NGD: 1975 Ibanez "Destroyer"

tomanche

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9
Gotoh today makes some excellent tuners. The 510s that I've experienced on guitars that I tried (not owned) were so buttery smooth, with a great ratio and stability. Many high-end/expensive acoustic guitar builders use them (e.g., Goodall), and I've seen them on electrics (e.g., Gotoh makes the Collings-branded tuners; if they're good enough for Bill...). Search Gotoh's website and Stew-Mac's website. Maybe current ones will fit the existing holes on your awesome Ibanez?
 
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spatz

Member
Messages
47
FWIW Johnny Depp has been playing one of these. They are truly wonderful guitars and as some have said, becoming highly collectible so be careful with the modifications.

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Arf

Member
Messages
1,150
Made from late '75 thru early '78, by Ibanez, before Gibson filed suit against the parent company,
Hoshino Corporation. This is a close copy (apparently too close for Gibson's taste) of a '58 Explorer,
with the exception that Japanese "Sen" Ash, a highly figured wood, was used in place of African Korina wood.
From playing this, I can say the tone of this wood is somewhere in the range between Alder and Korina.
I like it better than mahogany Gibson Explorers, sonically. Its got a more high-mid centered tone.

Besides being a true "Lawsuit" guitar, these guitars were put 'on the map' by none other than EVH.
As I understand it, Eddie's Destroyer was used for all the rhythm tracks on albums I & II.

Currently loaded with a Duncan '59'er in the neck and a vintage Bill Lawrence XL500 in the bridge.
I am considering setting this up, cosmetically, like a '58 Explorer, with all gold hardware. The original
tuners suck. The soft zinc bridge and stop tail, suck. Any suggestions for upgrades? I'd like not to have
to drill new holes in that virgin headstock, for machine head stabilizer screws. Not sure about the
existing pups, yet. The original "Super 70" pups are long gone.

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Beautiful guitar. They might not fit right on but I like Callaham locking ABR bridges (steel) and Faber locking tailpieces (aluminum) which can probably fit. Then Hipshot tuners (no ugly locking crap).
 

Maico996

Member
Messages
42
I have a lawsuit Flying V although I’m not sure what year. It’s has the black stinger on the head stock but does not have the grip strip on the lower bout. The previous owner routed out the center for a third pickup so I’m gonna have that fixed soon.
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guitarzan33

Member
Messages
120
SFG! I'm currently building a long scale Explorer (Spec'd from an original '58 Explorer that I was able to outline => Mike Parker's original '58 Explorer). It's a 2 piece body, and 1 piece neck (all Korina) at 25.5 scale. Body is near 2" thick with 3/4" two piece maple top. I just need to seal the body and finish it (light cherry back with sunburst top w/matching sunburst peg head). Explores are the best looking rock guitar bodies....
 
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dsquared

Member
Messages
25
A stepped neck heel and no serial number means this is one of the earliest Ibby Destroyers built, before August 1975.

Re: the bridge a pickup, an original Super-70 measures about 7.5k which is not particularly hot but is very similar to Gibson PAT output.
 

smilefan

Member
Messages
1,775
Wow! What a beauty!
I would humbly suggest to keep this guitar as original as possible, because one day, in a (not so) distant future, this could be an equivalent of a '53 Tele. Or as someone suggested, to carefully keep the replaced pieces, if the replacement could be reversed.
Actually, if this guitar was mine, I would get a pair of Super 70's, those are great pickups.
Does you guitar have a serial number?
Yes, the serial number is written, in pen, on the interior of the control cavity.
 

smilefan

Member
Messages
1,775
Lovely. The star tuners on mine are fine in the main. The guitar was shipped from Georgia to Greece and arrived in tune, if you can believe that. On my Antoria (UK brand Ibanez) LP custom they are absolutely rock solid. Super 70s are highly regarded, but they sound a little weak on the Destroyer for some reason - but great on the LP and my Gibson - so I put a set of Mules in for a bit more power.
Please don't drill any holes in it, they are so rare they deserve to be preserved as much as possible.
The tuners in mine have backlash. Decent tuners for their day, but just not functional enough for me to play in a live Rock band. I'm going with the Hipshot tuners, with the Universal Mount Plates, others have 'hipped' me to here (thanks guys! occasionally TGP rocks!). Seems the peg-to-peg distance on the headstock is precisely one inch (max dims for the Hipshots). No wonder Gibson took Ibanez to Court. Ibanez took all the measurements for this guitar directly from a real '58 Explorer (why else would a Jap mfg use Imperial inch measurements?)
 

smilefan

Member
Messages
1,775
Late to the party but love the guitar...great find. I would go JB in the bridge pickup. Lots of great suggestions on upgrades...can't wait to see once you get done the mods.

