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Old Ibanez Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bobm2112, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. Hello all, This is my first post. Its nice to meet you all. I have been thinking about picking up some old vintage 70's early 80's Ibanez Musician and Road Star II basses. Not only because they sound great and they are fun to play but I am hoping that they might be worth a few coin down the road.

    These old basses were made in mass quantities so you can find them on the used market for a steal, <$500

    My question is do you think that one day they will have a value anywhere close to a vintage Fender?

    Any input would be very helpful.

    Thanks all,
    Bob NJ
  2. Machines


    Dec 1, 2005
    Birmingham, UK
    Moderator: basschat.co.uk
    They are going up in value certainly.

    I had a 1980 MC900 which I swapped for a my current 96 Stingray.

    I can't see them being as revered as vintage Fenders though..
  3. Yeah I like the sound of them too, hard to find though. Occasionally you see them in pawn shops which is a steal, would never trade for my Stingray though.
  4. I had a 81 blazer bass years ago. I still miss that bass. They are going up in value all the time. I dont think they will ever get to the stage of fenders & the like, but they are great well made basses that are becoming collectable.

    Go for it!

  5. I wouldn't mind getting one if I could find a 5 string one somewhere, would be a perfect extra bass.
  6. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Nope, nowhere near a vintage Fender price. Great basses though. I have several, all (except the MC824) bought for less than half of what a new MIM costs here.

    If you like them, buy them and play them and ignore the $ aspect.
  7. funkybassplayer

    funkybassplayer Commercial User

    Sep 16, 2003
    Longview, TX
    Nordstrand Audio
    I realize that you are talking about Ibanez's that are older than mine but i have a '95 TR-505 (discontinued) that i absolutely love and would never trade for anything. as far as them being compared to fender, i dunno. i have never really been a fan of fender basses when they are in my hands. I love the sound and legacy of old fender stuff. it just isn't for me.
  8. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    back in the late 80's (want to say 89) I bought 2 1983 Ibanez Musicans as a matched set with OHSC's for $900. A Dark Stained Fretted active/passive MC924 and a matching, passive only, fretless MC940. I sold the MC940 years ago but still have the MC924.

    I like the 924 fine. It certainly a good looking bass that plays very well. But, it is quite heavy with a tone that is pretty clean/hi-fi sounding to my more Fender friendly ears, plus the electronics are not very quiet compared to modenr systems I use and really eat batteries in active mode.

    Keeping it is more of a sentimental value thing for me these days as I have built up a small stable of wonderful Fender or boutique Fender "super J's" (plus a very nice fretelss Turner Ren) that meet my playing needs better than the Ibanez.

    I see them listed on craigs, the bay, or even at local shops from time to time for between $500-600. So, one thing that pops out at me relative to your question about value/future value is that, based on what I paid originally, mine certainly have not gained much in value in the almost 20 years I've had it. I also don't think they'll ever be on the same level as vintage Fenders. So, make your own conclusions there.

    caveat emptor

  9. Silas Martinez

    Silas Martinez

    Jan 17, 2007
    Denver, CO
    Hard to say. I doubt they'll reach vintage fender status, but they are certainly nice basses. I have an 80-81 MIJ sr800 that I wouldn't consider trading for less than a sterling or MIA jazz, and even then, I'd be dubious (meaning I'll likely have it forever). The thing actually has an almost WALish (justin chancellor-like - very middy) tone. Playability is second to none. No, its not a Fender. Yes, its a soundgear. And yes, it is a killer bass.
  10. Fender32


    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    It's never easy to predict the future :smug: , but IMHO, I think we're getting towards the "top of the curve" on all of these 80's Japanese basses at the moment.

    The way I believe it works, is that people who have grown up playing bass in the 80s, are getting nostalgic (and rightly so ;) ) for those fine quality basses, which they may or may not have played "back in the day". As those same instruments are currently "cheap" by many standards and easily available (thanks to ebay, craiglist etc.), there is a growing interest among these buyers and consequently, prices will go up.

    Eventually though, that "nostalgia" market will no longer be there and only one thing will assure a further rise in value - namely, an 80s revival :eek: !!!

    Unthinkable, I know, but if the teen bands of tomorrow suddenly latch onto how cool those "space age" headless basses looked, or decide the Matsumoko brands are in some way "hip", then anything could happen to prices :rollno: .

    From a collector/investor p.o.v., I'd say, go and look for the best conditioned, high spec instruments that you can find and haggle hard on the price. Just don't keep them for toooooo long ;) .

    Good luck!
  11. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    FWIW, it's my advice to buy stocks, bonds, and mutual funds for investing and musical instruments to play. I doubt very seriously that you'll ever see a $25,000 Roadstar on eBay.
  12. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Good post, and I agree with what you said....

    .... except, I'd say play them. Many of the Matsumoku basses are superb and you wont get much else in the market that's better for similar money.
  13. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Musicians vs Roadstars:

    There's quite a difference between the going prices between a 79 Musician vs an 85 Roadstar.
    Roadstars are still cheap, yup under 500 all day long, found two in the 300 range last month.
    Musicians however are much sought after, and easily two to three times the price, not unusual to see them around the 1k mark these days.

    But no, they will never be anywhere near vintage fenders
  14. The Penguin

    The Penguin duplicate account violation Banned

    Jun 21, 2006
    I'm not pelagic
    Since I believe the vintage market is based on fashion I think it could happen. A cover of Bass Player with Flea and one, with an interview where he says he can't understand why he hasn't been playing these for the last 25 years and now he finally has found his tone and that particular model will break $1000 overnight. If Marcus, Geddy and Victor jumped on board they would break $5000 and "would be worth every penny".

    But no, I don't think it will happen :)

    When people talk about investing in old Fenders you never hear how cool it would be to have a bunch of Starcasters and Coronados even though they would have been the obvious choice for a collector to buy new as they were the fancy ones. It takes a lot of cherry picking to make instrument investing look profitable.
  15. i want a black eagle so bad.. but i cant find them anywhere..

    and i bet you can know why i would want them for!
  16. notdavey


    Nov 2, 2006
    Seattle WA
    I own an '84 Roadstar II and love it (eBay for under $300). I put my Fender Jazz in the reserves since getting it.
    Since they are looked at as sort of Fender knock offs from that era I doubt they will ever be valued like US or MIJ Vintage Fenders (even though in some cases the electronics and workmanship are as good if not better).
    They are killer instruments and that what I look for personally. For an investment standpoint - well Fender's have always been consistent and stable investments. I play mine to death and don't coddle them to be collectable.

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