ever used.

    I will not repaint it. This thing has the vibe. I like it a lot and recommend it to anyone looking for a great bass that's dirt cheap and sounds phenomenal. Good luck finding them with regularity, but snag em if you see em.
  10. bassthumpersf


    May 30, 2010
    I knew I should've bought it! Nice score.
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