Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Ibanez 2459B Destroyer and a Greco "Rickenfaker". . . . .

Hi to all out there - Back to the Collection.

First of all, I would like to welcome "Stefano" as one of my "Watchers".

On average, I get around 35 visitors a day, with a peak of over
180 a day during some of the Peter Cook articles.
It's always interesting to see how people have arrived.
Today, for example - Status Shark controls, Guitar Collector Blog,
Ned Callan Firebird, Aria SB 600, Gordy Headless Bass,
Peavey T-40, Ibanez Studio SB-70 etc, etc.

I am always happy to answer any questions, if I can help.

Anyway, back to the job in hand - let's kick off with a couple of
rare basses.
The Greco is well travelled, as I bought it from one of the founder
members of The Beatlegs, Queensland, Australia!!
He returned to the UK and decided to move on his McCartneyesque
(is that a real word??) bass, as I recall he was looking into a Police
tribute band, or something like that!

I have played several of the genuine article, over the last 30 years
and this has the feel and the tones of some of the best ones I have
This has a bit more punch and brightness than the real ones I have
played that are more recent - I had been told this is down to a change
of circuit.
Balances nicely and has a lovely neck - the whole thing has a satin
finish to it and is a joy to play.
The only thing that I always get confused with, is the layout of the
controls - I always have to look at what does what!
Mono output only - most of these have Stereo and Mono.

Hard to believe, this is 28 years old and in that time has travelled
from it's home in Japan, to Australia and then onto England!
These type of basses are generally referred to as "Rickenfakers"

I know someone who is a mine of information on Japanese
instruments,so I asked him for a comment on the two we have
here today.

Hi Eric - as usual two exceptional - and very rare - basses!
Both of these were made by Fujigen Gakki, and have datable
serial numbers.

Fujigen serial numbers work like this - the first letter represents the month
(A = Jan, B = Feb etc), the next two digits the year, and the subsequent
numbers are for the month's production run.
Anyway, let's start with the Grecobacker.
Looks like a very accurate 4001S replica, going through the Greco
catalogues online, these first appeared in 1977 and were still available
in the 1992 catalogue - along with all the other "Lawsuit" instruments that
stopped being sold officially outside Japan in the mid 70s.

I think using Japlish deductions, we can assume "PMB" is
"Paul McCartney Bass" - also the fact they also did a Brian May
Red Special clone & called it a BM-900 is a bit of a giveaway!
The numbers themselves always reference the price in Yen - the two
PMBs were priced at 80,000 & 100,000 yen respectively, in Japan!

This Ibanez Destroyer Bass is 35 years old and in that time must have
seen some action at some point.
I base this on the state of the original case, which could be best described
as "shot it"
The interior is not too bad but the rest. . . . . .
Took me ages to find a case that would fit and that I was happy with.

It is all original apart from the knobs - two of the original ones were cracked -
and the selector switch, as the original was a bit hit and miss!
When I got it, the strings were backed off, due to a crack in the head, which
wasn't major but need looking at.
This was bonded and then, as a "belt and braces" job, I made a replica of
the head in aluminium and bridged the join, as these type of heads have a
weakness and I didn't fancy any further harm coming to it.

It has got quite a full sound, with both pick-ups on - the neck pick-up is typical
"P" and the Ibanez single coil at the back, adds brightness.
It has a few battle scars but doesn't interfere with the playing of it, as the neck
is smooth and free of bumps.
It's something a little bit different!
A few more words from Jon.

The Ibanez is a 2459B Destroyer - seems this is one of the rarest Ibby
basses and quite sought-after by Ibanez collectors.
Of the available online catalogues, it only appears in a single 1976 edition -
so it's possible it was only available for a very short time.

Shame about the headstock damage - but clearly it's a player & the custom
reinforcement is a nice touch!
This is an interesting bass in that it's not a "proper" copy, it's perhaps most
likely influenced by John Entwistle's Explorer-shaped Alembics, as at the
time there was no Gibson equivalent.
Apart from Greco (which are often the same instruments apart from the brand)
I don't think any of the other Japanese brands had an Explorer bass.
Thanks Jon.

Well, I think that will do for now - I'm off to dig up something else!!

Cheers. :)

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