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1978 Ibanez Musician MC200

AscarinVin

Member
Messages
16
Hi! I recently acquired a '78 Ibanez Musician MC200, and this is all the info I do really know about them:



Apparently, after the lawsuit era of guitars from Ibanez they started this series to make guitars better than the Gibson's of the time. So, in this case, the MC200 is a straight up humbucker guitar with two volume and two tone control, just like a Les Paul. Other guitars in the MC line had more electronic wizardry. Furthermore, another similarity to the Les Paul is the way the headstock is shaped (notice the brass piece on the nut in the picture!). The tuners are non-locking and branded 'Ibanez'.



But then come the differences. The bridge is screwed into a solid block of metal, and the tailpiece is made out of two parts, one of which is purely aesthetic and just attached with three screws (see picture of the tailpiece). The spacing is also a bit different than my Les Paul. I can't fit the bridge in the solid metal block of the Ibanez (sucks with finding spare parts...)


The bridge is quite interesting. It sadles operate the same way as a tune-o-matic bridge, but the way the height is adjusted is quite interesting. With a screwdriver you can adjust the height, and with a socket you can tighten the bridge (mine was a bit loose when I got it so it rattled when playing certain notes).

The humbuckers don't have any rings, and are screwed into the body with just a spring on the three screws. The cover is attached to the pickup. To me, the pickups aren't that hot, at least not a lot more than my Les Paul, which has a set of Stormy Mondays by Bare Knuckle. The sound is a bit harsher, more treble focused. I don't like it for cleans, it sounds a bit flat then, but overdriven it's a different kind of animal.

The body is made out of different kind of woods, like a sandwich, a big slab of wood between two slabs (see picture). You can see it even better on the back of the guitar where there's a cut-out. The neck is made out of 5 different slabs of wood and goes all the way through the body (see picture of the back of the guitar). It has a poly finish on the whole body (except the fretboard, ofc). I have no idea which kind of woods are used (although I suspect a maple on the neck)


Furthermore, I'm not really educated on the electronics, so I will just show a picture of it. I have no idea what is standard or not. I suspect the two capacitors are new, just like the selector switch and the input. I'm not sure about the shielding either, looks a bit newer to me than the rest, just as some of the cables.

So, if people have the same guitar I would like to know their opinions on it! Please enlighten me with your knowledge. I do like this guitar, and I love the looks. It's quite battered, so I take it with me a lot to open mic or jam evenings. I don't worry about it too much, it seems like a solid guitar and a lot of people don't know what it is so it's very unique. I have only seen one other for sale in the Netherlands (hence my English sucks) since I've been looking for one a couple of years ago.
 

treeofpain

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,274
Great and interesting guitars. Definitely a nod to Alembic and other boutique makers of the mid-late 70's.

Looks like you have an earlier model with the pickups that are "all plastic" on top. Yours is probably a 1977 or 1978 model. Around 1978, Ibanez updated the pickups to show the pole pieces.

Yes there were other models in the series. There was a bolt-on model boelow the 200, as well as other models with sandwiched bodies and active 3 band eq.

In the early 80's, the Musician was revamped with solid colors and conventional humbuckers (that are easier to swap out).
 

AscarinVin

Member
Messages
16
Great and interesting guitars. Definitely a nod to Alembic and other boutique makers of the mid-late 70's.
Yeah, it is. Actually, the way I first learned about this guitar was by the following picture of Jimmy Page:


This is not the Ibanez I have, but a Vantage VP700 (I think) (btw, I love the TR808). It looks kinda similar to the Ibanez so I started to look online and came across the false information it was supposed to be an Ibanez Musician. My search started then, even though I quickly learned it wasn't an Ibanez. But look at the similarities: even the truss rod cover looks kinda the same, the headstock shape, the fretboard, the sandwiched body, etc!
 

Grenville

Member
Messages
2,893
The Ibanez Musician wasn't really filling the place of the Les Paul in the catalog, the Artist series and Performer series were doing that. The Musician was (at least initially) more Alembic-like. As you noted, there were many innovations such as locking bridge, 'sustain block', etc.