You could go full Eddy and take the jigsaw to it and get some turn-buckles. I think he said it completely changed the sound...maybe not for the better.
A JB isn't a bad suggestion! I've had a chance to play this with my band, and the Duncan '59'er neck sounded unexpectedly great, at least in this guitar. That's a pickup I would normally regard as, "plain vanilla". So maybe a JB would work well. I tend to regard JB's as a classic "one trick pony", but we'll see.

I was excited to try out the Lawrence XL500 (made famous by Dimebag Darrell and Nuno Bettencourt).
But my impression is (in this guitar, at least), that its a bit crude. All blasting power, no finesse. Lacking the touch sensitivity of some of the better, modern high gain'ers. These were one of the first very high gain pickups on the market. So, I'm sure it was a revelation for its time, but I need something I can control better with pick pressure.
 

smilefan

Member
Messages
1,775
Late to the party but love the guitar...great find. I would go JB in the bridge pickup. Lots of great suggestions on upgrades...can't wait to see once you get done the mods.

You could go full Eddy and take the jigsaw to it and get some turn-buckles. I think he said it completely changed the sound...maybe not for the better.
Bite your tongue! No sawing or drilling on this piece of history. Only upgrades that are retro fits or non-invasive add-ons. Having all that wood mass in the body does something to the playing response of this axe. The guitar feeds back easily, sweetly, musically. I can't imagine taking big chunks of it out would do anything positive for the tone. What was Eddie thinking?!
 

NSDQRKR

Member
Messages
804
A JB isn't a bad suggestion! I've had a chance to play this with my band, and the Duncan '59'er neck sounded unexpectedly great, at least in this guitar. That's a pickup I would normally regard as, "plain vanilla". So maybe a JB would work well. I tend to regard JB's as a classic "one trick pony", but we'll see.

I was excited to try out the Lawrence XL500 (made famous by Dimebag Darrell and Nuno Bettencourt).
But my impression is (in this guitar, at least), that its a bit crude. All blasting power, no finesse. Lacking the touch sensitivity of some of the better, modern high gain'ers. These were one of the first very high gain pickups on the market. So, I'm sure it was a revelation for its time, but I need something I can control better with pick pressure.
With good pots a JB is very responsive IMO…I think the pots really make a difference and they are an inexpensive upgrade. I have a 59 in my ESP 1000 paired with a JB at the bridge and its a versatile combo…BTW super envious of that axe…such a cool guitar.
 

smilefan

Member
Messages
1,775
PAF style of your choosing. I'm very pleased with the OX4 low wind set I recently installed in my Edwards. Wonder if EVH used a real PAF in his...
My understanding is that EVH either used a late 70's Super Distortion, or the stock "Super 70's" humbucker (which used Alnico 8 magnets).
 
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Whiskeyrebel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
31,196
A JB isn't a bad suggestion! I've had a chance to play this with my band, and the Duncan '59'er neck sounded unexpectedly great, at least in this guitar. That's a pickup I would normally regard as, "plain vanilla". So maybe a JB would work well. I tend to regard JB's as a classic "one trick pony", but we'll see.
I have a Les Paul copy that I believe is made of sen, and a JB didn't work in it. It was like an EQ pedal with one slider up too far. I traded it to a friend and in his maple/mahogany guitar it sounded fine.

If the shape and weight have more influence on the sound than the type of wood, then the JB may work fine for you but if the guitar's voice has a bump in the same place the pickup has a bump, well, it could get bumpy.

