need urgent help with an ibanez lawsuit " challenger "

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lilcoffeebeen, May 27, 2019.

  1. lilcoffeebeen


    May 27, 2019
    Atlanta Ga
    dude has a '77 lawsuit ibanez p bass (challenger) and i'd really like to know what its worth to the community? i dont want to overpay if i can get this sort of quality out of a 400 mim fender p bass but its got a cool factor and its pretty so i figured maybe ill give him 600 bucks. are these crap?
  2. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    no potential mate/lover will be more impressed by it than by a MIC Fender P or J unless they're also a bassist.

    If you're mostly shopping for a player, play a bunch of Fenders, G&L Tributes, Yamahas, and Sires, then play the Challenger. Buy the winner.
    ObsessiveArcher likes this.
  3. lilcoffeebeen


    May 27, 2019
    Atlanta Ga
    exactly what i have been doing. not a lot of mojo playing a bunch of barely set up guitars all day. just didnt know if 600 was like way high for a lawsuit i know theyve sold for less.
  4. Condition is everything when it comes to old instruments. If the bass is in good original shape, truss rod works and there are no other glaring flaws, $600 might not be completely off base. I grew up playing these things 40 years ago and would put them against just about any standard Japanese Fender.

    My $0.02 only...
    MattZilla likes this.
  5. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    I don't know about the price point, but I can tell you those lawsuit era basses are definitely not crap. They're very well made and sound good. The only issue would be that they're usually pretty heavy. But so are the Fender basses of that era.
  6. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    Generally, well made, specifically, hard to say.
    You've set the price, inspect and play it and decide what it's worth.
    The worst they'll do is say no. ;)
  7. tpaul

    tpaul Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2011
    That'd be a little too pricey for me.
  8. FugaziBomb


    Jun 5, 2017
    You'd have to be a supporting member here to discuss that...
    Gravedigger Dav likes this.
  9. johnson79


    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
    Only if he's trying to sell one. Asking for a price check on a purchase seems to be OK.
    FugaziBomb and Sixgunn like this.
  10. johnson79


    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
    From the 2 minutes I spent looking at these online, $5-600 sounds reasonable.
  11. From my experience as a working musician at the time, there is nothing special about "lawsuit" instruments except for in comparison to the horrible quality of Fender instruments during that same period. What made them noticeable was that they were decent and well made at a low price compared to Fender instruments that were expensive way beyond their quality.

    They're good instruments but I wouldn't pay those premium prices because they were made during the period when Fender wasn't enforcing their copyright on the headstock shape. A modern SX or Squier is the same sort of thing (Fender shaped instrument with a lot of quality for a low price) - so if the headstock shape is important to you, why not get a Squier or a used MIM or MIJ Fender?
  12. Thumpin6string

    Thumpin6string Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    Shoals Indiana
  13. Personally I think there are better options in that price range. You’re paying a lot for the vintage-ness of the bass. Used to see these in the 90’s sell in the $250 range, and I was never tempted to buy one. (And I did have a collection of 70’s Ibanez guitars: Weir, Artist, Iceman, LP, Jazzbox, CN, Studios, etc. I had an early 70’s Ibanez Tele copy that was rather poor.)
    kesslari likes this.
  14. jshinal


    May 28, 2013
    Raleigh, NC
    Value depends VERY much on the amount of fretwear. If you have to put ANY expense into fixing worn frets then I would pass. Otherwise it's a pretty good bass. 1977 was a pretty good year for Ibanez quality. I'd try to get it under $500.
    TheReceder likes this.
  15. FugaziBomb


    Jun 5, 2017
    Cool, good to know!
    johnson79 likes this.
  16. rodv66

    rodv66 Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2016
    NJ guitar and Bass center has two and asking 800$ each. I love a good lawsuit bass, but that's insane
  17. nilorius

    nilorius Inactive

    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia
    If you are so big p-type fanatic, ther is a lot of brands in different prices, so check out yourself.
  18. Raw N Low

    Raw N Low If I can't hear it, hopefully I'll feel it Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    Denver, Colorado
    I might be late to this party but here are my 2 cents...

    Older Ibanez basses are the TRUTH!!!! I've owned up to three of them and still keep two of them in my stable. Killer basses that I'm always on the lookout for. It's hard to find one that has been beaten to death that's in good condition. That's what I'm always looking out for. I've got a 1977 Ibby P and a 1976 Ibby Black Eagle. I'd put them up against any Fender all day...and I own a few Fenders.

    These are not on the same level as MIM, MIC, or even low-level MIA's in my opinion. This comment might rub people the wrong way but, here I go -- The only reason why Squire and Epiphone exist as ancillary to the bigger names is because Ibanez, Greco, and Univox were taking their lunch money in the 70's in terms of cost to quality ratio. I highly recommend the buy if it's in good shape and still available.
    musicman556 likes this.
  19. Raw N Low

    Raw N Low If I can't hear it, hopefully I'll feel it Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    Denver, Colorado
    There's a good chance it was made in the earlier Fujigen factories. I believe Greco, Ibanez, Fernandes, and Univox came out of the Fujigen factory and the Lotus, Hondo's, Aria's came from Matsumoku.
  20. Raw N Low

    Raw N Low If I can't hear it, hopefully I'll feel it Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    Denver, Colorado
    The Black Jazz might be a Challenger, as the name came along in the late 70's as Ibanez was phasing out high-quality copies for their own designs.

    The sunburst 75 is definitely not a Challenger and is a bit more desirable due to the fact that it has the simple 70's "Ibanez" logo on the headstock. Seeing these basses go for $800 - $1000 isn't unreasonable. They are definitely capped well below what their American inspired counterparts go for.
    musicman556 likes this.