Ibanez U.S.A Custom UCEW1LC NT - $2500!! - Sold!!

Filed Under (Ibanez, x- SOLD -x) by Importstrings on 30-08-2010

Another first for Importstrings is a VERY RARE and VERY HARD to get your hands on,LEGENDARY U.S.A Custom Exotic Woods Series UCEW1LC NT with Custom Shop ordered upgrades!! This guitar at the time,was Ibanez at their very best! Now I’m not taking any thunder away from the J Customs of today, which are extremely well built and beautifully sounding, BUT this monster is WOOW! sounding and will punch holes in many J Customs. Sadly the two top series of U.S.A Customs, the American Masters and Exotic woods have been over shadowed by the J Customs, which is understandable, being that ALL the U.S.A Customs were built from 1989~1996 in limited numbers, a generation gap, a lack of internet info (if any in those days) and the U.S.A Custom very rarely leaving the U.S.

Now VERY BREIFLY, I’ll try to explain why these exquisite guitars are so sought after! It all started many years ago,way back in the late 80’s (Now I feel old) By that time Ibanez had already established themselves with many fine, quality built instruments, but now it was time to take on the major players in their own back yard, so to speak. Very quietly, in the late 80’s they opened up Hoshino U.S.A in Bensalam P.A with a small team of American designers. They were to establish themselves as the Ibanez Custom Craft shop. In the short time from 1988~1990 they came out with many fine creations like the 540S, 540P, 540R (Which would later go back to Japan for full blown production) and the first in the U.S.A Custom Shop series the American Masters etc..
With Ibanez now getting more of a slice of the American market, it was decided to move shop, to California, and open two shops. In short one being exclusively for the endorser, they were to grab would be endorsers, create for them and maintain their instruments etc.. at NO EXPENSE spared. Some of those heavy weight guitarists being the likes of Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert, Frank Gambale etc, etc… The other shop, located a short distance away was for the U.S.A Custom Shop series, direct to the public/shops. In all, five different series would be produced, with some having outside help. With some series, the bodies came direct from Japan with only the bridge humbucker routed, giving the customer the option of pick-up configuration, choice of Di Marzios, neck woods, frets etc.. These models were usually ordered through the local Ibanez dealer, with spec sheet made available. Like I said, Ibanez were going full out to IMPRESS! The Custom shop to the public was closed in 1996 due to sales which was brought on by a change in music, but the custom shop for the endorsors is still open today. When Ibanez closed the custom shop to the public, it was decided to bring all that custom guitar experience back to Japan with a new limited line called the “J Custom. YUP!! If there had not been such models as the American Masters or Exotic woods there may never had been a J Custom. Which brings us FINALLY to the Exotic Woods.
Now this is where it gets tricky. The Exotic Woods Series were made from 1990~1992 with 6 models in the series, the UCEWFM and UCEWQM being the more expensive models. They came STANDARD with metal nobs, centered pearl dot inlay, birdseye maple neck, Jumbo Frets, cosmo black hardware, Di Marzio PAF PRO x2, IBZ/USA C3 x1 pick-ups that were direct mounted. The UCEW1LC came STANDARD with plastic nobs, offset pearl dot inlay, maple neck, Jumbo Frets, black hardware, Di Marzio PAF PRO x2, Di Marzio VS-1 x1 and were ring mounted.
The model we have was CUSTOM ORDERED sharing the same specs as the top models, plus abalone inlays, Jim Dunlop 6105 Frets, Di Marzio Double Whammy in the bridge and keeping the standard black hardware. This is a ONE OWNER guitar thats was puchased in 1992, then brought back to Japan in late 2006, in that time he also has had installed, an E.S.P Arming Adjuster (Designed to bring your tremelo back to zero point after all those dives). More info.from E.S.P.
Another note about the Exotic woods Series, is the bodies were bulit by Tak Hosono, (founder of E.S.P) of Hosono Guitar Works. These bodies are of the highest quality and the EXTRA THICK Australian Lacewood top used, is absolutely amazing, the woods were highly polished giving holographic effects. Getting an Exotic Woods is quite rare but getting one with Lacewood of this calibar VERY RARE!! This is the ONLY model Ibanez have used an Australian Lacewood top making it very unique indeed! As mentioned the sound of this guitar is WOW! Punch, classic, fat, warm bottoms, awesome tone and sustain through-out, due to two factors. One being the quality woods/direct mounted pick-ups (these always give a bit more than ring mounted) and two the E.S.P Tremelo Adjuster is always in contact with the tremelo block, the vibrations ring down through the block, into the body giving added tone, sustain and clarity to a guitar that already sounded good.

The condition is almost like new!! This guitar has been treated like a baby, almost no ware to the hardware, 80%+ frets, body is mega-clean, almost like new playing condition! The only flaws in this guitar is, the original owner lost the back plate (no biggy, for a few bucks that can be ordered or made) and a chip at the truss rod hole which has been touched up. THATS IT!!! This is an 18yr old instument that looks like it came off the shelf yesterday, all in its original Custom Shop case (with serial no. still intact) and owners manual. It also has a very low serial no.of the 210th instrument built in 1992. If your an Ibanez collector, you will know how rare this is, and how much, of a fasinating peice of Ibanez history it is.
The craftmanship on this guitar is second to none, J Customs included!!

