Up for sale, a 1977 Ibanez Artist model 2635 in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, finished in Antique Violin and complete with the original hardshell case. Emblematic of the finely crafted guitars produced by Ibanez in the late ‘70s, this Artist Series archtop was crafted with the utmost care at the Fujigen factory in Japan, only available in small quantities from 1977-78. The 2635 Artist takes its design cues from the Gibson ES-175 and L-5 CES models, loaded with the original pair of Maxon-made Super 80 “Flying Fingers” humbuckers.
Tonewoods include maple top with tight bookmatched flame extending liberally across every inch, maple back and sides, and a rock maple neck capped with a bound ebony fretboard. The fully hollow, 16" wide body delivers a natural acoustic profile with detail, warmth and breadth, qualities faithfully captured by the Maxon Super 80 “Flying Fingers” humbuckers. These pickups are among the most celebrated Japanese humbuckers ever created, designed in the vein of a PAF, perfect for everything from glassy clean to singing overdriven leads. They’re notably dynamic and responsive to player inputs, with plenty of treble sparkle, clarity, and harmonic complexity, and the humbuckers are also potted for optimal feedback rejection. Weighing 7lbs 13oz, this Ibanez has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 11-49 roundwound strings, low action, and optimal intonation.
The three-piece maple neck with walnut stringers sports a medium C-shaped profile carve with well-rounded shoulders, measuring .835” deep at the 1st fret and .940” at the 9th. The ebony fretboard has a 12” radius and features pearl/abalone split block inlay, with fret-edge binding on the medium jumbo fretwire. The frets benefit from a previous level and crown and are practically perfect, with plenty of meat, playing cleanly up the 24 3/4“ scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The nut measures 1 11/16” in width, marrying slices of brass and bone for ideal clarity and sustain. The headstock is framed by cream binding, and the stock set of Ibanez-stamped Rotomatic-style tuning machines turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch. The K77-prefix serial number dates to November of '77.
All of the electronics function as intended; the pickups are wired to the stock harness with braided leads, governed by a three-way selector switch with independent Volume and Tone controls for each humbucker. The pickups have clean "Super 80" ink stamps on the baseplates, along with additional Maxon date stamps from '77. Original plastics comprise the quartet of gold speed knobs (the original pickguard is no longer present), and hardware includes the floating ebony bridge with pearl inlaid feet, as well as the premium etched trapeze tailpiece that's very similar in design and function to a Gibson L-5.
The gloss Antique Violin finish is framed by ambered multi-ply binding, highlighting the tight, consistent flame figuring which extends liberally across the top and back. Cosmetic wear is limited to a handful of small nicks along the lower bout perimeter, some very light buckle worming on the back towards the treble-side waist, and a few faint scratches in the clear coat on the body as a whole. There is some checking across the plastic heel cap, and two new pieces of binding have been installed at the tip of the Florentine cutaway. The smooth matching gloss on the neck profile is nigh-flawless.
The original hardshell case with green plush interior is included.