Friday, 7 December 2012

Ibanez Strat-ish 1970s electric guitar, but is it a "lawsuit" guitar?
Another term that gets bandied about in the guitars section on eBay is "lawsuit", used when describing early Japanese "copy" guitars.

Despite the seller labelling this 70s-era Ibanez as a "lawsuit" guitar, I'd have thought it would have been extremely churlish for Fender to have filed a lawsuit because of this particular model; I appreciate that it is very Fender Stratocaster-like in silhouette but the similarities end there. Surely no-one with any knowledge of guitars would confuse this Ibanez for a Fender?

The guitar features two P90-style pickups, controls and output jack on a separate Mustang-like plate, a vaguely tune-o-matic styled bridge and a top mounted vibrato (arm sadly missing on this example) - a kind of el cheapo Bigsby if you will - behind the bridge. The neck, although it has a Fender-like 70s large headstock, is bound and features block inlay position markers. Looking at the photos I wonder too if the scale length might be nearer to 24" than a Fender-esque 25.5".

This is potentially a great guitar, depending on its current condition, set-up and playability but I can't help thinking that the eBay seller's starting bid of £750 and Buy It Now price of £1250 are optimistic. Perhaps this is the Holy Grail to some Ibanez/vintage guitar collectors, but I doubt it's going to sell with those prices. As to whether it could be considered a "lawsuit" model or not, I personally don't think that it qualifies but if you know differently please explain how and why in the comments below.

G L Wilson

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  1. I a lot of ways I feel somewhat annoyed that while we have Ebay to help us access cheap gear, it has also driven up the cost of old japanese and budget gear to record highs. 15 years ago a Cimar (Ibanez, cooler headstock) mij stratocaster/p bass/j bass/various odd models would go for less than 200$ (and that's in australia!) and young guitarists could get going on good gear. Instead everything, inclusing newer china made cheap instruments, costs too damn much.

    My First electric was the only thingI could afford, so I had to pay 120$ for a second hand Squier chinese made Strat. In times gone by where the pawnshop prize was a japanese electric or odd electric from europe or america has been replced with a not-too-overpriced student guitar from the 90's onwards. The same goes for Ebay. Getting a guitar for 1/3 MSRP is a 'prize'.

    I Miss the times I wasn't there for.

    1. I have to agree. £750 is a joke. Under this article, in the "you might also like:" is a fantastic looking 1984 yellow Ibanez Roadstar that goes for £250 or less today. Those guitars, along with Blazers and Peavey T60's from the same period, were ten times the guitar this old thing was. I've noticed the price of Jedson "Teles" have hiked up recently too. £200 for a plywood (bad) copy. By the way, if I'm not mistaken, the pickups on this guitar are single coils disguised as humbuckers. Ebay has enabled us to buy stuff we never would have got the chance to before but it definitely has served the opportunists and hopefuls too.

    2. There is also an amzing disparity between certain makes of guitars as well. One that often makes no sense. The Peavey you mentioned, the old peavey t-60 you mentione barely scrapes up to 450 USD and it's stablemate the reactor Tele barely gets to 400 USD. And these are quality US made electrics. Then there are Yamaha's, which are so maligned and ignored they often barely even sell. There used to be the fende and Gibson cult (which still goes strong) but now there is the japan cult, which results in ecessively overpriced knackered lawsuit guitars selling based on their brand and 'vintage-ness' rather than their indivdual quality. Don't we mock fender and Gibson for that?

      Ebay is suh a wierd way to buy guitars, let alone anything else, as you can never try the instruemnt before buying. you can never really see it before buying, and you are entirely at the mercy of some guy on a forum telling you about his. Still, as a guitarist and bassist i'd be buggered without it. I need many guitars for my myriad attampts at alternate tunings.

      I'll say this at least, Australia is a terrible place to be buying guitars. Our Ebay market is severely warped.

  2. My guitar player in my band has this exact guitar accept for the Ibanez logo has more of a rainbow of colors metallic polish.He doesn't currently play it because several of the tuning keys needs replaced.I believe he plans on replacing them very soon.I have high hopes for this guitar. Just curious have you guys ever featured a article on State Of The Art guitars? My guitar player has one of those too and he currently plays it in our band. Great guitar as well.

  3. I'm going to add a PS too.
    A few weeks ago I was seriously following my my first Gibson on Ebay. I saw a 1959 3/4 size Melody Maker in original (if VERY slightly battered around the edges) condition. I thought it was going to go out of my price range so I dropped out. It went for less than £700 in the end. Compared to this ....... guitar...

  4. Hi guys, can anyone tell me where I can find the serial number on this guitar, I manage to buy one recently and there is nothing written at the back of the headstock



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