Wednesday, 27 June 2012

No, it's NOT an Ibanez Iceman, it's a Greco Mirage Bass

With a starting price of €600, this silver sparkle Greco Mirage Bass with two split P-Bass style pickups is currently listed on eBay by a seller in France; which is interesting because it's quite unusual indeed to see these guitars outside of Japan.

But I know what you're thinking... "Surely, it's a copy of an Ibanez Iceman?"

Well, no, it isn't. The Mirage/Iceman was designed in the mid 1970s by a committee consisting of Hoshino (Ibanez), Kanda Shokai (Greco) and leading Japanese guitar manufacturer FujiGen. The resulting guitar was marketed by the different distribution companies in different global markets, and so the guitar we think of as the Ibanez Iceman was marketed outside of Japan, but within Japan the same guitar was marketed as the Greco Mirage.

To confuse the story a little further, early Ibanez examples were known as the Ibanez Artist 2663, the name being changed to Iceman in 1978, so this guitar has legitimately appeared under three different guises none of which can be said to be a derivative of the other.

G L Wilson

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  1. Probably because I'm not a Bass player, but do others find themselves being much more open minded about off designs when they have 4 strings not 6?

    I mean if you were in a club fully intending to be nothing more than a patron and someone recognized you and said; "Our bass player couldn't make it, running late. Could you fill in for the first set?" Would you really care as much if it -wasn't- a P-Bass etc? Maybe I should start collecting basses instead?

    1. Hmmm, well I do play bass...but I tend to find the opposite (I play guitar as well). Guitars- for me- tend to lend themselves to being more flamboyant than basses (probably because of the way they're mostly played in a traditional band setting).

      Why not collect guitars and basses? Hehe! They're the same family of instruments after all...

  2. I'm mostly a bass player, and in my experience it goes both ways. I don't give two hoots about my own image, but I appreciate an attractively designed bass (Peavey T-40, MusicMan Stingray, Fender Precision) and would rather play one of these than an amoeboid sculpture such as a Warwick or a razor-edged piece of Metal kitsch such as a BC Rich Ironbird. But that's just me...



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