Body : Highly polished Australian Lacewood w/Honduras Mahogany back
Neck : 1pc.Birds eye Maple, Ultra type,
Fingerboard : Rosewood w/Abalone centered dots and Jim Dunlop 6105 frets
Bridge : Edge
Pick-ups : (Front) Di Marzio PAF PRO, (Middle) Di Marzio VS-1, (Rear) Di Marzio Double Whammy
Controls : 1 Volume, 1 Tone w/5 way selector
Hardware Colour : Black
Colour : NT (Natural)

Charvel Model-3D (Japan Only Model) - $850 - SOLD!!

Filed Under (Charvel, x- SOLD -x) by Importstrings on 14-08-2010

Near new playing condition,scuff/tiny lacquer chips

Importstrings have another Rare!! Charvel. This is the rarely seen mid 1988~89 Model-3D from the last year of production (Model Series). The Model-3D was at the time Charvel’s answer to the Kramer (Japan) LK-EK Series and ESP’s newly designed Mirage, which were MEGA popular. Undoubtedly George Lynch inspired, who was almost “guitar god” like status at the time in Japan.

The Model-3D is a very simple design, the Jackson U.S.A J-90c Ultra-High output humbucker produces ALOT of volume, flick the 3-way toggle and you get very sweet single coil sounds in the neck with the J-100. A CLASSIC 80’s Metal sounding configuration!!. A year later the Model-3D would later be renamed “The Fusion Deluxe” during the Comtemporary Series, another model the 3DR (Reverse head) would become “The Predator”. Because of the inconsistency during the change over, both models have been seen with reverse/regular necks or sometimes a black painted neck. The Model-3D was a one year only product so, there is not a great deal of them, compared to other Model designs.

This Model-3D is in AWESOME playing condition, it has hardly any ware to the hardware, frets are 80%, body front and back are very clean, although there are a few laquar only dings to the side (They dont really stand out due to the metallic blue), and a couple of small nicks to the head. All in all, still an eye catcher and in fantastic playing condition. This would look good in any collection and definitely one for the hardcore Charvel collector. Getting one of these models is quite hard for us to get in ANY condition.

Body : Solid Basswood
Neck : Maple
Fingerboard : 22 Jumbo fret, Rosewood w/dot inlay
Bridge : Jackson JT-6 locking system
Pick-ups : (Front) J-100, (Rear) J-90c Ultra-High output humbucker
Controls : 1 Volume w/3-way toggle selector
Hardware Colour : Black
Colour : Electric Blue

Charvel Model-6/650XL (Japan Only Model) - $1400!! - Sold!!

Filed Under (Charvel, x- SOLD -x) by Importstrings on 10-08-2010

Near new playing condition,scuff/tiny lacquer chip

This is a “VERY RARE JAPAN ONLY” SL-145-SSW (Model-6/650XL) conversion model and very hard to get your hands on!!. Charvel like Kramer and a few other companies at the time, were very inconsistant with production, with some spot models (Shop order models) not appearing in catalogues. The competition with Charvel and Kramer was particularly ferocious, especially in Japan.

In 1989 Charvel released the “New look” Contemporary or Toothpaste models (called this because of the new logo) for the overseas market. Japan from mid 89 ~ mid 90 released many of the same models BUT!!, still using the Model series logo and introducing the newer logo more slowly and with optional order graphics. The model Importstrings have appeared in the JAPAN ONLY 1989 catalogue. The Japanese catalogue also came with a custom order made, price list, specs and blank page, giving the customer/shops the option of body, electrics, graphics etc.. Much like E.S.P today (At a pretty hefty price though!)
The one Importstrings have was a shop order original in PPC (Platinum Painted Crackle) and as mentioned a “conversion model”. Basically what it is, is a Model-6,having the new Contemporary Schallar made FLC-202 or JT590 tremelo instead of the Schallar JT-6 trem and having a 5-way blade pick-up selector opposed to the older 3-way mini toggles (THATS IT!) Body woods and electrics are exactly the same. From mid 90 Japan would release these as the Charvel 650XL and having the Contemporary logo for only one year, just like the export models, Then that was it! The end of the top quality models. Metal wasn’t as popular, the demand wasn’t there, some companies had bitten off more than they could chew and the quality just slipped away.

Charvel (Japan) continued but we would not see REAL QUALITY again untill the mid 2000’s with the awesome Model A, B, C and a cost performance D. Charvel was back, with some top quality instruments, designed with the San Dimas models in mind.

As for the condition? Its in equally amazing condition, all there is, is a 1X (laquar only) mark about 2mm on the underneath of the head and some very light scratching. There is very little ware to the hardware and the frets are 70%+. The electrics as expected sound awesome, VERY smooth with warm tones, overall in amazing condition!!Although descibed as PPC (Platinum) in colour, it appears a very light gold. These Charvels DO NOT come up that often, so if your a collector don’t miss out!! These are real top quality for $$ guitars and a real collectors peice!!

(Note) These guitars run on a 9v battery for the active cicuitry, having a good quality battery is important!!

Body : Poplar
Neck : Quater sawn Rock Maple Thru-neck
Fingerboard : Rosewood w/Sharktooth inlay
Bridge : Schaller FLC-202 locking system
Pick-ups : (Front & Middle) J200 Dual coil, Bi level humbucking (designed for use with active cicuitry), (Rear) J50BC Accentuated High Frequency bridge postioning humbucking (Designed for use with active circuitry)
Controls : 1 Volume, 1 Tone, Jackson low impendence JE-1200 with mid-boost, 5-way blade selector
Hardware Colour : Black
Colour : Platinum Painted Crackle