And yeah I'm a broken record on the subject of the JB.
 

smilefan

Member
Messages
1,775
I have a lawsuit Flying V although I’m not sure what year. It’s has the black stinger on the head stock but does not have the grip strip on the lower bout. The previous owner routed out the center for a third pickup so I’m gonna have that fixed soon. View attachment 601687 View attachment 601688 View attachment 601689 View attachment 601691
That is a smokin' 58' "V" copy! The tuners are different from mine (stabilizer screws instead of internal mount pins). The body is Sen ash?
 

smilefan

Member
Messages
1,775
FWIW Johnny Depp has been playing one of these. They are truly wonderful guitars and as some have said, becoming highly collectible so be careful with the modifications.

db374c45dcdca7783d04828f652bbbab.jpg
I saw that! He's using a Destroyer just like mine, in concert with his Dusenberg "Sig" model, at Hollywood Vampire shows. His looks dead stock.
 

Rod

Tone is Paramount
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
24,539
Faber locking metric, thanks for that suggestion! What would you suggest in the bridge to replace the old Bill Lawrence pup, on this guitar (using in a live Rock band setting)?
I’d go with a Zhangbucker Duane plus in the bridge… Pagey in the neck….
 

smilefan

Member
Messages
1,775
So sick. I'm a huge Explorer fan. HNGD!!

I think I'd love to try one of these some day if I'm ever ready to pull the trigger on an Explorer-style guitar.

Mind sharing what you paid?
Well, I actually bought this guitar about 15 years ago, before I moved overseas. It has been sitting in a recording studio in Portland, OR for the last 10 years. I didn't think I'd ever get it back, but the studio owner finally sent it to me. I paid $800 for it at Voltage Guitars in "Guitar Row" in Hollywood, CA.
 

CaptainAhab

Member
Messages
36
Made from late '75 thru early '78, by Ibanez, before Gibson filed suit against the parent company,
Hoshino Corporation. This is a close copy (apparently too close for Gibson's taste) of a '58 Explorer,
with the exception that Japanese "Sen" Ash, a highly figured wood, was used in place of African Korina wood.
From playing this, I can say the tone of this wood is somewhere in the range between Alder and Korina.
I like it better than mahogany Gibson Explorers, sonically. Its got a more high-mid centered tone.

Besides being a true "Lawsuit" guitar, these guitars were put 'on the map' by none other than EVH.
As I understand it, Eddie's Destroyer was used for all the rhythm tracks on albums I & II.

Currently loaded with a Duncan '59'er in the neck and a vintage Bill Lawrence XL500 in the bridge.
I am considering setting this up, cosmetically, like a '58 Explorer, with all gold hardware. The original
tuners suck. The soft zinc bridge and stop tail, suck. Any suggestions for upgrades? I'd like not to have
to drill new holes in that virgin headstock, for machine head stabilizer screws. Not sure about the
existing pups, yet. The original "Super 70" pups are long gone.

View attachment 600263
View attachment 600264
View attachment 600265
View attachment 600266

View attachment 600274
Wow, that is beautiful!! Two questions & I hope you won't mind answering.
1) were did you find it?
2) can you give me a ballpark on what you paid for it?
I love these guitar's & have been looking for one in any condition but they've been priced a little too high for me to be comfortable dropping that kind of money.
Nice score!!
 

Maico996

Member
Messages
42
That is a smokin' 58' "V" copy! The tuners are different from mine (stabilizer screws instead of internal mount pins). The body is Sen ash?
Thanks! Yes, body is Ash. I bought this one in the late 80s from a friend who, at one point, had all three lawsuit guitars - Flying V, Explorer, and Modern. He had two Vs and I got one of them.
 

smilefan

Member
Messages
1,775
Wow, that is beautiful!! Two questions & I hope you won't mind answering.
1) were did you find it?
2) can you give me a ballpark on what you paid for it?
I love these guitar's & have been looking for one in any condition but they've been priced a little too high for me to be comfortable dropping that kind of money.
Nice score!!
The answer to your questions is in the post directly above yours.

Found - Voltage Guitars on "Guitar Row" in Hollywood.
Paid - $800

That was about 15 years ago. I have owned this guitar for years but it was sitting
in a recording studio in Portland, OR for 10 years, since I've been in Asia, and just got the studio
owner to return the guitar to me.
 
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