1979 Ibanez Artist
One day, probably sometime in 1988, the manager of the music store at which I was teaching said,
"Hey man, we just got a guitar in on a trade that you might be interested in."
It was an Ibanez semi-hollow body, a 335 knock-off.
He was right; I was interested in obtaining a 335-type guitar. AND...it was only $250!
It needed a fret dress and neck adjustment to make it playable - $50.
I started using it on Jazz and Blues gigs right away. I was using my 80's-era Charvel-Jackson for Rock stuff but the Ibanez became the staple for just about everything else
So for $300 I had a guitar that I used for years and with which I made tens of thousands of dollars.
From the time I bought it (1988?) until about 2004 I was gigging with it constantly:
It was the tripped-out guitar on the cover of my 2001 CD, Channeling Harold.
I'm playing my Ibanez on this gig in 1996:
Around 2003 I was given a PRS McCarty Hollowbody II. Because it was much lighter than my Ibanez - my back was getting more and more messed up from playing the guitar as much as I do - I decided to retire the Ibanez and use the PRS in its place (see PRS McCarty Hollowbody II: My God-Given Guitar).
After struggling for a while with tonal issues in the PRS (see the link in the previous paragraph) I eventually wound up swapping the pickups from the Ibanez with the ones in the PRS, making the PRS sound almost identical to the Ibanez.
The Ibanez (with the PRS pickups in it) then hung on the wall in my home studio for 15 years.
When I first started creating online lesson content in 2012 I used my PRS for the videos. After a while I realized the fancy bird inlays were not conducive to the visuals. I wanted the fret board to be dark, which was the case with the PRS, but I concluded that just the basic mother-of-pearl dot inlays worked better in the interest of simple, uncluttered visuals.
I had an old Telecaster that fit the bill but after a few videos I realized the single-coil pickups were too noisy. There was too much interference from the lights in my studio.
I tried several other guitars from my collection and then thought, "Why not use the Ibanez?"
Visually it was what I wanted, sound-wise it has the humbucker pickups from the PRS in it. My tonal issues with the PRS pickups are not as significant in the context of a teaching video as they are on a gig. The main thing is that they're quiet; no hum.
So my old, $300 Ibanez Artist has gained a second wind as my go-to guitar for shooting teaching videos.
I've always been a functionally oriented guy; I'm not a collector or a tech-head and I don't care about the technical details and minutia of what year, make, model, etc. of the guitars I own. Up until the writing of this article I didn't know anything about my Ibanez guitar - I just knew that I liked it and used it to play music and make money. It was a business and artistic tool.
However, I know a lot of guys are interested in that kind of stuff; I get questions about my gear all the time. So after fielding several questions about the Ibanez that I couldn't answer, I thought I should do some research and try to find out exactly what I've got. Here's what I learned:
Model: Ibanez AS100
Serial #: L795018
Made at the Terada Plant, Japan
Production Number: 5018
It has a laminated maple or birch top with ƒ holes and ivory binding on maple or birch back and sides with a hard rock maple center block mated to a set-in mahogany neck with a 22-fret ebony fingerboard with ivory binding and pearl dot position markers. Components include individual volume and tone controls, black pickup rings, a Tune-o-matic style ST bridge, a Quik Change II tailpiece, a bone nut, a black pick guard, Sure Grip II knobs, and Smooth Tuner machine heads. The original pickups in it were pair of Ibanez Super 58 or Super 70 humbucking pickups with chrome covers, but they've been swapped out with the PRS pickups.
What's it worth? A quick search of the same make/model/year reveals:
I have $300 in it. Sweet.
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