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1978 Ibanez Musician MC500 Neck Through w/ Active Electronics, Case, Hangtag


+ shipping

Up for sale, a 1978 Ibanez Musician MC500 in collector-grade condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. While the Musician Series basses typically get more of the spotlight, the concurrently-produced guitars share all of the top-notch craftsmanship and premium componentry as their lower-register siblings; this MC500 was the highest tiered guitar model available in ‘78 (the first year of production), featuring seven-ply neck through construction and active electronics.

The neck is crafted from seven pieces of rock maple and black walnut, and the body wings feature a maple core sandwiched between two pieces of ash. At 10lbs 11oz, this MC500 has tons of natural sustain and midrange heft on tap, qualities faithfully captured by the pair of Super 88 Tri-Sound humbuckers. These versatile pickups are full and rich-sounding, with warm lower-mids and a smooth, singing treble response that ensures dynamic articulation and great clarity. Additionally, the active electronics open up a dizzyingly diverse array of available tones; the three-way Tri-Sound mini-toggles enable each pickup to switch between standard humbucking configuration, reverse phase slinkiness, or coil split for single coil sparkle. The pickups can be reconfigured in tandem or separate (i.e. single coil twang at the bridge balanced by a full neck humbucker), and the three-band EQ enables further flexibility. Additionally, the active preamp has an independent Boost feature. This MC500 has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and spot-on intonation.

The seven-ply maple/walnut neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve with round shoulders and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .800 deep at the 1st fret and .905” at the 12th. The slab ebony fingerboard features abalone dot inlay, and the medium jumbo fretwire has plenty of meat, only exhibiting very light wear beneath the plain strings on the crowns of frets 1-10 that becomes progressively lighter approaching the octave. This guitar plays 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, carved half from bone and half from brass for optimal clarity and sustain. The headstock sports a Walnut-stained ash veneer with a brass “Musician” truss rod cover, and the VelveTune II tuning machines turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch, with oversized pearloid buttons.

All of the electronics function as intended, and the harness is 100% original save for a replacement modern CTS pot for the Preamp Boost knob. Controls include a three-way pickup selector switch, Master Volume knob, independent Tri-Sound (Normal/Reverse Phase/Coil Split) mini toggles for each pickup, Preamp On/Off switch, Preamp Boost knob, and trio of center detent Bass, Middle, Treble EQ boost/cut knobs. The original Sure Grip knobs are intact, with ridged rubber grips (as the name would imply) for easy adjustments and swells. Hardware comprises the Gibraltar bridge and tailpiece, both exhibiting a light dusting of surface patina, and the Gibraltar bridge is threaded into a solid piece of brass for improved sustain.

The gloss Natural finish exhibits only a scant few tiny dings on the body as a whole, largely relegated to the lower bout perimeter. The smooth gloss finish on the neck profile is immaculate.

The original black tolex hardshell case is included, along with a single hangtag.