Help with old Ibanez semi-acoustics

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Tito83, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. Tito83

    Tito83 Member

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    I'm shopping for a good budget 335-ish guitar... Two Ibanez crossed my way. The models are: AS120 and AM50. Both are from late 70's early 80's I think. The catch is I can't try neither of them. The prices asked are close, so it's not an issue. Anyone? :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
  2. jazzrat

    jazzrat Member

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    Unless I'm mistaken the AM50 is a smaller body while the AS120 is 335 size.
    I'd also ask where they are made. Japanese made Ibanez have more value than Korean ones.
    AS120's come up all the time while the AM50 is more rare.
     
  3. chucke99

    chucke99 Member

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    AS120 can't be any older than late 1980's. AM50 will be rarer and more valuable. Ask for the serial numbers off of each, then you can date them. (Or, we can.)
     
  4. Tito83

    Tito83 Member

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    Both told me the guitars are Japanese made. Is dating necessary? I'm not even thinking about which's rarer or anything. Are one of them better (theorically) then the other? The AS it's a 335 copy, ok, but how does the AM differs in sound being smaller?

    In time... I'm looking for a tone like Ford's. Am I going nuts looking for a semi-acoustic? I've read somewhere that his old fenders had cavities that got the tone a semi-acoustic flavor - I'm I crazy or it's there somewhere? - and I just think I won't find a better solid guitar in the same price range overhere.
     
  5. chucke99

    chucke99 Member

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    I'd still want to see pics of the serials and pics of the labels in the gits, but that's just me. I've never played an AM, but fellows over at Ibanez Collectors World who have them swear by them.
     
  6. buchla300

    buchla300 Member

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    Both good, but the AM50 is a cool thing. Made in Japan is important for value though. Make sure they are (unless the price is very good)
    Even cooler is the AS-50 which came just before it and is also a small bodied ES335.
    I'd probably grab the AM50, but the AS-120 will probably be a bit more 335ish if that's what you need.
     
  7. gitman

    gitman Member

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    have you ever looked at the Yamaha line of "Super Axe" guitars from the 80's and early 90's (all made in Japan) ? IMHO on par with Gibson's best ES models and certainly with the Ibanez line. i have one (SA-1800S from 1984) with a solid spruce top, splittable alnico humbuckers, mahogany neck+ebony board. that is a superb and very versatile guitar, found at a great price. it's clear, articulate, warm and packs a real wallop when you crank your amp - the known Carlton, Ritenour and Ford tones are all there plus it gives a really useful fat+warm jazz tone- something a stock ES-335 or an Ibanez AS not always delivers so easily- those can sound very harsh at times. i have had an Ibanez AS-50 before which was a cool guitar but a tad too heavy for me and it was not as versatile as this Yamaha - great rock tones though. the prices for 80's Ibanez guitars are generally rising fast and in the case of the semi-hollows they are rising too fast, especially the AS-200 (the original "Scofield" model) is becoming too expensive. Yamaha's are the sleepers ....if you have a connection to Japan then an old Greco, Tokai or Orville ES-335 copy might be interesting - unfortunately very hard to come by outside of Japan.
    there is a beautiful dark red SA-2000 for sale in the emporium and i'd check it out - good luck !
     
  8. Tito83

    Tito83 Member

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    Actually I know a store overhere that have the AS50 and a Tokai 335 copy, but both cost exactly 3 times more then the price asked for the AM50 and the AS120.

    I just sent an email for both guys asking for the label pic, 'til then, here are the contestants:
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  9. jazzrat

    jazzrat Member

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    The head stock shape on the AM-50 is from '87 to '97
    The AS-120 is a '97 or newer
     
  10. Tito83

    Tito83 Member

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    The AM50 owner reafirmed it's an 80's one, that he checked the serial number. He is touring so he can't take a pic of the label just yet. I'm still waiting the answer from the AS owner.

    BTW, thanks everyone for the help :).
     
  11. tone4days

    tone4days Member

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    i have an am50 and like it quite alot
    but it really isnt like a 335 .. has its own thing going on ... longer scale length takes it out of 335 territory more than the small body does ... also, the big center beam construction too ... like i said, i like it alot, but it doesnt scratch the 335 itch

    t4d
     
  12. joeh77

    joeh77 Member

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    I had a early '80s Ibanez AS200, the top of the line semi-hollow at the time. It was one of the best guitars I've ever owned! The AS200 was a full size 335 style guitar made in Japan. Used I have found they run about $1,500. Great guitar if you can get it. Scofield used one and now uses his signature model with a few updates from the original.

    Joe:)
     
  13. soulohio

    soulohio Member

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    i like older is better but the red one does it for me plus it has block inlays. i am a sucker for mid-line fancy appointments like neck binding and block inlays.
     
  14. chucke99

    chucke99 Member

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    Jazzrat nailed it. Looking at both, I really like the AM50.
     
  15. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

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    Nice plus for the AS-120: The stock pickups are Super 58s, low-output vintagey humbuckers that you don't have to immediately replace on a lower-end guitar. Well-made guitars and you can't beat the price. Paid $300 clean and used for mine w/ HSC. =K
     
  16. MartinPiana

    MartinPiana Supporting Member

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    I haven't seen Scofield in six months or so, but saw him 5 times in the two years previous. He was playing either his original sunburst AS200 with the top-mounted jack, or a black vintage AS200 (think he said it was an '84 or something like that), which he told me he was using to try out some voodoo pickups and didn't want to take the pickups out of his main guitar.... I've never actually seen him playing his signature model.
     
  17. highrise

    highrise Member

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    HUGE plus.

    I have an AS120...not sure of the year...serial number begins with O.

    Super 58's are the BOMB!!! I may sell this guitar...but I won't part with the pickups.
     
  18. jazzrat

    jazzrat Member

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    I agrree the Super 58's are killer but the AM50 may have them also. If not Super 70's are a possiblility which are also very desirable pickups. I've had two MIK AS guitars with Super 58's. Just my ear but I prefer the Super 70's in my '80 AS100.
     
  19. Tito83

    Tito83 Member

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    Just got the serial of the AS. It's 02039001. So, what's the good and the bad news? :munch
     

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