(SOLD) Ibanez Artist AR-300 Cherry Sunburst 1981
Ibanez Artist AR-300, cherry sunburst, made in Japan 1981. Ibanez's Artist series debuted in 1974, and marked a departure from Fender and Gibson style designs and a move into original shapes with innovative specs. By the early 80s, the quality on these guitars was becoming frighteningly good, and early examples like this enjoy a cult following amongst enthusiasts. This one lived in Darwin for a while: for the uninitiated, that's Australia's tropical top end, which is a pretty hectic environment for a guitar to cope with. As such, it's not in collectors-grade shape: tuners replaced, patina on the hardware, and the binding is in rough shape. As such, this one is pretty generously priced relative to the others available around the world currently. All that aside, he electronics and hardware are basically all original, the neck is straight and stable, the truss rod and frets are working fine and as a player, it's very satisfying indeed. The neck is a comfy round, slim shape, it's quick and smooth in the hands with easy access all the way up the board. The tone on offer is superb: akin to a Les Paul in girth and fullness, but with extra clarity and snap through the top end. The tri-sound switches for each pickup mean you can dial sorts of sounds out of it, but it has a certain juicy sweetness no matter how you set it up. The flame maple top and heavily yellowed cherry sunburst finish are awesome, and paired with the fancy inlays, cloud tailpiece, seven ply binding and ebony board, it has plenty of visual pizzaz. Here's your chance to get in on the early-80s high end Ibanez action for a bargain dime.
Model: Ibanez Artist AR-300
Made: Japan, Fujigen Gakki plant (serial L814153)
Finish: cherry sunburst, gloss poly
Body: mahogany, flame maple carved top
Neck: 3-piece maple, ebony board, 24.75" scale, 12" radius, slim round shape
Pickups: Ibanez Super 58 humbucker x2 (passive, inc tri-sound switches)
Mods: tuners replaced, one volune pot replaced
Case: basic vintage hard case
Cosmetic condition notes: minor finish wear. The headstock has some minor chips on the end and scuffs on the sides, plus some discolouration and minor cracks in the binding. The neck is clean and smooth in the hands, minor dimples and rub wear on the back, one missing abalone slice on the 7th fret inlay, plus some rub wear, minor cracks, missing clearcoat and discolouration in the binding. Note the neck edges feel fine in the hands. The back has widespread buckle rash, with some bald patches, dimples, surface scratches and scuffs. The sides have scuffs on the top horns and dimples from the elbow area all the way around to the bottom horn. The binding around the whole body is in varying states of decay as per the pics, with some crumbled spots, some discoloured sections that are close to black and widespread minor cracks. The front has some dimples in the elbow area and around the tailpiece, scuffs around the knobs and play wear on both horns, as well as some patina on the hardware and pickup covers. Overall: good condition (6.5/10).
Playing condition notes: Action is low, neck is straight, intonation is good, truss rod works. All electronics tested and working properly. The frets have normal wear with some height gone, but they've been recently tidied up and levelled so there's no major buzz issues, 6/10 for fret life left. Wearing fresh 10/52 Moonshiners strings.