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Question about Ibanez Roadstar II RB8xx basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Kwesi, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. I've noticed that there seem to be at least 3 distinct pickup sets among these basses. Does anyone know how compare? I know it's a stretch since these basses are old but not really "vintage" material but any help would be appreciated

    I've played one with these pickups and loved it.


    But looking around online I also found these:


    and these:

  2. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    My wife just bought me the Roadstar II RB950, which has the pickups of the first bass you have pictured. I guess it's kind of rare, and has a coil tap option for both pickups, so you can go humbucker or single coil on either pickup. It's really versatile, with great humbucker smooth but slightly nasty lows all the way to clear and sparkly highs when in single coil mode. If you can find oan RB950, I highly recommend it do to the coil tap option.

    Sorry I can't tell you anything about the pups in the other two versions.

    Happy hunting.
  3. Bitterdale

    Bitterdale Natural Born Lurker

    Dec 4, 2010
    Ocala, FL
    The RB850 in the first pic has the same push-push coil splitting options as the RB950 WoodyG3 is referring to. These pickups are excellent.

    Unfortunately, I don't have any experience with the other two sets pictured, so I am unable to compare them. I do believe the second set is active, if that helps.
  4. AndrewChalloner


    Feb 23, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    Endorsing Artist: Markbass Amplification
  5. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    +1. The pickup model is the J6, and Ibanez referred to their coil-splitting feature as “Duo Sound.” Lots of neat tone options, especially given that it’s a passive instrument. Never had the opportunity to play the other versions, but here’s mine, bought new and still gigged regularly:

  6. Wow I got way more info on this that I was expecting! Thanks everyone! I'm guessing the pickups in the third pic are the the same just with covered poles maybe? All I know is that I'd loooooove an RB885 with those J6s. They sounded incredible in the RB850 I tried out.
  7. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    I know what you mean about not having the "vintage" rep, but I think that model is an unsung hero. I played a buddy's and gelled really naturally with the feel and sound.
  8. Bogster


    Oct 13, 2002
    Orange Park, FL
    I actually used my 1985 RB850 to record on one of my band's cd's. Great bass; lots of tonal variation and packs a wallop both live and in the studio. Not sure about the other 2 basses, but can definitely vouch for the RB850.

    El Papa likes this.
  9. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    I've one of these, the 850 RV. I was thinking about selling it but the buyer flaked. I had it set up to play and did so.

    It's no longer for sale.

    Sometimes I get lucky. These basses have somewhat of a fan bass. There's usually a reason for that.
  10. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    i had the exact rb 850 in your first pic
    260 + original case.
    I was dumb to sell it.
    great sounding bass, light and a million different tones available. I want a purple one
  11. TinIndian

    TinIndian Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2011
    Micco Florida
    I have a purple one I'm restoring. Got it for a little over 100 bucks in the case. It was beat within an inch of its life. Value wise I paid too much for it but I wanted a project to work on and an RB850 in particular. I played it one gig before I tore it down and the pups are really amazing. Even beat up with chunks of wood missing it played really well.

    If anyone ever comes across one of these they should pick it up. Realy good players, lightweight ans lots of tone options.
  12. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    fan bass *RIMSHOT*

    I tend to view the mid-‘80s as “The Golden Age of Ibanez.” Lots of great instruments produced during this era. Nothing against Ibanez’s current offerings, but there’s just something about the Musician/Roadstar instruments that’s truly special. I’ve bought and sold many basses over the years, but have never considered parting ways with my 850RV.
  13. Yup, that RB850 was a great bass. I gigged and recorded with it for years... and I still kind of miss that "Ibanez honk".

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