Rebuilt Ibanez RB999: What’s it Worth?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by hooky_marr, Mar 6, 2021.

A reasonable price would be:

Poll closed Mar 13, 2021.
  1. $2,150 CAD

    0 vote(s)
  2. $1,925 CAD

    0 vote(s)
  3. $1,775 CAD

    0 vote(s)
  4. one meeeeelion dollars

  1. Time has come to sadly part with this bass (gotta pay down the credit card).

    Was an original 1984 Ibanez RB999 bean bass ordered from Japan via Japan Bass Direct. Original neck had hidden cracks in the headstock and pickups had issues, bridge was corroded.

    Had my local luthier / builder, Steve Rozitis of R Guitars, rebuild it with the following:

    • New neck built from scratch (5-piece roasted birdseye maple with walnut stringers, pau ferro lined fretless fingerboard, oval abalone inlays, jewelers’ silver fret line dots, MM style truss rod adjustment wheel.
    • New custom pickups made by Nordstrand’s custom shop, NJS4 coils in 3D printed nylon shells, 2 in the large ‘humbucker’ shell and 1 in the smaller ‘bridge’ shell
    • Babicz bridge (0.750” spacing)
    • Brass nut
    • Hipshot Ultralite tuners
    • Replica Ibanez decal
    • Passive electronics with center detent balance knob, volume, tone, and 3-way switch for ‘humbucker’ coil selection
    • SoftLite ‘pick and pluck’ heavy-duty case
    Currently strung with Rotosound Swing Bass 66.

    I’ve literally only played it for a couple of minutes. It’s really like a brand new instrument :)

    What would a reasonable price be? Would $2,150 CAD be too high?

    Attached Files:

  2. Just as a note, I haven’t picked/plucked out the cube foam in the case yet. I’ll outline the bass as shown and probably carve out a small rectangular space for cables & accessories.
  3. Anyone? Bueller? :)
  4. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    I don’t know what the exchange rate with the USD is right now, but I am pretty sure the CAD is not 10 times the USD...with all those mods the value is seriously decreased.
  5. A9X

    A9X Inactive

    Dec 27, 2003
    1USD = 1.27CAD.

    Agreed. I'm sure it's a lovely playing instrument but the demand on it is going to be from Ibanez enthusiasts and collectors and the like, so it won't even get what a stock bean will. Sorry.
  6. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    If you still have the original pickups, neck and bridge, put them back on.
    As is I think the instrument is barely worth as much as a stock model and therefore, way less than what you'd get selling the parts.
    Stock Ibanez tuners alone are worth 200 usd.
    On rare, demanded instruments like this repairing stock parts is the thing to do.
  7. hypercarrots


    Jan 28, 2009
    i don’t have the answer you seek but it’s really cool how you’ve done so much to repair and restore it. i would like to see more of the neck build. how much does it weigh?
  8. The original parts were shot. Like, deep crack, unrepairable neck, truss rod had corroded, had to be trashed. The bridge parts and electronics had deep corrosion. I think I sold whatever parts I could salvage unless there's some sitting in a box. Japan, esp the southern part, is subtropical so it kind of plays havoc with metal bits. The original case was so moldy I had to trash it, too.

    I'm not really selling it as a vintage instrument, obviously.

    The value would be for someone who isn't a collector, but a player who wants an updated bass with boutique woods / luthier-made construction and premium parts in a rare compact body format. (I know this gets into Ship of Theseus mental puzzle territory, but why is it justifiable that people pay $$$$ for a Phil Kubicki Strat neck put on an average Fender body?)

    Given the time, energy and dollar investment I put into it, I know I'm not going to get 100% back but I would like to not lose that much money on it...
  9. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    I do a lot of instrument necromancy and resurrection. It never is a profitable activity.
  10. The only way that you're not going to lose a lot of money is by keeping that bass and playing it. Whatever $$$ you need to come up with is most likely have to come from a different source.

    Good luck.
  11. I posted some pics here last year. (I had Steve put the oval position markers on afterwards.) There's a link in the post to a Flickr album that has build in-progress photos that Steve sent. There's descriptions for each photo on Flickr with more info.

    NBD: Restored / Upgraded Ibanez RB999 'Bean Bass' Fretless

    Just checked it with my postal scale and it comes in quite light - 6.875 lbs or 3.11kgs.
    hypercarrots likes this.
  12. You might be right. Thanks for the advice.
  13. True enough.
  14. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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