Musician:


Artist:


Performer:
 

Silver

Member
Messages
2,491
Yeah, it is. Actually, the way I first learned about this guitar was by the following picture of Jimmy Page:


This is not the Ibanez I have, but a Vantage VP700 (I think) (btw, I love the TR808). It looks kinda similar to the Ibanez so I started to look online and came across the false information it was supposed to be an Ibanez Musician. My search started then, even though I quickly learned it wasn't an Ibanez. But look at the similarities: even the truss rod cover looks kinda the same, the headstock shape, the fretboard, the sandwiched body, etc!
That looks pretty much dead on to the Artist 2700. My holy grail guitar for many a year. Must be from the same factory rebranded? Never knew they did that with these. Very similar to the Musician, indeed;

 

Flogger59

Member
Messages
11,625
I found one for my brother decades ago, long gone. They're solid, I gigged his a few times. Sort of a kinda bright, kinda generic HB guitar. Heavy, too.
 

Silver

Member
Messages
2,491
@Donn Rowe and @Silver, that is indeed the Artist 2700, only made in 1977 and a hybrid of the Artist and Musician styles.



Just for confusion's sake, here's what's now known as a 'Scruggs', from 1976:
Yup. That's a birth year guitar for me, and one of the two main tools of Ed Wynne, pretty much my 'guitar idol' throughout my teens and twenties. Always wanted one, but they're fairly rare, and more expensive these days when they do turn up. One day! Definitely a different logo on the one in that VH pic though, and the headstock is the Musician style as opposed to the Ibanez 'castle' type. Everything else looks dead on. Interesting to see, though I doubt they're any less rare than the AR. I've certainly not seen one before.
 

Hari Seldon

Senior Member
Messages
2,457
I had a MC200 in 1980. (edit: 1978!) When a buddy, who had a real Fender Strat, played the Musician, his jaw dropped. Compare these japanese guitars to the late 70's fenders...

But otherwise, the tone was always uninspiring. I quickly put DiMarzios in, and after some time sold it to get a Strat.
The neck thru construction was in a way fake. A part of the cavity for the pickups was cut so deep that few millimeters of wood remained from the neck under them. That way the resonance could not be like in a neck really going thru the whole body.

Beautiful guitars, perfect workmanship, they lifted the overall building quality of the time. But they were never really desirable as musical instruments.
 
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AscarinVin

Member
Messages
16
But otherwise, the tone was always uninspiring. I quickly put DiMarzios in, and after some time sold it to get a Strat.
I feel the clean tones are really flat and in a way uninspiring. However, distorted I do really like the sound, especially the neck pick up. It's great for stoner rock, early metal, and some late 70's hard rock. I messed a bit with the pick up heights, it helped a bit with the sound. The sound is maybe too balanced, hence making it boring but workable en shapable with the right tools.

Furthermore, it stays in tune really well, it has a lot of sustain and it looks unique.
 

tkroeger

Member
Messages
70
I was 14 back in 78 and ordered an MC200 via mail order...somewhere in Texas I believe. $420 if I recall.

The guitar never made it to my house since the vender went bankrupt.

That hurt. I guess I feel better now...I think.

T
 
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drewl

Senior Member
Messages
8,561
I remember seeing them in catalogs, but never in person.
Vantage?
Had a Vantage Les Paul copy.
Wasn't bad.
 

johnnyb128

Member
Messages
1,423
Not to hijack but I’ve got an MC400 and am replacing pots in it. The regular size CTS type pot doesn’t fit. Anyone know where to get appropriate sized pots for these?

I really like the guitar, like others said it’s beautifully constructed and feels great, nice neck, ebony board. The pickups in mine were microphonic which is why I’m overhauling it, otherwise sweet guitar.
 

usamike

Member
Messages
18
Yeah, it is. Actually, the way I first learned about this guitar was by the following picture of Jimmy Page:


This is not the Ibanez I have, but a Vantage VP700 (I think) (btw, I love the TR808). It looks kinda similar to the Ibanez so I started to look online and came across the false information it was supposed to be an Ibanez Musician. My search started then, even though I quickly learned it wasn't an Ibanez. But look at the similarities: even the truss rod cover looks kinda the same, the headstock shape, the fretboard, the sandwiched body, etc!

That looks like the Roland G-303 (I think that's the model) for the guitar synth. Pat Metheny played that model for years and probably still does. Clearly made in he same factory as the Ibanez Musician. There was another model that Neal Schon played that was very similar to the Ibanez Blazer of the time.
 
Messages
1,125
Love the neck on those. I wasn't overly thrilled with pickups, though - and they're not a standard size IIRC, so they'd be hard to replace.
 






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