I've had two different people e-mail me about these. One guy's was made in 1981 and the other was made in 1982.
Does anyone know what this is?
Obviously, it's a Destroyer bass but which model?
The hardware looks like it's the same hardware that was used on the early 80s Roadster basses: Super P4/T4 pups, Hercules B machine heads, and AccuCast B bridge.
It has a bolt-on neck and belongs to the Destroyer II line.
Does anyone know which model of Destroyer this is?
Just to cut everyone off at the knees: it's not a black DT-500.
Oh, it has all the same hardware. It has a set neck, block inlay, neck and body binding, too. It was even manufactured around the same time as the DT-500.
But there's one little fly in the ointment: this guitar is a Destroyer II and a DT-500 is an X-Series.
So, riddle me this Batman: what looks like a DT-500 but is not a DT-500?
Photos of the Anti-500. The serial number has been mostly redacted at the owner's request.
I was plowing through the Japanese catalogs that Ibanez posted online and found a couple of Destroyers that belonged to the Ibanez Art Graphic Series.
Thought I'd share:
I knew previously that the designation "DT-420" had been used for two completely different Destroyer models: one from 1992/93 and one from 2002/03.
I had always heard that the second incarnation of the DT-420 was a reissue of the DT-400. Personally, I could never see it. Then I found out why. The DT-400 designation was reused in 1996 on a Japanese market Destroyer. The specs were identical to the second DT-420.
So, the second incarnation of the DT-420 (2002) is a reissue of the second incarnation of the DT-400 (1996).
I also recently discovered that the "DT-200" model designation was also recycled. The second usage, which I knew about, is from 2004. The first usage was in 1983 on a Japanese domestic model.
Someone recently sent me photos of their DT-355 to post to the site.
Since we lacked any images of this rare guitar, I was more than happy to receive them.
I did a quick skim over the images, picked one, did a little clean up, and began posting the photo to the site.
Halfway though the process of updating the site I realized this was a DG-350, not a DT-355.
"OK, so what?", you might say.
Take a look at the neck butt and neck pocket:
They are clearly stamped "DT-355".
Granted it was very early on a Saturday morning when I was doing this and, I'll admit, I probably wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer so that's my excuse for not picking up on this sooner.
This guitar belongs to the X-Series line as shown on the headstock. The X-Series models were created for the western market. After a little digging, I found it to be a DG-350AM and later learned that the DG-350 was also available to the Japanese market even though it was part of the X-Series lineup.
The "real" DT-355 belonged to the Destroyer-II line and was for the domestic Japanese market.
I am assuming at this point that the DG-350 and the DT-355 share the same neck and body with different hardware for each of the markets.
Yes, I said "EX Series", not "X Series".
One of the same folks who identified the German DT-420 also owns an "EX Series" Destroyer.
At first glance, I was convinced someone had bolted an EX Series guitar neck on to a Destroyer body.
As it turns out, there actually was an EX Series Destroyer, model DT-320, again made exclusively for the German market and - we think - manufactured in the 1993 timeframe.
The body has a black finish and the neck is unfinished.
Unfortunately, that is about the extent of what we think we know about this rare guitar.
Update - 25 Jul 2010: the proper model designation for this is MED-320, not DT-320, and I have no idea why.
Update - 13 Aug 2010: I finally landed one with the help of several friends in Europe. It has a bolt-on neck and there is a sticker on the neck butt just outside the pocket that states, "MED320-BK". It has no-name machineheads and pups. The back covers of the machineheads and the ground plates of the pups are blank. It does, however, have an Ibanez TRS-TREM (Floyd Rose licensed) double locking trem unit and, if I'm interpreting the serial number correctly, it was manufactured in Korea (not Japan) in Oct 1993.
Well, my search for this elusive animal is finally over.
I found a couple of folks who knew exactly what this beast is.
What I have been calling the German/European "DT Series" Destroyer is, in actuality, the first incarnation of the DT-420.
It was, indeed, a German only release from 1992/3 and was available with either a Cherry Sunburst finish or a Black finish.
I said "first incarnation" because the model designation "DT-420" was reused 10 years later in 2002/3 on a completely different Destroyer.
The second incarnation of the DT-420 was available in the US market and came in either a Candy Apple red or a Black Pearl finish.
Visually, the two incarnations of the DT-420 are completely different in appearance so there is no chance of mistaking one for the other.
I forget these things actually exist but they do.
Recently, I ran across one and it reminded me of that fact so I thought I would share what little info and speculation I have before it slipped my mind (again).
According to the book "Ibanez:The Untold Story" (Specht, Wright & Donahue), the Destroyer prototypes were made completely from mahogany.
The production line was was initially set up based on the original Hoshino-Gakki design but, at the 1975 Chicago NAMM, Hoshino-Gakki saw their prototypes side-by-side with the Gibson Explorers and found that their Destroyer prototypes were just a bit "off".
So they retooled and started full scale production with sen ("Japanese ash") bodies and maple necks.
I would assume that there were some left over all mahogany necks/bodies that went out the door based on the original, incorrect design.
Several months ago someone e-mailed me and told me that the DT-155 came in another color besides black.
Being the sensitive soul that I am, I told this person they were crazy and had no clue what they were talking about.
They sent me a photo.
"Rubbish: it's been refinished. Hope you didn't pay a lot for it."
As it turns out, this person knew exactly what they were talking about and I was wrong (again).
FujiGen-Gakki, the company that manufactured Ibanez guitars for Hoshino-Gakki in the 1970s and 1980s, was notorious for performing "spot production runs" of undocumented finishes on guitar models. They didn't do this for every model, of course, but it did happen from time to time.
I was aware of this at the time of our conversation but, having seen only one example of this special DT-155, I was much more inclined to think "refinish" than "spot run".
It started nagging at me, though, so I began digging a little bit.
The first DT-155s were released in 1983 so I needed to match up the finish with one that - hopefully - already existed prior to 1983.
After some digging, I found a 1982 Roadstar (I think that's what it was) that had the same finish: Marine Sunburst.
It's a dark blue/green burst on a black background.
OK, I felt that it was at least theoretically possible a spot run was done with this finish since it already existed prior to the DT-155s being produced.
So, I started keeping my eyes open for another one of these mystery DT-155s.
I'll tell you: photographic quality is not the forte of sellers on eBay.
If I didn't know - specifically - what I was looking for I would have thought that finish color was black that had faded slightly blue or was the result of some weird lighting effect or camera flash.
Over the course of several months I actually found about 4 more of these special DT-155s, all with the Marine Sunburst finish and all in horrible shape.
I finally found one in very nice condition on eBay and snagged it for a lot less than I had expected.
It's missing the tremolo arm and one string tree, the bridge pickup has been replaced and it looks like two of the pup rings have been drilled.
Overall, I'd say the finish is an 8.5/9 out of 10.
EDIT: updated photo showing restored model
Thanks, Chris, for turning me on to these.
I've begun posting photos of real Destroyer models from various peoples' collections.
If you have a Destroyer that is all original (or close to it) and near mint condition and would like to have your guitar displayed as the "pin-up girl" for a given model, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.