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1981 Ibanez Musician MC-924H Vintage Hybrid Fretted & Fretless Bass, AJ10 Alphonso Johnson Signature


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Up for sale, a 1981 Ibanez Musician MC-924H Hybrid half-fretless bass in excellent, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. Originally designed as a signature model for Alphonso Johnson under the AJ10 designation, exceedingly few of these basses are known to exist from their limited 1979-83 production window. Alphonso Johnson is perhaps best known for his ‘70s stint with Weather Report, as well as for recording and performing with artists like Phil Collins and the Grateful Dead.

Tonewoods include five-piece maple/walnut neck-through construction with dark stained ash body wings on a mahogany core and, most unique of all, a slab ebony fretboard which is fretted up to the 12th fret and fretless after the octave. Weighing 10lbs 2oz, this bass has healthy natural sustain and thick low end presence, offering both ample growl and broad thump. The slab ebony fretboard ensures ideal note attack and articulation, and the Super 4 pickups deliver a sound that's both commanding and detailed, governed by switchable active and passive circuitry. The MC-924H has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with D’Addario Chromes 45-105 flatwound strings, and easy-playing action, and accurate intonation.

The three-piece maple neck is reinforced with strips of walnut and sports a medium C-shaped profile carve with ample shoulder and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .825” deep at the 1st fret and .935” at the 12th. The slab ebony fretboard retains the original flawless slender fretwire up to the octave. There is light string wear into the ebony fretboard beyond fret 12, and the board extends all the way to a second octave beneath the D and G strings. This bass plays cleanly up the 34” scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The nut measures 1.650” (42mm) in width, crafted from brass for optimal articulation and sustain. The headstock has a dark stained ash veneer and retains the original gold “Musician” truss rod cover. The VelveTune B II gold tuning machines (as the name would suggest) turn smoothly and hold pitch well. On the back of the headstock, the gold “Crafted in Japan” script is intact and the G81-prefix serial number dates this bass to July, 1981.

The electronics work exactly as intended and are 100% stock, with both Super 4 single coils wired to a three-way pickup selector, Master Volume, passive Tone, center detent Boost/Cut, and Treble, Mid, and Bass knobs, along with a two-way mini toggle switch that activates the preamp/three-band EQ. Plastics comprise the original knobs, which have ridged grips, and the gold hardware is notably clean, including the Accu-cast B toploader bridge and saddles.

The gloss finish is abbreviated as "DS" in the Ibanez catalog for Dark Stain, although this is a non-catalog offering. Cosmetic wear on the finish includes an area of targeted buckle rash on the back at the bass-side body horn, light finish wear on the lower bout body edge, and a number of minor dings and faint finish scratches on the body as a whole, largely concentrated along the perimeter. The smooth gloss on the neck profile highlights birdseye figuring in the maple and feels fast in the palm.

A faux leather gigbag is included.